NCEA President's Awards

The President’s Awards are presented in the names of past NCEA presidents to individuals and organizations who model the characteristics that advance the mission of Catholic school education and display the significant virtues of faith, support, leadership and development that impact Catholic school education in the United States.

The deadline for the 2022-2023 school year nominations has passed. Recipients will be honored at NCEA 2023 in Dallas/Irving, April 10, 2023.


School administrators (principals, presidents, and heads of school), pastors, teachers, diocesan leaders, organizations and supporters of Catholic education may be nominated for these awards. Self-nomination is not permitted and nominators can only nominate one person for one award. Students and parents may nominate an individual. Nominator may not be related or in a relationship with the nominee.

C. Albert Koob Merit Award

This award is given to an individual or organization that has made a significant contribution to Catholic education at any level – early childhood, elementary, secondary, higher education – or in any educational setting, in one or more of these areas: teaching, administration, parish religious education, research, publication or educational leadership.  The awardee’s service and contribution should be recognized as having current significance at the national level.

Msgr. John F. Meyers Award

This award is presented to an individual who has provided substantial support for Catholic education through contributions in the areas of development, public relations, scholarship programs, financial management, or government relations.

Catherine T. McNamee, CSJ Award

This award is presented to an individual or institution that offers exceptional leadership in promoting a vision of Catholic education that welcomes and serves cultural and economic diversity or serves students with diverse needs.

Leonard F. DeFiore Parental Choice Advocate Award

This award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting full and fair parental choice in education.

Dr. Karen M. Ristau Innovations Award

This award is presented annually to an individual, school or program that has furthered the mission of Catholic education through an innovative program or approach.

Meet the 2022 President's Award Winners

C. Albert Koob Merit Award
For 75 years, The Order of the Most Holy Trinity and of the Captives (the Trinitarians) has operated DeMatha Catholic High School in the Archdiocese of Washington. A Trinitarian education grows from the charism of the order and emphasizes: 1) relationships; 2) the wise use of freedom; 3) a commitment to Gospel justice; and 4) an attitude of humility.

Since its founding, the school has been committed to its socioeconomic diversity and the opportunities it affords students and families in academics, the arts and athletics. The college preparatory curriculum includes extensive honors and advanced placement classes. Known nationwide for its music and athletic programs, the school also provides extensive Christian service opportunities locally, nationally and internationally.

As the Trinitarians are not traditionally a “teaching” order, the priests have, from the beginning worked in partnership with committed lay people to render the mission incarnate. The robust service program includes local service projects addressing homelessness, poverty and work with the physically challenged. Service programs also include opportunities to study and remediate rural poverty through a partnership with Nazareth Farm in West Virginia and to work on international issues related to immigration and housing through Esperanza International. 

Msgr. John F. Meyers Award
Greg Rando is the president of Brother Martin High School in the Archdiocese of New Orleans and has spent more than 35 years as a teacher and administrator while educating young men for life. Prior to serving as president, he was principal from 2006 to 2017. An alumnus himself--the first ever to lead the school as president — Mr. Rando has made it his personal goal to increase scholarship endowments and planned giving so that the Brother Martin education can be affordable to all families through generous financial need and academic merit scholarship programs.

Since his appointment, Mr. Rando has led the restructuring of the curriculum and extracurricular programs to help to form young men to be leaders in the community as students and alumni. He has placed a strong emphasis on the formation of the faculty and staff in the traditions and spirit of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, while maintaining the charism of our founder, Father Andre Coindre. 

In addition, he was instrumental in helping to oversee a capital campaign improving the school's facilities for increasing enrollment while meeting the needs of a changing world and is currently leading the school through a strategic planning process that will design improvements and secure financial stability for the future. 

Catherine T. McNamee, CSJ Award
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School (SEAS) in Palm Coast, FL, Diocese of St. Augustine is a nurturing school community which offers academic excellence coupled with faith formation to help students develop spiritually, intellectually and emotionally. Founded in 1997, SEAS recently partnered with its parish and St. John the Baptist Church in Crescent City, FL to participate in the Rural Educational Initiative.

As part of the initiative, SEAS welcomes students of migrant workers whose parents deeply desire a Catholic education for their children.  The school provides free bus transportation, uniforms and tuition for participants with 24 students in the first cohort. Students also benefit from a resource teacher who provides extra educational and English language support.  SEAS is currently evaluating how to expand the program and provide additional summer support and is committed to promoting a vision of Catholic education that welcomes and serves cultural and economic diversity. 

Leonard F. DeFiore Parental Choice Advocate Award
Sister Rosemarie Nassif, SSND, Ph.D., a School Sister of Notre Dame, is the executive director of the Center for Catholic Education at the School of Education, Loyola Marymount University, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and the awardee of the Leonard F. DeFiore Parental Choice Advocate Award. She previously worked at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, serving as program director for the Catholic Sisters and Catholic Schools priority areas from 2012 to 2017, was president of two universities, Notre Dame of Maryland in Baltimore and Holy Names University in Oakland, and president of the Fund for Educational Excellence.

Sister Rosemarie is a consistent, vocal advocate in support of parental choice programs. While at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, she devised a new funding strategy geared at providing grant support to the Alliance for School Choice at the University of Notre Dame, the American Federation for Children Growth Fund, and the Alabama Opportunity Scholarship Fund. She led the granting of $90 million to Catholic Sisters in 23 countries and $25 million to Catholic schools in the U.S. 

As the executive director of the Center for Catholic Education, Sister Rosemarie currently serves on the board of directors for the American Federation for Children Growth Fund where she continues to expand parental choice models in states where funds are available and bringing parental choice to states where it does not exist. 

Dr. Karen M. Ristau Innovations Award
Steve Hamersky is the STEM teacher and Robotics coach at Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School in the Archdiocese of Omaha. In his 46 years at the school, Mr. Hamersky has taught mathematics, science, engineering, technology and computer science. He has moderated several co-curricular teams and led the Robotics team to finishes in the top 16 alliances at the world championship. The team is headed to the VEX Robotics World Championship this May in Dallas. When alumni visit the school, Mr. Hamersky is the first teacher many want to see.

He was instrumental in inaugurating Gross Catholic's STREAM Cup Challenge wherein regional Catholic high schools compete against each other in a series of six, seven-day virtual challenges. Leading regional and national businesses are looking for young people with an informed moral compass to help innovate in and for their companies. Each challenge week, these companies supply real and pressing industry problems with one of the problems focusing on Social Justice.

Mr. Hamersky is very active in the local education community to increase student interest in STEM education. He consults with the University of Nebraska on the use of robots in 7-12 classrooms and how to use body movement as a STEM motivator. He has consulted with the AIM Institute to raise awareness and interest among high school aged students in computer programming through the development of smart phone applications.


Past President's Award Winners

View Past President's Award Winners