By Cathi Douglas     1/29/2016

In recognition of his strong Catholic educational philosophy, exceptional abilities, dedication and results, Greg Dhuyvetter, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Orange, will receive the National Catholic Educational Association’s highest award at the organization’s annual convention in San Diego in March.

The honor – “Lead. Learn. Proclaim.” – is presented annually by the professional organization that provides leadership, direction and service to fulfill the evangelizing, catechizing and teaching mission of the Church. The NCEA convention and expo – featuring hundreds of workshops, speakers and exhibitors – is the nation’s largest private education association gathering, drawing participants from all facets of Catholic education, including elementary and secondary schools, religious education programs and colleges and universities.

“NCEA commends the outstanding efforts, contributions and achievements of exceptional leaders in Catholic education,” says NCEA Interim President Dr. Thomas W. Burnford. “We are grateful for the leadership of Gregory Dhuyvetter, who serves as an ambassador of faith formation and academic excellence and inspires Catholic educators across the world.”

Reverend Steve Sallot, the Diocese of Orange’s vicar general, praises Dhuyvetter’s visionary, Gospel-motivated leadership. “That has made Greg a successful superintendent,” Father Sallot says. “His strong and capable leadership is securing a vibrant future for our Catholic school system.”

Dhuyvetter says the award has great meaning for him, because it recognizes not only his achievements, but the work of the entire Diocese in providing a clear vision of success in support of Orange County’s Catholic schools.

“This honor recognizes the big picture, and it’s not really about me,” he says. “Every year NCEA – the nation’s largest organization of Catholic educators – gathers members from every state to tell the great story of Catholic schools, and to put the news out that they’re viable, strong and moving forward. So this award means a lot as a recognition of our principals, teachers, families, Bishop and pastors in growing Catholic schools in our Diocese.”

He says he is proud that Orange County’s Catholic schools have shown two years of growth after 13 years of steady decline that was due to rising costs and other challenges. “Our schools work as a system,” he notes. “We have many initiatives, particularly on technology, where we share resources and programs throughout the Diocese. We’ve developed financial support programs through which all the parishes support Catholic education. And we’ve worked on financial aid programs, school improvements and marketing to tell the story about the strong experience of Catholic education, something that families want for their children.”

A Catholic educator for more than 30 years, Dhuyvetter was an English teacher and administrator at Mater Dei High School prior to his appointment as Diocese superintendent. He has been involved in educational technology for more than 15 years, offers presentations on various aspects of educational leadership through “Work With Hope,” his consulting business, and has presented to teachers, principals and education leaders nationwide, including at NCEA conferences, events sponsored by the Chief Executives of Catholic Education and meetings of CUE, a nonprofit educational corporation.