Blessed Trinity Academy teacher honored with Golden Apple Award
The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh has awarded Marjorie Heasley, Blessed Trinity Academy second-grade teacher, the Golden Apple Award for excellence in education and community service.
Six educators at Diocese of Pittsburgh schools have won the 28th annual Donahue Family Foundation-sponsored award. At a May 28 celebration with Bishop David Zubik at East Carnegie’s St. Paul Seminary, winners will receive $6,000 grants, Golden Apple trophies and pins, as well as certificates.
“I still am shocked,” Heasley, of Shaler, said regarding the recognition. “I knew I was nominated, and I had been nominated 10 years ago, and that was an honor then. I was so excited. … I thought, there are so many deserving teachers.”
Parents, students and teachers may nominate Golden Apple candidates. Nominees must complete applications containing their education, career and volunteer background and write essays. They also must submit several recommendation letters.
Meredith Kandravy, who works as the school’s admissions director and has a daughter in Heasley’s class, nominated Heasley for the award.
“Mrs. Heasley has always had an excellent reputation as a teacher. It was a really hard choice because we have so many great teachers here, but my daughter is in her class. She’s very kind. She’s very soft-spoken,” Kandravy said.
Heasley teaches during a pivotal year for Catholic students – second-graders celebrate their first Holy Communions and reconciliations.
“I’ve been teaching in the Catholic schools for 30 years, and I love teaching and my faith is so important to me,” said Heasley, 57. “It’s a gift that I have a job that I love, and that I can teach children about Jesus and to get to know him as a friend and the sacraments.”
Principal Jessica Rock has worked with Heasley since the 2017 formation of Blessed Trinity Academy from the merger of St. Mary of the Assumption School in Indiana Township, St. Bonaventure School in Glenshaw and St. Ursula School in Hampton.
“She goes above and beyond to make it an extremely special year for those students to receive those first sacraments. She does all her own retreats (to educate students regarding the sacraments). She brings a lot of extras into the classroom. She’s caring, she’s understanding, she’s well-liked by families, peers and people in the community,” Rock said.
“I think she’s well-deserving of the award, but I think for us as a school, it just reinforces that, through the regionalization process, we did fold in excellent teachers from all three campuses,” she continued.
Student Kaylie Mitchell said Heasley led students in decorating rugs upon which to sit during prayer.
“When something’s going on and I don’t know how to answer it, I normally just talk to Jesus for a minute and it makes me feel better,” said second-grader Ella Shapiro of using her prayer rug.
Heasley’s career started as a student teacher at St. Basil School in Carrick and St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic School in Greentree. Thereafter, she taught at St. Bonaventure from 1989 until the regionalization.
While at St. Bonaventure and now at Blessed Trinity Academy, she served on the schools’ safety and security, and student assistance teams. At her current school, the latter involves working with students, from kindergarten through eighth grade, with additional academic or behavioral needs.
Heasley earned a bachelor’s in elementary education from Carlow College.
She has a husband, Eric, and daughter, Hannah, a La Roche University student.