Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Photo By Gibbs Frazeur
Bishop Joel M. Konzen, SM, diocesan administrator and longtime Catholic educator, center, posed for a photograph with the 2020 honorees at the banquet for Catholic education held Jan. 25 in Marietta. Faculty, staff and family members from the 18 archdiocesan schools and six independent Catholic schools gathered for the event.


Catholic school faculty members honored at annual education banquet

By GEORGIA BULLETIN STAFF | Published February 6, 2020

MARIETTA—Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Atlanta marked Catholic Schools Week Jan. 26-Feb. 1, a national observance focusing on faith-building, academic and community contributions of the schools. This year’s theme was “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.”

The schools in the archdiocese planned a number of activities for students and faculty, based on daily themes and celebrations provided by the National Catholic Educational Association, which sponsors the annual observance.

Associate Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Connie Urbanski, Ed.D., congratulates the honorees representing each school during remarks at the Catholic Education Banquet held Jan. 25 in Marietta. The annual banquet launches Catholic Schools Week in the archdiocese. Photo By Gibbs Frazeur

Activities included a focus on parishes, communities, students, vocations and families along with traditional celebrations, such as the Archdiocesan Spelling Bee and the eighth-grade Mass, celebrated this year by Bishop Joel Konzen, SM, diocesan administrator, at St. Brigid Church.

The Atlanta Archdiocese started the week with the 13th annual Banquet for Catholic Education, held Jan. 25 at the Hilton Hotel and Conference Center in Marietta. The banquet gathers faculty and staff—including directors, teachers, custodians, principals, administrative assistants, coaches and others—from the 18 archdiocesan and six independent Catholic schools in the Atlanta area. One employee from each school is recognized as an outstanding employee of the year, as well as a principal of the year and parish preschool director of the year, chosen by their peers.

Archdiocese of Atlanta Education Banquet Honorees

The school staff members honored at this year’s banquet for Catholic education were: Jason Podhorez, director of information technology, Blessed Trinity High School; Jill Walter, Christ the King School, physical education and health teacher; Maria Trujillo Sanchez, facilities management, Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School; Judy Hearn, kindergarten teacher’s assistant, Holy Redeemer School; Father Juan Jose Hernandez, head chaplain, Holy Spirit Preparatory School; Lisa Rhodes, business manager, Immaculate Heart of Mary School; Mike Coveny, director of the Marist Way and teacher, Marist School; Stephanie Howe, Spanish teacher, Monsignor Donovan High School; Kitty Costello, middle school math teacher, Notre Dame Academy; Katherine Watters, STREAM coach, Our Lady of the Assumption School; Brian Williams, English teacher, Our Lady of Mercy High School; Marilyn Criscillis, fifth grade teacher, Our Lady of Victory School; Megan Davis, school counselor, Queen of Angels School; Michele Rebandl, lower school learning support specialist, Pinecrest Academy; Lisa Wilkins, physical education teacher, St. Catherine of Siena School; Stacey Coody, third grade teacher, St. John Neumann Regional School; Terry Edwards, third grade teacher, St. John the Evangelist School; Kelly Niswonger, fourth grade teacher; St. Joseph School; Pattie Thurston, fifth grade teacher, St. Joseph Parish School; Susan Tschirhart, fifth grade teacher, St. Jude the Apostle School; Beth Abbott, kindergarten teacher, St. Mary’s School; Breanna Johnson-Anderson, fifth and sixth grade teacher, St. Peter Claver Regional School; Donna Owens, school nurse, St. Pius X High School and Mary Nicolatos, kindergarten teacher, St. Thomas More School.

The Parish Preschool Director of the Year is Sandra Foltz of St. Benedict Parish Preschool. Julie Broom, principal of St. John Neumann Regional School, is the Principal of the Year.