Their life stories couldn't be more different, but on May 17, when four recipients of the Sr. Catherine I. Seiker, RSCJ Award gathered for lunch at the Driehaus Center, it was their connectedness that stood out. The women not only share memories that extend back to being in high school at the Academy, but each in her own way embodies the values that a Sacred Heart education seeks to instill.
Attending the luncheon and the all-school Feast of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat Mass that followed were (pictured above l to r) Joanne Barranco Steenveld ASH'56, Ginger Tarjan ASH'68, Kathleen Hackett Megan ASH'67 and Andrea O'Leary Hasten ASH'71 (see list below for all Seiker Award winners). The luncheon gathering was peppered with great laughter, reminiscences of RSCJ teachers and administrators, and inquiries about where classmates are living and what they are doing. The memories they shared included that Kathleen and Ginger's moms were best friends and that Kathleen and her sister ended up marrying two Hardey Prep brothers!
Each year during Alumni Weekend, the Sheridan Road Alumni Association (SRAA) presents the Sr. Catherine I. Seiker, RSCJ Award. The Seiker Award is given to an RSCJ, Sheridan Road alumna/us, or alumna/us from any Sacred Heart Network school whose life exemplifies, to an extraordinary degree, the values and standards that Sacred Heart Schools represents.
These four women have distinguished themselves in a variety of significant ways. Kathleen, awarded in 2017, has been actively involved in meeting the needs of the local homeless population. She is a volunteer tutor, cook, driver, nursing home lay Eucharistic minister and social services program advocate. Joanne, who received the Seiker award in 2013, is retired now from a lifetime of teaching, including at Sacred Heart from 1980-87. Post-retirement, she volunteered at the Emily Oakes Nature Center in Skokie and also at St. Gertrude Parish's Heart to Heart program.
Ginger, recipient of the award in 2007, is a former SRAA board president, having served in that capacity for four years. Now retired from the Chicago Tribune, Ginger has volunteered for the East Lakeview Arts Festival and currently serves on the board of the organization Edgewater Artists in Motion. Andrea, awarded in 2003, is a senior vice president in wealth management. For 18 years, she managed the Guardian Division with responsibility for the accounts of disabled children and adults. One of eight children, Andrea and her siblings all attended Sacred Heart, as did other relatives including her aunt and grandmother (graduated 1913).
These alumnae are vibrant, interested in what's next in life and exemplars of the gift of a good and loving Sacred Heart education, which they continue to treasure. And despite their great accomplishments, they are down-to-earth and very engaging. Ann Chiumino, the Assistant Development Director, Alumni Relations, remarked after their visit, "I could have listened to their stories for hours." Importantly, these Seiker Award winners want current students to benefit from the same kinds of values and academic excellence that helped them to succeed. They asked questions about the current curriculum and wanted to know more about how MAP testing tracks learning and the ways in which differentiation in teaching addresses strengths and challenges.
The Sacred Heart community warmly thanks Kathleen, Joanne, Ginger and Andrea, and all the Seiker Award winners, for their service and dedication to the school, and for their interest in the generations of Sacred Heart students still to come.
Sr. Catherine I. Seiker, RSCJ Award Recipients
2017 Kathleen Hackett Megan ASH'67
2016 Diane Skowron Evans ASH'71
2015 Daniel Flaherty
2014 Susan Maxwell, RSCJ
2013 Joanne Barranco Steenveld ASH'56
2011 Pamela Hickey, RSCJ ASH'47
2010 Patricia Nebrida ASH'86
2009 Anita Nagler ASH'73
2008 Kathy McKeown ASH'54 and Margaret Mary Munch, RSCJ
2007 Ginger Tarjan ASH'68
2006 Joan Schneider Wrenn ASH'55
2005 Rosemary Dewey, RSCJ
2004 William Campbell, Jr. H'62
2003 Andrea O'Leary Hasten ASH'71
2002 Mary McMahon, RSCJ
2001 Rosemary O'Neil ASH'42
2000 Marty Corbett Kohl ASH'43
1999 Frances Kimball Regan ASH'36
1998 Rosalie Kempe ASH'23
1997 Carita Corbett Rothing ASH'44