The Rev. Peter Weigand

Principal of the Year

Nothing is more fulfilling to the Rev. Peter Weigand than his moments of solitude with God and his role as leader of St. Anselm's School.

The monk of over 30 years is of the Benedictine Order, and his school places value on scholarship, education and love of learning. What drew Weigand to the monastery, he said, was the order's vow of stability, something he loves to provide for his students.

Weigand was honored as the 1999 principal of the year for the District with an award sponsored by MetLife and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. He was honored along with 52 other principals from across the country at a ceremony in October at USA Today with U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley.

"This is truly an honor to be recognized with the very best in my profession," Weigand said. "This award is not just for me, it is for my students, teachers and parents." Weigand was presented with a diamond-shaped crystal from the association and a crystal Snoopy from MetLife.

Although the order is noted for stability, Weigand is not afraid to take risks to improve his students and the school. "We have tried a variety of different courses, including Native American Indian Studies, humanities and foreign languages," Weigand said. "We are also committed to economic and religious diversity."

The school in Northeast Washington has a small community of about 250 students. It has a rigorous course of study that includes three to four hours of daily homework for each of its students in grades 6 through 12. "If you place the challenge before students, they will rise to meet that challenge," the principal said.

Weigand, who lives in the rectory on the school's 42-acre campus, opens the school every morning at 6. He was nominated for the award for his dedication to the students, learning, his school and the community. He said that prayer, contemplation and quiet reflection sustain him through the fast pace of leading what Weigand calls the Benedictine Family.

Barry F. Scher

Harvest Hope Award

Barry F. Scher, vice president of Giant Foods Inc., was honored with Second Harvest's Hope Award for his excellence in food bank board leadership. Scher, has been chairman of the board of the Capital Area Food Bank in Northeast Washington for 11 years and is responsible for increasing its budget almost $5 million. Under his leadership, the organization's food distribution has grown from 4 million to 22 million pounds annually. The food bank gives the food to the homeless and low-income families.

Sister Ann Forrest

Award for Working with Abuse Victims

The national women's organization Alpha Chi Omega Foundation, in conjunction with D.C. Council member Harold Brazil (D-At Large), awarded Sister Ann Forrest a $2,000 grant for her work with victims of domestic violence.

Forrest works at Mount Carmel House in Northwest Washington. The women's shelter is dedicated to aiding victims of domestic violence and abuse. Forrest plans to use the grant to continue fighting the negative effects of domestic violence. "I know Sister Forrest and the Mount Carmel House will put this grant to use helping victims. I support these organizations in their pursuit of a common goal to decrease domestic violence and abuse in the District," Brazil said.

Timothy J. May

Lawyer of the Year

The Bar Association of the District of Columbia has named Timothy J. May lawyer of the year for his outstanding contribution to the legal profession and community and for his successful legal career. May, of Northwest Washington, works with legislative law and trade associations. One of his colleagues, Stuart M. Pape, said, "Tim's commitment to public service is unequalled in his belief that the less fortunate in our society are as entitled to capable legal assistance as the fortunate." May will receive the award at a banquet next week.

Mayor's Arts Awards

Seven residents of the District and five Washington organizations were presented with Mayor's Arts Awards for their talent and rejuvenating spirit for the arts. Winners were selected by a panel of judges and were honored recently at a gala celebration and awards ceremony at the Lincoln Theater.

In the Excellence in an Artistic Discipline category: Gaston Neal won for his literary contributions of poetry; Michael Platt won for his paintings, drawings and prints that speak to the human condition; and the Woolly Mammoth Co. was selected for its extensive education and outreach programs.

Outstanding Emerging Artists included: Keith Alan Baker for his work in creating professional opportunities for emerging artists through his productions; and Lisa Pegram for her work in designing and conducting poetry workshops for teachers and students throughout the District.

Excellence in Service to the Arts awards were given to: Kenneth Carroll, director of the WritersCorps, who helps writers become more active in the civic, educational and cultural life of Washington; and the Humanities Council of Washington D.C., which has worked with individuals and organizations to increase public access to the humanities through lifelong learning programs.

The National Building Museum Youth and Family Education Programs and Washington Very Special Arts received the Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education award. Laurie Stroblas received the Innovation in the Arts award for a project that brings poetry to District residents and visitors. Art-O-Matic Planning Committee and Sponsors and Charles C. Stephenson Jr. received special recognition for their contributions to the arts.

Organization

Washington Hospital Center has been ranked Top Hospital in Heart Care by the National Research Corp. The hospital is the only one in the District with the ranking, which is based on results from the 1999 NRC Healthcare Market Guide study. The study contains more than 170,000 consumer responses that ranked the top 124 hospitals in the nation out of 2,500 as the most preferred providers of heart services. Last year, Washington Hospital Center performed more than 2,588 open-heart surgeries and nine heart transplants.