Rev. Ronald Nuzzi, Ph.D., senior director of ACE's Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program, has received the C. Albert Koob, OPraem, Merit Award, with which the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) honors an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to Catholic education in the United States.
The NCEA presented the 2013 Koob Award to Father Nuzzi during the group’s annual convention, attended by 8,000 Catholic educators April 2-4 in Houston.
“I am honored and humbled by this gracious award from my good friends and colleagues at the NCEA,” said Father Nuzzi in a statement. “I am especially grateful for the many faith-filled colleagues with whom I share this important ministry, here at Notre Dame and across the country.”
Father Nuzzi made reference to his work in the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE), where he has served since 2002 as the founding director of the formation initiative preparing the next generation of principals and other leaders for Catholic schools. The Remick Leadership Program has become the largest program of its kind in the country.
"It is a blessing beyond measure for me to contribute to the success, perseverance, and development of Catholic school leaders in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Ireland,” Father Nuzzi said. “There is much work to be done, a new generation to reach, a new evangelization to proclaim. I hope that all of our efforts—those led by Notre Dame, ACE, the NCEA, and other Catholic institutions—may continue to bring life to Catholic schools and especially to those teachers and leaders who are so dedicated to the future and to our children.”
Later this year, Father Nuzzi will lead a new ACE initiative assisting Catholic schools as they assess and renew their Catholic identity in the spirit of the New Evangelization. ACE will seek a new director for the Remick Leadership Program, in which Father Nuzzi will continue as a faculty member.
As Father Nuzzi commented in a video posted April 2 by the NCEA, his perspectives on Catholic education have been shaped by his own service in parish and diocesan schools and at Notre Dame, as well as scholarly work at Saint Louis University and the University of Dayton.
He cited the inspiration he draws from the Catholic school teachers and leaders being formed in ACE—their “great commitment to the faith, a serious commitment to Catholic education, a quest and hunger for social justice.” Their energy, he said, gives him “great hope for the future.”
Father Nuzzi, a priest of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, has a distinguished academic background. He has authored or edited a number of books, including two published in recent months: Striving for Balance, Steadfast in Faith: The Notre Dame Study of U.S. Catholic Elementary School Principals and Building Assets: The Strategic Use of Closed Catholic Schools. Both were co-authored by ACE faculty members Dr. Jim Frabutt and Dr. Anthony Holter. The same team produced No Greater Work: Meditations on Church Documents for Educators in 2010 and Faith, Finances, and the Future: The Notre Dame Study of U.S. Pastors in 2008.
Books including the two-volume encyclopedia Catholic Schools in the United States and Handbook of Research on Catholic Education were edited by Father Nuzzi along with Thomas C. Hunt and Eillis A. Joseph.