GRACE’S St. Thomas More Catholic School Named Recipient of Library Grant from The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries

St. Thomas More Catholic School, a part of the Green Bay Area Catholic Education (GRACE) system, was one of 300 schools from 44 states across the country to receive a $5,000 grant through the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries. This year, the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries awarded $1.5 million in library grants. Many of the libraries, including GRACE St. Thomas More Library will use the funds to update their collections. 

“I am thrilled that children from 300 schools will soon have access to an updated library collection,” Mrs. Laura Bush said. “Students across the country turn to books to discover the world around them, and we know that opening a new book opens the door to new opportunities and learning.”

Dr. Jamie Froh Tyrrell, principal of St. Thomas More Catholic School, said, “We are beyond grateful for such a generous gift, and we look forward to growing our library collection.” Dr. Froh Tyrrell continued, “We hope to fill our library’s shelves with a variety of fictional and informational titles that will spark our children’s curiosity and grow their love of reading and learning. Our collection will be enhanced with high quality literature in both Spanish and English that aligns with our Catholic faith and values, and celebrates our bilingual and bicultural school”. 

Mrs. Bush revealed a summer reading list which includes recommendations for young readers through middle schoolers. GRACE Schools publishes reading and literacy lists and tools to enhance engagement for our students through the summer months to counter the summer slide and ensure students are eager and ready for fall learning. Continuing reading practice over the summer months assists student learning and growth in all subject areas, not just ELA. This is why scheduled and consistent summer reading is one of the best ways to set your child up for success in the upcoming grade level.

“The books on this year’s summer reading list were selected to encourage children to keep reading over their summer break,” said Mrs. Bush. “Local libraries are a wonderful resource for our communities, and I hope children and parents will visit their local library to borrow each of the featured titles.”

One of the 2022 Summer Reading List books was written by Giovanna McBride, the daughter of Mrs. Bush’s former chief of Staff, Anita McBride. Gigi at the White House was published by 

The White House Historical Association and follows a young Giovanna as she tours the White House. Inspired by the Laura Bush Foundation, Anita McBride and her husband Tim McBride 

have donated copies of Gigi at the White House! to every elementary school that has received a grant since 2002.

The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries supports school libraries with the greatest needs with the goal of encouraging all students to develop a love of reading and learning. Since its inception in 2002, it has awarded more than $19.5 million to more than 3,300 schools across the country.  

The George W. Bush Institute’s Education and Opportunity work, which houses the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries, is generously supported by The Allstate Foundation. 

George W. Bush Institute

The George W. Bush Institute is a solution-oriented nonpartisan policy organization rooted in compassionate values and committed to creating positive, meaningful, and lasting change at home and abroad. We utilize our unique platform and convening power to advance solutions to national and global issues of the day by influencing policy, not politics. Learn more at bushcenter.org.

About GRACE

GRACE stands for Green Bay Area Catholic Education and is a nine-school system that provides excellence in preschool through high school education and serves 23 Catholic parishes within the Greater Green Bay community. GRACE schools range in offerings and locations, and each has its own distinct history, focus and parish connections. GRACE is among the largest Catholic school systems in the state of Wisconsin. To learn more, visit gracesystem.org

Green Bay Packers Give Back to GRACE: Gold Summer Camp

The Green Bay Packers Give Back award, previously known as the Community Quarterback Award, has been around since the year 2000 and has been helping communities and volunteer efforts ever since. This award is an amazing way that the Green Bay Packers can recognize and support non-profit and tax-exempt organizations in the surrounding Green Bay community. We are thrilled to announce that GRACE: Gold Summer Camp was one of the recipients of the Packers Give Back award for the 2022 camp year!

GRACE and GRACE: Gold Summer Camp are so excited to be partnering with the Green Bay Packers in making 2022’s GRACE: Gold Summer Camp one of the best years yet! In support of the donation, all GRACE: Gold t-shirts will have the Packers Give Back logo on the back of the shirts to show our appreciation and gratitude for the award. The donation will be going towards transportation for off-site summer camp courses and field trips in addition to purchasing course supplies for our cooking, baking, art, and science courses. 

