Established in 2014, the Founders Award is given annually to an adult member of the CJ community who best represents the spirit of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade and Saint Julie Billiart.
This year’s honoree is Libby Harbaugh, Spanish teacher, department chair, co-moderator of students in action, moderator of the spirit squad and SOAR collaborator.
In presenting her with the award during the annual service awards assembly, Greg Mueller, principal, described the impact that Harbaugh has had on the CJ community since 2011, when she first joined the community.
“She has embraced her role as Marianist/Notre Dame educator in every aspect of her roles at CJ. Libby’s classroom is a place where all are welcome, and a space where students know they are respected. As a language teacher she is working hard to develop a curriculum that honors the gifts of our native speakers and has worked to create a Hispanic Heritage course that better respects, acknowledges and celebrates the gifts of our students who come from Hispanic/Latin X backgrounds,” he said.
“Amongst other things, she is the moderator of Students in Action which advocates for an inclusive community at CJ, assisting students to recognize their leadership potential. These students have contributed to concrete celebrations of diversity within our school.”
Mueller shared that Harbaugh spends most of her time working lifting up others and creating spaces where others feel valued and supported.
“Libby is also often first in line to write a thank you note to someone who she has recognized has done something impactful for her or others, she goes out of her way to stop by and check in on people — students or adults alike — when she is aware that they may be experiencing a difficult time,” he continued.
“She is constantly taking time to evaluate how to grow as an educator, person of faith, and simply good human through constant connection and collaboration with others. In this way, Libby models for each of us what it means to live in a community. Congratulations, Ms. Libby Harbaugh!”