As we look forward to the 25th Anniversary of the Award in 2016-2017, each month the website will highlight past recipients.
Mary Jane Davis
1994-1995 Monsignor Gerald Lawrence Lewis Award for Excellence in Teaching
Then & Now:
When she received the Award Mrs. Davis was teaching Middle School Science at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in Raleigh. Mrs. Davis taught at Our Lady of Lourdes from 1982 until 1996 when she retired as a classroom teacher. She now resides in Wake Forest.
Teachers striving for excellence and creating a classroom that will keep students interested must start by… “coming into the class and saying ‘What are we going to do today?’ Not just telling them to open their science books.”
“This award is so important because I know the teachers in Catholic schools here work very hard in educating the whole child, including the spiritual and religious aspects.”
Rebecca Grant Dason
1995-1996 Monsignor Gerald Lawrence Lewis Award for Excellence in Teaching
Then & Now:
Mrs. Dason began teaching at Cardinal Gibbons High School in 1982 where she continues to teach Art and serve as the Fine Arts Department Chair.
“Every day is memorable in the classroom. That may sound cliché but it is true and each year students continue to amaze me with their creativity and help me become a better person. I leave the classroom exhausted and invigorated all at the same time. I am proud of this year’s senior class because of all they have achieved (two National Scholastic Art Award winners, six students accepted into the NCSU College of Design, SCAD Merit Scholarship award winner, Meredith College Art Award, and more) but I am prouder to know that they have matured into young adult artists that can share their personal artistic voice and understand that they are valuable members of a community that cares about who they are now, who they will become and how they will serve others.
I would suggest to teachers striving for excellence that teaching takes every ounce of energy, requires patience, and most importantly demands quality caring, listening and observation.
Thank you for the opportunity to connect with others who believe in the importance of quality education.”
Congratulations to Dr. Michael J. Fedewa!Dr. Michael J. Fedewa wants children to have a great education. This desire, which we have seen for 21 years from our Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Raleigh, was recently recognized at the 10th anniversary celebration of Parent for Educational Freedom in North Carolina. Dr. Fedewa was named one of 10 Champions of School Choice in North Carolina. As our superintendent, Dr. Fedewa leads 22 elementary schools, 2 high schools and 7 early childhood centers. His leadership is expressed in partnerships. As he accepted this latest award he thanked all the principals, directors and teachers who make schools a vibrant place for students to learn, grow and develop. Dr. Fedewa is a leader in the state of North Carolina.
First Catholic School in North Carolina
Bishop James Gibbons of Baltimore was the first Vicar Apostolate for North Carolina in 1868. From the beginning Bishop Gibbons wanted to establish religious sisters in the Vicariate to teach and care for the sick. He invited the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Charleston to come to North Carolina. The Sisters opened the first Catholic School in North Carolina in Wilmington in 1869. It was called the Academy of Our Lady of Mercy, now known as St. Mary Catholic School. The school continues to educate youth in the Wilmington area today. Thanks to the vision of Bishop Gibbons and the work of the sisters, Catholic education in North Carolina had its start.