Alicia Fleischer, Susan Brenner and Margaret Walsh will all be honored with Catholic Schools Week awards.
Alicia Fleischer, Susan Brenner and Margaret Walsh will all be honored with Catholic Schools Week awards.

The Vicki Bullis Distinguished School Staff Award

This award honors a school staff member (secretarial, development, maintenance, etc.) who goes above and beyond the call of duty in her/his role. This dedication is demonstrated in daily activities which support the school’s mission and community.

Alicia Fleischer, Holy Spirit School, East Greenbush

Although her title is administrative assistant, Alicia is widely known and deeply admired as the backbone of Holy Spirit School. She is a cheerleader, a tender to boo-boos, a counselor for well-being, an amazing multi-tasker, office manager, school historian and friend…. all roles she plays with warmth, grace and humility. Parents say she gives them peace of mind because they trust in her ability to handle any issues that arise. She is incredibly helpful and hardworking, and she gets the job done. Through her generosity and kindness, it is clear that she is not only vital to the school’s overall success, she is a deeply cherished member of the Holy Spirit School community.

The Mother Francis Cabrini
Distinguished School Support Award

This award honors a member of the school community who challenges the entire community to make a stronger commitment to the school’s Catholic mission through the personal giving of time and talents. This stewardship is an affirmation that the education of our youth involves the entire community. 

Susan Brenner, St. Madeleine Sophie School, Schenectady

Sue has been a part of the fabric of St. Madeleine Sophie School for 30 years. She started as a parent volunteer and school board president and progressed to chairing fundraisers, assisting teachers and heading the After School Program. No task is ever beneath her; she joyfully does whatever needs to be done. She has touched many lives and impacted thousands of children over the years, including parish children as the coordinator of Children’s Liturgy, and students from the Guilderland public schools, who attend the After School Program. A fellow teacher said that whenever someone is in need, her response is “How can I help you?” Sue is an exemplary role model for living the Catholic faith.

The St. John Neumann Award for Commitment to Catholic Education

The award recognizes an individual who communicates to the Catholic community, and to the broader community, that Catholic schools are the best investment and hope for the future of our Church and society.  The award gives public acknowledgment for service to Catholic schools demonstrated through personal characteristics of zeal, support, enthusiasm, purpose and selfless generosity in the spirit of St. John Neumann.

Margaret Walsh, Mater Christi School, Albany

Margaret has taught at Mater Christi School (formerly St. Catherine of Siena School) for 38 years. She has blessed her students with her fair but firm teaching style, her safe and organized classroom, her open approach to communication and problem solving, and her delightful sense of humor. Those students who struggle the most are the object of Margaret’s special care and concern. She shares her musical talents with all of the students at prayer services and Masses, allowing them to give praise to God in song. Her dedication to her students and Catholic education shows in everything she does. 

The Community Partner Award

This award recognizes members of our broader community who partner with us to demonstrate their commitment to Catho­lic school education. 
A Block at a Time, The Mansion Hill Neighborhood Association, and Catho­lic Charities of the Diocese of Albany.

A tragic multi-house fire on Myrtle Avenue in Albany destroyed homes and uprooted families, many from the Burmese community who are closely associated with Bishop Maginn High School. A Block at a Time, The Mansion Hill Neighborhood Association and Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany all pooled their resources to rally the community in order to ensure that these families would have what they need to get back on their feet. It was a team effort and a wonderful expression of generosity and faith. Together, they brought forth light in a time of darkness for so many families.
(Note: The excerpts on the individual accomplishments were submitted by the individual’s respective school communities.)