Educator honored as 2019 Distinguished Elementary School Principal

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CRANSTON — “His students may not know it. But he’s a fighter. And he’s winning,” said superintendent of Catholic schools Daniel J. Ferris about the 2019 Diocese of Providence Distinguished Elementary School Principal Awardee John (Jack) Corry, principal of St. Paul School in Cranston.

“I think he loves the mission and the struggles that come with urban Catholic education,” explained Ferris. “He’s had four straight years of enrollment increases and his pre-kindergarten program is full again this year.”

Principal Corry received his diocesan award after Communion at the 9 a.m. Mass, celebrated by Father Adam Young in the Church of St. Paul, Feb. 1, during Catholic Schools Week.

His award included a letter from Bishop Thomas J. Tobin expressing his gratitude to Principal Corry for his ministry to the school and his many years as a dedicated teacher and principal in the Diocese of Providence.

Ferris said in his remarks that each year the Catholic School Office looks at the 32 Catholic elementary schools in the diocese and selects one principal who stands out from the rest. This year that principal was Principal Corry, who is widely known in the St. Paul School community for the profound care he shows for his school, his students and his teachers.

Ferris said Corry cares “passionately” and works hard to see St. Paul School thrive as a safe, welcoming and holy place.

“He leads his teachers, and he listens carefully to their concerns. He consults with them. He collaborates. He works with and for their best interest, which is the best interest of the student, too. And he cares about his students, —more than anyone can imagine. He wants them to do well in school and succeed in life.”

After Ferris presented Principal Corry with the award, he encouraged the students to give their beloved principal a big high-five or fist-bump when they see him during the day and to congratulate him on doing a great job.

Principal Corry, who did not know beforehand that he was receiving the award, was at a loss for words.

“For once I’m speechless,” he replied to loud, enthusiastic applause from the students and teachers.