Friend of Catholic Education Award

The QCES Foundation created an award to celebrate great people in our community who have supported Catholic education.  The “Friend of Catholic Education Award” was created in 2009 and is presented at the end of Catholic Schools Week at our Awards Dinner. We are truly thankful for all of our support. Our past winners are listed below.

2017: JoAnn Witte

2016: Mac & Margie McClain Family

1962 McClain Family Photo - December 2015

Mac McClain was the first coach at Christian Brothers High School. Margie taught at St. Peter Grade School for 14 years. Their eight children all graduated from St. Peter School, and either Christian Brothers, Notre Dame or Quincy Notre Dame High Schools. Margie and Mac were both veterans of World War II, and their strong belief in Catholic education was a major influence on their family life and their contributions in the community. Mac was part of the group that rallied to keep Christian Brothers open and thriving when the Christian Brothers announced they would be leaving at the end of the 1969-1970 school year. It was a dark time indeed when the Quincy community believed they would have no Catholic secondary education option for their sons.

2015: School Sisters of Notre Dame

Back Row: Sr. Mary Helen Bender, Sr. Marie Celine Schumacher, Sr. Jo Ann Volk, Sr. Mildred Marie Glosemeyer, Sr. Claret Feldhake, Sr. Margaret Mary Schmidt, Sr. Mary Ruth Wand (Sr. Josephus), Sr. Jane Frances Wand (Sr. Rosella), Sr. Ann Geise (Sr. Ann William)
Middle Row Right: Sr. Linda Kremer (Sr. Stephanie Marie) and Sr. Ann Scholz
Front Row: Sr. Jeanette Feldott, Sr. Jackie Sellmeyer (Sr. Ann Maureen), Sr. Roseanne Marie Mock, Sr. Mary Ann Huelsing (Sr. Paul Francis), St. Joan Frey

On November 1, 1859, Mother Caroline Friess, a School Sister of Notre Dame, arrived in Quincy via steamboat. Upon leaving the church the next morning, she was greeted with a guard of honor and the ardent plea of the people, “Give us teachers for our children! Send us Sisters – soon! Soon!” Within a few weeks, a school/convent was ready for the sisters. On December 27, 1859, two sisters and a candidate arrived to teach the 400 students. SSNDs would teach at St. Boniface for the next 119 years.

In 2009, SSND celebrated a special liturgy commemorating their 150 years of ministry in Quincy. During the past 155 years, more than 100 young women from Quincy have entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame and more than 1,040 SSNDs have served as principles and teachers and in a variety of parish ministries and outreach within Quincy.

2014: Sam & Pat Rinella

Sam & Pat RinellaWhile Pat was responsible for spearheading a group of mothers who founded, staffed and operated the newly organized St. Peter School Library in the mid-1960s; and while Sam was responsible for organizing/mobilizing a group of Quincy business leaders to financially support the establishment of Catholic Boys High School, when it was announced Christian Brothers High School would close after the 1969-70 school year, most of what Sam and Pat have done to support Catholic education has been “behind the scenes” and with little fanfare. Before retiring in 1998, Sam and Pat owned and operated The Rinella Company, the local Anheuser-Busch, Inc. distributorship, which their son, Jim, now owns and operates.

Watch the video

2013: Ray Heilmann

Ray HeilmannRay Heilmann was chosen in recognition of his many years of dedicated service to Quincy Notre Dame, and his many years of support for Quincy’s Catholic Elementary Schools.   Before retiring from Quincy Notre Dame in June 2012 after 39 years of service, Heilmann had served as an English teacher and assistant football coach for nine years and as the assistant principal for 13 years.  In 1995, Heilmann was named as the first lay principal in the 128 year history of Quincy Notre Dame High School, a position he held until his retirement in June 2012.


2012: Pam Potter & Dan Sherman

MVKkaYVpjOA-PC2vGtmJWfuny9spXVohSy2LvoiNhjQ tGnazSc7frW9afigDKU9h33xkNfAoKT5gU9V0sYj-eYPam Potter and Dan Sherman were chosen in recognition of their many years of dedicated service to the Parochial Music Organization (PMO).  Before retiring from their positions with the Parochial Music Organization in May 2011, Potter and Sherman, together, provided more than 80 years of dedicated service to the PMO Band Program.

2011: The Tracy Family Foundation

Tracy Family FoundationThe Tracy Family Foundation was chosen for their many contributions in support of Catholic education in Quincy and West Central Illinois.  The Tracy Family Foundation was responsible for underwriting the Long-Range Strategic Planning process in which Quincy’s five Catholic schools, as well as five additional Catholic schools in the Tracy Family Foundation service region, have been engaged in since 2009.  This major initiative in support of Catholic education was facilitated by the Institute of School & Parish Development located in Metairie, Louisiana.

2010: Connie & Rich Niemann

Rich Connie Niemann PhotoConnie & Rich Niemann were chosen for their many anonymous and “behind the scenes” contributions to Quincy’s Catholic schools for more than 50 years.  Connie & Rich also have a long record of service to St. Peter’s School, where all of their eight children attended, and where all of the 24 grandchildren living in Quincy attended as well.

2009: Charles A. “Charlie” Scholz

Charles ScholzCharles A. “Charlie” Scholz was chosen for his many contributions in support of Catholic education in Quincy, including serving as a Co-Founder of the Parochial Music Organization and Life Director and founding member of the Quincy Notre Dame Foundation.