Educators, volunteer honored at
Catholic Schools Week Mass

During the Feb. 1 liturgy to celebrate National Catholic Schools Week, the Archdiocese of Louisville presented awards to two educators and a volunteer. The winner of the Father Joseph McGee Award for Outstanding Catholic Educator, presented by the Catholic Education Foundation, was also announced at the Mass.


Lara Krill

Lara Krill, principal of St. Gabriel School, was awarded the Distinguished Catholic School Leader Award. The award “recognizes the gifts of a Catholic school leader to Lead, Learn and Proclaim,” according to the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Office of Catholic Schools.

In nominating Krill for the distinction, the school community described her as dedicated.

“She is completely dedicated to Catholic education. … She strives to provide an outstanding educational experience for each individual child. She is committed to facilitating personalized learning in a 21st-century learning environment as well as supporting a culture here at St. Gabriel where teachers love to teach and students love to learn,” the nomination said.

Krill developed an Instructional Leadership Innovative Team aimed at encouraging leadership among teachers as well as providing a “productive” way to address concerns, suggestions and ideas from teachers and staff, the nomination said.


Audrey Carney

Audrey Carney, a counselor at St. James School in Elizabethtown, Ky., received the Irene Casey Catholic Inclusion Award.

The award honors the spirit of Irene Casey, an elementary school teacher dedicated to meeting “the diverse learning needs of students in Catholic education,” according to the Office of Catholic Schools.

Carney has served in the Archdiocese of Louisville for more than 20 years. During this time she has “contributed to positive school culture, advocated for students, provided and received ongoing professional development and collaborated with teachers and other professionals to support student growth, development and achievement,” the nomination said.

According to the school, Carney has developed St. James’ student services by partnering with organizations in the community that provide in-school services, such as speech and occupational therapy and educational testing. She also developed a middle school speaker series that brings in professionals to talk to students about various topics, such as anxiety and stress, the nomination said.


Jenni Garner

Jenni Garner, a volunteer at Holy Spirit School, was named the Outstanding School Volunteer.

Garner is the mother of two children who currently attend Holy Spirit and three children who are alumni of the school.

“She has been a loyal and dedicated volunteer to the school and parish,” according to her nomination for the award.

Garner is a parent teacher organization (PTO) secretary and works “tirelessly with the rest of the officers” to ensure that fundraising goals are met. She also serves the PTO as a special projects coordinator. For example, Garner helps the athletic department accomplish its work by helping to manage the concession stand.

“Jenni helps others become better because they witness her giving. She has taught her own children to become involved in service. She recognizes that as a group, we are better and stronger when we work together,” the nomination said.


Lisa Lauder

Lisa Lauder, who teaches social studies and science at St. Gabriel School, was announced as the recipient of the Father Joseph McGee Award. It will be formally presented at the Catholic Education Foundation’s Salute to Catholic School Alumni on March 15.

The award was established in 1988 to “commemorate Father McGee’s lifetime commitment to Catholic education. It is presented to a teacher who exemplifies this deep dedication to Catholic schools,” according to an announcement from the Catholic Education Foundation.

Lauder has taught at St. Gabriel for 30 years.

“She has dedicated her life to service of her students and parish community. She builds long-lasting relationships with her students and has even had the opportunity to teach her past students’ children. Lisa is dedicated to her craft and is constantly looking for ways to engage her students and bring content to life,” said her nomination for the award.

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