The St. Eugene’s Cathedral School student body honored their principal Barbara Gasparini with a surprise assembly last week as she prepares to travel to New Orleans to be feted as the winner of the Dr. Robert J. Kealey Distinguished Principal Award from the Department of Elementary Schools of the National Catholic Educational Association.

Gasparini, who was nominated by superintendent John Collins, is one of only 12 principals from 5,774 Catholic elementary and middle schools to receive the award, according to the school. Gasparini was chosen as the Western States recipient, an area which represents 300 principals, according to the school.

Gasparini is slated to receive her award in New Orleans on April 26.

Dirk Bietau took the photos.