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Ursuline Academy announces Teacher of the Year and Tehan Awards

Two faculty members received prestigious awards at Ursuline’s annual end-of-the-year luncheon.

The award is peer-nominated and honors a teacher who best models learning skills and teaching tools of the 21st century. Students voted history teacher and swimming coach Jeff Girard for Teacher of the Year.

The Hal and Joann Tehan Award went to Librarian and Archivist Renee Chevallier, an accolade that honors an individual whose life and work exemplifies the Ursuline mission of “Serviam.”

Girard, who graduated from Jesuit and just completed his third year at Ursuline, is described by a colleague as a “conscientious teacher who puts students’ well-being first.” Girard’s enthusiasm for teaching becomes especially evident when he teaches his self-invented Inside Nazi Germany elective. Planning to teach church history alongside colleague Dr. Jason Surmiller next year, Girard will also organize a summer trip for his students to Germany and Poland.

“History is my passion,” Girard said. “When I get to talk to the girls about it, it’s fun to share.”

With his wife having just delivered their second child on Tuesday, Girard said, “If our daughters end up half as curious, intelligent, fun, and caring as my students, we would be beyond thrilled as parents. Ursuline students are amazing!”

Tehan Award recipient Chevallier just completed her 20th year at the school and is described as “intelligent, dependable, resourceful, and kind – a fabulous role model for students.” Another colleague commends her for being “at the heart and head of educating young women for leadership in a global society.” Chevallier, whose daughter graduated from Ursuline in 2011, is humbled that her colleagues honored her with this award.

Chevallier spends her free time running, traveling, reading books and cooking.


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About the Author:

Claire Crow
Claire is a graduate of Lakehill Preparatory School and a rising junior at Sewanee: University of the South.