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ACE Visits Jacksonville, FL

(Feb. 17-18)

ACE in the City:

One of the very first ACE sites 20 years ago, Jacksonville has welcomed a total of 38 ACE teachers over the years and is currently home to six teachers serving five schools in the diocese, including Holy Rosary School, Bishop Kenny High School, San Juan Del Rio Catholic School, St. Pius V Catholic School, and St. Paul’s Catholic School. ACE graduates from Jacksonville have gone on to fill teaching positions and leadership roles at Catholic schools all over the country--from elsewhere in Florida, back to the Midwest in South Bend and Chicago, to as far away as Anchorage, Alaska.

In ACE’s 20 year relationship with the Jacksonville community, many ACErs have developed unique relationships with the city, both in the schools and at large. In 2013, based on a proposal from the community, the ACE teachers participated in a fundraising marathon for the schools in Jacksonville. As part of the 2013 Jacksonville Marathon, the Team ACE sought financial backing, which went to support the two Guardian Catholic Schools in the city.

Where We’ll Be:

Tuesday, February 18

8:30 a.m. — School visit and celebration of the Mass at Holy Rosary Catholic School

- ACE's Fr. Joe Carey to concelebrate with Fr. Houle, President of Bishop Kenny High School

- The University of Notre Dame Sorin Award for Service to Catholic Schools to be presented to James Selzer

4920 Brentwood Avenue — Jacksonville, FL 32206

10:00 a.m. — Black History Month Presentation at St. Pius School

The University of Notre Dame Sorin Award for Service to Catholic Schools to be presented to Sister Elise Kennedy

1470 W 13th Street — Jacksonville, FL 32209

Award Recipients:

About the Awards

The University of Notre Dame Sorin Award for Service to Catholic Schools

A former corporate executive with AT&T, James Selzer has since spent his retirement volunteering with Guardian Catholic Schools, the umbrella organization that operates St. Pius V and Holy Rosary Catholic Schools in the Northside of Jacksonville. At first, Selzer collected lunch money, binding books and conducting bake sales at the ST. Pius V, but was soon encouraged by the school’s principal to take on a bigger role. For the last 11 years, Selzer has put his corporate skills to use in raising nearly $9.5 million for the schools, while maintaining close involvement with the students themselves. Along with a group of other retirees from the community, Selzer cooks breakfast during the week for students as part of the “Breakfast Club” and has served as mentor and coach. Under Selzer’s leadership, Guardian has increased the volunteer board membership and local business donations that have been so critical to the success of both St. Pius V and Holy Rosary. Guardian’s early childhood education programs, funded in large part to Selzer’s efforts, is one of only 27 out of 318 total programs to earn a five-star distinction.

The University of Notre Dame Sorin Award for Service to Catholic Schools

For the past 52 years, Sister Elise Kennedy has been a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of St. Augustine, devoted to dedicated to the glory of God and to the loving service to the community. During her time in the congregation, Sr. Elise has served for 37 years at St. Pius--27 years as a principal, ten years as a teacher. She has seen three full generations through to graduation, has guided the addition of 5 STAR preschool building and program, a computer lab, an outdoor pavillion as well as led the implementation of the National School Lunch Program. Through all her endeavors, Sr. Elise maintains a guiding purpose of serving the mission of the school and creating a Catholic environment that is welcoming to students and parents alike, where respect and service are valued. Always compassionate and understanding, Sr. Elise is a woman of peace, unity and reconciliation in the community, fostering both school pride and a love of God above all else.

ACE Media Point of Contact: Bill Schmitt - 

Information confirmed: 2/18/14 11:50 a.m.