Maria Brunell (l.) and Joanne Loviglio are honored for their time and talents in the classroom for Catholic Schools Week 2022. (Provided photos)
Maria Brunell (l.) and Joanne Loviglio are honored for their time and talents in the classroom for Catholic Schools Week 2022. (Provided photos)
St. Thomas Aquinas Distinguished School Staff 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.

Maria Brunell, St. Pius X School, Loudonville
Maria Brunell has been giving of her time and talent to St. Pius X School for the past 13 years. Maria loves St. Pius X School and its mission to educate children in the Catholic tradition. In her role as administrative assistant, she is the friendly face that welcomes families to the school either by phone or in person. Maria holds everything together so that teachers and staff can do their jobs. She is trusted and respected by everyone and is the go-to person for students, parents and staff.

Brunell’s commitment to St. Pius X School and Catholic education extends beyond her daily job responsibilities, and she works tirelessly, often after school hours, making sure that every student, family and faculty member has what they need each day. She plays a vital role in fundraising efforts, the annual Giving Tree and all community events. Brunell’s dedication to St. Pius X is rooted in her strong faith and desire to contribute to the mission of Catholic education. Maria’s work ethic and the humble manner in which she carries out her tasks on behalf of our Lord and the joy she exudes while doing so, is an example to all who serve in our Catholic schools.

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The Mother Frances Cabrini Distinguished School Support 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.

Joanne Loviglio, Holy Spirit School, East Greenbush
Loviglio is the current vice president of the school board and active member of the Catholic Identity Team of Holy Spirit School. Loviglio is an upstanding member of the community who volunteers countless hours to support the mission of Catholic education. The school staff, teachers and parents are very appreciative of her support and commitment to Holy Spirit School. For this academic year, Loviglio volunteers her time to teach technology and serves as the school librarian for our students. She also helps to manage volunteers at Holy Spirit School, ensuring students have special classes such as art and music.  The school staff, teachers and parents are very appreciative of Loviglio’s involvement and commitment to Holy Spirit school education.

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Albany Diocesan School Board Community Partner Award recognizes members of our broader community who partner with us to demonstrate their commitment to Catholic school education.

Maria College
Founded and sponsored by the Religious Sisters of Mercy, Maria College is a private, co-ed college providing education for health care and service. Courses are offered in flexible formats; day, evening and weekend classes. Academic majors include four- and two-year degrees and certificates. Many services are offered to support students’ personal, spiritual and professional success.

Through a partnership with Maria College, students in our Albany diocesan high schools have the opportunity for a “college-in-high school experience.” High school juniors and seniors are offered three Maria College level courses giving them access to advanced academic material and providing them a competitive edge by earning college credits in high school. The partnership further offers career readiness and a clear path toward post-secondary education.

“The shared Catholic faith-based missions of our institutions also lays a rich foundation for students to pursue careers where they can give back and help others in need. Our collaboration is a commitment to empowering students through education and preparing students for meaningful work and life,” said Dr. Thomas J. Gamble, Maria College president.

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The Saint John Neumann Award for Commitment to Catholic Education 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. 

Father Leo Markert, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons School, Schenectady
Father Leo Markert has been the chaplain at Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons for almost 20 years, a role that has made him a champion for the school community. Father Leo is a presence in the NDBG hallways, activities, field trips, sporting events, and, of course, school Mass. Not only does he lead lessons in the classroom, but he also holds a weekly Chaplain’s Corner, a time for students to sign up for confession, one-on-one prayer, or time to seek counsel on something that is heavy on their hearts. When families are in need of support, celebrating a marriage or consoling during a time of sadness, Father Leo is with them as they mark these milestones. He has participated in the confirmation of dozens of NDBG students. He is also an active proponent of the Journey Retreat. Countless young adults have participated in this weekend retreat thanks to Father Leo’s encouragement and support. As Father Leo approaches his 60th year of ordination, he continues to live his life with the fervor of a newly-ordained priest. Father Leo ends each of his homilies with the words “Jesus loves you and I do too.” He helps all students know they are a child of God and builds a community of hope.

Editor’s note: This information was provided by the Catholic School Office and is from the nominating statements for each award.