The Director’s Inspiration Award was launched in June, 2013.
This Award is presented annually in October to exemplary Niagara Catholic employees who embody the Mission, Vision and Values of our system, our vocation and our call to serve students, colleagues and our community.
The Inspiration Award is presented in recognition of faithful, passionate, innovative and extraordinary contributions to Niagara Catholic.
A nomination, endorsed by the nominee’s direct supervisor, is required for the consideration of the Director of Education’s Inspiration Award. Nominations are reviewed by a Selection Committee made up of members of Senior Staff, with the final selection being made by the Director of Education.
Congratulations to the 2015 recipients of the Director’s Inspiration Awards, who received their Awards during a Mass and ceremony at Our Lady of the Scapular Church in Niagara Falls on October 8, 2015.
Anthony Arcuri has been a teacher at Saint Paul Catholic High School for his 27-year career.
In addition to his role as the Program Chair of Business and Technology, Anthony has changed the lives of many students in his role as the creator, and staff leader, of the Saint Paul Rowing Program, which he began in 1988. He has continually worked to build up the program for 27 years and has worked tirelessly as a fundraiser, ensuring students have the equipment and funding they need to succeed.
His coaching has also helped many students from Saint Paul Catholic obtain post-secondary school rowing scholarships.
For his efforts, Anthony has received the Award of Merit from Row Ontario, and an award recognizing his lifetime of service to Canadian Secondary School Rowing. He is seeing those efforts pay off as former students “pay it forward,” by donating their time to Saint Paul Catholic High School, and their local communities.
Anthony’s lifetime commitment to student success, both in class and on the water, makes him a worthy recipient of a 2015 Director of Education’s Inspiration Award.
Christine Battagli is Niagara Catholic’s Assessment, Research and Evaluation Consultant, a position she has held at the Catholic Education Centre for three years. Prior to that, she was an elementary classroom teacher where she was beloved by her students for the energy and enthusiasm she brought to the classroom.
Christine has a tremendous impact on the lives of our Niagara Catholic students through the work she does every day. Christine spends her days compiling data, facilitating research projects and collating documents for Niagara Catholic, all with the singular goal of student success. Beyond that, Christine is a true team player, ready and willing to jump in to assist colleagues when needed. Christine is a trained suicide intervention caregiver, helped facilitate the new Health and Physical Education curriculum and is working on a research project about the correlation between poverty, education and mental health.
Christine’s cheery nature, “can-do” attitude that inspires others to join in, and her honesty and integrity make her a worthy recipient of a 2015 Director of Education’s Inspiration Award.
Sylvia Berezowski is a Religion teacher at Saint Paul Catholic High School in Niagara Falls. She has impacted the lives of thousands of students over her nearly 20-year career. She walks in the footsteps of Christ to improve the lives of those around her, and inspires others to do the same.
Outside of her active life at Saint Paul, Sylvia is the founder of “100 Women Who Care,” a group of women who meet four times a year and contribute $100 at each meeting, then donate those funds to local causes. Many of these organizations have benefitted the lives of Saint Paul Catholic High School students and their families, including Wellspring Niagara. She has also raised money for Dreams to Memories, a charity which provides money to terminally ill adults who wish to have one final vacation with their family.
Sylvia’s commitment to improving the lives of others throughout the school and greater community makes her a worthy recipient of a 2015 Director of Education’s Inspiration Award.
Ron Bobyk is a technology teacher at Saint Michael Catholic High School, specializing in woodworking. He is well-loved by his students for his commitment to sharing his knowledge and skills with them; and students who occasionally struggle with authority in other classes thrive in his environment. Many students have found their pathway in life through his classes throughout the years, which has had a lasting impact on their lives.
Ron also impacts students in the school who may never take one of his classes.
He is well-known and loved throughout the school for his commitment to co-curricular education. Ron coaches both baseball and basketball, designs sets for art shows and theatrical presentations, the annual Schools in Bloom competition, annual Pilgrimage, parade entries and many other school and community events.
He has an outstanding rapport not only with students, but also with staff, who hold him in high regard.
Ron’s caring, gentle demeanor and his willingness to assist in all aspects of life at Saint Michael Catholic High School make him a worthy recipient of a 2015 Director of Education’s Inspiration Award.
Mario DiVittorio has been a teacher and administrator at Niagara Catholic schools for 10 years. For the past three years, he has been Vice-Principal of the Continuing Education Learning Centres.
