A letter from Valley Catholic Middle School Principal Dr. Jennifer Gfroerer

Jen with students

Dear VCMS Families,

This time of year, we are surrounded by signs of time passing and the end of another academic year. One tradition that happens at this time of year is the nomination of a current 8th grade student for the Archbishop’s Christian Leadership and Service Award. At VCMS, the members of the 8th grade class nominate their classmates.  

The Archbishop’s Christian Leadership and Service Award, a prestigious recognition, is bestowed upon exceptional Catholic 8th grade students. These students, through their servant leadership and generous service, have left an indelible mark on our Catholic school community. The recipient of this esteemed award is a beacon of faith, who uses their God-given potential to live as a Christian witness in service to the Church, our Catholic school, and the civic community.

This year, 97 students were asked to submit nominations for their classmates. What was most interesting is that while 39 different students were nominated by their classmates, the recipient of the 2024 Archbishop’s Christian Leadership and Service Award received 7.8% of the votes, which was at least 3.7% higher than most of the other nominees. 

The Archbishop’s Christian Leadership and Service Award recipient is Tim Louie. Time was announced as the recipient of the award at the 8th grade Sending Ceremony on June 6. The following comments are for many nominees. These comments provide a clear insight into what this class values and recognizes within their classmates. The top three nominees are represented by the comments listed below:

  • (The nominee) stands up for anyone whenever needed. (The nominee) is friends with everyone and is kind.
  • (The nominee) is incredibly conscientious of those around her. Without being prompted, (the nominee) has time and time again helped new 6th grade students feel welcome to our community. (The nominee) is also quietly making sure others are always included, whether they are in (the nominee)’s friend group or not. (The nominee) always puts … highest effort into all schoolwork and would be a worthy recipient of this award.
  • (The nominee) makes everyone around (the nominee) feel welcome, even if you do not know (the nominee) well.
  • (The nominee) makes sure everyone feels included and finds things to talk about with them as well.
  • (The nominee) is kind and inclusive, never makes others feel lower than others, and is always reliable.  
  • (The nominee) is kind. (The nominee) puts effort into helping others. (The nominee) always carries (the nominee)’s weight and doesn’t slack off. (The nominee) doesn’t make work harder for anyone else, (the nominee) is always there. (The nominee) will always talk to you even if you aren’t part of the friend group, and will treat you like a good friend.
  • (The nominee) has never been mean to me or negative to anyone. (The nominee) is dedicated to including everyone
  • (The nominee) is caring towards all of our classmates. (The nominee) always makes anyone feel like the most important person – even if they are not after-school friends. (The nominee) never has anything mean to say to or about anyone. 

These comments, a mere glimpse into the overwhelming support and recognition, echo the core values of Valley Catholic kindness, inclusion, and caring. They are a testament to the unity and inclusivity of our VCMS community. We are immensely proud of the VCMS class of 2024 and all the students who are about to embark on the next chapter of their lives. And, we commend Tim Louie, this year’s VCMS recipient of the 2024 Archbishop’s Christian Leadership and Service Award.  

We wish all a safe, restful, and blessed summer break!

Dr. Jennifer Gfroerer