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Wilmington Catholic Educator Winner of Msgr. Lewis Teaching Award

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Mrs. Donna Frazelle, a Science teacher at St. Mark Catholic School in Wilmington, has been named the winner of the 2009-2010 Monsignor Gerald Lawrence Lewis Award for Excellence in Teaching.  The announcement was made by the Lewis Award Committee on March 5.

Mrs. Frazelle has taught 6th, 7th and 8th grades at St. Mark’s for five years, and has over 10 years of teaching experience. Instrumental in initiating, organizing and facilitating development of the 6th – 8th grade athletic program at St. Mark, Mrs. Frazelle has coached girls’ volleyball, coed soccer and girls’ and boys’ basketball. Additionally she organized and planned the annual St. Mark’s Science Fair. Through her efforts, St. Mark has been initiated into the Southeastern Middle School League.

Mrs. Frazelle was one of three finalists for the Award selected by the Award Committee in January. The finalists included Mrs. Nancy Cooley, fifth grade teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes School in Raleigh, and Mrs. Marilu Morse, Religion, Math and Science teacher for grades 6 – 8h at St. Paul School in New Bern. 

Mrs. Cooley has been teaching for 27 years, 22 of them at Lourdes. She has taught in both public and Catholic schools.  Mrs. Cooley is active in her school and civic communities, serving as faculty representative on the Home-School Association Board, and is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary. 

Mrs. Morse has taught for 27 years, the last 20 at St. Paul. Before moving to New Bern, Mrs. Morse taught in several Catholic schools in New England, and was active in Scouting programs, parish affairs and school math and science competitions.

Mrs. Frazelle described herself as “honored, blessed and overwhelmed” to receive the Award. Asked what motivates her as a teacher, she said without hesitation, “The children. They’re the reason I come to work every day. The uniqueness of each child, the way they change each day, and having a little something to do with their growing up in a Catholic school setting – it’s just an incredible privilege.”

The Monsignor Gerald Lawrence Lewis Award was initiated in 1992 to honor outstanding educators in the Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Raleigh and to recognize, promote and encourage teaching excellence. The Excellence in Teaching Award honors superlative classroom teachers, grades K-12, who have illustrated strong commitment to their students, colleagues and schools and to their family, church and civic communities. The Award is presented on an annual basis and carries a monetary award to the Recipient and to the Recipient’s school.

The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh, will be the Presider at a Celebration Liturgy honoring the Recipient in her school’s parish church in late April.

Above: Msgr. Gerald L. Lewis teaching award winner Mrs. Donna Frazelle, joined by Fr. Steven Carlson, Pastor of St. Mark Catholic Church and School and Ms. Peggy DiFulvio, St. Mark School Principal during ceremony at school.