He is described by his colleagues as a “hands-on” administrator, who follows through on whatever he begins. He relates to staff by requesting input and looks for the positive in everyone and everything. This has created a positive and inspiring workplace for all staff and students.
Mario is a Faith Ambassador for Niagara Catholic, leading the Faith Formation session for all Adult Education instructors, which lead to a School Improvement Plan. He has worked with a variety of community agencies to enhance student experience. Through his hard work and commitment, he was able to secure one-time funding for the Literacy and Basic Skills Program from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to buy the first Smartboard for use in a Niagara Catholic Continuing Education Centre.
Mario’s “let’s get it done” attitude and his positive outlook in all he does makes him a worthy recipient of a 2015 Director of Education’s Inspiration Award.
Jean Paul Dupont has been a teacher at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School for nine years. In that time, his colleagues say, he has become one of the most innovative and creative teachers, who both inspires and empowers students.
Jean Paul not only teaches students music using instruments in the school, he uses technology to transport students to places around the globe, where they are able to explore and “create” traditional musical instruments found in places around the world. He uses a variety of educational technology platforms to further enhance and engage the student experience and deepen their knowledge not only of music, but of technology and culinary arts. In 2013, Jean Paul was named one of Apple’s Educators of the Year.
Under his instruction, the school’s Samba band has flourished. He has not only taught music students about the Gregorian Chants, he has taken them to Paris, where students experienced them first hand at the Cathedral de Notre Dame.
Jean Paul’s influence on the culture of Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School makes him a worthy recipient of a 2015 Director of Education’s Inspiration Award.
Andrea Egan has been an Educational Assistant at St. Alfred Catholic Elementary School for 17 years. She is described by colleagues as someone who not only shines light, she also reflects it; something she does with kindness, generosity and love.
Countless times, Andrea has spent her own money to buy shoes, clothing, specialized equipment or food for students in need. She is quick to offer a smile, a hug, a friendly word and an ear to listen to anyone and everyone who needs it. She is a key member of the St. Alfred Breakfast Program team, which provides a hot breakfast to approximately 30 students every weekday morning. Andrea has been an active participant in the school’s Family Nights for more than 15 years and is always willing to pitch in at Fun Fairs and other school events.
Andrea helped secure $9,000 in funding for the school’s Learning Garden, and continues to plant a garden and tend to it, so the students at St. Alfred have a place to learn and grow.
Andrea’s kindness, support and generosity make her a worthy recipient of a 2015 Director of Education’s Inspiration Award.
Susan Kirkup retired in June 2015 from Niagara Catholic after 26 years as a teacher at Saint Michael Catholic High School.
Her colleagues describe her as the epitome of a Catholic educator; the type of teacher all should aspire to be. She has a passion for learning that she brought to nearly three decades of students, a vocation which brought her great joy.
Susan’s colleagues have benefitted from her mentorship, her creativity and her steadfast dedication to the vocation of Catholic education. In addition to making herself widely available to students, she was also available to her colleagues to offer suggestions and guidance on how to continually improve.
In her final years of teaching, Susan was diagnosed with breast cancer. While she dealt with her own illness, she continued to make herself available to students, as a living embodiment of “service before self.”
Susan’s commitment to the lives she connected with each day at Saint Michael – staff and students – and the lasting impression she has made on those individuals, makes her a worthy recipient of a 2015 Director of Education’s Inspiration Award.
Teresa Lenahan has worked at Lakeshore Catholic High School for more than 15 years. As a Student Success Teacher, she has impacted the lives of many students through her kindness, compassion and care.
She is a tireless advocate for students and creates opportunities for students to develop their academic, spiritual and social development. During the 2014-2015 school year, Teresa received an Outstanding Teacher Award from the Business Education Council (BEC) during their annual Partners in Education Breakfast. Her commitment to student success extends beyond the classroom. She recently assisted two students who found themselves homeless following a difficult family situation. Teresa helped them set up bank accounts, and connected them with community partners through Port CARES. She bought them groceries, and drove them around to appointments to find new housing. Without her assistance, the students may not be in school today.
Teresa brings a grace, humour and understanding to the challenges she – and some of the at-risk students she works with – face. These examples of true servant-leadership make her a worthy recipient of a 2015 Director of Education’s Inspiration Award.
