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St. Paul's High School, an independent Catholic School operated by the Jesuits in English Canada with an emphasis on academic excellence and the growth of the whole person in preparing young men for post-secondary education and leadership in the community, is delighted to announce Mr Larry Franz, long-time educator and administrator at St. Paul’s High School as the recipient of the 2014 Ignatian Challenge Award.
Born in the Interlake, Larry attended Gimli High School and then studied at St. Paul’s College where he obtained a Science degree and a Bachelor of Education. Larry started at St. Paul’s High School in 1969 teaching Physics. Over the years he has taught most science courses, acted as Science Department Head, coached intramural football and volleyball, produced four drama productions and many yearbooks, sat on numerous committees and interviewed many prospective students and teachers. In 1983 Larry accepted the challenge of becoming the first lay principal at St. Paul’s. During that time the Monaghan Wing was renovated (thus increasing the school population by one class at each grade level) the front office was computerized and many changes were made to curricular programs. Larry worked hard to ensure that St. Paul’s students received their share of scholarship and entry into faculties of their choice. Many new teachers, male and female got their start during his tenure as principal. When his term was completed Larry moved his whole family to Australia, teaching for part of the year at Xavier College in Melbourne then travelled through much of Australia, Asia and Europe with the family. With some training he became one of the school counselors. In 1999, answering a call from Fr. Paul Crouch, SJ, Larry took a group of students to Rockhurst High in St. Louis where they participated in a Kairos retreat. Since then he has directed fifty-four of these senior retreats making this program one of the most successful and popular events of the senior year. After about ten years in the counseling department he happily returned to the classroom and his first love, Physics. Not happy with the opportunities provided to gifted students Larry successfully introduced an Advanced Placement program in Physics. A boon to students looking for a bigger challenge, this program resulted in a great many of them getting advanced standing at university. He has been awarded four University of Manitoba Teacher Recognition Awards for excellence in teaching and was the Ignatian Educator of the Year in 2011. In 2010, Larry successfully lobbied for St Paul’s student involvement in the mission trips to El Salvador organized by Mr. Dennis Kuzenko. He has accompanied five such trips taking an average of 18 students each year to work on various projects in that country. Besides working alongside the villagers those students and staff members experienced life in the third world and learned the history of this war torn country.
Larry is married to Lorraine and they have three children, James ’96, Andrea (SMA) and Chris ’01. Together they built their own home in La Salle where they have resided their whole married life. In the parish of St. Hyacinth Larry has acted as lector, parish council member, taught catechism and is a charter member of the La Salle Knight’s of Columbus.
Larry's dedication to St. Paul's has been a gift to all who have come into contact with him. He has quietly mentored many teachers and inspired the faculty to be better educators. He has also motivated hundreds of boys to develop a love of science and through the Kairos and El Salvador programs to look beyond themselves to explore faith and social justice. In June, at the end of the current school year, Larry will begin a new chapter of his life as he starts his well deserved retirement. A quiet and humble man, Larry has lead by example and modeled what it is to be a true servant leader and man for others.
The Ignatian Challenge Award will be presented to Mr. Franz at a formal dinner at the RBC Winnipeg Convention Centre on Tuesday, November 4th, 2014. The award recognizes individuals within our community who embrace the ideals of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, and who reflect the characteristics and qualities inherent in a Jesuit education at St. Paul's High School. Award recipients, through their leadership and commitment to service, become examples for our students of a lived faith and philosophy of becoming Men and Women for Others.
Mr. Franz joins past recipients including Dr. Arthur Mauro, Mr. Paul Albrechtsen, Dr. Michael Phelps '63, Mr. Kevin and Mrs. Els Kavanagh, Mr. Gregg Hanson '69, Fr. Joseph Driscoll SJ, Dr. Angus Reid '65, Mr. Richard and Mrs. Kathryn Bracken, Mr. Joe Stangl, Dr. William Norrie, Mr. Robert Puchniak '65, Mr. Gary and Mrs. Janice Filmon, Mr. Robert Chipman '44, Mr. James Tennant '66, Mr. Hubert Kleysen, Dr. Emoke Szathmáry, Dr. Peter MacDonald '76, Mr. Gary Doer '66, Mr. Paul and Mrs. Carol Hill and last year's recipient Mr. Michael Guertin ’76.
The event is an annual fundraiser for the St. Paul's High School Bursary Program that provides need-based tuition assistance to current and future students.