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New Faculty and Staff Awards

The mission of Catholic education has long been carried on the backs of outstanding faith-filled educators, especially at Jackson Catholic Schools! These teachers and staff members share their faith and expertise to help all of our students grow as children of God into the person He created them to be.

In an effort to recognize the extraordinary contributions of our ministers, Jackson Catholic Schools is introducing two faculty and staff awards in the 2023-2024 school year!

The Schultz Family Faculty Excellence Award was founded as an endowment by Larry and Marie Schultz in 2023 to honor the hard work of teachers with the very best academic results with their students. Teachers from all four of our schools can qualify through a variety of criteria.  Any teacher who is in the top 20% for growth on our network assessments (NWEA and ACT) will automatically qualify as a nominee.  Teachers who don’t participate in national tests are also eligible! They can identify a nationally normed test (like MSBOA, Phonics Instruction, National Physical Education Benchmarks) to use as an assessment, and the same “top 20%” in growth metric would apply. In addition, each principal will nominate the top teacher in their school, based on observations and implementation of best practices.  These nominations will be determined at the end of the school year, following the collection of the year end data.  Each nominee will receive a gift of $500 for their outstanding contribution to our school.

In the fall, the nominees will observed by a team of school leaders for best practices.  This process is designed to help spread best practices across our four schools, so that we can learn from the incredible gifts of our team. It will also serve to identify the final three or four award recipients.  These honorees will be recognized at the annual Lumen Christi auction, with an additional award of $3000 to acknowledge their excellence.

The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award was previously given each quarter by Jackson Catholic Schools to recognize outstanding contributions in faith.  In 2023, the JCS leadership team decided to re-vamp the award for two significant reasons: first, so that the criteria was more specific and explicit, and could be used to provide a roadmap to faculty and staff for growing in their faith.  Second, the team wanted to emphasize the significance of contributions in this area by increasing the award and highlighting a single, annual honoree.

The award now focuses on four domains: Parish Engagement, Personal Faith Development, Faith Leadership at the School, and Service.  Nominations from our entire community were accepted from December 1 to January 1 this year, and reviewed by a committee of Pastors, Board Members, and Principals.  While there were many incredible, faith-filled “saints” in the nominations, long-time St. John Kindergarten teacher Karen Barrett justly earned the first new St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award recognition. Mrs. Barrett’s honor was announced at the annual JCS Catholic Schools’ Week Mass, and will be recognized again at the brand new St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Dinner in March.  Mrs. Barrett will receive $2500 as a personal award, and $2500 as a gift to St. John for a special project, planned by Mrs. Barrett.

Together, these two awards embody the vision of faith and reason that have fired the Catholic intellectual tradition and the heart of our Church since its very inception.  They reflect the very heart of why our faculty and staff choose to serve – to share their faith, grow God’s children in virtue and intellect, and try to be saints!

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