DALLAS – The Catholic Foundation selected 10 local Catholic schoolteachers and staff members in May to receive Work of Heart Awards for their dedication and commitment to students, schools and communities.

Whether through coaching, counseling or curriculum, these individuals enhance the lives of many within the schools and communities of the Diocese of Dallas and beyond, a spokesman said, saying that, in addition to the Work of Heart Award, the foundation has honored each of the recipients with a $500 grant for personal use in appreciation of his or her contributions.

“As we bring another academic year to a close, we are excited to announce 10 more Work of Heart Award recipients,” said Edwin M. Schaffler, CEO and president of the Catholic Foundation. “These awards show our appreciation for the many individuals who worked tirelessly to ensure our students had an excellent year.”     

The recipients of the Work of Heart Awards were selected from nominations written by students, teachers, parents, administrators and community members. The criteria is based on traditional merit including tenure and leadership, acts of kindness or charity, Christian example, mentoring and “simply going the extra mile for an individual student, family or the community,” the spokesman said.

The Work of Heart Award program was established in 2005 by an anonymous Dallas family through the Catholic Foundation. The foundation continues the program, providing funding for the grants from its Work of Heart Award Fund.  In addition, individual contributions can be made to the Work of Heart Award Fund at the foundation.  

Among the recipients was Teresa Vierra, eighth-grade teacher at St. Joseph Catholic School in Waxahachie. Excerpts from the nomination letter included: “For years now, we had been eagerly anticipating the day our son would be in Mrs. Vierra’s class. We heard about the way she treats her students as individual, young adults and the way she is dedicated to her students. We have been fortunate to experience this first hand.

“Mrs. Vierra demonstrates poise and articulateness, but even more importantly, inspires a love of learning in her students,” the nomination letter read. “She also seeks to expose her students to the world beyond the four walls of the classroom. She incorporates volunteering into her curriculum to teach our children the importance of giving back to those in need – the real message of God.”

To nominate a candidate for the Work of Heart Award, visit the voundation’s website at www.catholicfoundation.

com for instructions on the nomination process.  Anyone serving as a full- or part-time employee in a Catholic school located in the Diocese of Dallas may be nominated.  

Chartered in 1955, the Catholic Foundation was founded by a group of dedicated Catholic laymen with a vision that extended far beyond the charitable needs of the moment. For 55 years, this independent, nonprofit corporation has dedicated its resources to compassionate charitable giving through grants provided by benefactors through its many planned giving programs.  During the last 25 years alone, more than $65 million from the unrestricted endowment and donor-established funds has been provided to meet the needs within the Diocese of Dallas and the community, through grants to various religious, educational and charitable organizations. 

For additional information about the foundation, call 972-661-9792.