Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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January 30, 2013

Teacher earns national award

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A teacher at DeSales Catholic School has been honored with a national award.

Mary Jo Bauer is one of 12 teachers from across the United States to receive the 2013 NCEA Distinguished Teacher Award from the Department of Elementary Schools of the National Catholic Educational Association. The award is presented to one teacher in each of the 12 geographic regions into which the department is divided. 

Dedicating 34 years of her life to Catholic education, Bauer has spent the past 13 years of her career as a math teacher at DeSales. Bauer earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree of science in education from SUNY College at Buffalo.

The Diocese of Buffalo awarded the Bishop’s Medal to Bauer in 2001 in recognition of her role in the Move of Faith. The Move of Faith was a project that 10 years ago brought the students of Lockport Catholic School together at their current location, the former home of DeSales High School. However, she holds as her highest achievement her receipt of the Catherine M. Aungst Volunteer of the Year Award from the Diocese in 1995.

“It is through volunteer service that we realize our true potential and serve others as Christ taught,” Bauer said.

Dr. Scott Fike, principal of DeSales Catholic School, says it is a privilege to work with and learn from, Bauer.

Fike describes her as “one of those rare people who lives, leads and loves by example ... who weaves into everything that she does the spirit of Christ.”

According to Kathy Mears, executive director of the NCEA Department of Elementary Schools, all awardees have served for at least 10 years in a Catholic elementary school.

“Each of these outstanding educators embodies the very best of Catholic education,” Mears said. “Their commitment to academic excellence and dedication to young people are the reasons parents choose Catholic schools.”

Bauer will be honored at a special ceremony on the opening evening of the annual Convention of the National Catholic Educational Association on April 2 in Houston.

The NCEA is the largest, private professional educational association in the world. Founded in 1904, the association’s membership represents more than 150,000 educators serving over 1.5 million students in Catholic education at all levels.

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