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Teachers recognized during Catholic Schools Week
Veronica Ambuul

Teachers recognized during Catholic Schools Week

By Veronica Ambuul

Photo: Bishop James Golka presents the “Christ the Teacher” award Ave Maria School kindergarten teacher Kari Street on Feb. 9. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Leach)

COLORADO SPRINGS. Each year during Catholic Schools Week, teachers at diocesan elementary and preschools are recognized for outstanding service as well as years of service. Following is a list of the 2024 award winners:

Christ the Teacher Award: The Christ the Teacher Award is given to a teacher who personifies the ideal of Christ the Teacher. Recipients of this award demonstrate not only excellence in teaching, but in Christian service to all of God’s children. Through their love, compassion, dedication, and faith, Christ the Teacher Award winners serve as an example of Christian teaching and living in our world. This year, the award was given to:

• Kari Street, kindergarten teacher at Ave Maria School in Parker;

• Caitlin Prochaska, Middle School English Language Arts teacher at Corpus Christi Catholic Academy;

• McKenna Anderson, Director of Holy Apostles Preschool;

• Katie Brasfeild, teacher at Pax Christi Preschool;

• Jessica Kohn, second grade teacher at St. Peter School in Monument.

St. Andre Bessette Award: The St. Andre Bessette award is given to a new teacher who has demonstrated drive and dedication to his or her new ministry. This year, the award was given to:

• Mary Williams, third grade teacher at Divine Redeemer School;

• Kate Koehnecke, 7th-8th grade religion teacher at St. Paul School.

St. John Bosco Award: The St. John Bosco Award is given to a teacher who has demonstrated excellence in instructional innovation. Like St. John Bosco, recipients of this award are not afraid to explore new directions and innovations in education. Through the introduction of new programs, use of new materials or technology, or creative approaches to teaching, recipients of this award show that education is a constantly changing craft. This year, the award was given to:

• Andrea Joiner, art teacher at St. Paul School.

St. Peter the Rock Award: The St. Peter the Rock Award is given to a staff member who demonstrates excellence in service to the school community. This award recognizes those who often work “behind the scenes” to make a school succeed. Be they an office worker, custodian, teacher’s aide, or other staff member, recipients of this award demonstrate dedication, competence, generosity, and respect for all of those within the community. This year, the award was given to:

• Melissa Thoms, health nurse consultant and volunteer at Holy Apostles Preschool;

• Michelle Trinca, administrative assistant at St. Gabriel Classical Academy.

Years of service awards:

Five years: Danielle Vierling and Jennie McCallister, Ave Maria School in Parker; Kathrine Eberhart, Kristian Towell, Divine Redeemer School; Sheila Rumsey, Pax Christi Preschool; Rebecca Bashor, St. Paul School; Vicki Woodfin, St. Peter School in Monument.

Ten years: Robert Sickles, Ave Maria School in Parker; Mark Medina, Corpus Christi Catholic Academy; Robin Schneider, St. Gabriel Classical Academy; Gretchen Benson, St. Paul School; Ana Chavez, St. Peter School in Monument.

Fifteen years: Erin Havens, Beatrice Skoog, and Julie Dockery, Ave Maria School in Parker; Colleen Ramic, Divine Redeemer School. 

Twenty Years: Kelli DeVito, Melissa Simmons, Ave Maria School in Parker; Michael Smith, Corpus Christi Catholic Academy.

Twenty-Five years: Kari Farrell, Ave Maria School in Parker.

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