PROVIDENCE — After being delayed for more than a year by the pandemic, St. Augustine School Principal Janet Rufful recently received the 2020 Diocese of Providence Distinguished Principal of the Year Award.
Superintendent Daniel J. Ferris and Jack Wright, educator coordinator in the Catholic School Office, presented the award during the school’s morning prayer and announcements. Father Robert H. Forcier, the pastor of St. Augustine Church, and the office staff joined the presentation.
“It’s a special honor to honor someone so special,” said Ferris, “I have that special honor today.”
In describing Principal Rufful, he said, “She’s a school leader who cares deeply about every one of her students — personally. She wants to see each of them learn as much as possible and go as far in life as their education will take them. Because she cares so much for each of the students, she won’t settle for half effort or not fully using the gifts and talents God has given them.”
Ferris added that her love of Jesus motivates her and that Principal Rufful is admired and respected by educators across the state. When he paused, the school community applauded loudly.
The award surprised Principal Rufful, who said she was pleased and thankful. She went on to say that she feels blessed to be part of a school community that has such great respect for traditional, yet progressive Catholic education.
Father Forcier expressed his congratulations and praise for Principal Rufful.
“She’s amazing. She’s such a gift. A true educator,” he said.
In keeping with the spirit of the award, Principal Rufful was given a letter recognizing her extraordinary achievement from Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, a congratulatory certificate from the Catholic School Office, and a decorative rosewood clock engraved with her name and the award, also from the Catholic School Office.