Principal, teacher noted for service - Catholic Courier

Principal, teacher noted for service

Two educators in the Diocese of Rochester were recently recognized for their professional efforts.

Marie L. Arcuri, principal of Good Shepherd School in Henrietta, was named Educator of the Year by the Henrietta Chamber of Commerce in May.

Marguerite Manning, kindergarten teacher at Holy Trinity School in Webster, was among the national nominees for the DisneyHand Teacher Award, given out in July, that honors creativity in teaching and an educator’s positive influence on children.

M. Rick Page, retired assistant superintendent for school operations in the Rush-Henrietta School District, nominated Arcuri, whom he said has a stellar reputation, even among teachers in the public-school community. Page said that he’s been impressed with Arcuri from the moment that she first arrived at Good Shepherd eight years ago.

“‘Principal’ means ‘principal teacher,’ and that’s what she is,” he said. “She’s just a good person who’s good for kids.”

At Good Shepherd, which houses grades pre-kindergarten to sixth, Arcuri said she takes a hands-on approach to working with her 200 students and more than a score of employees. She noted that she meets frequently with teachers, parents and children, and enjoys being able to blend her religious faith with her educational duties.

She added that working in a Catholic school allows her to challenge the students to act out of spiritual, not just civic, motives. To illustrate her point, she imagined a scenario in which a student is caught making a mess in the cafeteria. She said, with a chuckle, that she could have asked such a student, “Would Jesus have squeezed the ketchup all over the table?”

On a more serious note, she said she can use the example of Christ to persuade students to get along with each other and settle disputes. She added that she was honored to be chosen as Educator of the Year.

“You really can’t run a school by yourself,” she said. “I really think, in recognizing me, (the chamber was) recognizing Good Shepherd School.”

Manning was nominated for the DisneyHand Award by Nancy Palamar, chairwoman of Holy Trinity’s advisory committee. Palamar’s children have sat in Manning’s classroom, and Palamar called herself a “big fan” of the teacher.

“Her creative ideas appeal to many different types of learners,” Palamar wrote in the application nominating Manning. “Not only do the children in Mrs. Manning’s class benefit from her talents and commitment, but those outside do as well. In a project she described as a lesson in math, small motor skills and compassion, she led the children in sewing quilt squares together to make a blanket that was then donated to the neonatal unit of a local children’s hospital.”

Manning’s principal, Christopher Meagher, also praised his employee.

“Kids learn in different ways,” he said. “She is able to go out for individual needs.”

Manning said that she enjoys teaching 5-year-olds.

“Five-year-olds are just so much fun to work with because they’re just on the edge of learning about the world around them,” she said, adding: “I think I just like to see children grow and mature and learn.”

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