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. For a list of award winners, please see our news release here.

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. For a list of award winners, please see our news release here.


Heart of the School Awards

Heart of Excellence: This award is given to teachers who foster the highest quality of teaching and learning in their classrooms. Through rigorous, 21st century instruction, awardees demonstrate an ability to motivate each student to reach his or her greatest academic potential. 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, regardless of their socioeconomic background or the presence of defined learning needs. 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 area (e.g. art, music, foreign language, physical education, etc.). Nominations have ended.

Heart of Service: This Award recognizes individuals who provide excellent support to the school community. Often not people who are “front and center,” awardees work behind the scenes to assure that the school successfully meets the mission of service to God’s children. Nominations have ended.

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 Innovation: Excellent educators are willing to innovate, infusing their work with the latest teaching practices and instructional technology. Recipients of this award reflect the ability to successfully serve students through adaptation and innovation. Nominations have ended.

Heart of Leadership: Recipients of this award demonstrate leadership in their school through mentoring, inspiring others and setting a clear vision. Awardees are not necessarily school administrators, but rather leaders who constantly motivate the school towards excellence, faith and service. Nominations have ended.

Heart of Connection: 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 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.


Award Selection and Announcements

Final award recipients are chosen by a committee of representatives from the Archdiocese’s Office of Catholic Schools. Two nominees will be selected from each of the nine award areas. In all, 18 awards will be granted. For a list of award winners, please see our news release here.

Each Heart of the School Award winner will receive a plaque identifying him or her as a winner. All winners were honored at a Heart of the School Award luncheon.