Associate Kurt Paprocki teaches all levels of Spanish at Saint Viator High School and he moderates the Spanish Club. But that’s just part of his role. He often accompanies students on retreats, leads them on international trips and he connects them with Viatorian schools in Madrid and in Colombia as they learn to converse with native speakers.

VYC delegates interview Associate Kurt Paprocki.

At this year’s end of the year faculty luncheon, Kurt was recognized for his 20 years of service to the school — and he was awarded the Louis Querbes Award, as voted on by his peers on the faculty. It is given annually to a faculty or staff member who best represents the spirit and mission of Saint Viator High School.

Associate Cathy Abrahamian, who serves as administrative assistant to the president and moderates the votes, said the award was fitting.

“He always says yes,” Cathy said. “He does everything around the school, but he works behind the scenes and doesn’t seek any accolades.”

Kurt has been at Saint Viator High School for 24 years, including four as a student — he graduated in 2000 — and the last 20 as a faculty member. Four years ago, in 2020, Kurt joined the Viatorian Community as an associate.

Kurt Paprocki, right, with students on a trip in March to Costa Rica

“Over a two-year discernment period, I met with fellow pre-associates to discuss the Viatorian charism, the life and history of Fr. Louis Querbes and where we fit in to this giant puzzle,” Kurt says. “Our monthly meetings were something I looked forward to. I was among other pre-associates deciding on becoming part of something special.”

As an associate, Kurt works to animate the Viatorian charism with his students. Later this month, he will volunteer as an adult leader at the high school’s unique Service & Song Camp. The one-week camp introduces middle school students to Saint Viator’s emphasis on service, particularly in the immediate community.

One of his favorite activities is to bring his students to Mass in the Alumni Memorial Chapel at Saint Viator, on special feast days, such as the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, where a Viatorian priest celebrates the liturgy in Spanish.

“It’s such a bonus when my students see Viatorian priests and brothers speaking in Spanish,” he says. “They get to see them as multi-talented individuals with numerous gifts. Hopefully, these Viatorians are paving the path for our students to become global learners after they graduate from Saint Viator — and remain Viatorians.”