Sister Kathleen Lannak, I.H.M., principal of St. John the Evangelist School in Silver Spring, has been named the Archdiocese of Washington’s Distinguished Principal of the Year for her superior spiritual leadership and strong commitment to academic excellence.
The annual award is presented to a principal who demonstrates accomplishment in six categories: balancing management and leadership roles, setting high expectations and standards, stressing content and instruction that ensures student achievement, creating a culture of professional development for teachers, using multiple tools to apply and assess instructional improvements and actively engaging the school community.
Sister Lannak was surprised with the announcement of this award by her students, staff and members of the Archdiocese of Washington’s Catholic Schools Office. Under her leadership, St. John the Evangelist School was one of only 50 private schools recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School in 2013.
Deacon Bert L’Homme, superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Washington, said, “Sister Kathleen Lanak is the best of the best among Catholic school principals in the Archdiocese of Washington. She exemplifies what it means to be an inspired spiritual leader as well as an exemplary instructional leader. During her tenure, students at St. John the Evangelist Catholic School have thrived academically and have grown in their faith. It is truly an honor to recognize Sister Kathleen as the 2014 Archdiocese of Washington Distinguished Principal of the Year.”
Sister Lannak is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the order that has staffed St. John the Evangelist School since it opened its doors in 1950. She has been the school's principal since 1980.
“Sister Kathleen is a model Catholic school principal demonstrating the message of Christ in her leadership every day. She loves the students and faculty and St. John the Evangelist, and they love her. Principals across the archdiocese have such an admiration for her as a leader. It is wonderful to celebrate the many accomplishments of Sister Kathleen and St. John the Evangelist with the broader community,” said Kelly Branaman, associate superintendent for Schools for the Archdiocese of Washington. “Sister Kathleen will now represent the Archdiocese of Washington in the fall as the National Catholic Educational Association will select 12 regional finalists. We know Sister Kathleen will be an excellent representative of the Archdiocese of Washington as she is considered for this national honor.”