Maggie Arabia named December St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Outstanding Educator

By Megan Erbacher

The Message editor

Superintendent of Catholic Schools Michelle Priar, left, presents Holy Rosary School teacher Maggie Arabia with a certificate and a small gift. The Message photos by Megan Erbacher

Maggie Arabia, a teacher at Holy Rosary School in Evansville, was named the December St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Outstanding Educator by the Diocesan Catholic Schools Office.

On Dec. 13, Arabia was surprised by Diocesan Superintendent Michelle Priar, Associate Superintendent of Catholic Schools Kari Ford and School Support Administrator Lynde Anquillare, to present her with a certificate and a small gift. 

Arabia is the fourth diocesan educator to receive the award since its inception earlier this year. 

To recognize teachers, the Diocese of Evansville Catholic Schools Office implemented the monthly teacher recognition initiative named the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Outstanding Educator Award. Each month, deserving teachers are nominated by their fellow colleagues, and a committee selects one winner. Members of the Catholic Schools Office then make a surprise visit to the teacher’s classroom. All teachers in the diocese are eligible to receive the award.

Arabia is in her 26th year of teaching for the diocese. She currently teaches science for grades 6-8 at Holy Rosary.

Her nominator stated, “Maggie Arabia is a STAR teacher in all areas of her responsibility and beyond. Maggie took on (teaching) science two years ago, and she goes above and beyond to provide active learning opportunities for her students.”

The nominator explained Arabia’s students in seventh grade build roller coasters and wrecking balls to study energy and inertia, while her students in eighth grade create biodegradable plastic, and that’s is just a few of the “amazing instruction and opportunities she provides.”

Her nominator continued, “She takes every lesson beyond typical expectations for the teacher and draws students into the content in meaningful engaged ways. Maggie steps up and volunteers for new initiatives, works with new teachers and encourages others, including her students, parents, peers.”

The Catholic Schools Office expressed gratitude to her, “We are so grateful for all the hard work and love Maggie puts into our Catholic Schools!”

The idea for the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Outstanding Educator Award came from feedback the Catholic Schools Office gathered from principals. The first American-born saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton was instrumental in forming the first Catholic schools in the United States. In late September, after the first recipient was named, Priar explained the award is a great way to recognize and celebrate more teachers more often.