On March 31, Student Moderator Gerard Kissel, received the Outstanding Service Award from the Katie Haumesser Foundation. Kissel was nominated for this award by Susan Haumesser, Katie’s mother, who was always impressed with how well Kissel worked with the students while Katie was at McNicholas.
The Katie Haumesser Foundation was formed in 2006 after Katie, a 1996 McNicholas graduate, was killed by a drunk driver. According to their website, the Foundation “is dedicated to providing assistance to children with special needs, and sponsoring scholarships for graduate students in speech and language pathology.” Haumesser worked as a speech pathologist and dedicated her life to serving special needs children.
Kissel received the Outstanding Service Award during the 6th annual Katie Haumesser Benefit for Katie’s House. “Katie’s House” is a space within the Hearing Speech and Deaf Center that is being renovated through the Foundation as a place where kids can have their speech, language, audiology, and occupational therapy needs met. It also helps mothers and fathers who need support and education.
Kissel was nominated for this award for his outstanding service to the McNicholas community and to the students there. As the Katie Haumesser Foundation says on its site, the Service Award is given to someone who has “exemplary love and care for kids, demonstrates great commitment, service, and leadership towards them, has strong moral character, and serves as a role model for others in the community.”
In her nomination, Susan Haumesser wrote, “Gerard Kissel was Katie Haumesser’s favorite teacher at McNicholas High School not because Katie found herself needing his direction, but because he had the ability to look deep into another and read hearts. Mr. Gerard Kissel loves kids and she could see this in him. He has devoted his entire professional career to help students find their path and strengths. His commitment to his faith has played an important role in shaping our future adults.”
“It was a real honor to receive the award,” Kissel said, “I really like what the Foundation does and how it helps people. I’m glad that I could be a part of it.”