Wendy Slay, a fourth-grade teacher at St. Mary School in Bryantown will receive the 2019 “Lead. Learn. Proclaim. Award” from the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) for dedication and commitment to excellence in Catholic education.       

Slay was chosen from more than 150,000 teachers and administrators nationwide.  She will be recognized during the annual NCEA 2019 convention April 23 – 25 in Chicago. The annual award honors those whose ministry is Catholic school education and who have demonstrated a strong Catholic educational philosophy as well as exceptional efforts, dedication and achievements.          

“The LLP award is a celebration of all that is good in Catholic schools.  Our awardees are those individuals whose dedication, commitment, enthusiasm and care help to build dynamic communities where students are challenged and inspired to explore, to enjoy and to reach their potential as young people of faith and endless possibilities,” said Dr. Barbara McGraw Edmondson, NCEA chief leadership and program officer.

Slay has been honored for “her dedication to our Lord, which shows itself in her kindness and compassion toward others, (and) is a wonderful example not only for her students, but for her fellow teachers and staff."

Last spring, Slay was one of 10 Archdiocese of Washington Catholic school teachers to be named as a Golden Apple Award winner.

The annual award recognizes a teacher’s professional excellence, leadership, commitment to Catholic values, and devotion to teaching.

Slay has taught fourth grade at St. Mary’s for the past nine years. Prior to that she spent a year there as a tutor and a year as a pre-kindergarten teacher.

At the time she was named a Golden Apple winner, Slay said that after teaching at the Southern Maryland Catholic school, she knows that she would never return to public education.

“I taught in public school prior to coming here – and now I would teach nowhere else,” she said. “Here I can share the love of God, and here you can feel the love of God.”

Slay added that her favorite part of teaching is what she called “the light bulb moment” when “you see what you have been teaching finally connects with a student.”