The District of Eastern North America is proud to present the 2018 Distinguished Lasallian Educators
Each year The Brothers of the Christian Schools of the Lasallian Region of North America recognize Lasallian Educators for their outstanding work and dedication to the charism of Saint La Salle, with the Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award at the annual Huether Lasallian Conference. This year in Minneapolis, MN, with the focus on the theme “Limitless Potential: Transforming Lasallian Communities,” these three educators were honored for their dedication to the Lasallian family.
Mr. Matthew Butler
Theology/Physical Education Teacher, Campus Minister, Chairman of Mission Council
Christian Brothers Academy – Lincroft, NJ
Matthew Butler has served as a Religion teacher and coach during his 12 year CBA tenure. Recently, he transitioned to Campus Minister in light of his significant involvement in retreats, service, and immersion programs. He has introduced programs to help young men better understand the challenges of socioeconomic poverty and reflect upon how they can make a difference now and in the future. His partnering with Special Olympics has offered his students the privileged opportunity to work with special needs individuals. He is involved in parish Youth Ministry and is engaged in several community projects. His commitment and actions truly help transform the CBA and surrounding community.
“It’s very humbling,” Mr Butler said. “You start to think of all the things you can do better and you want to do better. It’s more of a reminder of all of the things I want to continue to do and improve upon than it is standing on your laurels. It’s really a humbling reminder that I could do even more.”
Matthew Butler is a passionate man for his faith and the Lasallian Mission. He has organized new service immersion trips to Homestead, Florida and the Romero Center in Camden. He annually leads groups to De La Salle Blackfeet. He started the “Hunger Banquet” and facilitates “Box City”, a homeless project. Matt has a unique way of connecting with students and helping them understand and embrace the message of Jesus, inspiring them in their personal discovery of their own faith and spirituality.
- He believes in teaching the whole student and always demonstrates the Lasallian virtues and gospel teachings in his daily life.
- Matt has taught me the value of personal relationships.
- Our young men can relate, they see him as real and down to earth.
- He is a man of compassion, courage, strength, and service.
- Matt is constantly finding ways to bring La Salle’s message and mission outside of the walls of CBA … he convinces the students to join him on this mission.
- It is impossible not to catch his enthusiasm for life and learning.
- Matthew Butler really does change lives at CBA.
Ms. Christine Bridges Estes
Director of Campus Ministry
La Salle Academy – Providence, RI
Christine Estes is now in her 21st year as a Lasallian educator serving first at Saint Raphael Academy and now in her 8th year at La Salle Academy. Christine is a highly regarded and beloved religion teacher and campus minister as well as the current chairperson for the Rhode Island Lasallian Associative Group. Grounded in her Catholic faith and Lasallian values, she engages students and adults alike in a journey of faith and zeal. Social justice, service learning, concern for the poor and marginalized, mentor, team player, unwavering, and humble, are but a few of the terms that her students and colleagues ascribe to her. She is an extraordinary “Lasallian without Limits.”
“Really humbling, but I also feel that it really does belong to the community that I work with back at La Salle,” Ms. Estes said. “I work in a team with three other people, and we have each other’s backs. We work in such close collaboration that I feel like the award belongs to the office, but it also belongs to all the educators that I work with at La Salle. They’re such dedicated, faithful people of incredible zeal that I feel like the community nurtures that vocation.”
Christine Estes lives the Lasallian ideal of community and association. Through her leadership she breaks down boundaries by helping students navigate social justice issues, trauma, difficult circumstances, awkward conversations, and challenging ideas. She exhibits a “no limits” approach to educational equality and Lasallian pedagogical practice. She is a passionate advocate for the poor and marginalized, stating “I am a teacher and what I can do in the face of injustice is to give my students the opportunity to see the human faces of oppression.”
- Her entire being … her heart and soul, embody the eternal spirit of … De La Salle which she willingly shares with the students entrusted to her care.
- [She has a] strong unwavering faith that is obvious and infectious to all.
- Everything she does is for the students and bringing them closer to God.
- She accepts them [students] for who they are regardless of their socioeconomic, ethnic/racial, or religious backgrounds.
- Her commitment to service, inclusiveness and community speaks to this Lasallian work being her vocation as well as part of her identity.
- Mrs. Estes is a champion for civil rights and for the betterment of humanity.
Mr. Jeffrey W. Mancabelli
St. John’s College High School – Washington, DC
Jeffrey Mancabelli has served as Assistant Principal, Principal, and now President during his 20-year tenure at St. John’s. He has been both the first non-Brother Principal and President. Among his many achievements are a comprehensive strategic plan, creation of the Entrepreneurial Center for Innovation and Leadership, a 48% increase in endowments, completed over $35 million in capital improvements, fostered significant Lasallian formation within the faculty, and led the effort to create a robust campus ministry program benefitting all students. Jeff’s vision and leadership embody this year’s Huether theme of Limitless Potential-transforming Lasallian Communities.
“So much of my experience at St. John’s has been around a community and a family, so to be recognized for something that I truly love was just a wonderful honor,” said Mr. Mancabelli. “It really feels like I just got to live a life of great community.”
Since his arrival on campus in the fall of 1999, Jeff Mancabelli has embraced the Lasallian Mission with a faith and zeal that has helped transform St. John’s into a 21st century school of excellence. As a graduate of the Lasallian Leadership Institute, Buttimer Institute, and the 2010 CIL program, Jeff’s formation experience has led him to ensure that his administrators, faculty, and staff are well-formed and live out the Lasallian Mission on a daily basis. As a result of this effort and many others, St. John’s offers its students and families a faith-filled Lasallian educational experience within a diverse community that is accessible to all socio-economic levels and one that offers limitless potential to each of its young men and women.
- Jeff is the most thoughtful, diligent, empathetic, and mission-driven individual within this school.
- He cultivates an atmosphere akin to a family, emphasizing community, inclusion, and hospitality.
- Jeff understands the importance of emphasizing diversity, but also understands that what binds us as Lasallians is stronger than what makes us different
- Jeff makes a point to know ALL of our students, particularly fostering care for those who have the greatest needs.
To learn more about all of the Distinguished Lasallian Educators from around the Region, and for more photos and news from the Huether Lasallian Conference, visit the Region’s website >
Congratulations to all of the nominees for Distinguished Lasallian Educators Award throughout DENA!
Dr. Regina Colvin
St. Peter’s Boys High School – Staten Island, NY
Mr. Ken Goedeke
Calvert Hall College High School – Towson, MD
Ms. Kathleen Hanson
Christian Brothers Academy – Syracuse, NY
Mr. Peter Sigmund
La Salle College High School – Wyndmoor, PA
Ms. Michelle Wilson
Tides Family Services – West Warwick, RI