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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

070717 st gabe teachersCHARLOTTE — Recognized by school families and staff for her exceptional dedication to Catholic school education, St. Gabriel School teacher Amanda McCallum received the Father Frank O’Rourke Award for Excellence in Teaching at the school’s Mass June 8.

This award is presented to one outstanding full-time St. Gabriel School teacher. Nominated by school families, staff and fifth-grade students, McCallum was selected for her positive impact on students, her commitment to the school’s mission and success, the qualities of faith and mercy she exhibits in her interactions with others, and her teaching practices.

In her 11 years of teaching kindergarten at the school, families and staff commended the exceptionally high standards she sets for students, the way she talks about Jesus and His presence in our lives, the time she makes for students past and present, her warm smile, and her enthusiastic participation in themed “dress down days.”

Herb and Tess Verbesey, members of St. Gabriel Church since 2001, established this generous $10,000 award in honor of St. Gabriel’s pastor for his 40-plus years of leadership, support and commitment to the Diocese of Charlotte Catholic schools.

Tess Verbesey, a guidance counselor at Charlotte Catholic High School for many years, and her husband are longtime supporters of Catholic education and created a similar award at Charlotte Catholic in 2007.

Their generosity reflects Pope Francis’ encouragement to teachers: “Thank you for the sacrifices you … make, and for the zeal and devotion with which you carry out your important task. It should never be forgotten, yours is a holy work!”

Pictured (from left) are Assistant Principal Patty Fischer, McCallum, Father O’Rourke, and Principal Michele Snoke.

— Darby McClatchy