Saint Mary’s presented awards to three educators, a staff member, and two outstanding seniors at its Founders’ Day celebration April 1.
CAPTION: The nominees for the 2014 Outstanding Senior awards were: (front row) Abigail Osborne, Marilyn Yennie, Amy Spitzmiller, Lisa Obasi, and Katherine Zuzek; (back row) Matthew Traxler, Dylan Ethen, Evan Shockley, Miles Dunna, and John Soucheray.
Presidential Awards for Outstanding Merit were presented to two educators who are alumni of Saint Mary’s: Lillie Pang, principal of Hale School in Minneapolis; and Stephen Murray, assistant principal and dean of students at Aquinas High School in La Crosse, Wis.
Pang, who received a certificate in education administration from Saint Mary’s in 1999, has worked as an elementary school teacher in Wisconsin, California, Illinois, Japan and Minnesota for 22 years. As a successful urban school administrator in Minneapolis for the past 14 years, she has worked tirelessly to support instructional excellence, build community and service connections for families, and promote inclusive and safe schools. She has served as a leading voice in Minnesota for equity and excellence in public schools.
Murray, a 1971 alumnus, has demonstrated selfless service, faith-filled teaching and administrative leadership and has served as an extraordinary role model for his family. Murray first served the Diocese of Winona at Pacelli High School for 22 years as a teacher of English and religion, chair of the religion department and coordinator of student service projects. He then went on to work for the past 20 years in the Diocese of La Crosse at Aquinas High School as a religion teacher, dean of students and now assistant principal/dean of students.
Dr. Richard Tristano, professor of history at Saint Mary’s, received the Distinguished Lasallian Educator award. These awards are given by Lasallian institutions in the North American-Toronto Region of the De La Salle Christian Brothers to honor contributions and commitment to the Lasallian mission of education. Dr. Tristano has shared his enthusiasm and passion for history with Saint Mary’s students for 22 years. This award recognizes his commitment to teaching excellence, his scholarly research and writing — especially regarding Saint John Baptist de La Salle and Lasallian history and pedagogy — and the spirit of faith and zeal he brings to his work at Saint Mary’s.
Donny Nadeau, sports information director, received the Bishop Patrick Heffron Award for service to the university. Nadeau, a 1985 alumnus of Saint Mary’s, has served as sports information director for more than 19 years. His work has earned recognition at both the conference and national levels, and his commitment and dedication serve as an inspiration to others at the university. Heffron Award winners are chosen because they have contributed positively to the life of the university, have demonstrated a long-term commitment to the values of the university, and have been models of the Lasallian spirit in their interactions with colleagues and students.
The Outstanding Male and Female Senior awards were presented to Amy Spitzmueller, daughter of Kathy and Bill Spitzmueller of New Brighton, Minn., and Miles Dunna, son of Wokie Dunna of Saint Paul, Minn. Outstanding Seniors have demonstrated the ideals of scholarship, character, leadership and service. Above all, these men and women have shown genuine concern for meeting the needs of others. The following students were finalists for the 2014 Outstanding Senior awards: (females) Lisa Obasi, Abigail Osborne, Marilyn Yennie and Katherine Zuzek; (males) Dylan Ethen, Evan Shockley, John Soucheray and Matthew Traxler.
Photos from the day can be found online.