Williamson Receives Benedictine’s 2017 Sister Jeannette Award

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Debbi Williamson (center), Scott Evans (right), executive director of Benedictine, and Patrick “Ben” Denihan, president of the Benedictine board of directors.

Greensboro resident Debbi Williamson was honored with the coveted Sister Jeannette award during the Benedictine Foundation’s annual Spring Benefit weekend, April 28-30, at the Tidewater Inn, Easton.

Williamson, a special education teacher at the Benedictine School, joined the Ridgely-based organization in 1985.

“Debbi is an excellent example of the best of Sister Jeannette and exemplifies the Benedictine values. She truly cares for our students and her coworkers. It shows in every aspect of her work,” noted Scott Evans, Benedictine’s executive director, during the April 29 awards presentation.The award is named for the former director of the Benedictine School, Sister Jeannette Murray, OSB.

“Debbi’s greatest demonstration of her compassionate caring can be seen in her efforts to continue religious education for our students. She volunteers her time, unsolicited, to come in on weekends to lead prayer service for students who want to participate. She has done this for years but has taken more of a lead with it recently as the Sisters of Saint Benedict no longer have a regular priest on campus. Debbi does this quietly without any expectation of reward other than to share her beliefs and our legacy with others,” Evans added.

Williamson was also lauded for her work with campus horticulture. “She helped obtain a grant for the planting of 100 new trees on campus in October 2015 through the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, organizing volunteers, students and the Benedictine Sisters to help plant the trees throughout campus. Over the past couple of months she’s mulched and weeded the trees on her own time.”

“Debbi has touched the lives of many students over her 32 years with Benedictine. She knows many of the adult individuals in our program and their families and reaches out to students who aren’t in her class just to be an added friendly face. She truly embodies the spirit of the Sister Jeannette Award and is a shining example of the core values of Benedictine,” Evans concluded.

Providing opportunity to live meaningful, productive lives in communities of choice, Benedictine helps children and adults with developmental disabilities reach their greatest potential without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, or age.

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