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Mary Fiala to Receive Award for Lifetime Commitment to Catholic Education

Fiala is one of five educators nationally to be honored by the NCEA on April 1

March 1, 2024

Contact: Dennis Biviano, PR & Media Specialist, (330) 744-8451, ext. 320;

Mary Fiala, who has served the Diocese of Youngstown for more than four decades, will be honored with the National Catholic Educational Association’s (NCEA) Lifetime Commitment to Catholic Education Awards at a ceremony on April 1 in Pittsburgh, PA. The annual celebration honors outstanding educators, leaders and organizations who have made extraordinary contributions to the mission of Catholic education.

Fiala has been superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Youngstown the past decade. She joined the diocesan staff in 2011 as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and instruction. In addition, Fiala served as Principal at SS. Philip and James School in Canal Fulton and St. Joan of Arc School in Canton from 1991-2011. Prior to being named principal, Fiala was a teacher at St. Paul School in North Canton for 12 years. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Ashland University and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Administration from the University of Akron.

Fiala, who was nominated by her peers, was surprised to learn she’s one of five educators chosen for the annual national award. Her colleagues say Fiala exemplifies what it means to act as a spiritual leader in the community and build Catholic identity.

“This recognition came as a total surprise to me. I am humbled by it as well as honored. There are so many people who work together to make a Christ-centered education possible for children.  No one does this work alone. The Diocese of Youngstown is blessed by the support of Bishop Bonnar, our priests, administrators, teachers, and parents who all share in the mission. I feel blessed to serve in the Diocese of Youngstown,” says Fiala. 

For more information on the NCEA President’s Awards click here.


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