More information about the GRACE: Gold Summer Camp and enrollment details can be found by clicking here.

The Green Bay Packers Give Back award is funded by the Green Bay Packers and the National Football League. 

GRACE Receives Significant Anonymous Donation to “Invest in Teacher Excellence”

GREEN BAY, Wisconsin: Green Bay Area Catholic Education (GRACE) in Green Bay, Wisconsin, has announced a generous donation titled “Invest in Teacher Excellence.” The intention of this gift is unprecedented and was made possible through an anonymous benefactor’s strong belief in Catholic education and the professional development of GRACE teachers. 

The “Invest in Teacher Excellence” program will serve GRACE teachers in two capacities, offering a GRACE Educator Master’s Degree Path Program through St. Norbert College and initiating a Top Teacher Talent Award that will recognize exceptional teachers and provide a stipend to support continued teaching success. 

The GRACE Master’s Degree Path Program, developed through a collaboration with St. Norbert College, gives GRACE teachers the opportunity to apply for one of 19 fully-funded scholarships for a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies at St. Norbert College. The scholarship will cover the cost of tuition, books and fees of the master’s degree. GRACE teachers will apply to the graduate program, and the coursework will be conducted in a cohort model, giving teachers the opportunity to learn together. 

The Top Teacher Talent Award, centered on rewarding and reinforcing exemplary teaching in the GRACE system, will award $1,000 to 20 classroom teachers who demonstrate strong classroom results in the areas of engagement, leadership and instruction through an essay application and portfolio of examples. 

GRACE President Kimberly Desotell said, “We are thrilled to announce this during Teacher Appreciation Week and are completely humbled by the generosity of this benefactor. Their faith in GRACE teachers reinforces our commitment to our educators, giving them the tools needed for continued excellence. This is an innovative and unprecedented opportunity to recognize high-quality teaching and learning in our GRACE schools.” 

“Our mission at St. Norbert College calls us to provide a high-caliber Catholic education for our local and global communities,” said Jennifer Hockenbery, dean of humanities and professor of philosophy at St. Norbert. “That commitment extends beyond our campus to our area K-12 schools. This initiative will help grow Catholic education in our region,” added Hockenbery.  

Eligible GRACE teachers are encouraged to apply by May 23 for these Teacher Excellence Awards through GRACE Human Resources.

Dana Vance Named New Principal at St. John the Baptist School

We are pleased to announce that Dana Vance has been selected as Principal of St. John the Baptist School. She was selected from an extremely talented candidate pool in a competitive process that included input and participation from St. John the Baptist School staff, faculty, families, and GRACE Leadership. Dana will work with the current principal, Mr. Drew Mulloy, to ensure a smooth transition in leadership and will officially start as principal on July 1.

Dana has served as Principal at St. Helen School in Chicago, Illinois for the past two years, and prior to that was Assistant Principal at Sacred Heart School in Winnetka, IL for five years. Before serving in school leadership positions, Ms. Vance was a classroom teacher for 18 years in Catholic schools. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from DePaul University, a Master’s in Administration and Institutional Policy from the University of Chicago, and will complete her Master’s in Educational Leadership from DePaul in June 2022. Dana brings an excellent reputation as a faith-filled leader and skilled instructor to the principalship role. 

When asked what she was most looking forward to when coming to St. John the Baptist School, Ms. Vance said, “I am most excited about continuing the good work that Drew (Mulloy) has started. He has put so many great systems in place and has such high expectations for St. John the Baptist students, I want to keep amplifying this and take it to the next level.” Speaking about her educational vision, Ms. Vance shared, “my philosophy is to impart in our students the confidence to build the behaviors, habits and skills to interact with each other, to act in the community, and to know when to ask for help; I look forward to bringing my experience and building on the practices and faith traditions that have been implemented at St. John the Baptist School.”

