The Convent & Stuart Hall adult community honored Heather Wells, Modern Language department co-chair, with the second annual Millie Fusco Award for faculty excellence, at a special faculty assembly on Wednesday.
“It was a complete surprise,” Wells said of the recognition.
“The Millie Fusco Award is presented to a faculty or staff member whose work with students inspires aspiration and passion and the award is intended to enrich and renew the professional life of the recipient,” according to the award criteria.
Wells, a fifth-year faculty member, teaches multiple levels of French in which she integrates new methods of reading comprehension and technology, according to Charlotte Cobb, her student of four years.
“She encourages us to take risks especially when it comes to reading and reading comprehension within the classroom which is really the perpetuation of a positive learning environment,” Cobb said. “It increases the students’ confidence in their abilities and their bandwidth for learning.”
Brenda Davis, the CES representative to the Faculty/Staff Development Committee, cites the award as being impressive, and Wells being a highly-respected teacher.
An $2.7 million endowment from the estate of Elvera “Ellie” Fusco, a long-time member of the Sacred Heart community who died in 2014, funds three annual monetary awards to faculty and staff. The gift is the largest endowment to the Schools to date, and supports the salaries and benefits of faculty and staff.
The recipient of the award is determined by the Faculty/Staff Development Committee and President Ann Marie Krejcarek.
“The people who win Fusco awards meet an aspirational standard I hold for the professionals in this school,” Krejcarek said. “The teachers and educators here give up a lot of financial reward they might get in other careers for other rewards here. It’s really nice to be able to call that out and call out their impact.”