2023 Nano Nagle Awards Presented at St. Norbert Catholic School

As a complement to the end-of-year awards presented to graduating eighth grade students at their June 1 baccalaureate, two teachers were recognized for the many ways they exemplify the mission of Nano Nagle, foundress of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Receiving the award for grade K-3 is Mrs. Patty McKimmey, a 1980 SNCS graduate and current kindergarten teacher who has been at the school for 24 years. In their nominations, the students shared some of the ways Mrs. McKimmey did something that shows God’s love: teaching me and brightening my brain, reads a book, shows God’s love when she teaches math, teaches us about the stations of the cross, shows God’s love by taking me to Mass, prays with us, shows God’s love by grading papers, and gives hugs to people on their birthday.

Students in grades 4-8 were asked to write about something a teacher did that reminds them of Nano. In her first year at SNCS, Mrs. Madeline Quibodeaux emerged as the best example of Nano in action. Students wrote that Mrs. Quibodeaux reminded them of Nano in the following ways: She said I want everyone to know how awesome you are but not just through your talents but through your faith; she is always ready to be of service to her pupils; she takes time out of her grammar class to educate my class about our faith; she is very close to God and it is visible when she speaks about preparing us for confirmation; she expresses how much she loves us as her students. Nano loved her students very much, and I feel that Mrs. Quibodeaux loved us just as much.

The Nano Nagle Award has been a tradition at the school since 2009. Recipients are determined by a panel of judges who review redacted nominations and report that “it is not an easy task but well worth the effort.” This year’s nominations reflected that every student found Nano’s example in some teacher on campus and every teacher was nominated.

Each recipient received a certificate, check for personal-not classroom use, and a lantern.  By day, Nano defied the English Penal Laws to teach Irish children in secret. At night, Nano trudged through the dark streets of Cork, Ireland, caring for the poor and sick, becoming known as “the lady of the lantern.” Past winners proudly display this lantern in their classrooms.

St. Norbert Catholic School in Orange, California, was founded in 1965 by the Presentation Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Although the sisters taught at the school over four decades, it is now in the capable hands of lay staff and administration led by Mr. Joseph Ciccoianni, principal, who is committed to keeping the spirit of Nano’s charism and legacy of the Presentation Sisters alive for the all SNCS students. Mr. Ciccoianni said, “One of the great privileges of being principal at St. Norbert Catholic School is the opportunity every year to honor the amazing women who dedicated their lives in service as Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary by presenting the Nano Nagle Award to teachers who are keeping the Sisters’ – and Nano’s – legacy alive for our children.”