Celebrating Excellence Awards at Niagara Catholic

Niagara Catholic celebrates excellence every day in many ways in all of our schools and sites. It could be seeing the joy on the face a student who surpasses a personal milestone after a long struggle to grasp a complicated concept or one who has or achieved a high level of success in a special event or competition. It could be watching a band or club celebrate after winning top honours in a festival or competition, or it could be a student or student-athlete bringing home a gold medal from OFSAA after months of training.

It isn’t always about students, of course. We have staff who have published books, won national awards and competed on the world stage in many different disciplines.

And with more than 160 years of history behind us, we have a very impressive foundation of alumni who have done, and continue to do, incredible things at home and around the world.

Every year during Catholic Education Week, Niagara Catholic traditionally celebrates student success with the Catch the Spirt Awards, and our outstanding alumni during the Distinguished Alumni Awards. This year, we combined the two events into one, and added the Inspiration Award presentation to staff, which previously took place in October, into the mix. The result was an incredible evening of celebration at St. Alfred Parish, beginning with a Mass led by Bishop Bergie, to the presentation of awards to more than 60 students, staff and alumni in front of 300 family, friends, teachers and colleagues there to support them. The music ministry for the evening was provided by the Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School Worship Band, and they set the tone beautifully with their songs and harmonies both before and during Mass.

The awards portion of the evening began with the Distinguished Alumni Awards. Four individuals with a diverse range of backgrounds were recognized this year, including a corporate CEO, policy analyst, parish priest and a retired teacher. John Groetelaars, who lives in Chicago and had a prior committment and Fr. Rico Passero, who is leading a pilgrimage to Italy were unable to attend and had family members accept on their behalf. Robert Murray and Bonnie Vadacchino were in attendance, joined by their respective families.

It continued with our Inspiration Awards, which celebrate excellence within the more than 2,000 staff who work for Niagara Catholic, and then on to the Catch the Spirit Student Awards of Excellence. This year’s Inspiration Award recipients were Philip Jones (St. Peter Catholic Elementary School), Amanda Lamb (Notre Dame College School), Scott Maxwell (Denis Morris Catholic High School), Linda McQueen (St. Mary Catholic Elementary School), Nicole Royer (Denis Morris Catholic High School), Mario Scozzafava (Saint Michael Catholic High School) and Deanna Williams (Lakeshore Catholic High School).

Congratulations to all of our recipients.

Skip over to our Facebook page for photos of our Catch the Spirit Award recipients.

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