A Catholic education professional is being honored by the archdiocesan high school at which she spent 17 years.
Nancy Kurtz, interim superintendent for secondary schools at the archdiocesan Office for Catholic Education, will receive the Spirit of Ryan Award from Archbishop Ryan High School (ARHS) in Philadelphia at an Oct. 16 breakfast banquet on the school’s campus.
The annual award highlights those who have exemplified the school’s values through their contributions, dedication, leadership or service to ARHS, the wider community, the church or society as a whole.
Recipients include faculty or staff members, business and community leaders, alumni, volunteers and donors.
For almost two decades, Kurtz had attended many Spirit of Ryan Award ceremonies, but never suspected she would one day be called to the podium to receive one.
“I was really, really surprised,” she said, adding that seeing others get the nod of approval always gave her “a great sense of pride” in those “who had made a real impact on the school.”
After almost two decades at ARHS, Kurtz now oversees 15 archdiocesan high schools, representing more than 10,230 students from 261 zip codes among three states.
Kurtz described ARHS as “a community-based school that reaches well beyond its local community,” drawing students “from all over the greater Philadelphia area.”
Catholic education itself is “on an upswing,” she said, especially as many schools throughout the nation struggled to sustain consistency amid COVID-19.
“The value of Catholic education was always there, but the pandemic really highlighted it,” said Kurtz. “We play a role in the community as leaders in educating the students of the five-county area.”
Although reluctant to call attention to herself, Kurtz admitted her family was “very proud” of her for being named a Spirit of Ryan awardee.
On learning the date of the ceremony, however, they did have one concern, she said.
“They asked if the Eagles were playing then,” laughed Kurtz.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103