Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Wednesday, February 10, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : Parish/School Life : Parish and School News
1/22/2014 3:27:00 PM
Teacher lauded by national organization
Catholic Sentinel photo by Ed Langlois
James Laverdure, a second grader at Holy Cross School, enjoys a birthday moment with his teacher, Suzanne DeVaney-Wilkes.
Catholic Sentinel photo by Ed Langlois
James Laverdure, a second grader at Holy Cross School, enjoys a birthday moment with his teacher, Suzanne DeVaney-Wilkes.
Ed Langlois
Of the Catholic Sentinel

The National Catholic Education Association has confirmed what everyone at Holy Cross School in North Portland has known for decades — Suzanne DeVaney-Wilkes is one of the best teachers in the country.

The serene DeVaney-Wilkes, who has taught at Holy Cross and nearby Assumption for 34 years, was named Northwest region winner of this year's Distinguished Teacher Award from the NCEA.

"Your hard work and dedication to your students and Holy Cross is affirmed and we could not be happier about your selection," says a note to DeVaney-Wilkes from Kathy Mears, executive director for elementary education at the NCEA.

DeVaney-Wilkes will receive the award April 22 at the NCEA convention in Pittsburgh.
Rejoicing has come from several generations of Busy Bees — the coveted designation her second graders can earn by being respectful and staying on task, or lose by goofing off or being mean. "I think I learned how to live a good life in second grade," says Matt Jones, an Assumption graduate and Busy Bee who now has his own family in Chicago.  

Placid but nobody's fool, DeVaney-Wilkes keeps a orderly classroom, with nooks for reading and display space for lots of student work. Second graders get opportunities for leadership — monitoring milk delivery, choosing books the whole class will read, tutoring peers. The air always smells good. Past students walk in, take a deep breath, and tender memories of second grade come rushing back.

At Holy Cross Church on many weekends, a second grader or former student or two will slide into the pew next to DeVaney-Wilkes for a hug and a smile. Past students often invite her to birthday bashes, first Communion parties, plays and graduations. Some ask her to be their confirmation sponsor.

She spends weekends each winter and spring in conjunction with parish staff preparing children for the sacraments of reconciliation and first Communion. A mother of two grown children, she is a eucharistic minister and leads second graders in many after-hours service projects, including making table decorations for senior luncheons at the parish.
"Suzanne instills respect and love of learning with all her students," says Julie Johnson, principal at Holy Cross and the mother of twins who attend the school. "She has a quiet demeanor and students love to respond to her high expectations.  She is clear and direct with her students and communicates with them in a very respectful and loving manner."
DeVaney-Wilkes is "faithful, humble, patient, respectful, compassionate and honest," says Nancy Jordan, teacher and librarian at Holy Cross.

"She creates a warm, welcoming learning environment in her classroom to make Jesus the core of all her lessons," Jordan explains.

DeVaney-Wilkes' second graders put it pithily, raising hands and rapidly stating their convictions: "The coolest teacher in the world." "She's awesome. Fun and funny." "She means a lot to me." "She helped me read." "She teaches really well."

DeVaney-Wilkes is humbled by it all. She says the vocation of teaching in a Catholic school just calls on teachers to educate the whole child — academically, developmentally, socially and spiritually.

"I have found it's the little things that can make a big difference," she points out. Observing DeVaney-Wilkes with children for a day reveals a lot of small things done lovingly — a kind word, a quick prayer together, hugs, joy at learning something new, a good laugh and maybe a good cry.

"I hope that the children in my care feel God's love each day, and that they will share that love with others," DeVaney-Wilkes says.  

She graduated from Portland State University in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. Her first job was at Assumption teaching second grade. When the school closed in 1986, she moved to Holy Cross and has stayed ever since.

DeVaney-Wilkes is an active member of Holy Cross' Faith Committee, making sure the school excels in its Catholic identity.

DeVaney-Wilkes says among her most rewarding experiences is watching former second graders become teachers. So far, two made a point of asking her to be their mentor during student teaching. One of her protégés, 1990 Holy Cross graduate Anne Storm, herself received the NCEA honor in 2010. Storm taught for 13 years at St. Luke in Woodburn, but is now at Holy Cross teaching kindergarten down the hall from her hero.

Holy Names Sister Mary Ryan, development director at Holy Cross, hired DeVaney-Wilkes in 1979 and has worked close by ever since.

"I have said many times that when a visitor walks into our second grade classroom, one does not have to explain what is going on, as it is evident that learning is happening in each corner," Sister Mary says. "Every parent would love to experience her presence with their precious children."

Holy Cross now has three NCEA-awarded people on board: Father Mark Bachmeier, the pastor, was recognized as the priest most supportive of Catholic education for 2010.  





Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
 
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search










Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved