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Holy Cross teacher receives 2008 Excellence in Teaching award

Catholic diocese superintendent Franciscan Sister of St. Joseph M. Andrea Ciszewski congratulates Holy Cross School teacher Phyllis Lund on the receipt of a Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award. Reminder Publications photo by Debbie Gardner
By Debbie Gardner

PRIME Editor

SPRINGFIELD For the second year in a row, a teacher at Holy Cross School has been selected to receive a Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award.

Phyllis Lund, a seventh and eighth grade language arts teacher, is one of six Catholic diocese teachers and 138 public and private school teachers from throughout the Pioneer Valley to be recognized with this honor in 2008.

Lund will join her fellow teachers at an awards banquet at the Log Cabin in Holyoke in May. She will receive a $500 check for personal use and a $100 grant to use in her classroom as part of the award.

Diocesan superintendent, Franciscan Sister of St. Joseph M. Andrea Ciszewski, assistant diocesan superintendents Gail Furman and Dr. Bonnie Moriarty, Holy Cross pastor Fr. Victor Carrier, school principal Claire Cote and Lund's husband, Joel, surprised her with the award on Feb. 26.

"The students are the ones . they inspire me to come back every day," Lund said as Cizewski presented her with the award.

Though Lund has only been with Holy Cross School for two years, Cote said she felt this dedicated teacher was worthy of a nomination for the award.

"She's an excellent teacher who goes above and beyond," Cote told Reminder Publications. "She makes class interesting and alive. The kids love literature and reading because of her."

Cote said Lund is the fourth teacher from Holy Cross School to have been recognized with a Pioneer Valley Teacher of Excellence Award in recent years.

"They just shine," she said of the four recipients.

Presented annually, the Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Awards were both founded and funded by local philanthropist Harold Grinspoon five years ago. Today the awards are underwritten by several local sponsors including the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation and MassMutual Financial Group. Teachers are nominated by the principals of their schools.