For the past 43 years, Novy has dedicated her life to the ideals of a Catholic education. Novy, whose mother worked for the Cuyahoga County prosecutor and father practiced law, joined the faculty at Magnificat in 1964, instructing students in English, math, Latin and theology. She now serves as the school’s vice president of mission — part of a leadership team that fosters the school’s message of holistic education in the spirit and traditions of the Humility of Mary community. An ability to lead with her heart and build relationships with the school’s all-female student body is just one of the reasons she received the 2017 Lead, Learn, Proclaim Award from the National Catholic Educational Association.
I always say learning is challenging and fun. I’m no longer teaching, but what I do now lets me collaborate with all of the other wonderful leaders we have and work to improve the entire school.
When I began, I was excited about teaching Shakespeare and poetry, but now my vision has broadened.
I’ve become very sensitive to my responsibilities as a whole — whether I see a door that is stuck or a young girl who has tears in her eyes.
If it’s possible for enthusiasm to increase after all this time, mine has. I love these girls. They keep me young.
It used to be said that the teacher was the sage on the stage. Student interaction and involvement has changed. Much more responsibility for learning has been given to the students, and they are led to own that information. They take so much initiative now and evaluate that learning so they can use it when they go on to college.
Service is essential to our mission. It’s always built on the relationships with people the students are involved with. Whether it’s a summer retreat or service in the community, our students are learning about the world.
Spiritual growth is essential in any era. Students are bombarded with social media and technological developments. The technological age challenges the values of a person.
We try to alert our girls but we don’t alarm them. Not all people are honest and respectful to others. Our intention is to educate our girls to be confident and competent in the real world with all its complexities — and to bring the message of their faith. It’s important that our students see that our values will help them to be inspiring leaders in this world.
The language of faith is rich and multilayered. What does the call to help others really mean? We can explore that to find meaning in the 21st century.
These are adolescent women who are searching for true identity. They’re on a journey that has been going on for hundreds of years. At heart, the girls are the same as when I attended school, but their environments have changed unbelievably.