Two diocesan elementary school principals, Mercy Sister LaVerne King of Christ the Teacher Catholic School and Richard D. Hart of St. John the Beloved School, have been named national recipients of the 2019 Lead. Learn. Proclaim. Award from the National Catholic Educational Association. They were selected from more than 150,000 educators.
The award recognizes the leaders’ “outstanding efforts, contributions and achievements on behalf of Catholic school education,” according to the NCEA. They will be honored during the organization’s national conference in Chicago in April.
Sister LaVerne was appointed principal at Christ the Teacher in June 2001, before the school was open. It has maintained an enrollment in excess of 600 students and has been named a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education in 2010 and 2016.
Before coming to Delaware, Sister LaVerne ministered in Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia, and she has been a missionary in Peru, where she started a school for women to help them gain skills that would lead to meaningful employment. She is currently preparing for a short missionary trip to Texas.
Hart is in his 11th year at St. John the Beloved. He previously served as principal at St. Hedwig’s school for 12 years and St. Thomas the Apostle School for four years. Both of those schools were in the city of Wilmington.
In 2016, St. John the Beloved School was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon Exemplary School.
Hart has a passion for early childhood education for 3- and 4-year-old students. He also is dedicated to meeting the challenges for 21st century learners.