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2024 Distinguished Alumni and Founder's Awards



On Thursday, May 30, 2024, Allentown Central Catholic High School, as presented by Principal Mr. Randy Rice, honored our 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient and The Founder's Award during Baccalaureate Mass at St. Thomas More Church in Allentown.


Distinguished Alumnae Award – Sr. Elizabeth Kovacs, Class of 2003

Sister Elizabeth Kovacs is a 2003 graduate of Allentown Central Catholic. She entered the religious community of the Sisters of Christian Charity in August of 2003, and professed her Perpetual Vows on August 15, 2013 – the best day of her entire life. Sister Elizabeth earned her Associates in Liberal Arts Degree in 2006 from Assumption College for Sisters, and her Bachelors of Science in Nursing Degree in 2009 from Pennsylvania College of Technology. She worked as a Registered Nurse in the emergency department of Holy Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill, PA, where she served as a charge nurse, as well as a representative for her department on various nursing committees within the hospital. She was grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the hospital’s efforts to achieve Magnet Recognition status in 2013.


Sister Elizabeth earned her Masters of Science in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner in 2016 at Widener University, and continued working in the emergency department at Holy Spirit Hospital as a Nurse Practitioner. She was transferred to the Motherhouse of her religious community in 2019, where she served as the Administrator and Director of Nursing for the retired Sisters for several years during and after the COVID pandemic. Sister Elizabeth found this work with her elderly Sisters to be extremely grace-filled and enriching in many ways. She is currently working as a Nurse Practitioner in two emergency departments within the Penn State Health System and holds several certifications, including those in emergency nursing, trauma, and as a Geriatric Care Provider. Sister Elizabeth is so grateful for all she received at Allentown Central Catholic during her high school years, and feels very blessed that the road to her religious vocation began there.

 

Founders’ Award – Mr. Francis McGouldrick

Fran McGouldrick grew up in the modern-day Camelot of Fountain Hill. He graduated in the largest class in Bethlehem Catholic history in 1969. It was at Becahi that he developed his love of teaching Mathematics while tutoring many of his classmates and as a member of Teens for Christian Action tutoring at Pembroke Village in Bethlehem. He graduated from Kutztown State College with a BS in Secondary Education Mathematics in May 1973. He married his wife, the former Terry Marton, in July 1973 and started teaching Math at Allentown Central Catholic in September 1973. Fran and Terry have four children, all of whom graduated from Allentown Central Catholic: Kevin McGouldrick Ph.D. ’94, Taryn Myers wife of Jeff Myers ’96, Steven husband of Janelle ’00, and Jeff husband of Mindy ’02. They are the proud grandparents of five grandchildren; Alessia Myers, Ehpraim and Izannah McGouldrick, and Zoe and Mia McGouldrick.


During his 41 years at Allentown Central Catholic, Fran taught approximately 6,000 students and was involved in numerous extra-curricular activities.


Assistant wrestling coach at ACCHS, CYO wresting coach for 20+ years, developed and directing an Intramural sports program during the 70’s and 80’s at Central, a founding father and holding every officer position of the Allentown Diocese Lay Teachers Association. He supervised the work study program, begun by Principal James Hodrick to assist students with their tuition, alongside the legendary Pete Krah. He served on the committee at Lehigh University for five years to develop and teach a summer enrichment program for gifted high school students which was the precursor to The Governors School of Excellence.


He redesigned the ACCHS Math curriculum to be more Algebra-centered and wrote two new math courses; Trig and Selected Math Topics, and Intro to Calculus to allow honors math students a broader variety of challenging college-oriented Math topics. He instituted and directed numerous math enrichment programs for Allentown Central Catholic, as well as for the partner elementary schools such as The John Hopkins CTY program for honors junior high students to take the SAT, PML and CML math contests, participation in Lehigh University Math enrichment where 6 Central students were chosen as members of a National Math Team to represent the north east United States.


He also coached the Scholastic Scrimmage team for 18 years. Two of his teams won the Channel 39 competition and 10 teams finished in the semifinals. There were two teams that qualified for the state finals and both finished second. His Scholastic Scrimmage teams were invited to many university competitions’ including the prestigious Harvard Invitational three times and finished in the top three each time.


Fran was entered into Who’s Who of American Teachers 12 times and was honored with “Most Influential Teacher” from Susquehanna University, Penn State University, and Cornell University.


Since his retirement, Fran has served on the board of directors at Good Shepherd Catholic School in Northampton, is a Eucharistic Minister at Queenship of Mary parish, is rector for parish retreats, is director of the parish funeral ministry, is instructor of the altar servers and scheduler, and Master of Ceremony for the parish Triduum. And in his spare time still tutors Trig and Calculus.

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