Angela Maccaroni is the face and spirit of Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School, where she has been a music teacher for 18 years.
Her passion and enthusiasm for music drove her to create a musical empire: a Choir, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Jazz Choir and Drumline, the single largest co-curricular activity at the school. These ensembles foster not only a love of the arts in the students; they build student confidence and give them a sense of pride of accomplishment. The Blessed Trinity Catholic music program has received many Gold and Silver Awards both locally, nationally and internationally.
Angela also fosters in students the importance of giving back. In addition to performing two concerts each year, her musicians perform at Eucharist celebrations at the school, Board and Diocese level, and perform humanitarian aid on many of their travels, including building houses in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Angela’s dedication to music – and her commitment to ensuring that students have enriching experiences that will stay with them throughout their lives – makes her a worthy recipient of a 2015 Director of Education’s Inspiration Award.
Josephine Moretuzzo has worked in Catholic education in Niagara since 1989, and has been on staff at Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School since 2000. She is Program Chair of Student Services.
Josephine is driven by student success and, lives by the motto “Every Student Matters.” She helps students who are at-risk to stay on course, and helps students destined for success soar. She helps Grade 8 students transition from Catholic elementary to secondary school through her now-infamous “Fears, Cheers and Unclears” workshop.
Josephine does everything with poignancy, humility and love. Twelve years ago, she brought the Pilgrimage to Blessed Trinity. In the years since, she and countless students, staff and alumni have brought hope to people living in Las Pajas. She has also immersed herself in their culture, so she can advocate more effectively for the needs of people living there.
The slogan for Blessed Trinity is Wisdom, Mercy, Power. The ways in which Josephine Moretuzzo uses this triad for the well-being of her students throughout her career make her a worthy recipient of a 2015 Director of Education’s Inspiration Award.
Michelle Murrell has been a Catholic educator in Niagara since 1992, and has worked at Denis Morris Catholic High School for 18 years.
As Program Chair of Business and Technology, she plays a key role in helping students discover and develop new gifts and talents. Michelle believes holistically in the value of each person’s perspective and, as moderator of the school’s Student Council, ensures that every voice is heard during meetings. She also ensures that student voice and student choice are heard daily at the school.
Michelle is called to serve, and her offers to help are always followed by action. She is deeply involved in the school’s Faith Formation team, and is the leader of the P3 program. She works behind the scenes to ensure that students have rich experiences in all that they do, in keeping with Denis Morris Catholic High School tradition.
Michelle animates, inspires and calls everyone in the Denis Morris Catholic community – students and staff – to strive to be better. Michelle’s actions and positive outlook make her a worthy recipient of a 2015 Director of Education’s Inspiration Award.
Susan Ume has been a Catholic teacher in Niagara for 18 years, and has been on staff at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Elementary School since 2005. She is currently a Student Work Study Teacher with the Board.
Susan was a Grade 7 teacher at St. Vincent de Paul and was a strong advocate for the Out of the Cold Program, and assisted and spearheaded some of the soup kitchens in the community.
She sacrificed recesses to help students who were eager to have a tutoring session with her and on the rare days when she was not coaching or leading a co-curricular activity, she could be found in the school Library Information Centre tutoring students in Science or Mathematics.
Susan participated in many learning workshops, then generously shared her new knowledge with her colleagues for the betterment of students. She is an energetic and enthusiastic teacher, not only for students, but for her colleagues.
Susan’s commitment to student and professional success makes her a worthy recipient of a 2015 Director of Education’s Inspiration Award.
Sandra Vasas is a Library Technician at Father Hennepin Catholic Elementary School, where she has worked for the past 16 years.
She takes special care to note the interest(s) of students to provide them with recommended reading. She regularly meets with students to discuss future books they should have in the school, and to discuss the authors students enjoy reading.
Sandra is beloved by students. In a lovely tradition, she closes the book on Grade 8 students’ Catholic elementary years by reading them one last story in the Library Information Centre. There is seldom a dry eye among students when the book is closed for the final time.
She instils in students the importance of giving back to the community through fundraising events which assist community members in need. She assists the Valedictorian in writing their speech each year, and has often been asked to attend the high school graduations for students with whom she developed a strong bond.
Sandra’s kindness, compassion and commitment to her students over many years make her a worthy recipient of a 2015 Director of Education’s Inspiration Award.