Outstanding Catholic Educators Honored
NCEA and departmental awards presented during Minneapolis convention
During the annual NCEA convention and convocation in Minneapolis, the association
honored five individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Catholic education.
Four awards were presented during a special awards dinner on the Monday evening prior
to the convention opening. The Emmaus award was presented during the convocation of
the National Association of Parish Catechetical Directors. Other departmental awards
were presented at various times during the convention.
Catherine T. McNamee, CSJ, Award
Honors leadership in promoting a vision of Catholic education that welcomes and serves
cultural and economic diversity and enhances service for students with diverse needs.
Christine Mary Boyd
Principal, St. Thomas of Canterbury School
Christine Mary Boyd is principal of two schools with a combined enrollment of 550
students. In 1991 she became principal of St. Thomas of Canterbury School. The school
has students from 37 nations and 94 percent of the families have incomes below the
poverty level. Within 10 years the school had a capacity enrollment with a long waiting
In 2001 the school was confederated with St. Mary of the Lake School, which had
a declining enrollment. The schools operate from separate buildings but share a common
philosophy that the church is called to offer its education services to the poor and those
deprived of family and affection.
Inspired by the social mission of the church, Boyd has worked to make the
schools accessible to area immigrant families as well as parish members. Students at both
schools are children of established parish families as well as first-generation immigrants
from countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Vietnam. This collective
richness of culture and experience help create a unique learning environment for all
Boyd has partnered with parish communities, the Big Shoulders Fund and private
donors to reduce the cost of tuition and offer scholarships to qualifying families.
C. Albert Koob Merit Award
Honors a distinguished Catholic educator who has made extraordinary contributions on
a regional or national level.
Brother Bernard F. Stratman, SM
Former Executive Director
NCEA Seminary Department
St. Mary’s University
San Antonio, Texas
During his seven years as executive director of the NCEA Seminary Department,
Marianist Brother Stratman made a significant contribution not only to seminary
education, but to the church in the U.S. His ability to build collaboration among the
departments of NCEA is another achievement.
He directed numerous research projects on the American priesthood and related
topics during his tenure at NCEA and earlier in his career. As Seminary Department
director, he was responsible for securing funding, hiring researchers and managing
Several research projects that Brother Stratman oversaw have been published in
book form. Other research studies were published in Seminary Journal, including a series
of articles published by researchers looking at the impact of foreign-born students on
U.S. seminaries. In 2007, the department secured funding to launch a distance learning
network among Catholic schools of theology.
In 2009 the Center for Research in the Apostolate (CARA) presented the Richard
Cardinal Cushing Medal for the Advancement of Church Research to Brother Stratman
for his strong support for church research and understanding of its uses.
Brother Stratman retired in June 2009 and relocated to San Antonio, Texas. He
continues to serve as interim executive director of the Seminary Department until a
permanent replacement is hired.
Msgr. John E. Meyers Award
Honors an individual who has supported Catholic education at any level or in any
Brother Milton Barker, FSC
President, Totino-Grace High School
Brother Milton Barker’s time at Totino-Grace High School spans 36 years as a classroom
teacher, theater director, development director, assistant principal, principal and, for the
past 23 years, president. Under his leadership, the school has been committed to the poor,
to students of all learning abilities, to the Lasallian mission and to its Catholic identity.
Over the past 20 years, Brother Milton, a LaSallian Christian Brother, has raised
in excess of $30 million through capital campaigns and the annual fund. In the past 10
years, the school has invested more than $16 million in improvements and during the past
five years the school has offered more than $4 million in financial assistance so that the
school can remain accessible to families of all income levels.
Brother Milton has served on the boards of numerous schools, universities and
non-profit organizations, including the NCEA Secondary Schools Department. He has
served as a mentor to newly appointed presidents of other high schools.
He played a role in the success of the 1991 National Congress on Catholic
Education and the establishment of the NCEA Seton Awards. Most recently he was asked
to serve on the Strategic Planning Task Force for Parishes and Schools for the
Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Leonard F. DeFiore Parental Choice Advocate Award
Honors an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting full
and fair parental choice in education.
Dr. D. Michael McCarron
Florida Catholic Conference
Michael McCarron has been part of the Florida Catholic Conference since he
began as an education associate in 1980. He has been executive director since 1995 and
has been an unwavering advocate on behalf of Catholic schools in Florida. As director he
has been the voice of the seven Catholic bishops of Florida.
McCarron has worked collaboratively with the superintendents in the Florida
dioceses and has been an excellent liaison between the Catholic school community and
the Florida Department of Education. He is held in high regard by Florida legislators and
others in non-public education associations for his skill in navigating the maze of
political legislation regarding education in Florida.
He played a major role in the establishment of the first state-wide programs for
parental choice. This year 5,210 students attend Florida Catholic schools as a result of
With his guidance, the ecclesial province of Florida started an accreditation
program that has helped to raise standards for teachers and programs and the reputation
of Catholic schools in general.
Emmaus Award for Excellence in Catechesis
Honors an individual who has exercised outstanding national leadership in the field of
catechesis, one who consistently has generated significant contributions to the mission of
spreading the Gospel, including writing, publishing and teaching. Presented by the
National Association of Parish Catechetical Directors.
Sister Angela Ann Zukowski, MHSA
Department of Religious Education
University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio
A member of the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart, Sister Angela Ann Zukowski has
been involved in distance education for more than 40 years. She began her career in cable
television in 1971, moving later into satellite communication, multimedia, computer
technologies and the Internet.
Her current work is the new Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation at
the University of Dayton, which offers online courses in English and Spanish. Her
research includes the design of prototypes for interactive e-learning in Catholic
education, adult faith, lay ecclesial leadership and catechist formation, all centered on
presenting Catholic urban education for the 21st century.
Sister Zukowski serves on the board of trustees of the Catholic Education
Collaborative for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, the Catholic Leadership Academy
Planning Committee and the board of the Catholic Religious Education Development
Initiative in the Archdiocese of Port of Spain, Trinidad. She serves on the advisory board
of the Asian Research Center for Religion and Media in Thailand and works with the
Federation of Asian Bishops Conference for Social Communications to explore new
avenues for the use of the Internet for ministry.