“We are delighted to have Dana Vance join our GRACE St. John the Baptist community in this leadership role,” GRACE President Kim Desotell stated. “As a Catholic school educator her entire career, her faith leadership and skills will carry on the rich traditions of faith formation and academic rigor in all we do!”

When she’s not at school, Ms. Vance loves to spend time with her two sons, Cameron and Patrick, her Mastiff-Rottweiler Sam, and her house rabbit Miller. She loves to bake and you can always catch her reading a fantasy/science fiction novel or participating in a book club. A Chicago native, she is thrilled to embrace the friendly Green Bay community and the Wisconsin way of living. 

Please join GRACE in congratulating Ms. Vance upon her selection as the next Principal at St. John the Baptist School.

GRACE Educators Receive Herb Kohl Education Foundation Awards

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Two educators from GRACE (Green Bay Area Catholic Education System) have been selected as 2022 Award Winners by the Herb Kohl Education Foundation committee for the Student Scholarship, Teacher Fellowship, and Principal Leadership program based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Mrs. Crystal Blahnik, Principal of St. Bernard Catholic School in Green Bay was awarded the Principal Leadership Award, which recognizes principals who set high standards for instruction, achievement, and character, and create a climate to best serve their students, families, staff, and community.  Mrs. Tara Wildenberg, second grade teacher at Holy Cross Catholic School in Green Bay, was chosen as a Teacher Fellowship Award recipient, selected for her superior ability to inspire a love of learning in her students, her ability to motivate others, and her leadership and service within and outside the classroom.

These prestigious honors recognize extraordinary leadership demonstrated in the educational setting as well as outstanding academic scholars. In 2022, 100 Wisconsin teachers and 17 Wisconsin principals were recognized, and each winner is given $6,000 individually and $6,000 to their school.

Applauding Mrs. Blahnik and Mrs. Wildenberg, GRACE President Kim Desotell stated “this honor is a rigorous application process and an award that is recognized widely across our entire state of Wisconsin. In our GRACE system, we are most proud to have two winners this year, Mrs. Blahnik and Mrs. Wildenberg! This truly demonstrates the caliber and quality of our GRACE teachers and leaders!”

The Herb Kohl Foundation was established in 1990 by Herb Kohl, Wisconsin philanthropist and businessman. The Foundation has awarded more than $28.3 million to Wisconsin educators, schools, and students.  “Education is the key to the future of Wisconsin and our nation,” Kohl said. “I am very proud of the accomplishments of these educators and look forward to the continued contributions to our GRACE Schools in the future.”

Holy Cross teachers Mrs. Sullivan (first grade) and Mrs. Anderson (kindergarten) are among only 101 teachers statewide to receive 2021 Teacher Fellowship Awards for, as the foundation states, “their superior ability to inspire a love of learning in their students, their ability to motivate others, and their leadership and service within and outside the classroom.”

Honorees are selected by a statewide committee comprised of civic leaders and representatives of education-related associations and the program’s co-sponsors: The Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools, regional Cooperative Educational Service Agencies, the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators, and the Wisconsin Homeschool Parents Association.

The Kohl Foundation Scholarship and Fellowship program was established by Herb Kohl, philanthropist and businessman, in 1990. “Education is the key to the future of Wisconsin and our nation,” Mr. Kohl said. “I am very proud of the accomplishments of these students, teachers and principals and look forward to the great contributions they will make in the future.”

CatholicLink to Host Leadership Conference

CatholicLink, a partnership of the pre-K through college Catholic educational institutions in the Green Bay area (GRACE, Notre Dame Academy, and St. Norbert College), are hosting the second annual Middle School Leadership Conference for 6th and 7th graders attending GRACE schools and Roncalli Middle School.

The conference will be at TitletownTech on Friday, April 1, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students have already applied and have been selected for this free conference.

