SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Sister Percylee Hart, RSM, the Principal of Union Catholic for the last 40 years, has been chosen as the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Union County Commission on the Status of Women.
Sister Percylee will be honored at the 28th annual Women of Excellence Gala Awards Dinner at the Gran Centurions in Clark on March 27.
Sara Todisco, the Chair for the Union County Commission on the Status of Women and the Mayor of Garwood, praised Sister Percylee.
“Your efforts continue to have a positive impact on our community, and you have been chosen to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award as a result of your valued expertise and hard work,’’ Todisco wrote in a letter to Sister Percylee.
Sister Percylee is honored to have been chosen for this prestigious award.
“I’m very grateful and humbled by this honor,’’ said Sister Percylee.
Sister Percylee’s determination upon becoming Principal allowed for the successful merger of the Union Catholic Girls and Boys Schools. Sister Percylee has been the catalyst for every major advance that the school has made since 1980. Her progressive initiatives have positioned Union Catholic as one of the premier Catholic high schools in the state.
Sister Percylee is very proud of the growth Union Catholic has made during her long tenure as the leader of the school, and credits a great support system for the continued success of Union Catholic.
“The reason that the impact and longevity is there is because of all the people in the UC Community, the students, teachers, administrators, staff, parents, alums, and the Sisters of Mercy, who allow me to be here,’’ said Sister Percylee. That’s what makes it all work. I’m very happy for Union Catholic because this is something that everyone here has made possible.’’
It gives Sister Percylee tremendous satisfaction to see how far women have come during her four-plus decades at UC.
“I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to serve over so many years, which has enabled me to provide the modeling of leadership for young women to go forward in areas that weren’t open to women before,’’ said Sister Percylee.
Sister Percylee has created an environment at Union Catholic to ensure that her students are good people.
“Students receive their foundation in education through their high school experience, and they are also formed to be good citizens through our core values of responsibility, respect, community, honesty and compassion. The fusion of education and moral foundation at Union Catholic allows our students to take their place as good citizens and leaders throughout Union County and beyond. My call is to grow and stretch the limits of our students, and be all that God calls them to be. When I step back and think about it, this journey has been so rewarding.’’
Prior to UC, Sister Percylee was the Principal of Red Bank Catholic High School from 1970-1980. She serves as a member of the Advisory Committee and the Controversies Committee of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA), and is currently a member of the St. Bartholomew Academy Advisory Board.
Sister Percylee was also President of the Newark Archdiocese Regional Principals Association, is a former Chairman of the Board at Georgian Court University, her alma mater, and she served as the President of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and as the First Vice President on the Board of Directors of the Washington Rock Girls Scout Council.
Sister Percylee holds a Masters of Public Administration Degree from Seton Hall University and a Master of Science Degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a member of the National Catholic Education Association, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
Sister Percylee received the Union County Women of Excellence Award in 2001 by the Union County Commission on the Status of Women, was inducted into the Union Catholic Hall of Fame in 2012, the Camden Catholic Hall of Fame in 2013, and the Red Bank Catholic Hall of Fame in 2017. Last year, she had the honor of serving as the Grand Marshal of the Union County St. Patrick’s Day Parade.