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Rita Pratt Nominated for Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award
On May 14, 2015
It was a special day for one of our educators, who has selflessly dedicated years of service to Saint Raphael Academy.
As part of the Academy’s Founder’s Week activities, the Saints community recognized Rita Pratt, Director of Pastoral Services, as our nominee for the Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award. The award, which is given by The Brothers of Christian Schools, District of Eastern North America (DENA), acknowledges Lasallian educators “for their outstanding work and dedication to the charism of Saint La Salle” She is one of about 15 educators across the eastern region to be nominated for the annual award.
Mrs. Pratt was surprised with the news at a Mass on Thursday, where she received a certificate from DENA. She was also recognized by Principal Dan Richard for her 35 years of service as an educator at Saint Raphael Academy.
In 1980, Mrs. Pratt began teaching English and theology, later becoming head of Pastoral Services in 1984. She has been involved with Lasallian Youth group, organized student and faculty retreats (including training student leaders), and has planned the liturgical and prayer celebrations at Saint Raphael.
One of her larger undertakings is adopting families for the holidays, a time when students and staff supply food and gifts for baskets given to those less fortunate. Never one to turn away a request from a family in need, Mrs. Pratt annually organizes this effort for more than 45 families, often relying on her friends, her own parish, family and Saints alumni to help. She conveys the impact of kindness to her students by arranging to have them deliver the baskets to the recipient families.
“Rita takes what might be considered a simple food and gift donation from a single student or faculty member and makes it both personal and a community project, and very Lasallian,” stated Nancy Benoit in her recommendation letter to DENA.
Throughout her career, Mrs. Pratt has been known as a source of comfort for those in the SRA community who have dealt with the passing of relatives and friends over the years, and an example to others of how to be a support to their peers. Additionally, she is an example of the caring that is part of the Saints community, looking out for troubled students and continuing to offer them support as they need it.
“Rita has been responsible for the leadership development and imparting of the Lasallian charism to countless young people over the course of her years at Saints,” said Mr. Richard. “Rita is a wonderful embodiment of the Lasallian mission by her word, witness and invitation.”