Dr. Patricia Harris to Receive Fr. Zwers Award
Dr. Patricia Harris President of Kuyper College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has been named one of four recipients of the 2021 Fr. John B. Zwers Award by the Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools (MANS) Board of Trustees.
Dr. Harris was nominated for the award by Mr. Tom DeJonge, Superintendent of Grand Rapids Christian Schools.
According to DeJonge, Dr. Harris, “exemplifies the qualities and values that are deeply woven into the fabric of Christian education. As a college president, teacher, board member, wife, mother, and daughter, Patricia Harris demonstrates Christ’s love in all that she does and, with great wisdom and wise discernment, lives a faithful life rooted in a deep understanding and knowledge of Reformed theological doctrines. As a six-year member of Grand Rapids Christian Schools’ Board of Trustees and member of the Board’s Executive Committee, Dr. Harris remained focused on the unique opportunities Christian educators have to nurture the faith of each student throughout all learning. She consistently put students first, demonstrated sound leadership, and – personally – provided invaluable support to me in my role as Superintendent. She quickly earned the deep respect of her fellow board members and Grand Rapids Christian’s administrative team as a member of the board. She made a significant impact in the lives of thousands of students, an impact that will be recognized for years to come”.
Fr. John B. Zwers was a founding member of MANS and served faithfully on the MANS Board of Trustees from 1972 until his death in 2004.
“Recognizing the critical importance that a pastor plays in successful faith based education, the MANS Board instituted the Fr. Zwers award to recognize individuals with a strong history of support for faith based schools. These individuals are able to articulate the importance of a faith-based education, have ongoing connections to the school community, parents, teachers, and students, and demonstrate support in leading the school community,” said MANS Executive Director Brian D. Broderick.
Together with Dr. Harris, three others will also be recognized with the Fr. Zwers award at the opening ceremony of the MANS Administrators’ Conference at Crystal Mountain Resort on Wednesday, October 13, 2021. These individuals are: Fr. Jose Maria Cabrera, Pastor All Saints Parish in Bay City, MI; Rev. Kevin Jones, Pastor at Immanuel Lutheran, Bay City, MI and Rev. Denis Theroux, Pastor Our Lady of Victory in Northville, MI.
MANS represents over 400 faith-based Pre-K to 12 schools across the State of Michigan, including Catholic schools within the seven dioceses of Michigan, the Michigan District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod Schools, and the Michigan Region of Christian Schools International.