Union Catholic Prinicpal is Honored for Excellence
Union Catholic Regional High School's principal, Mercy Sister Percylee Hart, RSM, has been chosen to receive the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) Catholic Secondary Education Award. The award is given to honor Catholic school educators who reflect the richness and diversity of American Catholic education.
A Sister of Mercy, Hart said she was both "stunned" and "filled with joy" when she heard she would be receiving the national award. Her selection is "an affirmation of those of us who serve in the apostolate of education," she said.
Sister Hart said she works with outstanding principals in the Archdiocese of Newark who are "all qualified and deserving" of recognition. She added that she will accept the award in "everyone's name."
Deputy Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Newark, John O'Neil, said that Sister Hart "is deeply committed to the spiritual and educational needs of high school youth, is aware of important trends in Catholic education as well as those in secondary education in general, and is willing to share that vision and to lead others into the process of examining how to be best. Her vision and experience are broad and her energy is boundless."
Sister Hart has been principal since the 1980 merger of the boys' and girls' high schools into Union Catholic Regional in Scotch Plains, and is president of the Regional Principals Association. Prior to 1980 Sister Hart was the principal of the girls school for 10 years after having taught high school science for 8 years. She is also a leader in introducing technology into the curriculum.
The nun said Union Catholic's strategic plan for technology is a "model of integrating technology into the entire institution." The school's implementation of the plan has "just been tremendous," she said, and Union Catholic is "committed to sharing it with other schools."
She said that if Catholic schools work together and share ideas, "Catholic education can be strong in the third millennium."
Sister Hart also evaluates other schools as a Middle States commissioner and has helped archdiocesan schools develop a strategic planning process for education.
The principal said she was planning to attend the NCEA Convention to support Bruce Zehnle, chairman of the foreign language department at Union Catholic, who will be giving a workshop. Now, they will be there to support each other.
The award will be presented on April 2 at the 1997 NCEA Convention in Minneapolis. The theme of the convention is "We See Clearly for We Stand on Broad Shoulders."