Celebrating commitment to Catholic Education: Called to Serve Mass and Emmaus Awards

Members of the Catholic Schools Maitland-Newcastle community filled Sacred Heart Cathedral last week for the annual Called to Serve Mass. The theme for this year’s Mass was Follow Me.

The Mass was presided by Bishop Michael Kennedy who described the occasion as an “opportunity for the Catholic school community to express their commitment to serve the mission of Jesus Christ in the ministry of Catholic school education.”

Prior to the Mass, the 25 Years of Service Awards were presented to members of staff in recognition of their commitment to Catholic education. The awards were presented by Bishop Michael Kennedy and Head of Catholic Schools, Steve Lemos.

This was followed by the presentation of the Emmaus Awards, which recognise and celebrate the significant contribution made by our staff in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

This year's Emmaus Award recipients, as nominated by their peers, were:

  • Excellence in Teaching Primary: Karen Nolan - St Joseph’s, Charlestown
  • Excellence in Secondary Teaching: Rory Dineen Griffin – St Pius X, Adamstown
  • Excellence in Secondary Teaching: Nicole Yates – St Paul’s, Booragul
  • First Five Years of Teaching: Leticia Nischang – Catherine McAuley, Medowie
  • Outstanding Leadership: Kate Drake - St Joseph’s, Charlestown
  • Innovation: Erin O’Dwyer – Catherine McAuley, Medowie
  • School Support: Joanne West – St Bede’s. Chisholm
  • School Support: Vannessa Tasker – St Brigid’s, Raymond Terrace
  • School Support: Janice Waters – St Mary’s Scone
  • VET Teacher: Narelle Penfold – All Saints, Maitland
  • School Community: St Patrick’s, Lochinvar
  • The Sisters of St Joseph Award: Crystal Simon – Holy Name, Forster

The highlight of the night was the presentation of the Sisters of St Joseph Education Award to Crystal Simon at Holy Name Primary School, Forster. The award recognised Crystal's leadership in faith, and her work for equity and justice in the Great Lakes communities.

The commitment to ministry by members of the Catholic school’s community involves a pledge to strive for excellence and uphold the Catholic values of justice, equity, professionalism and respect for all. School communities marked this commitment with the tradition of bringing the names of all members of staff to the foot of the alter.

Congratulations to all the award recipients who have demonstrated passion for mission and a strong commitment to Catholic Education.

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