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FISD Hope Rising Coordinator Receives Spirit of Mercy Award (September, 2006)

Patricia “Patti” KubanetPatricia “Patti” Kubanet, coordinator of FISD’s Hope Rising trauma and loss program, has been named the 2006 recipient of the Catherine McAuley Distinguished Alumna Award/Spirit of Mercy from her alma mater Mount Mercy Academy in Buffalo, New York.

Kubanet came to FISD as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Pediatric and Adoescent Medicine. She is also a certified Trauma and Loss and Bereavement Specialist. Following the various incidents of school shootings in other states during in the 1990s, she approached the school board about instituting Hope Rising, a grief counseling program designed to help children and families deal with grief and trauma. Kubanet had worked with a similar program out of state. The program has assisted school faculty and families in dealing with deaths in the family, suicides, and in the schools when a student has died due to illness or accident. Kubanet works with school counselors, nurses and other volunteers with training and preparation for traumatic events. Her team was particularly effective last year in assisting students coming to FISD from Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina.

Rick Reedy, FISD superintendent, is very proud of Kubanet and the honor she has received from her alma mater. “Ms. Kubanet has helped Frisco ISD be better prepared for dealing with loss and trauma through Hope Rising. Her efforts have helped countless families dealing with tragedy. FISD is a community that loves one another and Hope Rising helps us reach out to others in need and give comfort.”

Kubanet says her early education served as inspiration for her career choice and her life. “The Catherine McAuley Distinguished Alumna Award from Mount Mercy Academy serves as an affirmation of the lessons learned in my youth and which I still so cherish. I have often felt that the foundation of faith and mercy came first from my parents and was then enriched through my Mt. Mercy experience. It was there that I found a profound demonstration of compassion and integrity. Mt. Mercy encouraged its teachers to be enthusiastic and gave them the freedom to teach “outside the box” theories that would stimulate its students. Mt. Mercy’s teacher’s doors were always “open”.

Mt. Mercy’s administration provided an environment of growth, purpose and direction, never wavering from a foundation built on faith, knowledge, integrity and compassion. In reflection, I understand what a gift it was to attend a school that encouraged the individual passions of its youth,” she said, noting that her parents were also strong supporters of education.

“I thank my parents for encouraging and supporting me in those years. From the moment I stepped onto my first school bus, my father Joe Meegan, told me “you are now off to your job…your teacher is your boss, your leader, your guide. Listen and respect your teachers because everything you’ll need to know can be found in the books”.

I recall his words today and smile. It is no coincidence that I find myself working in the Frisco ISD so many years after graduating from MMA. I believe in this school district and its vision of excellence, knowledge, integrity and compassion. Joe Meegan would be proud.”

Kubanet also said she is thankful for her husband Dan who has encouraged her life’s work. The Kubanet’s have two children, Carly a senior at Texas A&M and Jesse a freshman at Wakeland High School.