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San Bernardino Catholic school leaders honored at Guardian Angel Gala

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SAN BERNARDINO—The heritage of San Bernardino’s Catholic schools was celebrated for the second time at the 2018 Guardian Angel Gala, held on April 21 at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic School.

 The formal dinner highlighted the work of the San Bernardino Catholic Elementary Schools (SBCES), which promotes the value of Catholic education in San Bernardino as currently provided by Our Lady of the Assumption and Holy Rosary Academy at the elementary school level and Aquinas High School. SBCES President Delila Vasquez and her volunteer board of business and community leaders coordinated the dinner and awards program.

 As with the inaugural Guardian Angels Gala held in October of 2016, the event honored community members who had attended Catholic schools in the City, including those that have been closed, and gone on to make contributions to the community.  

 Those Guardian Angels were Dave Coy and Christi Coy, and Father Paul Schmidt, S.V.D., who attended the former St. Anne School; Rachel G. Clark, who attended the former Our Lady of Guadalupe School; Mike Butz, who attended the former St. Bernardine High School; Wayne Fisher, who attended the former St. Anthony School; Sarah Colella and Guadalupe Batana, who attended Our Lady of the Assumption School; and David Colella and George Anagnostopolous, who attended Holy Rosary Academy.

 The Growing Wings Angel Award was given to young alumni who are preparing themselves for a career of service and/or are actively engaged in the life of their parish. They were Kevin Wenclewicz (Holy Rosary Academy) and Kelle Johnson (Our Lady of the Assumption School).

 A new award category, Special Wings Angels, was added this year to honor everyday servants of the community who are products and/or strong supporters of Catholic education. Recipients were Bill and Betty Sutcliffe, Judge Cynthia Ludvigsen, Gary Silvius, Marion Bilek, San Bernardino Police Captain Jay Hausman and San Bernardino Police Officer Shawn Sandoval.

 The Pillar Angel Award, which honors an individual who has been an influential force in Catholic education, was given posthumously to Rev. Monsignor Robert Miller. An endowment in Msgr. Miller’s name, kick started by a generous donation from Father Manuel Cardoza, Pastor of Our Lady of Hope Church, was announced at the gala.