• Dec. 13, 2017

    Christy Mikolaj Special education teacher earns two Duquesne University awards

    Christy Mikolaj, a special education teacher at Boyce Middle School, was recently honored with two awards from the Educational Leadership program Duquesne University. A doctoral candidate, Ms. Mikolaj was awarded the Horton Coe Southworth Award and Scholarship as well as the Mind, Heart, and Spirit of Educational Leadership Award.

    “As a teacher and leader, I am a humble person whose main goal is to focus on the needs of the students and ensure the whole child is being educated,” Ms. Mikolaj said. “Receiving this award from the faculty and peers of the Educational Leadership cohort was an honor. Without the inspirational leaders from the Duquesne University School of Education staff, my Duquesne University cohort and my leadership mentors at Upper St. Clair, I would not have achieved this honor.”

    The Horton Coe Southworth Educational Leadership Award and Scholarship pays tribute to and is named for the late Dr. Horton Coe Southworth, who was a professor emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh, a scholar in residence at the Duquesne University School of Education and one of the original developers of the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership program at Duquesne University that launched in 1993.

    Each year in honor Dr. Southworth’s legacy, the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership program and the faculty of the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership at the Duquesne University School of Education select a doctoral candidate who exemplifies Dr. Southworth’s educational leadership qualities of vision, altruism, collaboration and commitment to social justice.

    “Award winners serve as inspirational leaders who embody the core value of serving the children and youth of this world,” Connie M. Moss, Ed.D., director of the Educational Leadership program, said. “Christy consistently represents herself and the Upper St. Clair School District with integrity and embodies a deep commitment to furthering the learning and well-being of all children.”

    The Mind, Heart and Spirit of Educational Leadership Award is presented annually to members of the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership cohort in the second year of their program. Awardees are selected by their peers to exemplify educational leadership impact that engages the mind, heart and spirit in the moment of action.

    “To be selected by one’s peers is a deeply meaningful honor and one that Christy Mikolaj so richly deserves,” Dr. Moss said. “She is an exceptional leader.”

    As one of this year’s recipients Ms. Mikolaj received a plaque and a check with the stipulation that she use the funds to purchase books on leadership for her own professional leadership library.

    “The pursuit of continued learning is a hallmark of our faculty at Upper St. Clair,” Superintendent of Schools Patrick T. O’Toole, Ed.D. said. “Ms. Mikolaj’s honors exemplify, at the highest level, this commitment to higher learning.”

    Ms. Mikolaj joined the Upper St. Clair teaching staff in 2009. She previously taught in the Elizabeth Forward School District and Holy Family Institute. A graduate of Duquesne University, Ms Mikolaj earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary/special education and a master’s degree in educational administration. In addition, she holds principal, special education supervision, and curriculum and instruction supervision certifications. She expects to complete her doctoral program in May 2019.