Delone Catholic High School has a proud history of outstanding faculty, and this spring, the Diocese of Harrisburg bestowed one of its greatest honors on a current Delone Catholic HS teacher. Ms. Nancy Duffy, English Department Chair and English Teacher, was named a recipient of the 2019 Golden Apple Award. The award, now in its eleventh year, was first presented by the Donahue Family Foundation in 1992 in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Jack and Rhodora Donahue are the parents of 13 children who were all educated in Catholic Schools, and they wanted to honor outstanding individuals who devote their lives to teaching in Catholic schools.
Ms. Duffy is a 14-year veteran of Delone Catholic and teaches ninth and tenth grade English. She comes from a long line of Catholic School English teachers and was initially reluctant to follow in the family‟s footsteps, but felt a restlessness that could only be calmed by giving to others what was given to her.
Catholic education is the only choice, because one piece at a time, one encounter at a time, it completes a picture of what is good, right and true; it is an act of love,” explained Ms. Duffy.
Ms. Duffy credits much of her inspiration and passion for teaching to her father and aunt who challenged her to make the intangibility of faith tangible for her students. She does this by stopping into the school‟s chapel daily and offering a quick „thank you‟ prayer for the day as well as to ask for the guidance to be an effective teacher for the students placed in front of her that day. She often integrates Scripture readings and Gospel teachings into lessons on figurative language, similes and allusions.
Whether she is inside or outside the classroom, Nancy Duffy can always be seen supporting her students with insightful clarifications of content or providing a soft invitation to be confident,” said Principal Richard La Rocca. “Her classroom is consciously crafted to be a positive learning environment where all are made to feel at home, challenged to develop their talents and provided with the necessary tools for success at both the academic and social-emotional levels.
Ms. Duffy recalls a statement that was tweeted by Pope Francis on March 1, 2014, “Education is an act of love: it is like giving life.” She most certainly echoes this teaching in her classroom.
It warms my heart to be able to pass along the faith in such a concrete, life-giving way and to perhaps be a small piece in my students‟ life puzzle,” said Duffy.
Ms. Duffy will be honored with other Golden Apple Award winners at a banquet in May at the Cardinal Keeler Center in Harrisburg, Pa. In addition to a Golden Apple with a 24-carat gold cross, she receives a $5,000 cash award, a certificate of achievement and a Golden Apple lapel pin.