Seidel to Be Honored at NCEA 2019 Convention & Expo in Chicago
Mendota Heights, Minn., Feb. 11, 2019 — Joseph William Seidel, a teacher at Saint Thomas Academy in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, will receive a 2019 Lead. Learn. Proclaim. Award from the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) for dedication and commitment to excellence in Catholic education.
Seidel is one of 27 winners nationally who were chosen from more than 150,000 teachers and administrators, as well as diocesan leaders and organizations dedicated to the nation's Catholic schools. He will be recognized during the annual NCEA 2019 Convention & Expo that will take place 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.
“Joe has been a strong Catholic role model and spiritual mentor for thousands of boys who have graduated from Saint Thomas Academy, and a confidant and trusted friend to the Academy’s faculty, staff and volunteers,” said Headmaster Matthew C. Mohs ’90. “To him, faith isn’t just going to mass and saying the right things – it’s following Jesus’ example and living out the Gospel. He teaches our students the principles of the Catholic faith in theory and practice, influencing them to become upstanding, moral young men.”
Since 1987, Seidel has been a part of the Saint Thomas Academy community. He works in various roles as a theology instructor, crime and justice instructor, CHOOSE coordinator and senior service project coordinator. In the absence of a full-time chaplain during the 2017-18 school year, Seidel led the Academy’s sacristan and liturgy committee, sustaining the community’s faith life through ongoing mass, reconciliation, confession and eucharist adoration. He also leads the Academy’s hallmark senior service program, which requires seniors to volunteer 50 hours in a year and a concentrated 40 hours in the last two weeks of school. This requires him to work with more than 30 nonprofit and social service agencies to evaluate the organizations’ volunteer opportunities and the types of skills and dispositions needed to be able to effectively pair seniors with appropriate volunteer opportunities to ensure a positive experience for both the students and the organizations. He monitors the boys’ work and hours served and evaluates their required reflective writing on their experiences.
Outside of work, Seidel devotes himself to improving others’ lives through extensive volunteer work in his parish, St. Thomas More Catholic Community in St. Paul, and the community. He has been a part-time water patrol deputy for the Washington County Sheriff’s Department for 12 years. For more than 40 years, he has been a volunteer youth baseball commissioner for the Linwood Recreation Center in St. Paul, giving kids who may not be naturally gifted athletes the opportunity to experience the game and learn team-building skills. He also helps coordinate the annual Joe Finnegan Memorial Golf Tournament, which for 15 years has raised money for students attending Saint Thomas Academy, Visitation School and Cretin-Derham Hall who have lost a parent.
In the spirit of St. Joseph, Seidel serves as the guardian and surrogate father to 16-year-old Isabella.
NCEA’s Convention & Expo is the largest private-education association gathering in the world. The annual convention draws thousands of members and participants from Catholic school communities, including elementary and secondary school teachers and principals, religious education programs as well as diocesan offices, church pastors, superintendents and school board members. The convention is a forum to exchange ideas, hear about current research and data related to Catholic education and learn about new technology and resources.
This year, the NCEA 2019 Convention & Expo will be hosted by the Archdiocese of Chicago, April 23-25 at McCormick Place West.