Catholic Schools’ Leaders, Students Honored


Colleen Rowan Photo

Karen Robinson, principal of Parkersburg Catholic High School, presents the Aquinas Medal to PCHS senior Mary Christina Garvin during the 22nd annual Bishop’s Dinner for Catholic Schools in Morgantown April 17. See story on Page 6 of this issue.

By Colleen Rowan

MORGANTOWN—Leaders and students of Catholic schools in the diocese were honored at the 22nd annual Bishop’s Dinner for Catholic Schools April 17 in Morgantown. The dinner raised more than $55,000, which will benefit the Great Futures Fund that supports programming in Catholic schools enhancing the curriculum in science, technology, math, the arts and other academic disciplines. Bishop Michael J. Bransfield presented the Bishop’s Cross to six lay people who have shown dedicated service to their schools. The Aquinas Medal, the highest honor a student can receive from the diocese, was awarded to 28 students (one from each school). It is presented to students who exemplify the ideals of Catholic education—faithful discipleship; excellence in learning; leadership; and service to school, parish and community. The St. Sebastian Medal was presented to 16 high-achieving student athletes (two from each high school). It is presented to athletes who exhibit sportsmanship, teamwork and academic excellence and who show respect for their schools, classmates, teammates, opponents, parish and community. The day began with Mass celebrated by Bishop Bransfield at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Morgantown. The dinner and awards presentations followed at the Morgantown Event Center. This year’s Bishop’s Cross recipients were Thomas and Kathy Burgoyne, who have served Central Catholic High School in Wheeling in various roles since 1985; Jill Kee, who has been employed at St. Joseph School in Martinsburg as the secretary for the past 29 years; Barbara Little, who has been a teacher at St. Francis de Sales School in Beckley for 14 years; Dr. Carroll Morrison, principal of Notre Dame High School in Clarksburg who has served the school for 21 years; and Susan Popp, who has been a teacher at St. Joseph Central Catholic High School in Huntington for 27 years. A video presentation was shown on each recipient. Principals then came to the stage to present the Aquinas and St. Sebastian medals to the recipients of their schools. Highmark West Virginia sponsored the presentation of the Bishop’s Cross. Cody Mysakowec, client manager for Highmark, presented a check for $15,000 to the bishop. This is the third year that Highmark has sponsored the presentation. The West Virginia Knights of Columbus sponsored the Aquinas Medal presentation. Gerald Gerald Somazze, state deputy of the knights, presented the bishop with a check for $11,000. Throughout the past 21 years, the knights have contributed nearly $206,750 to the Catholic schools program.


Colleen Rowan Photo Bishop Michael J. Bransfield is pictured with Bishop’s Cross recipients. From left are Cody Mysakowec, client manager for Highmark West Virginia which sponsored the presentation; Thomas and Kathy Burgoyne; Jill Kee; Dr. Carroll Morrison; Barbara Little; and Susan Popp.