Spartan of the Year Award

Sr KarenSr. Regina Karen McNeill, IHM, was named Immaculata’s Spartan of the Year, a prestigious award given to acknowledge extraordinary service to the school and its students. Sr. Karen, as she is known, is the 50th recipient in the school’s history. 

For 36 years Sr. Karen has been a Spartan in every sense of the word. Her prior assignments in the IHM community took her to schools in Peru, Miami, and Pennsylvania. As a Theology teacher for years here, Sr. Karen influenced the spiritual lives of literally thousands of students. As Theology Department Chairperson, Sister Karen also mentored many faculty members, who influenced additional students, adding to her legacy. 

During Sister Karen’s time here, she led countless memorable retreats for all grade levels and chaperoned many trips, both local and abroad. Sister Karen worked closely with Helen Sanford in Campus Ministry from its inception, paving the way for it to be what it is today. She continues to be involved in the service component of Campus Ministry, including working at the mammoth Garage Sale held every May. Always wanting to keep faith at the forefront, Sister Karen has been the Spiritual Director for many, and here at Immaculata has voluntarily led a weekly faculty prayer group.

For many years, Sister Karen was the faculty advisor for the freshmen during Spartan Spirit. Her role was so instrumental, because she introduced these newcomers to the phenomenon of Spartan Spirit and rallied the freshmen to participate. She probably knows every possible way to be a “Green Spartan” and inspired her students to emulate her enthusiasm. 

If one goes to Sister Karen’s office during lunchtime, it is always filled with students, chatting with her. To these teenagers she is a trusted friend and wise advisor. What an amazing tribute to her. Another important connection is her passion for Spartan sports. If she can’t get to a game, she gets results by text, so she can chat with our students the following day. 

In addition, Sister Karen has a strong bond with alumni. This has been enhanced with her latest assignment of assisting the alumni office as a liaison to graduates by way of personalized birthday greetings. 

The beloved Sister Karen is a beautiful example of a faith-filled woman with a wonderful laugh, who has given selflessly of her time and talent as a long and dedicated servant to Immaculata, the definition of a Spartan of the Year Award winner.