Our Lady of Lourdes Principal Rick Danzeisen will receive the Citizen Recognition Award from the Missouri Catholic Conference (MCC) later this month.
One person from each of the four dioceses in Missouri is recognized at the MCC Annual Assembly each year.
This year’s program will be held Saturday, Sept. 28. The award will be presented by the Bishops of Missouri in the House Chamber of the state Capitol.
“As far as I know no principal from here has ever received this award,” said Father Mike Boehm, OLL pastor, who nominated Danzeisen, known as “Mr. D” by students and parents, for the award.
“I nominated him for his many years of service to Catholic education, and because of his excellent service here and at other schools,” Father Mike told The Missourian.
“Mr. Danzeisen has become a recognized leader among principals and educators in the Archdiocese of St. Louis and is very well respected among his peers,” he noted. “I also believe his service is an extension of his faith. Mr. D. puts into action Jesus’ command to love God and neighbor.”
Father Mike said the award is an opportunity to recognize someone in your parish who goes above and beyond to promote the gospel values and services
“This award recognizes Mr. D and a select few others for being outstanding examples of what it means to put faith into action,” he said.
“We are so fortunate to have him here in our community at Lourdes and in Washington serving as a tremendous example for his students and colleagues as a person of faith, integrity and service,” Father Mike added.
A selection committee make up of representatives of the MCC Public Policy Committee and staff review all nominations and make recommendations to the bishops who make the final selection.
Humbled by Award
Danzeisen said he is “humbled and honored” to receive the award. He’s also looking forward to attending the assembly.
“I truly believe in Catholic education,” he said, adding he valued his own Catholic education growing up and felt the call to continue that tradition.
Danzeisen said the award came as a total surprise.
“I was absolutely shocked to learn I was receiving this award and it was very nice of Father Mike to nominate me, but you can’t do this job without a great faculty and pastor,” he said. “There are so many people who helped me get to where I am today. I certainly didn’t do it alone so really this award is something we all share.”
Danzeisen is beginning his second year as principal at OLL and his 38th year in education — 30 of those years in administration.
Prior to coming to Lourdes, Danzeisen spent four years as principal of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in south St. Louis. He also served as principal at Seven Holy Founders for four years; Our Lady of Sorrows Parish for 18 years; and St. Joseph Catholic School in Kimmswick for four years.
Before becoming a principal, Danzeisen taught fourth and sixth grades at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Valley Park, St. John the Baptist Catholic School and in the Normandy School District.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Southeast Missouri State University and a master’s degree in elementary administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Danzeisen has held several leadership positions within the St. Louis Archdiocese and St. Louis educational community. He also is a certified trainer in the field of differentiated instruction, which he is implementing at OLL.
He also develops a school-wide theme for every school year which is built around faith, and incorporates community service activities for students.