Holy Family Academy Honored at National Award Ceremony

On April 12, Holy Family Academy, Inverness, was honored at the Harvard Club in Boston as they received the prestigious, Catholic Schools for Tomorrow Innovation in Curriculum Award. Members of the faculty; Dr. Gretchen Ludwig, Principal; Dr. Emily Alford, Curriculum Consultant and Fr. Terry Keehan, Pastor of Holy Family Parish, were present at the awards dinner.

The Innovations in Education award was given to twelve Catholic schools throughout the country in six different areas of innovation. Holy Family Academy was one of only two schools to receive the award for their innovation in curriculum and instruction. “This award clearly recognizes the dedication and hard work of our amazing faculty,” stated Dr. Ludwig. “It was very important to me that teachers from each of our educational teams - from preschool through middle school - would be present as we received the award. I have never seen such quality of teachers who possess the right mix of technical competence to teach a rigorous curriculum in 21st century skills while fulfilling our goal of creating an engaging, warm and welcoming environment for our students.”

Present at the award ceremony were teachers Mrs. Colleen Biere, Mrs. Jeanne Henry, Mrs. Joy Micheletto, and Mrs. Roberta Muran. First grade teacher, Mrs. Henry, has been at the school since its inception in 2002. A veteran teacher and administrator, she is proud to see the school receive this national recognition. “Holy Family Academy is such an empowering place to teach. Supported by our Assistant Principal, Mrs. Christine Ortlund, we are able to adapt our curriculum to use research-based best practices that incorporate technology into the curriculum and seamlessly provide differentiation of instruction for our students.”

Fr. Terry Keehan, Pastor stated, “I am so proud of our young parish school. In less than ten years, our school has grown bigger and faster than anyone could have dreamed.” Founded in 2002 with 29 students in kindergarten and first grade, the Academy has grown to almost 450 students in two-year-old preschool through grade eight. In fact, Holy Family Academy has been a recognized leader among the 215 elementary schools within the Archdiocese of Chicago, the largest private school system in the nation. Spearheaded by the efforts of Dr. Emily Alford, Holy Family Curriculum Consultant, teachers from 64 schools throughout the Chicago area have been trained using Holy Family's model of teaching.

The Academy's mission statement calls the school to effect change in Catholic education at their school, the Archdiocese of Chicago and beyond. Clearly national recognition of Holy Family's 21st century curriculum and instruction validates their mission.

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