News and Events

Heart of the School Award


Our teachers, administrators and staff members are the Heart of our Schools. Our educational mission is lived out by the thousands of dedicated school employees who support our students every day. While our administrators, teachers and staff members do not seek out recognition, it is important that we celebrate their tremendous work. For many years, the Archdiocese of Chicago has honored outstanding Catholic school employees through the Heart of the School Awards.

Who Can Be Nominated: Any current teacher, administrator or staff member who works in a Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Chicago can be nominated for a Heart of the School Award. Employees can be full- or part-time employees and must work directly for the Catholic school (not a third-party organization). Nominations have ended.

Who Can Nominate: Nominations can be submitted by any stakeholder at the school (e.g. teacher, staff member, administrator, parent, volunteer, student, etc.). Nominations have ended.


Heart of the School Awards

Heart of Christ: Christ is the true center of any Catholic school. Recipients of this award are outstanding examples of Christian service, love and compassion. Through both work and witness, they live out our Catholic mission every day. Nominations have ended.
Heart of Community: Recipients of this award recognize that the school is part of a greater community and actively seek to build connections with the community and the school. Through successful outreach to parishes, universities and/or other organizations, awardees consistently leverage outside resources to support the school, while enabling the school to benefit the surrounding community. Nominations have ended.

Heart of Excellence: This award is given to teachers who foster the highest quality of teaching and learning in their classrooms, infusing their work with the latest teaching practices and instructional technology. Recipients of this award reflect the ability to successfully serve each student through rigorous instruction, innovative use of technology and creation of a classroom environment that motivates each child to reach his/her greatest academic potential. Nominations have ended.

Heart of Enrichment: Catholic schools seek to teach the “whole child,” providing each child with enrichment opportunities beyond the core subjects. This award recognizes school employees who excel at providing instruction and activities in one or more enrichment areas (e.g. art, music, foreign language, physical education, etc.). Nominations have ended.

Heart of the Future: This award recognizes employees who have worked in education for three years or less and demonstrate outstanding excellence, leadership and service. Awardees are people who inspire those around them with their enthusiasm and support of our educational mission. Nominations have ended.

Heart of Inclusion: Christ calls us to welcome all who come to us. This award is given to teachers, staff members and administrators who foster inclusion in education by welcoming and serving all students, including but not limited to English language learners or children diagnosed with disabilities, regardless of their socio-economic background. The recipient of this award creates an environment that truly welcomes all. Nominations have ended.
Heart of Service: This Award recognizes individuals, often non-instructional (e.g. secretary, maintenance, teacher assistants, custodians, security guards, etc.), who provide excellent support to the school community. Awardees work behind the scenes to assure that the school successfully meets the mission of service to God’s children. Nominations have ended.


Award Selection and Announcements

Final award recipients are chosen by a committee of representatives from the Office of Catholic Schools. Two nominees will be selected from each of the seven award areas. In all, 14 awards will be granted. Nominations have ended.

Each Heart of the School Award winner will be honored at a Heart of the School Award luncheon.