“The conference is unique because it is designed and delivered by students for students,” said Mary Schaupp, executive director of CatholicLink. “Notre Dame Academy juniors with assistance from GRACE 8th graders and support from St. Norbert College students developed the conference to be an engaging and dynamic opportunity for students to connect, collaborate and grow their leadership understanding and skills, added Schaupp.”

Students will learn about leadership through interactive activities and dynamic sessions and TitletownTech leaders will provide inspiring insights.

For more information on the conference, contact Schaupp at mary.schaupp@snc.edu. For more information on CatholicLink, click here.

Announcing New GRACE Superintendent

Madeline Janssen | GRACE Director of Marketing & Communications

February 8, 2022

GRACE (Green Bay Area Catholic Education) is excited to announce the hiring of Mr. Drew Mulloy as the GRACE Superintendent. 

Mr. Mulloy is a graduate of UW-Green Bay, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and earned his teaching certification. In 2015, he received his masters of science in educational leadership from Cardinal Stritch University. 

He has experience teaching at the elementary and middle school levels as well as extensive experience in leadership and educational management across the GRACE system. Throughout his time with GRACE, Mr. Mulloy has served in additional roles including principal of Our Lady of Grace Virtual Academy and interim principal at Holy Family School. He has led in-depth studies for GRACE on summer school, preschool, and childcare. In 2021, Mr. Mulloy received the Herb Kohl Principal Leadership Award. Additionally, he was recently named a “Future 15” recipient sponsored by the Greater Green Bay Chamber Chapter of Current Young Professionals. He volunteers with St. John the Baptist Parish and is a member of the Board of Education at Notre Dame Academy.

“I am thrilled to invite Mr. Mulloy into this newly-created leadership role of Superintendent as we continue to position for growth and further development of learning and faith throughout our large system of Catholic education. Mr. Mulloy’s deep commitment to our Catholic faith as well as his leadership skills will be integral to this important position.” ~Kimberly Desotell, GRACE President

Mr. Mulloy stated, “I am blessed to have this new opportunity to serve the families through the ministry of Catholic education. I am humbled to be a part of the mission of GRACE, seeking to nurture the spiritual, emotional, and academic health of each child. GRACE is filled with outstanding principals, teachers, and staff. The opportunity to work alongside all GRACE schools is truly a blessing. The capacity and unique charism of each school is unique, giving families choices in their education. I’m excited for the opportunity to work with each of these schools in a new capacity.”

“Under Mr. Mulloy’s leadership, St. John the Baptist School has seen significant growth in enrollment, student achievement, and family engagement,” President Desotell said. “I am confident that through his vision and strong faith, Drew will continue to guide and evolve the GRACE system, benefitting our entire community of students, teachers, faculty, and families.”

Mr. Mulloy will remain principal at St. John the Baptist School through the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year, and will start his new role as GRACE Superintendent on July 1, 2022. 

ABOUT GRACE

GRACE stands for Green Bay Area Catholic Education and is a nine-school system that provides excellence in preschool through tenth-grade education and serves the 23 Catholic parishes within the Greater Green Bay community. GRACE schools range in offerings and locations, and each has its own distinct history, focus and parish connections. GRACE is among the largest Catholic school systems in the state of Wisconsin. To learn more, visit gracesystem.org.

Free and Reduced Meal Forms Available

All GRACE students will receive free meals during the 2021-22 school year (milk must be purchased separately) as the result of a USDA/DPI Federal Funding Grant called Seamless Summer Option (SSO).

But normal program requirements and options remain the same. So if you typically applied for the Free and Reduced Meal Eligibility Program, please continue to do; that information is used for other program benefits such as Pandemic Food Share (P-EBT).

The Free and Reduced Meal Elibility Program forms and additional details are available here: English | Spanish

Paper copies also are available at the GRACE Riverside Office, 1822 Riverside Drive, Green Bay, and at all school offices.

If you have any questions, please contact Wendy Gierczak, GRACE Food Service Administrative Assistant, at (920) 499-7330, ext. 1004.