NCEA recognizes Washington principal

WASHINGTON — If Dr. Sharon Weiss had her way, the stage would be very, very crowded when she accepts the National Catholic Educational Association’s Distinguished Principal Award in April.

“I did a lot of studying in my doctorate on shared leadership and I believe in that concept. We all do this together,” Dr. Weiss said of the faculty and staff of St. Patrick’s School in Washington, where she is in her sixth year as principal.

“I’ve told them, ‘This award I’m getting out in California, I wish you could all come because it’s one we all share,'” she said.

Dr. Weiss added that she stands on the shoulders of many, including the students and their parents; the faith community at St. Patrick’s, which she called “a dream parish”; and her pastor, Father Joseph Donton. She also praised the Sisters of Mary of the Presentation, who staffed the school for so long and gave it a firm foundation.

“Yes, it’s a tremendous honor and a tremendous award, but I could not have achieved it without them,” Dr. Weiss told The Catholic Post.

Twelve Distinguished Principal Awards are given annually — one in each of the NCEA’s regions. Dr. Weiss has been named the recipient in Region 7, which includes Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

She will be recognized at the organization’s annual convention, set for April 14-16 in Anaheim, Calif. The theme is “Leadership. Direction. Service.”

“Being named as one of the 12 distinguished elementary Catholic school principals by the National Catholic Educational Association is for Dr. Weiss a well-deserved recognition of her expertise in and dedication to Catholic school education,” said Brother William Dygert, CSC, superintendent of diocesan schools.

“This honor also reflects well on her school community as well as on the whole Catholic educational community of the Diocese of Peoria. Excellence arises from excellence,” he told The Post. “In honoring Dr. Weiss, NCEA is really honoring all of the Catholic educators of the diocese.”

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