This week is Catholic Education Week and the Prince Albert Catholic School Division chose Nicole Banadyga as one of three winners of the Catholic Education Service Awards for the 2021-2022 school year.
Banadyga is a middle years teacher at École Holy Cross. She was surprised to join Laura and Clint Rissling as a recipient.
“You do these things around the school and in the school community, but (you’re) never expecting awards to do your job and what you are called to do,” Banadyga said. “I was very surprised.”
The school division credited Banadyga for having a deep faith that she is willing to share with all who know her.
Banadyga said her faith is something that’s very important to her, and she enjoys being able to share it with staff and students are her school, plus the people of her parish.
“It is just something that I feel that I am called to do to share my faith and the love of God and Jesus with everybody,” she explained.
Banadyga is a strong advocate for Catholic education who has served on many committees, including the Diocesan Discernment House Establishment Committee. She and her family are active parishioners at the 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 of behind the scenes kind of things,” she said. “It's just nice that people recognize and see that I am working really hard to be able to share our faith and to show the importance of Catholic education to the community as a whole. It's much appreciated that was something that somebody recognized and felt they wanted to bring attention to.”
Banadyga said that it is always an honour for her to journey with people in their faith.
“I grow in my own faith and I am teaching others about their faith and helping them understand what we believe and why we believe it,” she said. “It is just really nice that this week is Catholic Education Week (and) that we are able to get those stories out to show people what Catholic schools are all about.”
The Prince Albert Catholic School Division established the Catholic Education Service award in 1998 to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to Catholic education.
Along with 3,000 students from Prekindergarten to Grade 12 and 350 staff, the Board of Education highlighted the efforts of staff who make significant contributions and positively impact students, staff and the Catholic educational community.
Members of the Discipleship Committee, board Trustees Andrea Ring and Maurice Chalifour and the entire Board of Education said they were delighted with and grateful for the efforts of the award-winners.
"We are forever grateful for the commitment and dedication that these very special people in our community,” the committee said in a media release. “They have served our Catholic educational community well, and our Board of Education is proud to honour these recipients this year. May God bless them all."
Presentations will occur following Sunday mass on May 29 in the parishes of the honourees.
Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald