“She is the reflection of eternal light, the image of God’s goodness.”
- WISDOM 7:26
From the Blessed Virgin and Anna Backer to teachers and Mothers Club volunteers, women have played an unsung yet unprecedented role in the SLUH history of forming Men for Others. As part of the Bicentennial celebration in 2018, the school launched the Tribute to the Women of SLUH to bring the impact of countless dedicated women to life in a moving and memorable tribute.
Art teacher Sean Powers '05 and students created a beautiful, unique work of art incorporating hundreds of photos of mothers, grandmothers, teachers and others. This artwork (pictured to the right), which resides permanently in the Si Commons, gratefully recognizes the women who have toiled tirelessly, and largely anonymously, to make SLUH what it is today, and what it will be for future generations.
Below, we proudly highlight a few leaders at SLUH who were featured in the SLUH Magazine.
Addie Akin | Fine Arts
Addie Akin is a skilled choral director and an accomplished pianist, vocalist and composer/arranger. She teaches/ directs four curricular ensembles and serves as moderator of the Acapella Club and music director for the Dauphin Players. She, with her husband Mark, composed and arranged incidental music to the Dauphin Players production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in 2017. Akin also rehearses and directs the music for all-school liturgies.
“Addie brought a solid array of skills to SLUH when she took over the choral program in the fall of 2016,” says Dr. Joseph Koestner, fine arts teacher who preceded Akin as the school’s choral director. “In just a few years, she has become a major player in the SLUH experience. She brings her smile, laughter and positive spirit to everything she does.”
Connie Leinauer | Advancement
As Parent Engagement Coordinator, Connie Leinauer works closely with the Mothers Club, Fathers Club, Alumni Mothers Club, PACES (Parent Association for Cultural Enrichment at SLUH) and AMDG–Ignatian Spirituality for Parents. She also manages and collaborates with volunteers who help with events like the annual Cashbah auction. A past parent (Dan ‘01, Patrick ‘02 and Matt ‘07) and former Mothers Club officer, Leinauer is committed to cultivating an authentic sense of community at SLUH while furthering the school’s mission of providing need-blind admission.
“There's an old saying that if you want something done right, you should do it yourself. In our office, if you want something done right, you ask Connie,” says John Penilla ‘99, Director of Alumni and Parent Giving. “No challenge is too big for Connie and she's always there to lend a hand to get the job done. SLUH is a better place because of Connie's many years of selfless work.”
Kate Toussaint | Foreign Language
A passionate and energetic Spanish teacher, Toussaint serves as Foreign Language Department Chair. In this role, she played a key role in two recent hires: Eyad Oqlat (Arabic) and Yves Conseant (French). A past STUCO moderator, Toussaint is also active in student life. She is the Anti-Racist Coalition club moderator and leads Voices of SLUH, an important initiative supporting the school’s efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion.
“Kate brings many gifts to her work at SLUH, including intelligence, patience, empathy, curiosity and creativity,” says Frank Kovarik, English Department Chair and Director of Equity and Inclusion. “Kate has a sign on her classroom door that inspires many of us. It says, ‘Be kind, for everyone you know is fighting a hard battle.’ This sign expresses well the humanity and compassion that imbues Kate's work as teacher, department chair and contributor to SLUH's equity and inclusion efforts.”