On April 9, Mrs. Toni Justice, 4th grade Science and 3rd grade teacher at Saint Egbert Catholic School in Morehead City, NC, was presented with the 2013-2014 Msgr. Gerald Lawrence Lewis Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award ceremony followed a Mass at Saint Egbert Parish celebrated by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge. Fr. Thomas R. Davis, Pastor of Saint Egbert, and Msgr. Francis R. Moeslein, Pastor Emeritus, concelebrated. Presenting the award were Bishop Burbidge and Mrs. Anne Stahel, founder of the Lewis Award. Dr. Michael J. Fedewa, Diocesan superintendent of schools, presented a check in Mrs. Justice’s name to Saint Egbert School. Also in attendance was the Honorable Gerald A. Jones, Mayor of Morehead City, who read a proclamation of appreciation for Mrs. Justice’s contributions to education at Saint Egbert. Mrs. Justice expressed her gratitude for the award, and to her colleagues and students. She began her teaching in public schools, but said that when she came to Saint Egbert 21 years ago she felt “as if I had died and gone to Teacher Heaven.” At the ceremony, her students sang a song in her honor, “We Appreciate You.” A reception in the school lunch room followed the Mass and presentation.
The Monsignor Gerald Lawrence Lewis Award was initiated in 1992 to honor outstanding educators in the Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Raleigh and to recognize, promote and encourage teaching excellence.