The CSO Announces The 2020 Archdiocese of Boston Excellence in Education Award Recipients

Excellence in Education Zoom

BRAINTREE, MA (April 28, 2020): The Archdiocese of Boston Catholic Schools Office, with support from the Catholic Schools Foundation, announced and celebrated on a video call the 10 recipients of the prestigious Archdiocese of Boston Excellence in Education Award. This annual award honors elementary and secondary school teachers' commitment to developing saints and scholars in the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Boston. The CSO invited principals and the honorees to an online meeting where they learned that they will receive $1,500 and are also invited to a September luncheon with Cardinal Seán O'Malley and Superintendent of Archdiocese of Boston Catholic Schools Thomas Carroll.

“The ten recipients were nominated by parents, administrators, students, and/or their peers because of their strong leadership qualities, Catholic values, academic excellence, and their commitment to their students as well as schools," said Thomas Carroll. “The honorees are the cream of the crop in terms of faculty members. This is a very impressive group. It's remarkable how well schools have pivoted from live instruction to remote learning. It’s astonishing the level of speed at high we were able to pivot, to do something that very few people were trained to do."

Cardinal Seán O’Malley, in his introductory remarks, said, “The teachers in the Archdiocese of Boston are a blessing and source of pride. Although your work in many ways has changed in the past month, you continue to share the Catholic faith in word and action with all your students. You have gone above and beyond to create a welcoming environment and a culture of success. Our Catholic school teachers are truly developing saints and scholars. We will be forever grateful for our teachers’ dedication to catholic education."

Dr. Gina Mathews, who is the associate superintendent of academics at the CSO, was on the search committee and was the final speaker during the presentation. She remarked, "You are dedicated role models…you teach our children how to live, and how to live life well. You teach them how to think critically, how to think of others, you teach them how to serve. You have meant so much to these students and to your colleagues that they took the time to write about you. What we received was beautiful. You are so well-respected and loved."

The Catholic Schools Foundation is a generous supporter of this award and has been since its inception. Executive Director Michael Reardon praised teachers as "the heart of Catholic education." He said, "The Catholic Schools Foundation is proud to be associated with these amazing educators. These are the women and men who are truly changing lives and we are proud to be able support their efforts and see them recognized for all they do."

Administrators, staff, pastors, parents and students were encouraged to nominate excellent teachers in their schools. The Excellence in Education Award's selection committee, comprised of past recipients of the award and members of the Catholic Schools Office, reviewed the nominations to identify 10 exemplary educators. 

This year’s honorees are:

  • John Aversa, 10th through 12th grade mathematics and computer science teacher at Catholic Memorial in West Roxbury
  • Jayne Franchini, 9th and 10th grade theology teacher at Arlington Catholic High School
  • Patricia Girvan, 7th and 8th grade mathematics and science teacher at Sacred Heart in Roslindale
  • Robert Gray, 7th and 8th grade religion and mathematics teacher at Saint Peter in Cambridge
  • Madeline Jarrett, 11th and 12th grade theology teacher at Mount Alvernia High School in Newton
  • Corrine Kalajian, 3rd through 5th grade mathematics teacher at Saint Agatha in Milton
  • Maria Lyons, 4th through 6th grade science teacher at Mount Alvernia Academy in Newton
  • Eric Maurer, 5th through 8th grade mathematics, science and Latin teacher at St. Paul’s Choir School in Cambridge
  • Elizabeth Pilla, social studies teacher at Fontbonne Academy in Milton
  • Alexander Ward, 9th and 10th grade history teacher at Ursuline Academy in Dedham

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