Margaret Holland Pennell with her family after the Southwestern Madison County Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year awards dinner.
GRANITE CITY — Holy Family School has so much to celebrate at the upcoming “carnival” themed Gala Dinner and Auction on Saturday, March 14, at St. Mary’s Engelbert Hall in Madison.
Not only have the students at Holy Family achieved many accomplishments this year, their beloved principal, Margaret Holland Pennell, has had a banner year in the community and educational environment, receiving two major awards. The Holy Family students and staff will be honored by the school family at the gala. The school is very proud of Pennell, their role model and leader.
Pennell, executive director of Holy Family Learning Center, graduated from Eastern Illinois University and earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. In May 2013, Pennell received a master’s degree in administration at McKendree University.
An outstanding McKendree University student, Pennell, among other faculty and student honorees, was recognized at an honors convocation at the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts on campus. She was lauded for her accomplishments as the Outstanding Graduate in Leadership and Administration. She was selected for membership in Phi Kappa Phi and Kappa Delta Pi. The event, which honors outstanding students, faculty and staff, was part of the university’s inaugural Academic Excellence Celebration.
“Our honorees represent the best of what McKendree is striving for,” said Dr. James Dennis, president. “McKendree University continues to grow in reputation because of the accomplishments of our students and faculty. Our mission is to provide a high-quality educational experience to outstanding students. Days like today show that we are achieving that mission.”
The Southwestern Madison County Chamber of Commerce named Pennell the Citizen of the Year. To earn this honor, recipients must demonstrate success in their chosen profession, provide extraordinary service to the community and exemplify high ideals in their personal lives. Pennell is only the second woman to receive this award from the chamber.
Pennell has served as choreographer at Saint Louis University and has choreographed the musicals at Granite City High School for more than 40 years. Other community activities have included serving on the Advisory Committee for the Alfresco Arts Center, the Board of Directors of Summer Stage and Masquers Community Theater Organizations, Board of Directors of Solid Granite, President of Quad City Church Women United, Brownie and Girl Scouts leader, Boy Scout Merit Badge counselor and Granite City Park District’s Patriots in the Park, to mention only a few. She is the mother of three daughters and is the daughter of the late Margaret and James Graham Holland. She has one brother, Dr. James L. Holland, a retired psychologist.
Everyone is invited to purchase tickets for the gala dinner. Tickets must be purchased in advance at $35 per person. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for dinner with complimentary soda and draft beer. There will be a silent and oral auction. For more information, call Bitsy Burge at (618) 558-6127.