For the first time in its 47-year history, Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa is awarding the John Henry Newman Award to a woman.
Patti Konicek Dietzen, Ursuline High class of 1974, and Dennis Crandall, teacher, coach and principal at Newman, will receive the annual award at a private President’s Reception on Dec. 7. They will be honored again at the Cardinal Newman Legacy Gala March 31.
The annual award is given to one alum and one member of the community who have showed “lasting and meaningful service to Cardinal Newman High School and the greater community,” and other qualities, according to school officials.
Newman President Mike Truesdell said the move to include woman makes sense, in light of the school’s becoming a co-ed campus this year after the closure of neighboring, all-girls Ursuline High School last spring.
“Our Catholic secondary education (community) includes a lot of people,” he said. “We would certainly want to embrace them and welcome them just as we do the transfer students.”
Dietzen has supported Catholic education at St. Eugene’s Ursuline and Cardinal Newman, according to school officials. She has served as a board member, event coordinator and athletic team parent among other roles.
Crandall is the former principal at Cardinal Newman, but has also served as athletic director, coach, teacher development director, assistant principal and board chair. He is currently principal at Archbishop Hanna High School at the Hanna Boys Center.
The recipients are chosen by a subcommittee of the school’s board of directors.
Past honorees include Henry Trione, Daniel Walsh, Jeff Bertoli and Ken Molinaro.