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Mary Queen of Apostles School, New Kensington

For the past 26 years, the Diocese of Greensburg has been honored to have Kathy Hetu teach second-grade students the sacraments.

“The sacraments are true to my heart. I love to teach the children reconciliation and their first holy Communion,” Hetu said. “It’s so special to see the look of awe and wonder in their eyes as they learn the sacraments.”

Hetu is one of three teachers who will receive a Golden Apple Award at the Oct. 10 A Celebration of Catholic Schools Breakfast.

“I am very thankful and grateful that I was chosen,” Hetu said. “I know that there are excellent teachers throughout the whole diocese, and I am honored to be chosen as one of them.”

Hetu taught at the former St. Mary School, Freeport, and the former Mount St. Peter School, New Kensington, before it was merged with two other schools to form Mary Queen of Apostles School, New Kensington.

She plans her daily lessons with faith in mind, starting every class with prayer and the children reading a daily devotion.

She also does a special daily prayer request with her class to give students the chance to pray for their parents, grandparents, each other and their pets.

Hetu said teaching inspires her. She focuses on each child’s uniqueness to inspire students to work toward being the best students and people they can be.

Teaching is about “building the children, not only academically but spiritually, making them a whole child and, most importantly, making them kind, loving children to everyone, so they can go out and be productive, kind, loving adults” is what teaching is about, Hetu said.

Robin Mull