Kathleen Cepelka, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, has been named the 27th recipient of the National Catholic Education Association’s John F. Meyer award for 2013. Since July 2010, she has overseen the 14 secondary and 99 elementary schools in the archdiocese.

The West Allis native has spent more than 43 years in Catholic education, beginning in 1969 when she taught junior high English at St. Joseph School, Fond du Lac. She has earned two master’s degrees – one in English, one in educational administration, been principal of two elementary schools, a prep school, and a high school, served as a diocesan and archdiocesan superintendent of schools, earned her doctorate in educational administration and taught at the university level, where she was also an associate dean.  

The Meyers award is named in honor of Msgr. John F. Meyers, interim president of NCEA from 1972 to 1974 and president from 1974 to 1986. The award, created by the NCEA board of directors, honors an individual who has supported Catholic education at any level or in any educational setting. Previous recipients include the late Cardinal Terrence Cooke of New York and the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago.

Cepelka will receive the award April 1, in Houston.