Passing the Gavel

Dr. Colleen O’Connor Grochowski

Colleen O’Connor Grochowski, PhD

This past year the Monsignor Gerald Lawrence Lewis Award for Excellence in Teaching was celebrated for 25 years of recognizing the excellent teachers in the Diocese of Raleigh Catholic Schools. Anne Stahel, the founder of the Award and Chair of the Committee since it’s inception in 1992, has decided to “pass the gavel” but will continue her extraordinary commitment to the Award as Chair Emeritus and invaluable mentor.

Anne and the Committee are delighted that Dr. Colleen O’Connor Grochowski (pronounced ‘Grow-husky’) has accepted the position of Chairperson. Colleen has served on the Lewis Award Committee since 2005, and as vice-chair from 2010. Her ‘day job’ is associate dean for Curricular Affairs, Duke University School of Medicine. She and her husband, Chris reside in Durham, have two adult sons, and recently became grandparents for the first time. Colleen shared her thoughts and experience with the Lewis Award.

“First, let me tell you that I have a deep appreciation for Catholic education. I am a product of Catholic education. Our children went to Catholic schools. Our younger son is a Catholic high school teacher. It is such a joy for me to have the opportunity to be “involved” in Catholic education through my work with the Lewis Award. I should also tell you that I’m an educator, but my focus is on adult learning. The Lewis Award has allowed me the opportunity to go back to primary and secondary schools to witness the wonder of children learning.

The Lewis Award allows us to acknowledge and celebrate Catholic school educators. I can’t tell you what an honor it is to be allowed into teachers’ classrooms to observe them. I’m touched by their commitment to their students, their energy, and their creativity. Their love for their students is palpable. These educators are in it for the love of our children and our God. We formally celebrate them once a year through the selection of the Recipient of the Lewis Award, but we on the Lewis Award Committee are ever grateful for all these educators do for our children and their commitment to our children’s future.”

Monsignor Lewis, Anne, and Colleen

Monsignor Lewis, Anne, and Colleen