By Emily Fedor
Jessica Lavelle of Ransom, Pennsylvania was awarded the Sister Regina Barrett Medal for Excellence in Early Childhood Education at Marywood University’s 2015 commencement ceremony. In 1995, the late Patricia C. Leamy, a former adjunct professor at Marywood and superintendent of the Western Wayne School District, established the Barrett Medal in memory of the late Sister Regina Barrett, servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
From 1971 to 1995, Sister Regina was the director of the Early Childhood Center at Marywood. She also served on the faculty in the Education Department at Marywood from 1971 to 1998. Additionally, Sister Regina served as an instructor at the IHM Educational Enrichment Institute in Scranton from 1998 to 2003.
In order to be eligible for consideration for the Barrett Medal, Lavelle had to meet a set of criteria created by the university. According to Sherry Frable, Marywood University’s Public Relations Coordinator, students must have an above average standing in early childhood student teaching experience, a minimum QPA of 3.00 in the early childhood education minor, and an above average performance in the infant-toddler practicum. They also must provide the selection committee with evidence of service to young children.
The Education Department Faculty makes the final decision of the selection process in the early spring of each year. There is no cash award or scholarship given with the presentation of the medal, but the award in itself is a prestigious honor at the university.
While a student at Marywood, Lavelle was a member of the Education Club, and Delta Epsilon Sigma—the national scholastic honor society for students, faculty and alumni of Catholic colleges and universities. In addition, she works at My Gym Children’s Fitness Center in Scranton.
The daughter of Gary and Tina Lavelle and granddaughter of Grace Coccia, Lavelle graduated from Holy Cross High School in 2011 and received a bachelor of science degree in early childhood education from Marywood University this past month.