St. Mary’s School teacher named Golden Apple recipient
Archdiocese to present award May 11
When Tricia Morrison, first grade teacher at St. Mary’s School in Bryantown, walked into the auditorium, she thought she was on her way to a meeting.
The last thing she expected was to be greeted with a hail of inflatable beach balls, as students, staff and family members offered surprise congratulations on her being selected for the Archdiocese of Washington’s Golden Apple Award.
“I was shocked. I thought we were on our way to a meeting, and so I was really focused on that meeting, and wow,” Morrison said. “I was really surprised. They got me good.”
The Golden Apple Awards were created by
the nonprofit Donahue Family Foundation to recognize excellence in Catholic education, according to the Archbishop of Washington’s blog.
Ten Golden Apple Awards are given out each year in the archdiocese, which includes 96 Catholic schools.
St. Mary’s School has had seven Golden Apple awardees in the past eight years, according to school officials.
Recipients must be practicing Catholics and full-time teachers who have completed a minimum of three years teaching at their school.
This year’s recipients will be honored at a reception and awards ceremony May 11 in Washington, D.C. Each recipient will receive an award and a $5,000 check, said Laura Roland, director of curriculum and instruction for the Archdiocese of Washington.
Physical education teacher Betsy Cusic served as chair of the nomination committee that selected Morrison.
“Ms. Morrison is a widely exuberant person in general, and she brings that to the classroom. She makes any lesson that she teaches exciting and interesting and all of her students are actively involved,” Cusic said. “Her students leave top notch prepared for second grade.”
Morrison’s parents, Jim and Donna Rahill of Philadelphia, were also in attendance to the surprise of Morrison.
“We’re extremely proud of her,” Jim Rahill said. “She struggled very hard to get where she is, to get her master’s degree.”
Donna Rahill said her daughter has had an interest in education from a very young age.
“This is what she loves doing,” Donna Rahill said.
Morrison, a resident of St. Mary’s County, said she taught in St. Mary’s County Public Schools before coming to St. Mary’s School in 2011 as an art teacher.
“This school is like a family. It’s great, and that they thought so highly of me as to nominate me for this award is an honor. I was really surprised,” she said.
Morrison said she is happy to be teaching in a parochial school like St. Mary’s School.
“We get to talk about God. We get to talk about Jesus,” she said. “We can teach the children about how we should strive to be like Him, and how we should be, and how we should act, and I can’t imagine not being able to reference that on a daily basis. We can live His good news every day.”
Morrison said one of the best aspects of being a first grade teacher is helping to mold young minds and seeing her former students grow and learn during their time at the school.
“I really get to know every Editor Rob Perry 240-561-1622 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Tricia Morrison, a first-grade teacher at St. Mary’s School in Bryantown, was named a 2016 Golden Apple Award recipient by the Archdiocese of Washington.