Sister Catherine Noecker receives a national distinguished principal award

GREENVILLE—Franciscan Sister Catherine Noecker, principal of St. Anthony of Padua School, was named the 2014 Distinguished Principal by the National Catholic Educational Association for her outstanding leadership and commitment to educational excellence.

The principal, who celebrated her 25th anniversary at the school in 2013, was chosen from a pool of more than 5,500 Catholic elementary school principals. She received the award and was recognized during a ceremony at the NCEA annual convention on April 22 in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Sister Catherine’s fellow principals, and her school and parish family at St. Anthony, all have high words of praise for her.

In a 2013 Miscellany article celebrating Sister Catherine’s 25 years, many people spoke about her gentle, loving nature and the genuine warmth with which she approaches everything in life.

Franciscan Father Patrick Tuttle, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church, said there are many parents at the school who believe Sister Catherine is “a saint.”

The students also love her, saying she makes them feel good with words and hugs.

One former student, Bernell King Ingram, said Sister Catherine was always there to guide and foster the spiritual path of every child.

Patti Lanthier, principal of St. Paul the Apostle in Spartanburg, has worked closely with Sister Catherine for 13 years and wrote a letter of recommendation to the selection committee.

“She’s absolutely dedicated to the children of her school and to the mission,” Lanthier told The Miscellany.

“She helps them become the best they can be and know God’s love.”

The annual award honors principals who demonstrate a clear philosophy of Catholic education, inspirational leadership and a commitment to providing each student with an excellent education.

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