St. Norbert Catholic School in Orange draws on the name of Venerable Nano Nagle, a devout Irish educator, to honor a teacher who best shares her story.
Nano Nagle gave up a very comfortable life to minister to the poor and sick in the lanes of Cork, Ireland in the 18th century. Nano secretly opened schools to teach children to read, write and practice their Catholic faith. She did this despite the oppressive laws that denied Irish people access to education and the celebration of their faith. She was a beacon of light in their world and became known as the lady with the lantern. Other women joined Nano in her ministry and eventually began an order of nuns called the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary; the same sisters who opened the school at St. Norbert in Orange in 1965. Today, the school has two Presentation Sisters—Sister Breda and Sister Immaculata.
Nagel is remembered each year by the students of St. Norbert when they select a teacher to recognize. This year, the Nagel Award was presented to teacher Michelle Navarro.
Some 186 essays written on behalf of 15 teachers were considered this year. Students consistently described Mrs. Navarro, a fifth-grade teacher, as kind-hearted, selfless and patient. Navarro was presented with a lantern, a framed certificate and a check for $1,500.