The Bishop William L. Higi Leadership Award is the school’s highest recognition presented annually at Guerin Catholic’s Annual Award Ceremony.

2024 Bishop William L. Higi Leadership Award Recipients

Miranda Wood Armie ’09 Alumni Award

Miranda Wood Armie ’09

Alumni Award

Miranda (Wood) Armie was an active participant in the Guerin Catholic class of 2009. In addition to performing in nearly every musical, Miranda was also involved in GoldenVoice, athletics, jazz choir, campus ministry, was a founding member of the Catholic Life Student Committee and was the recipient of the St. Teresa of Avila Senior Leadership Award. Even as an alumnus, Miranda has graciously devoted her time and talent to her alma mater in various capacities.

A member of Guerin Catholic’s Alumni Council since its founding in 2017, Miranda has served as Council President since 2022, is completing her third year on the School Governing Board and spearheaded the efforts to organize the class of 2009 reunion.

“Guerin Catholic has played such an integral role in my life,” said Armie. “My time at Guerin not only prepared me academically, but gave me opportunities to encounter Christ and laid the foundation for me to grow into a faithful Catholic. It fostered the development of authentic Christian friendships, introduced me to my now-husband, and supported me as I grew into my vocation as a wife and mother.”

Miranda and her husband Sean met in theology class during the 2006-07 school year. They are members of Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish and the proud parents of five children—Nora (10), Alice (8), Zelda (5), Judah (3), and Julian (8 months).

“It’s truly humbling to witness how Miranda continuously offers her time and talents so freely to Guerin Catholic,” said Lynn Spartz, GC’s Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations. “She is so dedicated and passionate in all she does and beautifully juggles her roles and responsibilities in order to serve the needs of all who surround her. She graciously models ‘serving with love’ in her vocation and sets an example for all of us.”

Tom and Amy Smith Community Award

Tom and Amy Smith

Community Award

Tom and Amy Smith have immersed themselves in the Guerin Catholic community since their oldest daughter Abby was a freshman in 2013.

Amy wasted little time getting involved in the Parent Guild during those early years and ultimately served as its President for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years. Upon finishing her second term in 2017 she graciously accepted an invitation to be a member of the Advancement Committee. In addition, Amy has been a member of the School Governing Board since 2015.

Tom has served as the Facilities Chair and has been a member of the School Governing Board since 2021. Together, Tom and Amy co-chaired the Guerin Catholic Gala in 2020 and now serve as co-chairs for the Guerin Catholic Unite+Build+Soar Campaign.

“It has always been our desire to help advance the mission of Guerin Catholic and bring others to Christ through those efforts,” said the Smiths. “We will always cherish having a role in finally bringing the Fine Arts and Wellness Center to reality, but it could not have been done without the help of so many others, and the very generous donors. We gratefully share this award with them.”

Members of St. Maria Goretti Parish, all four of the Smith’s children have graduated from Guerin Catholic—Abby ’17, Izzy ’18, Tommy ’19, and Emma ’22.

David and Jeanne Stordy Community Award

David and Jeanne Stordy

Community Award

In 2015, the Stordys moved to Central Indiana and enrolled their three oldest children in Guerin Catholic. Since then, they have been firmly rooted in the Catholic mission of the school and serve as its biggest cheerleaders.

“From the very beginning, we realized there was something special about the faculty, staff and greater GC community, and we wanted to get involved,” said Jeanne.

Once the family was settled in their home, Jeanne became a member of the Parent Guild and served as a committee chair those first few years before ultimately serving as Parent Guild President during the 2021-22 school year. In addition, Jeanne is a member of the Catholic Life Committee and both David and Jeanne serve as co-chairs of the Unite+Build+Soar Campaign.

“We are truly blessed to have the leadership, dedication, expertise, passion and love of GC from David and Jeanne. Even though the work of the Campaign is not yet over, they are willing to keep working hard and asking others to participate in this extraordinary project. We are so grateful and cannot thank them enough for all their love and support. They are deserving of this most prestigious award—they truly embody its spirit,” said Lori Norris, Vice President of Institutional Advancement.

The Stordys are members of St. Maria Goretti Parish, and four of the Stordy’s five children graduated from Guerin Catholic—Thomas ’16, Margaret ’18, Kaitlyn ’17 and Charles ’22. Their youngest John will graduate in 2025.

Karen Kennedy Faculty/Staff Award

Karen Kennedy

Faculty/Staff Award

Karen Kennedy joined the staff of Guerin Catholic as a science teacher in 2005, just before the start of the school’s second year. “I was captivated by the mission of the school, and jumped at the chance to teach here when a position was offered,” said Kennedy. A mainstay in the GC Science Department, Kennedy has spent the past 19 years teaching chemistry, physics, IB Chemistry with some ICP and environmental science sprinkled in.

A colleague since Karen’s arrival at Guerin Catholic in 2005, physics teacher Hugh Ross said, “Karen is not only a brilliant scientist, but she also has great dedication, love and compassion for her students. She has a heart that is dedicated not only to educating, but to loving, guiding and mentoring them.”

Karen received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Boston College and her Master of Education with a concentration in secondary education from George Mason University.

“From the mission of my alma mater, Boston College, I believe we are to be rooted in a world view that calls us to learn, to search for truth and to live in service to others. In an age of specializing niche learning, Guerin Catholic has continued to promote a liberal arts education. From The Holy See’s Teaching on Catholic Schools, to be a Catholic school educator is to “place an emphasis on the inalienable dignity of the human person,” not to be involved in mere factual transactions. At Guerin Catholic, we have stayed true to these ideals, remain grounded in our Catholic faith, and I am proud of everyone who has had a part in holding this course,” says Kennedy.

On receiving the Bishop William L. Higi Leadership Award, Karen said, “to receive this award, is of course, humbling. I work every day with talented colleagues who give so much to this community and are also worthy of this award. We have gone through much together, personally and professionally. Having people to walk with, celebrate with, laugh and cry with makes the load lighter and the journey easier.”

Reflecting upon the award’s namesake, Kennedy remarked, “I remember Bishop Higi at the groundbreaking ceremony last fall. He was thanking people who have made Guerin the success it is today. I was so moved by his humility, his lack of need for accolades, and his turning the tables to thank others. It was beautiful.”

Karen and her husband John are members of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish and have three children who have all graduated from Guerin Catholic—Danny ’13, Nick ’16 and Chloe ’18.

Previous Award Recipients

Shannon (Murray) Strong ’07Alumni Award
Deacon Paul Lunsford Community Award
Debbie Stanisz Faculty/Staff Award

Adriana (Pratt) Mansour ’08 Alumni Award
Terence P. Weiss Community Award
Michael Panasuk Faculty/Staff Award
Christine Williams Faculty/Staff Award

Joe Garcia ’07 Alumni Award
Bill and Caroline Godfrey Community Award
Mark Duray Community Award
Leona Chianello Faculty/Staff Award

Sam Gardner ’08 Alumni Award
Fr. Dale Ehrman Community Award
Mike and Grace Pratt Community Award
Marcia Murphy Faculty/Staff Award

Barbara (Barb) and John Gallina
Deborah and William (Willie) Wood

Monsignor John Duncan
Mr. Chris Braun
Mr. Gary Malone
Mr. Scott Schutz

Bishop Emeritus William L. Higi
(Founding Bishop of Guerin Catholic High School)