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Celebrating Three Educators

It was a memorable night - for more than one reason.

On Friday, May 17, at the annual end of the year dinner, the Gibbons community celebrated educators who are retiring or moving on to new adventures. Among them is Principal Jason D. Curtis, who will step down at the end of June to assume the presidency of St. Francis High School in Mountain View, CA.

The  Dalys with three educator honorees.

As in years past, two Gibbons educators, nominated by their colleagues, were honored at the dinner for their service and commitment to our school. Deserving, passionate, creative, and caring were just a few of the words used to describe the two honorees - Drama Educator and Fine Arts Chair Kevin Ferguson and Director of Retreats Tim Yelenic. They are among the many Gibbons educators who inspire us daily with their innovation, dedication, and kindness.

This year, to honor his 13 years of vision-inspired leadership as principal, Jason was presented with a special award - Cardinal Gibbons High School Excellence in Principal Leadership Award.

The awards recognize educators for their contributions to the furtherance of our school's mission and demonstrated commitment to the enrichment of the school community.

During the evening the three honorees were showered with accolades and praise.

Kevin Ferguson, who received the Susan Scott Daly '76 Excellence in Teaching Award, has taught at Gibbons for 13 years A seasoned actor and director Kevin teaches drama and musical theater classes as well as produces eight major theatrical productions each year. He also is involved in such school activities as retreats, academic council, and the annual theatrical intensive trip to New York City. Over the years Kevin also has held many roles, including freshman class moderator.

Jason Curtis and Nancy Barkan.

Commenting on receiving the award Kevin said: “I was equal parts surprised and honored to receive the Daly Award and I’m grateful that I was able to share the experience of receiving it with my wife, Cindy, who has always been so supportive—as has the Gibbons community. "

Tim Yelenic, who has worked at Gibbons for four years, received the Outstanding Staff Award. During his short tenure, Tim has been actively engaged with the Gibbons school community. Along with directing spiritual, athletic, leadership, club, and middle school retreats, he is involved in many activities, including women’s soccer and Freshman Focus. He also is junior class moderator.

About receiving the award Tim said: “I was very humbled...  I am blessed to come to work every day and be a part of this community. Through my work of helping to grow the retreat program I have learned so much about myself and become a better person because of the students, educators, and parents at Gibbons!

Alumna Susan Scott Daly '76, a former educator, and her husband, Bob, established an endowment fund to ensure support of these important awards on an annual basis. The couple's four sons are Gibbons alumni.

The awards recognize educators for their contributions to the furtherance of our school's mission and demonstrated commitment to the enrichment of the school community.

Principal Curtis has said these awards recognize the school's dedicated educators as well as the Dalys' commitment to Catholic education.

Jason Curtis  honored with  special award. for his leadership.

This year, the Dalys also felt it was important not only that Jason receive an award for his 13 years as principal, but also to make a generous contribution to the Daly Endowment so that a third award could be presented each year in recognition of his vision-inspired leadership.

Beginning next year a third educator will be selected and presented the Jason D. Curtis Award for Vision, Innovation, & Leadership. The award will recognize how Jason has inspired educators to be visionary, to be innovative, and to be mission-driven leaders.

“There is no bigger honor than being recognized by your peers,” Jason said, adding that “it’s also very touching to know that I can be connected to an award that will continue to celebrate great educators and their leadership of this wonderful school!”

Gibbons Chaplain Fr. Daniel Oschwald said of Jason’s time as principal: “We are better and smarter people because of Jason… because you challenged us to be that. Thanks for all you have done…”

And as Fr. Daniel said at the start of the evening: “Goodbye isn’t a hard goodbye. It is a see you later…”

Read what their colleagues said about the three honorees.

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