Principal, Teachers in DC Catholic Schools Honored for Excellence

May 14, 2002

Archdiocese of Washington’s Center City Consortium of schools, a group of 11 Catholic elementary schools in some of the city’s most financially challenged neighborhoods, honored several teachers and one principal for their excellence in education at a May 9 awards ceremony. Four consortium teachers and one principal received Griffin Awards for their outstanding contributions to the mission, development and work of the consortium schools and communities. The Griffin Awards were established last year. To be eligible, teachers must have at least five years experience in a Consortium school and the recommendation of his or her principal. The principal is nominated by his or her peers.

Charlene Hursey, principal of Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Southeast for the past 11 years, received the Excellence in Leadership Award, which included a cash award of $5,000. She taught 8th grade at the school for 10 years before becoming principal of the school’s V Street campus for pre-kindergarten-4th grade students. This year, she also became principal of the school’s Morris Road campus for 5th-8th graders. She is a member of the parish and lives in the neighborhood. “Charlene Hursey is a shining example of someone who leads by her own personal example,’’ said Mary Anne Stanton, executive director of the Consortium. “She has a quiet strength and sense of purpose that is a wonderful model for all of our Consortium leadership team. She is always positive, even in the face of great difficulty. She is a great blessing for me, the parish and the school,” said Stanton. Hursey is also a member of the Center City Consortium’s Board of Directors.

Four elementary school teachers received the Excellence in Teaching Award, which included a $2,500 cash award:

Ann Batiste, 8th grade teacher at Assumption School in Southeast, worked for 30 years in DC public schools before she started teaching at Assumption five years ago. “Her wisdom and experience are invaluable in preparing our eldest students for whatever future awaits them,’’ said Chris Kelly, principal of Assumption. Batiste has traveled to the Holy Land and “her personal witness to the Catholic faith is an inspiration to all members of the Assumption School community,’’ said Kelly.

Beth Reardon, 2nd grade teacher at Sacred Heart School in Mt. Pleasant, has been teaching at the school for five years. She has taken on a leadership role among the teachers, and coordinates the curriculum and teaching staff in the 1st through 4th grades. She started the first elementary girls lacrosse program in the Archdiocese.

Sandra Henry, kindergarten teacher at Immaculate Conception School, adjacent to the new DC Convention Center in Northwest, has been teaching at the school for 23 years. She is outstanding in her “all-around care for students’’ and communicates regularly with parents about their children, said Gillian Pratt, school principal. “She is a natural leader. Other faculty refer to her if they need help. She is also a great help to new teachers,’’ said Pratt.

Monica Evans, 1st grade teacher at Holy Name School in Northeast, left a corporate job and an office with a view to teach in Catholic schools. For six years, she has been teaching at Holy Name, where she is the director of the afternoon tutoring program and directs music at school Masses. Her mother is the 5th grade teacher at Holy Name.

The Griffin Awards also included the 2002 First Year Star Award to recognize achievements of an exceptional first-year teacher:

Sarah McCullough, 2nd grade teacher at Assumption School in Southeast, received the 2002 First Year Star award for her outstanding achievements in her first year of teaching. McCullough was an office manager who had taught religious education classes and wanted to work with children full time. She has demonstrated exceptional teaching ability with fantastic results, said Chris Kelly, principal of Assumption.

Several teachers received special recognition for their work in implementing the following programs:

Letter People Award:
Gladys Bower, Immaculate Conception

Open Court Reading Award:
Sarah McCullough, Assumption
Lily Phillips, Assumption
Yvonne Shaw, Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian
Monica Evans, Holy Name
Cynthia Worsley, Holy Name
James Deason, Immaculate Conception
Telita Estes, Immaculate Conception
Linda Cox, Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Joan Thomas, Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Patricia Williams, Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Jennifer Bane, Sacred Heart
Margaret McIntyre, Sacred Heart
Julia Peterson, Sacred Heart
Barbara Ann Lindsey, St. Francis Xavier
Denise Parker, St. Francis Xavier
Lisa Brooks, St. Thomas More
Jonelle Hopkins, St. Thomas More

Special Award for Teaching – Open Court Reading:
Alicia Blassengale, Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian

Saxon Mathematics Awards:
Sarah McCullough, Assumption
Doris Creek, Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Linda Cox, Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Nichole Hill, St. Thomas More

Special Award for Teaching – Saxon Mathematics:
Sister Mary Elizabeth Semmelmayer, Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Jennifer Reed
Office of Communications
[email protected]