Previous Spirit of San Damiano Awards Recipients

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St. Francis Catholic High School introduced “The Spirit of San Damiano Award” to recognize outstanding individuals who have significantly contributed to our school community by modeling our pillars of faith, excellence, leadership and service for a period of 10 years or more.

2019 Recipient(s)

Marion Bishop 

Marion Bishop served for 12 years as the first President of St. Francis Catholic High School. She often referred to that part of her career as “the ride of a lifetime.” Her accomplishments can best be described as crucial, turning-point projects in the school’s history. Her hand in the planning and expansion of the physical campus resulted in the addition of a state-of-the-art science wing, a performing arts center, religious sculpture and art, and a new academic administration office building. These changes also led to a beautifully-remodeled campus life center and new counseling offices.

Marion pushed for a new gymnasium, locker room and physical fitness center, originally absent from the construction plan. She recognized that our growing student body needed space to gather for
assemblies, liturgies and events. Always about more than buildings, Marion’s commitment to our Troubies was evident in everything she did and continues to do. She and her husband Paul have generously funded scholarships that enable young women in the greater Sacramento area to have a St. Francis education. Marion Bishop’s legacy of faith, excellence, leadership and service was crafted by her heartfelt devotion to the education of young women at St. Francis Catholic High School.

Marion Kaeser Slakey ‘48

A graduate of the St. Francis Class of 1948, Marion Kaeser Slakey leads a very active and interesting life. As the Student Body President at St. Francis, Marion dated, and later married, the Student Body President of Christian Brothers High School, Thomas Slakey. They left Sacramento soon after marrying in 1952, living in nine different states and four different countries (Canada, Mexico, England and the Czech Republic) and raised four wonderful children: three sons and a daughter. Marion attended Loretto Heights College in Denver, and later finished her degree in French Literature at Cornell University while Thomas completed his Ph.D.

Marion and Thomas returned to Sacramento in 1997 to provide care for her mother; that next year was the 50th anniversary of her high school graduation and Marion realized she had an opportunity to reconnect with her classmates and alma mater. That she did and continues to do, keeping her class connected and generously providing opportunities for more students to benefit from the St. Francis education she received. She loves being back in Sacramento and near St. Francis Catholic High School. Marion was greeted with a standing ovation from our students when she joined them at last year’s awards ceremony to present the alumnae scholarship. A Troubie for Life is the only way to describe Marion Kaeser Slakey ’48, and we’re all the better for her life of faith, excellence, leadership and service.

2018 Recipient

Charlie Scwhing

We are pleased to announce the first recipient of the inaugural award is Mr. Charlie Schwing. Mr. Schwing taught Math and technology courses at St. Francis Catholic High School for 36 years and retired in 2013. He inspired his students to love Math; even those who felt they could not excel in Math, felt confident in their abilities due to Mr. Schwing’s methods and amazing patience. He was loved for his candor, pragmatism, humor and compassion. Through Math, he also taught our Troubies about life, urging them to pursuits that would allow them to look back on their lives with joy and without regret. His passion for teaching and learning changed lives. Even after retirement in 2013, Mr. Schwing continued to tutor students in Math until he and his wife, Anne, moved to their home in Napa closer to their family ranch. Mr. Schwing continues to support the school’s scholarship fund and most recently, was a match-
ing donor for his students on Thankful Thursday, enabling us to bring in over $200,000 for student scholarship support!