They are, to be sure, a most deserving group of Gibbons Educators.
That is the consensus of their colleagues who nominated English Department Chair Laura Ingerham and Director of Outreach Ministry Gary Meyerl ’82 for classroom educator and office educator of the year, respectively. They also recognized Assistant Principal of Instruction Nancy A. Barkan for the leadership award.
The Gibbons school community celebrated the awardees via a special Zoom meeting at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. The virtual celebration replaced the annual end of the year dinner due to the pandemic. Educators who retired or moved on to new adventures were also recognized.
Dedicated, passionate, creative, and caring were some of the words used to describe the three honorees. They are among the many Gibbons Educators who inspire us daily with their innovation, dedication, and kindness.
The awards recognize educators for their service and commitment to our school as well as to the furtherance of our mission and to the enrichment of the Gibbons community.
Years ago, alumna Susan Scott Daly '76, a former educator, and her husband, Bob, established an endowment fund to ensure support of the classroom and office educator awards on an annual basis. The couple's four sons are Gibbons alumni.
Last year, the Dalys also felt it was important to support a third award to present each year in recognition of the vision-inspired leadership of Jason D. Curtis. He served as Gibbons’ principal from 2006-2019.
Laura Ingerham received the Susan Scott Daly '76 Excellence in Teaching Award. After teaching at public schools for 22 years, Laura, at the suggestion of a friend, a Gibbons Educator, was hired as an English Educator at Gibbons in 2015 and later became department chair.
Asked what makes the award so meaningful to her, Laura said: “Coming to this school allowed me to experience a completely different kind of learning environment... I’d never been in a school where kids thanked teachers as they left the classroom. How wonderful to be able to start each class with prayer! Teaching at Gibbons has been a tremendous blessing to me, and this award makes me feel as though I belong here.”
Gary Meyerl, who has worked at Gibbons for eight years, received the Outstanding Staff Award. In that time, Meyerl, a Gibbons Alumnus, has served as both a classroom and office educator and has formed what he described as life-giving relationships with colleagues, students, parents, and fellow alums.
Commenting about receiving the award and what it means to him Meyerl said: “I am especially honored to receive an award that is made possible by the visionary leadership and generosity of a fellow alum, Susan Daly ’76. This award also gives me reason to pause and prayerfully remember those who have influenced the Catholic educator that I am today. People like Msgr. John Wall, Agnes Penny, and Jason Curtis – all who saw something in me that I had not previously recognized in myself.”
Nancy Barkan received the Jason D. Curtis Award for Vision, Innovation, & Leadership. Nancy started at Gibbons as an English educator 18 years ago before becoming Assistant Principal of Instruction. She also served as the school’s Interim Principal for the 2019-2020 academic year.
Of receiving the award Nancy said: “I am both humbled and honored …I feel blessed to have worked for many years with Jason Curtis. He taught me so much about being a visionary, innovative, and mission-driven leader who can put those lessons to work in this great school. It also fills my heart with joy to be recognized by the dedicated and talents educators I am grateful to call my colleagues.”