Please join us to honor our Catholic school teachers

According to the WGBH Curiosity Desk, the value of school vacations has been a matter of debate in Massachusetts since at least 1907. And while it is common lore that the February school vacation week was established in the 1970s due to the energy crisis, an article from The Boston Globe from 1916 references the February break, demonstrating that school vacations have long been a topic of interest in the Bay State.

Legitimate arguments exist on both sides of the debate concerning school vacations, but during this extraordinary year, there is no doubt that the February vacation was a crucial respite for teachers, especially Catholic school teachers. Teachers in Catholic schools did not have a significant summer break as they prepared for the next school year during the pandemic; since the fall, most Catholic school teachers have been teaching live and in-person or, at the very least, teaching remotely five full days a week on regular schedules since the start of the year. Teachers are putting students first, adapting to new schedules and technology, and making sure that every student is able to thrive during these challenging days.

Much has been made about Catholic schools responding to the COVID crisis, and this is appropriate and justly deserved recognition. Catholic schools are animated by the extraordinary teachers who see each student as made in the image and likeness of God and deserving of the opportunity to develop one's intellect, skills, and talents through a high-quality, Gospel-based Catholic education. The news stories about how Catholic schools responded to the pandemic are due to the teachers. It is their generous spirit, commitment to the mission of Catholic education and dedication to their students that make this story possible.

Catholic school teachers in the Archdiocese of Boston have faced a daunting challenge over the last year, but they stand firm in their commitment to the students and families they serve. This is most impactful in communities serving at-risk students and families. The generous response of teachers, along with the financial support of donors to the Catholic Schools Foundation, provide a source of support and sense of hope during this trying time for struggling students and families. It has been a privilege to play a small part in the amazing work done by these teachers and schools.

In recognition of the extraordinary example of service and commitment to Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Boston, the Catholic Schools Foundation is recognizing the teachers of the archdiocese with the 2021 Carolyn and Peter Lynch Award. This award will be presented at the 31st Annual Inner-City Scholarship Fund (ICSF) event on April 15, 2021.

The Carolyn and Peter Lynch Award recognizes those who make a substantial difference to the lives of young people through Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Boston. Catholic schools thrive and continue to serve over 34,000 students because of the dedicated women and men who show up each day as educators and give of themselves. The success of the Catholic Schools during this last year is their success, and we are proud to recognize their efforts.

Registration for this event is open via the Catholic Schools Foundation website (, and we hope many will join us in honoring our teachers' example of hard work and dedication. Immediately following the event, tune-in for an episode of WCVB Channel 5's Chronicle, highlighting the impact of Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Boston. Catholic education has never been more important, and we are proud to honor those teachers who make it possible.

I hope you can join us on April 15 to celebrate these amazing teachers and the impact they have on our Church and our community.

- Michael B. Reardon is executive director of the Catholic Schools Foundation,