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Holy Cross School teacher surprised to receive Catholic Education Service Award

Photo submitted Nicole Banadyga has been shortlisted for the Catholic Education Service Award for 2021-2022.

This week is Catholic Education Week and the Prince Albert Catholic School Division has chosen Nicole Banadyga as one of three winners of the Catholic Education Service Awards for the 2021-2022 school year.

Banadyga is a middle school teacher at Holy Cross School. She was surprised to join Laura and Clint Rissling as the recipient.

“You do these things around school and in the school community, but (you) never expect rewards for doing your job and what you’re called to do,” Banadyga said. “I was very surprised.”

The school division has credited Banadyga with having a deep faith that she is willing to share with anyone who knows her.

Banadyga said her faith is something very important to her and she loves being able to share it with the staff and students are her school, as well as the people of her parish.

“It’s just something that I feel called to do to share my faith and the love of God and Jesus with everyone,” she explained.

Banadyga is a strong advocate for Catholic education who has served on numerous committees, including the Establishment Committee for the Diocesan House of Discernment. She and her family are active parishioners at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Banadyga has been with the division for 23 years and at Holy Cross for 14 years. She thanked the person or persons who nominated her for the award.

“It’s nice to realize that people see what you do because I do a lot behind the scenes,” she said. “It’s good that people recognize and see that I work really hard to be able to share our faith and show the importance of Catholic education to the community as a whole. It’s very appreciated that someone recognized and felt that they wanted attention.

Banadyga said it is always an honor for her to travel with people of their faith.

“I grow in my own faith and teach others about their faith and help them understand what we believe and why we believe it,” she said. “It’s really good that this week is Catholic Education Week (and) that we’re able to put these stories out to show people what Catholic schools are all about.”

The Prince Albert Catholic School Division established the Catholic Educational Service Award in 1998 to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to Catholic education.

With 3,000 students in pre-K through 12 and 350 staff, the school board recognized the efforts of staff who make significant contributions and have a positive impact on students, staff and the Catholic education community.

Members of the Discipleship Committee, Board Trustees Andrea Ring and Maurice Chalifour, and the entire school board expressed their delight and appreciation for the efforts of the recipients.

“We are forever grateful for the commitment and dedication of these very special people in our community,” the committee said in a press release. “They have served our Catholic educational community well and our school board is proud to honor these recipients this year. God bless them all.

Presentations will take place after Sunday Mass on May 29 in the parishes of the honorees.