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 Lynne Scheffler - 2016 National Distinguished Principal

National Association of Elementary School Principals

Lynne Scheffler, principal of St. Joseph School in Lockport was selected as Illinois’ 2016 National Distinguished Principal. The National Association of Elementary School Principals established the program in 1984 to recognize and celebrate elementary and middle-level principals who set high standards for instruction, student achievement, character, and climate for the students, families, and staffs in their learning communities.

Lynne Scheffler was nominated and selected through a nationwide search process conducted by the National Association of Elementary School Principals and National Catholic Education Association.  

Scheffler was one of three Catholic School Principals in the nation and the ONLY principal from Illinois to earn this honor.

“At the helm of every successful school is a successful principal,” said Gail Connelly, NAESP’s Executive Director. “Our National Distinguished Principals program provides us with an opportunity to recognize the outstanding leadership of these principals and their commitment to creating successful learning communities. Because of them, students thrive academically, teachers grow professionally, and communities are strengthened.”  

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Father Gregory Rothfuchs - National Catholic Education Association (NCEA)

Father Gregory Rothfuchs of St. Joseph Parish and School received the 2015 Distinguished Pastor Award from the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) for his dedication and commitment to excellence. He was one of twelve pastors from across the nation to be awarded this prestigious honor.

In his short time at St. Joseph, he is loved and admired by many.  As Michelle Ray, St. Joseph Parishioner and Advancement Director shared, “He has brought so much life, faith and support

to our school and parish. The title of Distinguished Pastor suits him well.  A strong spiritual leader and pillar of support is vital to a successful Catholic School. Fr. Greg possesses these qualities day in and day out at St. Joseph. He is such a visible support of all school events; big and small. From Masses, board meetings, parent meetings, dinner dances, alumni reunions, cheering on our sports teams, riding the roller coasters at our parish Oktoberfest, sitting in the front row of our school programs; he is there, and begins all we do in prayer.”As a strong supporter of Catholic education, Fr. Gregory continues to create an environment where spiritual and academic excellence thrive. 


“Through his example, he has inspired parents of our students to do more by contributing to the school, parish, and the community at large.  Through the dedicated spiritual leadership of Fr. Greg, families are encouraged to raise their children with Jesus their compass.  He is a leader who inspires all of us to provide the best in Catholic education for the Diocese of Joliet.  He is the inspiration and compass to so many.  He is our true North…he leads us all closer to Christ. We feel blessed to have him at St. Joseph, and thrilled to have Fr. Gregory recognized as one of the 2015 NCEA Distinguished Pastors.” shared Lynne Scheffler, Principal of St. Joseph School.

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St. Joseph School - National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence

US Department of Education

In September, 2010, St. Joseph was one of the 300 schools across the nation and one of 50 private schools to receive the prestigious 2010 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award for a HIGH performing school. This award from the US Department of Education affirms what we have known at St. Joseph School for a long time. Our parish school is one of the top performing schools in the nation and a model for others to follow.  To qualify for this award, St. Joseph school must be in the TOP TEN percent of the nation in reading and math scores along with a demonstrated academic program of success. Since 2010, US Department of Education limits private schools to winning this award. SJS will forever be known as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence and continues to demonstrate ABOVE average test scores annually and demonstrated alumni success that cannot be matched.