Alumni Spotlight: Rachel McKenzie Mathew, ’99

February 05, 2021

Rachel McKenzie Mathew, B.A., ’99 was named Distinguished Graduate by Christ the King School in Nashville this week. The award recognizes Mathew’s long service to children in the Catholic schools of Nashville, but also her own education in Catholic schools. In addition to her education at Christ the King and Father Ryan High School, Mathew is a graduate of the Teacher Education Program at Aquinas College. 

“Mrs. Mathew…is a testimony to the enduring positive influence of 16 years of Catholic education,” said Sherry Woodman, principal of Christ the King School, at the award ceremony on February 2. The Distinguished Graduate Award is an initiative of the National Catholic Educators Association (NCEA) recognizing “graduates of Catholic schools who have made a contribution to American life and/or the Catholic Church” (from the NCEA website). 

Mathew has taught Pre-K at Christ the King since 2011. She was instrumental in establishing the Pre-K program and building it up to what it is today, according to Jeanette Vogt, advancement director at Christ the King School. After earning a B.A. at Aquinas College, Mathew taught second grade at Christ the King and Pre-K at St. Mary’s Villa. Mathew’s contribution as a catechist, Vacation Bible School instructor, and Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion at Christ the King Catholic Church are some of the reasons for this award. But more important is the great love with which she approaches her vocation as a teacher. “She does small things for small people with great love and the heart of a teacher,” said Mrs. Woodman. “She believes that including God in all lessons helps students make faith connections and builds good character.”

Aquinas College congratulates Mrs. Rachel McKenzie Mathew on receiving the Distinguished Graduate Award. 

Photo courtesy of Christ the King School.