Ursuline Sister Laurita Spalding was named 2014 Educator of the Year for the Diocese of Owensboro on Aug. 1, the same day several Ursulines were honored for their service to Catholic schools.
Sister Laurita teaches second grade at Holy Name Catholic School in Henderson, Ky., where she has taught since 2000. She has been teaching in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Owensboro for 46 years, and is celebrating her 50th year as an Ursuline Sister this year.
These were some of the statements that accompanied Sister Laurita’s nomination, said Jim Mattingly, superintendent of the Catholic Schools:
- This teacher is an exemplary role model.
- The parents want their sons and daughters to be in this teacher’s classroom because of the example she sets for students.
- There are many ministries at this teacher’s parish. This teacher has been actively involved in most all of them at one time or another.
- From being a religious education instructor for public school students, to being a lector and Eucharistic Minister at Mass, this teacher has done it all and with dedication.
- This teacher is also known for the example provided to other teachers and support staff and for outstanding rapport with colleagues.
Sister Laurita is a native of Springfield, Ky., but has spent all her time in education in the Diocese of Owensboro. She previously taught at St. Peter of Alcantara School, Stanley (1968-72), St. Paul School, Princeton (1972-73), Precious Blood School, Owensboro (1973-78, 1983-89), Immaculate Conception School, Hawesville (1978-83) and Bishop Francis Cotton School, Owensboro (1989-2000).
Sister Laurita’s classmate with the Ursuline Sisters, Sister Mary Timothy Bland, was named the diocese’s Educator of the Year in 2012. She teaches at the Owensboro Catholic K-3 Campus.
Also during the awards ceremony, all of the Ursuline Sisters currently serving the Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Owensboro were recognized. They include Sister Mary Celine Weidenbenner (Mary Carrico Memorial School, Knottsville), Sister Suzanne Sims (St. Mary of the Woods School, Whitesville), Sister Anne Michelle Mudd (St. Paul School, Leitchfield), Postulant Stephany Nelson (St. Joseph School, Bowling Green), Sister Laurita and Sister Mary Timothy. Sister Joseph Angela Boone, who recently retired from the diocese, introduced the sisters.