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An effective Catholic leader

On Monday, October 1, Lorraine Ozar, PhD, associate professor and director of Loyola’s Center for Catholic School Effectiveness (CCSE), was recognized at the Seton Awards ceremony in Washington, DC. Ozar, who was among six individuals to receive the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award from the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) this year, received the organization’s President’s Award for her vision and leadership in the development of effective Catholic school curricula and instruction.

The Seton Award is the NCEA’s highest honor and it is given in recognition of significant contributions to Catholic education. Ozar is a true pioneer in Catholic education and is being recognized for a lifetime of hard work and contributions to this field.

“It’s a once in a lifetime achievement award, and I am very honored to be receiving it,” says Ozar. “Throughout my career, I have been privileged to be able to do work that really matters to support Catholic schools and provide leadership, insight, and affirmation. It is very special to have that recognized.”

Lorraine A. Ozar, Ph.D., is a graduate of Marygrove College and Fordham University. She worked for many years involved in the Catholic school system, teaching and administrating until she accepted a faculty position in the School of Education at Loyola University Chicago in 2003. She is the founding director of the Center for Catholic School Effectiveness, a center that has “sparked the growth and creation of similar centers around the nation,” Ozar describes.

Dr. Ozar has written and presented extensively in the areas of curriculum, instruction, assessment, leadership and religious education outcomes, but more specifically, outcome based learning focused curriculum. Her legacy is large, due to the fact that she co-authored a book published in 1994, Creating a Curriculum That Works: A Guide to Outcomes-Centered Curriculum Decision-Making which became one of the best selling books among NCEA publications.

“More recently I have helped lead a national effort to create national standards and benchmarks for Catholic elementary and secondary schools,” explains Ozar. “I am engaging with the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) to implement the standards, and I am working with other Catholic colleges to really see how higher education can support these schools.”

Ozar is the head of the CCSE and chair of the national Catholic School Standards Task Force, and she has been working in collaboration with the NCEA to unveil the “National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools” which outlines essential characteristics and benchmarks for Catholic schools.

“By developing the Center for Catholic School Effectiveness, it has sparked growth and creation of similar centers across the nation. The vision and purpose of our centers is to connect with Catholic principals and elementary schools educators at all levels to help improve their schools and increase learning for the whole person formed in faith,” Ozar says. “When Catholic universities support Catholic schools, it serves as catalyst and additional work in other areas can be achieved.”

She stresses that her achievements would not have been possible without the support and help from many of her fellow staff members and educators.

When describing her work with CCSE in implementing the national standards and benchmarks for Catholic schools, she says, “I am proud of fact that it was a collaborative effort and feel lucky to be a driving force behind it. My ability to execute this plan owes a lot to the support I received from Father Garranzini and Dr. David Prasse; they were tremendous.”

The President’s Award is just one of many that Ozar has received throughout her career. Other awards include, the NCEA C. Albert Koob Merit Award, the NCEA Secondary Department Award, the University of San Francisco Institute for Catholic Educational Leadership Award, the Marygrove College Distinguished Alumna Award, and the F. Sadlier Dinger Award.

“To be recognized among the group of Seton awardees is truly an honor, and to be in the company of many others who have also contributed much to Catholic education is something very special,” she says.

The Seton Awards ceremony was held Monday, October 1 at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

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