Looking Back…

As we look forward to the 25th Anniversary of the Award this school year of 2016-2017, we will continue looking back at past recipients…

Deborah Haggerty

1999-2000 Monsignor Gerald Lawrence Lewis Award for Excellence in Teaching

Mrs. HaggertyThen and now:
At the time Mrs. Haggerty received the Award she was teaching Kindergarten at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School in Rocky Mount, where she started in 1980. She taught Kindergarten for an amazing 33 years. In 2013 Mrs. Haggerty became the Principal of the school and continues in that position.

Mrs. Haggerty recalls that her most memorable experience “…is when you see the sparkle in a Kindergarten child’s eyes when he realizes he can actually read and you know that you were a part of that process!”

Mrs. Haggerty would like teachers striving for excellence to know that they must “Never give up — you do make a difference in the lives of each student, even when some days you can’t see it!”

“Being able to share your faith, pray, and teach about God is what makes Catholic schools the best gift to our children.”

Bishop Michael Burbidge, John and Debbie Haggerty, Monsignor Lewis, and Anne Stahel

Bishop Michael Burbidge, John and Debbie Haggerty, Monsignor Lewis, and Anne Stahel

Rozanne Farrell

2001-2002 Monsignor Gerald Lawrence Lewis Award for Excellence in Teaching

Rozanne FarrellThen and now:
When she received the Award Mrs. Farrell was teaching Sixth Grade Language Arts and Religion at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic School in Cary. She is retired as a classroom teacher but continues to enjoy working as a private tutor.

“There are many memorable moments; however one always makes me smile. I was discussing the biblical story of Noah’s Ark. As I reached the height of the story when the doors of the ark closed and the rain began, we heard a thunderous boom in the sky followed by a heavy downpour. I couldn’t have planned that! Love God’s sense of humor!”

Mrs. Farrell feels that teachers striving for excellence should ”be open to students’ ideas. Their suggestions may make you think about new ways to present your content. Also, provide a variety of ways for your students to show you what they know.”

Mrs. Farrell shared her thoughts on teaching in a Catholic school. “Teaching in a Catholic school provided the faith filled environment in which I could share the gospel message and pray with my students and peers. That was important to me.”

Rozanne Farrell and Monsignor Lewis

Rozanne Farrell and Monsignor Lewis

Amazing Teachers in the Diocese of Raleigh

Jack ViorelJack Viorel formerly a teacher at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Wilmington and 2010-2011 recipient of the Lewis Award was recognized by WRAL-TV for teaching visually impaired children to surf. Click here to read the full WRAL story.

“This wasn’t your ‘run of the mill’ surf school, it was a surf program for medically fragile, special needs and at-risk children. The very first surf camp was for children born with HIV. Since then Indo Jax and its charity program has given FREE surf camps for thousands of special needs children locally in North Carolina and around the world. His programs serve needy children ranging from orphan girls in India to children with visual impairment to wounded warriors.

In 2012 Jack embarked on a project with his daughter, Gabriella. In an attempt to plant seeds of his charity surf program, the two of them traveled to all 4 oceans, offering up charity surf camps to special needs children throughout the world.”

Read more about Jack and his charity work at www.indojax.com.

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little

Another Catholic Education Success Story

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little

Bernadette Gray-Little grew up in Washington, North Carolina in 1945. She received her Catholic education at Mother of Mercy Elementary School and Mother of Mercy High School in her hometown. She furthered that Catholic education with undergraduate and graduate degrees from Marywood University and St. Louis University respectively. Dr. Gray-Little spent the next thirty plus years at UNC-Chapel Hill in a variety of positions including Executive Vice President and Provost. She is now Chancellor of the University of Kansas making headlines for numerous innovative changes.