Magazine article Momentum

Outstanding Catholic Educators Honored

Magazine article Momentum

Outstanding Catholic Educators Honored

Article excerpt

NCEA and departmental awards presented during Minneapolis convention

During the annual NCEA convention and convocation in Minneapolis, the association honored five individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Catholic education. Four awards were presented during a special awards dinner on the Monday evening prior to the convention opening. The Emmaus award was presented during the convocation of the National Association of Parish Catechetical Directors. Other departmental awards were presented at various times during the convention.

Catherine T. McNamee, CSJ, Award

Honors leadership in promoting a vision of Catholic education that welcomes and serves cultural and economic diversity and enhances service for students with diverse needs.

Christine Mary Boyd

Principal, St. Thomas of Canterbury School, Chicago, Illinois

Christine Mary Boyd is principal of two schools with a combined enrollment of 550 students. In 1991 she became principal of St. Thomas of Canterbury School. The school has students from 37 nations and 94 percent of the families have incomes below the poverty level. Within 10 years the school had a capacity enrollment with a long waiting list.

In 2001 the school was confederated with St. Mary of the Lake School, which had a declining enrollment. The schools operate from separate buildings but share a common philosophy that the church is called to offer its education services to the poor and those deprived of family and affection.

Inspired by the social mission of the church, Boyd has worked to make the schools accessible to area immigrant families as well as parish members. Students at both schools are children of established parish families as well as first-generation immigrants from countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Vietnam. This collective richness of culture and experience help create a unique learning environment for all students.

Boyd has partnered with parish communities, the Big Shoulders Fund and private donors to reduce the cost of tuition and offer scholarships to qualifying families.

C. Albert Koob Merit Award

Honors a distinguished Catholic educator who has made extraordinary contributions on a regional or national level.

Brother Bernard F. Stratman, SM

Former Executive Director, NCEA Seminary Department, St. Mary's University, San Antonio, Texas

During his seven years as executive director of the NCEA Seminary Department, Marianist Brother Stratman made a significant contribution not only to seminary education, but to the church in the U.S. His ability to build collaboration among the departments of NCEA is another achievement.

He directed numerous research projects on the American priesthood and related topics during his tenure at NCEA and earlier in his career. As Seminary Department director, he was responsible for securing funding, hiring researchers and managing projects.

Several research projects that Brother Stratman oversaw have been published in book form. Other research studies were published in Seminary Journal, including a series of articles published by researchers looking at the impact of foreign-born students on U.S. seminaries. In 2007, the department secured funding to launch a distance learning network among Catholic schools of theology.

In 2009 the Center for Research in the Apostolate (CARA) presented the Richard Cardinal Cushing Medal for the Advancement of Church Research to Brother Stratman for his strong support for church research and understanding of its uses.

Brother Stratman retired in June 2009 and relocated to San Antonio, Texas. He continues to serve as interim executive director of the Seminary Department until a permanent replacement is hired.

Msgr. John E. Meyers Award

Honors an individual who has supported Catholic education at any level or in any educational setting.

Brother Milton Barker, FSC

President, Totino-Grace High School, Fridley, Minnesota

Brother Milton Barker's time at Totino-Grace High School spans 36 years as a classroom teacher, theater director, development director, assistant principal, principal and, for the past 23 years, president. …

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