Meet the winners of Catholic Educators’ Awards


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The annual Catholic Educators’ Awards Banquet was held May 10 at the Academy of Our Lady of Peace.

 About 240 teachers and principals from throughout the diocese attended the event, which is organized by the diocesan Office for Schools.

“This is a celebration of Catholic education, of individuals who have committed themselves to the advancement of our Catholic school mission in the Diocese of San Diego,” Leticia Oseguera, diocesan superintendent of schools, said in her opening remarks.

Almost 50 attendees were recognized for marking significant professional milestones – 10, 20 or 30 years in Catholic education. Thirteen educators who will be retiring at the conclusion of the current academic year also received recognition.

The majority of the evening was dedicated to the presentation of several “Awards of Distinction,” which included:— The Re-Imagine Catholic Schools Award, given to a school that “recognizes the needs and interests of the 21st-century student.” This year’s honoree was Sacred Heart School in Brawley, where teachers have implemented new strategies to support differentiated instruction in multi-age classrooms.— The “All Are Welcome” Inclusive Education Award, presented to St. Katharine Drexel Academy, whose staff has made accommodations and modifications for students with various learning challenges and has created a part-time resource teacher position, offering one-on-one and small-group support to students.

— The Sr. Breege Boyle Award, which honors a preschool program or director for making a difference in the lives of the diocese’s youngest students, to Preschool Director Joette Correia of St. Vincent de Paul Preschool.

— The ACT Fellow Award, which recognizes an Academy of Catholic Teaching (ACT) fellow who has demonstrated the three pillars of the University Consortium of Catholic Education: service through teaching, community involvement, and spiritual development as they work through their academic program at the University of San Diego. This year, the award went to Krissy Franklin of St. Katharine Drexel Academy.

— The newly created St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award, given to a distinguished staff member who demonstrates excellence in serving the mission of Catholic education (in a school or at the diocese) and is committed to the success of the students and the school. The inaugural award recipient was Carla Barnett, receptionist/secretary at St. Patrick Catholic School in Carlsbad.— The newly created St. Sebastian Award, designed to honor exceptional individuals who have made a positive impact on both their school’s athletic programs and the wider diocesan community, was awarded to Eisha Bohman of St. James Academy.

 — The Good Shepherd Award, for a member of the clergy who models discipleship, truth and courage, given this year to Father Emilio Magaña, pastor of St. Charles School.

— The Catholic Teacher of the Year Award, which went to both a high school teacher, Alma Kim of the Academy of Our Lady of Peace, and an elementary school educator, Tori Franklin of Our Lady of Grace School in El Cajon.

 — The Distinguished Principal Award, presented to Shawna Taitano of St. Peter the Apostle School in Fallbrook.

— The Sr. Claire Patrice Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes major contributions over many years of dedication to educational leadership in the diocese’s Catholic schools. This year’s honoree was Dan Schuh, principal St. John School in Encinitas

 Schuh has spent 21 years in education, including 16 years at St. John School. He has been the school’s principal for the past 13 years. He is among those 13 local Catholic school educators who will be retiring at the end of this year.When presenting the award, Oseguera said that Schuh has “embodied the values and mission of Catholic education” through a “distinguished career.”“He understands that, in order for our Catholic schools to succeed, we must work together and support one another,” she said. “That’s why he has always been a strong advocate for collaboration with other principals and ensures his teachers partake in collaborative opportunities available to them.”


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