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May 7, 1993     The Message
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CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF EVANSVILLE VOLUME 23 NUMBER 35 May 7,1993 :i?: : Three teachers receive highest ,d[iocesan education award May 5 J, the/Red Mass Rabbi rnai 00ael Eva00vi: , members 7of the al Synod Issue Councils, West Evansville Deanery Special emphasis Vincennes Catholic Schools Bishop's Forum on Page 12 Excerpts from Vincennes Study on pages 13-14 By MARY ANN HUGHES Message staff writer Three educators, from the elementary, middle and high school levels, have been given the 1993 Teacher of the Year Award from the Diocese of Evansville. Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger presented the awards at the Teacher of the ,-.Year Banquet :May 5 at the Catholic Center in Evansville. The three teachers are Benedictine Sister Mary Fran: cis Williams, a computer studies teacher at Mater Dei High School, Evansville: Rita Farny, a middle school teacher at Holy Rosary School, Evansville, and Catherine Schwenk, a third grade teacher at Corpus Christi School, Evansville. This year, there were 27 Candidates for the award; the winners were selected by a panel of judges. One panelist, after reviewing information on all 27 teachers, wrote, "One winner? I can't do it with a feeling of justice." The panelist suggested offering three awards this year, noting "sharing is what our schools are all about." * Benedictine Sister Mary Francis Williams. has been a teacher since 1962; she has taught at Mater Dei since 1976. She has a B.A. degree from St. Benedict College, Ferdinand, and a M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame. Sister Williams was nomi- nated by a former student who wrote she was "the most dedicated teacher I have had during my years in school. She was always there for me and any other student who would be needing help. She would never be satisfied until we understood. We could al- ways depend on her. "She has a lot of patience with the kids and can get along with everyone. Every- one loves her! She is a very wonderful and understanding person. If we had more teach- ers like her in our schools a lot more kids would be inter- ested in staying in school." A fellow teacher noted that "she is an inspiration for those of us who teach at Mater Dei. In the midst of her hectic schedule, she remains cahn, composed and down right angelic. I can't imagine what this chooL would be like without her, She has left her mark everywhere!" In her work on the school's Board of Discipline, she is "always the voice of modera- tion and forgiveness." In a letter received in sup- port of her nomination, the writer noted "Sister Williams is a cornerstone supporting Mater Dei and Catholic Edu- cation. Her values and philos- ophy of Catholic Education are so strong that her greatest satisfaction comes from her students. She cherishes the joy of witnessing their suc- cesses and keeping the spirit of faith in their shortcom- ings." Rita Farny has a bache- lor's degree from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. and a master's degree from the University of Evans- ville. She has been a teacher for 25 years. She is described as "gentle, loving, cheerful, enthusiastic, dedicated and scholarly." A letter nominating her for the Teacher of the Year award noted, "Rita is a role model for other teachers. She begins each day by arriving at school at 6 a.m. to plan, prepare and organize. She puts 100 per- cent into everything she does because she knows her stu- dents are worth the best. "As a teacher of reading, she is truly inspirational. She not only instructs them with the literature textbook, she teaches them how to find great novels and read for the fun of it. "In her,religious life, Rita takes action. Each week, she canters Mass at her parish church, St. Boniface. She also helps with Masses at Holy Rosary by cantering, planning and serving as a resource for other teachers. Prayer is very important to her and she models this importance hy showing her students how she, pra.vs." * Catherine Schwenk re. ...... ,:  ,, ceived her B.S. and M.S, de 2 : grees from Indiana State Uni- versity. She has taught at Corpus Christi School for 12 years. She was nominated for her dedication "to her students and the teaching profession, caring for the needs of her students, and loving all she meets. Katie treats all stu- dents with great respect -- while affirming their dignity she affirms her dignity too. "In the classroom, Katie nurtures strong academics while fostering even stronger moral standards. Christ is in action within Katie's class- room environment. "No matter what goes on. Katie has a compliment and a kind word for everyone." In a letter in support of her nomination, a former prim.i- pal wrote, "Katie has a repu- tation of being a strict ..... teacher. She also had a repu. tation of being a most kind, loving teacher. Yes, she was a =: firm yet kind, laving discipli. narian. Both students, parents and colleagues loved her and respected her, "As I think of exceptional things that Katie did. I find that the greatest exceptional thing was that she always did the ordina things in an ex- ceptional and extraordinary way. Her name did not ap pear in the headlines for great programs, but she was there : every day with her smile and support for her students, par- ents, fellow teachers and principal. It was .Katie who i lS -