December 14, 2017 // Diocese

Catholic school teachers shine the ‘Light of Learning’

Elise Bohl, St. Aloysius, Yoder —

The Diocese Fort Wayne South Bend celebrates its outstanding educators each year by announcing “Light of Learning” award recipients. The award goes to an educator at each diocesan Catholic school whose skills as an educator and catechist are deemed outstanding by his or her peers and by school parents. The nominees will be recognized at a banquet during Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 28-29-Feb. 2.

Among this year’s nominees is Elise Bohl, a religion teacher at St. Aloysius School, Yoder.

Elise Bohl, in front of her eighth-grade class at St. Aloysius School, Yoder, teaches how the Bible states that everyone will be judged by faith and by works.

“As her principal, I am humbled by her enthusiasm to help her collogues and her loving patience with students. She’s always smiling,” said St. Aloysius School principal, Tina Voors. “God is blessing our school through Bohl’s vocation.”

Those around her believe Bohl has found a way to offer high-quality spiritual formation and academic education at the same time. St. Aloysius has the distinction of being the oldest, continuously running, Catholic school in the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese. Over 140 years of education and tradition are the foundation for its faculty and staff. This year, Bohl will represent them.

“Parents expressed their appreciation of how Bohl lives out the Catholic faith and encourages her students to be true disciples,” said Voors.

Leading by example, her knowledge and love for Christ is contagious.

“Bohl is a great teacher,” said eighth-grader Hayden Hammond. “If I need help, or if I ask a question, she will always have or get the answer. She always does it with a smile on her face.” 

In addition to teaching religion, her contracted position, Bohl also plans all of the school’s liturgies, is responsible for sacrament preparation and ensures diocesan catechetical guidelines are followed.

“She is a very good teacher and role model. Bohl is dedicated to her Catholic faith,” said eighth-grader Henry Kiracofe. “She teaches in a way that makes it fun.”

In her 13th year of teaching, Bohl takes her role in helping students fulfill the school’s mission to ‘Form Saints and Scholars in Christ’ to heart with each lesson. In a recent eighth-grade religion class, she worked through a lesson covering Galatians 2. After reading a passage, students flipped through the Bible, finding, reading and discussing verses that supported the overall topic of how everyone will be judged according to their faith in the Lord as well as by their works. All of the students seemed anxious to learn more.

“Bohl always finds a way for us to spiritually connect to everyday life, and finds ways for us to understand what we’re learning, even if it’s confusing,” said eighth-grader, Sage Herber.

Bohl feels that winning the Light of Learning is an opportunity that will inspire personal motivation of self-accountability. She stated that she will continue to do her best to service the students.

In 2015, Bohl earned a Master’s degree in Theology from the University of Notre Dame by taking part in a diocesan program partnered with the University of Notre Dame. The program is funded by Our Sunday Visitor.

“This program accommodates those working in the diocese or those who are aspiring to,” said Bohl.

Earning this degree has equipped her for teaching religion courses at various levels, and deepened her faith. 

“Over the years I have learned more about this vocation God has called and asked of me,” said Bohl. “This vocation has lead me to desire a deeper level of my spiritual life, and a strong yearning for students to deepen their Catholic faith that will last a lifetime.”

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