FROM LEFT, Fr. Andy Knopik, St. Ann Church; Connie Barre, Assistant Director of the Catholic Ministry to Sick and Aged of Southern Illinois, who presented three Sr. Leona Service Awards to, St. Ann School Teacher Janice Gaubatz; the 7th and 8th grade classes, represented by Tommy Herzog; and the 5th and 6th grade classes, represented by Cheyenne Harris.
St. Ann Teacher, students honored with recognition from Diocese
By Alex Haglund
A lot of lessons have been learned over the last school year as students at St. Ann School have taken part in “Acts of Mercy”, a service and benevolence project spearheaded by teacher Janice Gaubatz and her students in the 5th-8th grade classes.
As a special surprise for those who took part in the program, Ms. Connie Barre, Assistant Director of the Catholic Ministry to Sick and Aged of Southern Illinois in the Diocese of Belleville, visited the school during the honors ceremony following morning mass on Friday, May 18, and made a presentation to Mrs. Gaubatz and her classes.
The award that Barre presented was Sr. Leona Service Award, named in honor of Sister Leona Luechtefeld for students who aid their communities.
Each Sr. Leona award includes an honorarium of $100, money meant not for the awardee to keep, but instead to “pay it forward,” said Barre.
Barre presented three of the awards, with $100 each, to Gaubatz, the 7th and 8th grade classes, and the 5th and 6th grade classes.
While these older students took the lead on these projects (and in the cases of some of the more mature service work, were the only ones taking part), for many projects, the entire student body at St. Ann School took part.
“I think that on the last day of school, this was a wonderful way to show, even as young as Kindergarten and Pre-K,” said St. Ann school Principal Pierre Antoine, “you have an impact.”
Barre agreed, saying, “you are all very important. Continue your good deeds. We are all very proud of you.”