Principal Shaka Rawls’ extraordinary work at Leo continues to gain recognition from his peers in education.

Already honored as Principal of the Year for Cook County in February, Mr. Rawls was announced on July 2 as recipient of the first Helen Dumas Excellence in Education Award from the Faith Community of St. Sabina.

Helen Dumas was the long-serving Principal of St. Sabina Academy before stepping down two years ago. She remains involved with the school in the area of development. She is also a staunch advocate for the Auburn-Gresham community, particularly in the area of education … and a true friend to Leo High School.

“We’re pleased to have six young men from our Class of 2021 attending Leo,” she said. 

Mrs. Dumas acknowledged that in past years she was sometimes reluctant to recommend Leo to her male graduates because she had reservations about the school’s academic mission. “(But) you have truly turned the school around and are assisting young men to grow into responsible men as they continue their preparation to achieve their God-given purpose and destiny,” she told Mr. Rawls.

“Your commitment to the young men of Leo High School has truly made a difference in our community as well as in Catholic education and education in general.”

Mr. Rawls will receive the award at St. Sabina’s annual Brighter Futures Scholarship Benefit at St. Sabina on Saturday, Oct. 9. 

“This award is very special to me,” Mr. Rawls said. “First, because it recognizes Mrs. Helen Dumas, whom we all should strive to emulate as educators and as leaders. 

“And second, because it recognizes the long history between Leo and St. Sabina, which is a very special bond to all of us.”