“Marygrove can be particularly proud of Lorraine Ozar’s concentration on Catholic education as her arena. Catholic schools play such an important part in the faith development of our young people,” says Margaret Dixon Kronk ’68, a classmate and lifelong friend.
Two years ago, Dr. Ozar, a nationally known scholar in curriculum and instruction in Catholic schools, was appointed founding director of the Center for Catholic School Effectiveness (CCSE) at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Education where she is an associate professor. The center emerged from her consulting experience with more than 40 dioceses in the United States as well as “think tank” work with the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) and the Jesuit Secondary Education Association (JSEA). Dr. Ozar already has attracted substantial grant funding to realize the center’s objectives: providing high quality professional development for teachers in Catholic schools and conducting related field research. The center plans to publish curriculum and instructional material and develop an educational laboratory for graduate students interested in careers in Catholic schools. She notes that in today’s highly competitive education market, Catholic schools need to offer top-notch academic programs within their faith-based context.
Dr. Ozar has written two groundbreaking and widely used books: Creating a Curriculum That Works: A Guide to Outcomes-Centered Curriculum Decision Making and By Their Fruits You Shall Know Them…: K-12 Religious Education Outcomes for Catholic Schools, both published by NCEA. She has conducted dozens of workshops and seminars for teachers around the county on “backwards design” or instructional planning based on what the instructor wants the student to have learned by the completion of a given course or unit.
According to Dr. Jane Hammang-Buhl ’68, “Lorraine is recognized as a visionary leader. She combines vision with the ability to implement new ideas and others have recognized the rare merger of these two competencies in a single individual.” She cites Dr. Ozar as a founding
member of the board of Immaculate Heart of Mary High School (Chicago), an IHM-sponsored school. The late Cardinal Bernardin appointed Dr. Ozar a founding member of the Advisory Board for the Office of Conciliation in the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Dr. Hammang-Buhl continues, “Gender equity issues were a long-standing issue for her. Therefore, when Marillac (women) and Loyola Academy (men) high schools began to investigate an innovative model of coeducation through a merger of the two institutions, Lorraine became part of the administrative team that implemented this new model. She served as Associate Headmaster for Faculty and Curriculum Development and Academic Dean for ten years in the merged high school.”
“Dr. Ozar is a highly sought presenter in her areas of expertise. Importantly, she enables educators to connect academic excellence with the mission of the school as Catholic,” says Mary Frances Taymans, SND, EdD.
After Marygrove, Dr. Ozar attended graduate school with a NCEA Fellowship and earned her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Philosophy with Phi Beta Kappa honors at Fordham University. Her career ever since has concentrated on Catholic education. She has lent her expertise to many undertakings of the NCEA in the areas of instructional leadership, curriculum development and staff development. She is a frequent presenter at NCEA conventions and conferences.
Dr. Ozar has received recognition awards from NCEA; the Higher Learning Commission, an accrediting body; and the Institute for Catholic Educational Leadership at the University of San Francisco.
From Marygrove, Dr. Ozar says that she received a very rigorous, relevant liberal arts education among women who believed that “things mattered” and that it was important to find out what those things were and live your life in accord with them for others. A personal motto that she attributes to Martha Graham is “To love what you do and feel that it matters, what could be more fun.” She feels the Distinguished Alumni Award is a testament to enduring friendship and means a lot to her that the selection committee believes that working in Catholic education is important and merits recognition.
In her limited leisure time, she loves “walking in beautiful places and going to dinner with family and friends.”