St. Thomas of Villanova Principal Mary Brinkman Honored at NCEA

St. Thomas of Villanova Principal Mary Brinkman was awarded the "Grace Under Pressure" Award from the Archdiocese of Chicago at the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) 2019 conference held at McCormick Place in Chicago April 23-25.

According to the Archdiocese, "the role of the principal is enormously challenging, and school leaders often face unexpected and difficult circumstances. In spite of this, principals are called to always think and act positively, inspiring a sense of genuine hope through their demeanor and communications. Recipients of this award have faced extreme or unusual circumstances this school year, but have continued to demonstrate positive and grace-filled leadership."

Brinkman, who has served as Principal of St. Thomas of Villanova since 2015, also served as Assistant Principal for ten years and as a physical education instructor at the school for almost twenty-five years. Her three children also graduated from the school.

The "Grace Under Pressure" award signifies Brinkman's deep dedication to the emergent future of St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic School and her strong impact on the school's recent enrollment boost, expanding preschool programs, and growing reputation as a "neighborhood treasure."

"This award is so well-deserved because Principal Brinkman is the epitome of grace," explained Amy Hansen, a parent of two STV students and a member of the School Board. "No matter the challenge, she always demonstrates a 'can do' attitude, maintains an open and thoughtful mind, and keeps a smile on her face. And that's exactly the kind of person you want to entrust with running the day-to-day operations of your children's school."

St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic School is located at 1141 E. Anderson Drive Palatine, IL. The Blue Ribbon school serves students in grade preschool through 8th grade. In addition to faith-based education and superior core academics, the school also boasts a Smithsonian science curriculum, foreign language starting in kindergarten and cutting-edge technology and computer instruction. For more information or to schedule a tour, call (847) 358-2110 or visit

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