Named for Loyola University Chicago’s primary founder, Arnold J. Damen, S.J., the Damen Award is granted to an alumnus(a) from each of Loyola’s schools and colleges. It recognizes the qualities of leadership in industry, leadership in the community, and service to others.
Currently the principal of St. Francis Xavier School, the only Jesuit Catholic PS-8 school in Phoenix, Kim Cavnar has devoted her life to teaching and leadership in education. Before pursuing graduate studies at Loyola’s Institute of Pastoral Studies, Ms. Cavnar earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Loyola. Upon graduation, she served as the University’s associate director of campus ministry and also taught part time from 1977 to 1980 in the Department of Communication Arts. In addition, she has taught religious studies and served in campus ministry at Nazareth Academy in LaGrange, St. Louise de Marillac High School in Northfield, and St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago. She taught and served in leadership roles at the Academy of Our Lady of Peace in San Diego, Brophy Jesuit College Preparatory in Phoenix, and Loyola High School of Los Angeles. Ms. Cavnar earned a second master’s degree in educational leadership from Arizona State University.
Mary Novak, a friend and former colleague of Kim, says, “Kim simply and directly defines Ignatian ideology.” She continues, “I was lucky enough to know Kim when she was the Assistant Principal in charge of Ministry at Brophy College Preparatory. I was working in counseling and became involved with the Office of Peace and Justice, through retreats and serving on committees involving student activism and peer formation. Her office was the hub. Students with a range of differences found solace and solidarity in that space because of Kim’s unique ability to engage even the most apprehensive students. She is inherently kind, and compassionate, traits driven by her genuine effort to create a society steeped in justice and inclusiveness.”
“Kim Cavnar embodies all that is good in this Jesuit community. In short, she makes people better, instilling in us in the responsibility to see the wrong in our society and commit to advocate for those most marginalized through prayer and action. I am so grateful to have had Kim who has mentored and nurtured my spirituality in a life-changing way. In the words of Pope Francis, “We must restore hope to young people, help the old, be open to the future, and spread love. Be poor among the poor. We need to include the excluded and preach peace.”
Kim embodies all of the above. Her commitment to Jesuit Education is not her job. It is her life, and those fortunate enough to have been touched by her guidance, are truly blessed.”
IPS is proud to honor Kimberly Cavnar with the Damen Award.
To learn more about IPS, go to https://www.luc.edu/ips/. For those interested in applying to IPS, go to https://gpem.luc.edu/apply/.