Sister Regina Murphy, SSMN (formerly Sister Damian) received the 2017 Mount St. Mary Academy Distinguished Educator Award, which honors a former faculty member for her dedication to academic excellence and the care of her students. The award was presented as part of Mount St. Mary Academy's 90th anniversary celebration.
A teacher of social studies and religion, Sister Regina began her teaching career at Mount St. Mary Academy in 1967 before moving to St. Mary Seminary and then St. Jude High School in Sumter, S.C. She returned to Mount St. Mary Academy in 1979, where she later served as assistant principal and chair of the Social Studies department.
"Ask some of her former students, and they will tell you that Sister Regina's classroom was a place full of discussion and inquiry," said Principal Dawn Riggie. "A place where you knew your teacher was a font of information and that you would learn a lot. A place that would change your world view."
In 1988, she left teaching to work for the Diocese of Buffalo, where she now serves as the director of Research and Planning. She holds a master's degree in modern European history from Marquette University and a master's in theology from Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora.
Mount St. Mary Academy also presented Nancy Connolly Polino, class of 1979, with the 2017 Sophia Award for her dedication to serving her community. Polino spearheads food drives and gift donations for over 800 families at St. Luke's Mission of Mercy and is a past member of the Mount St. Mary board of trustees.
Special honors were also given to Ann Marie Luhr, class of 1980, with the 2017 Alumna of the Year Award for her service to the school and the community. Luhr serves as manager of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications at Moog Inc. and is a past member of the Mount St. Mary board of trustees.
Mount St. Mary Academy, founded by the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur in 1927, is an all-girls Catholic college-preparatory high school located at 3756 Delaware Ave., in Kenmore. Mount St. Mary's is consistently ranked among the top 10 Western New York public and private high schools.