Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington



From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302


Denise Haugen honored as Catholic School Teacher of the Year

Story and photo by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff

(From the Feb. 23, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)

Dr. Shirley J. Williams (left), Dean of Gonzaga University’s School of Education, presents the Catholic School Teacher of the Year Award to Denise Haugen of St. Patrick School, Spokane. (IR photo)

Some 150 Diocese of Spokane Catholic school teachers, students, and principals, along with various administrators from Gonzaga University and its School of Education, gathered the morning of Feb. 3 to honor this year’s Catholic School Teacher of the Year for the Diocese of Spokane.

The breakfast event took place on the last day of Catholic Schools Week 2006 in the COG, the student center on GU’s campus.

Dr. Shirley J. Williams, Dean of Gonzaga University’s School of Education, formally welcomed everyone, and the fourth grade class from St. John Vianney School, Spokane Valley, led the assembly in an opening prayer service that included Scripture readings, responsorial prayers, and music, including a student duet violin performance of “Amazing Grace.”

Bishop Skylstad led the meal prayer for the breakfast.

After the meal, Dr. Duane Shafer, Superintendent of Education for the Diocese of Spokane, spoke briefly, referring to the slogan for Catholic Schools Week 2006: “Character. Compassion. Values. These are our core. These are what Catholic schools are all about. Parents choose Catholic schools because of the fact that we reinforce strong values. Our diocesan school mission statement says that, ‘Our Catholic schools strive to educate, evangelize, and form globally responsive servant leaders in light of Catholic gospel values.’”

Dr. Williams introduced the students in attendance, representing their schools. She then introduced the nominees for the Teacher of the Year Award. Finally, fellow St. Patrick School teacher Becky Clift introduced the Catholic School Teacher of the Year, Denise Haugen.

Haugen spoke briefly, recognizing the many outstanding teachers in Catholic schools that she felt are equally deserving of the award. She then expressed her thanks for the Teacher of the Year Award and received enthusiastic applause from the entire gathering.

“I want to express my sincere thanks to the Education Department here at Gonzaga,” said Bishop Skylstad, “to you as principals, and teachers, and students in our Catholic schools, and in a very special way to you, Dr. Shafer, as the Superintendent of Education for our Diocese of Spokane – to all of you my profound gratitude.”


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