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Local principal earns outstanding educator award

Wismer poses for photo with colleague

A local principal has been honoured with the J.F. Johnston Outstanding Catholic Educator Award.

Marisa Wismer, principal at Stella Maris Catholic Elementary School in Amherstburg, was honoured at the school recently with news of the award and received it officially as part of a banquet last Wednesday night in Windsor.

The J.F. Johnston Outstanding Catholic Educator Award is awarded annually to one educator “who best exemplifies system leadership while maintaining the vision and mission of the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board (WECDSB).”

All current or past WECDSB principals, vice principals, superintendents of education and the director of education are eligible for the award.

“It was very much a surprise,” said Wismer. “It’s very humbling and very much an honour.”

Nominated by Stella Maris vice principal Cailin Bosnyak, Wismer learned of the award when Bosnyak, board officials and members of her family came to the school for the announcement May 6. The official award presentation last Wednesday was at a banquet at the Doubletree by Hilton.

“It’s an honour to be recognized by my peers and colleagues in the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board,” said Wismer.

Noting she has not won anything of this magnitude previous to this, Wismer added the real award is simply coming to school every day and working with the students, staff and school community.

“I’m rewarded every day I come to work,” she said. “Working with the children, staff and families is the greatest reward anyone could ever receive in this position.”

The criteria for the award is the person’s contributions and commitment to leadership in Catholic education; excellence in the performance of their duties; being influential to students, colleagues and parents; and involvement with the community.

Wismer has been an educator for 27 years, the last 12 of which has been as an administrator. Regarding the latter, stops have included St. William school in Emeryville, H.J. Lassaline in Forest Glade, the now former St. Bernard School in Amherstburg, St. John de Brebeuf Catholic School in Kingsville and Stella Maris.

This is Wismer’s first year as Stella Maris principal and she said “it’s nice to be back in my home community.”

“It’s been amazing,” Wismer said of the feedback of her capturing the award.

Wismer stated that while everyone has been so kind and generous by honouring her, it is a team effort of all staff and families that makes the school what it is.

“I believe we all work so hard,” said Wismer.

Local principal earns outstanding educator award 

By Ron Giofu

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