Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart

Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart is thrilled to announce the honorees for our Christus Super Omnia Distinguished Alumna award, Franciscan Charism Award and Living the Spirit Awards!


Join us to celebrate these remarkable individuals at our 2017 Christus Super Omnia Scholarship and Awards dinner, taking place on November 2 at the Atrium@Rich's!

Elaine Pauly '51 is being recognized with the Christus Super Omnia distinguished Alumna award in recognition of a lifetime of dedicated and exemplary service in the workforce, as a volunteer and to Sacred Heart Academy.

Upon graduation from Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart, Elaine immediately began working, while also taking classes at the University of Buffalo. In 1959 she joined General Electric Corporation, initially with the Semi-Conductor Product department. After holding positions in finance and operations, she moved into Industrial Sales, becoming the first woman to hold the "Sales Engineer" title. While working, Elaine attended the University at Buffalo and received diplomas in Business Law and Technical and Business Mathematics. In addition, she worked toward her Electrical Power Diploma in AC&DC Circuitry. Elaine was a pioneer for women working in an industrial setting within General Electric and beyond. Her efforts truly paved the way for future generations of women working in technical fields. In 1992, GE recognized her with the Distinguished Career Award, and in 1988 she was recognized with the "Golden Eagle Award" for top motor sales in the corporation. As a part of this prestigious honor, she was presented with a registered, authentic, limited edition bronze sculpture entitled Ready for Action by W. Shoop.

While Elaine's career kept her very busy and engaged with customers and travel, she has always remained dedicated to causes that she finds meaningful. She is a longtime supporter of Gerard Place, located on Buffalo's East Side. Gerard Place provides housing and supportive programs for homeless, single-parent families, aiming to strengthen the community by empowering individuals and families toward self-sufficiency via community education and outreach. In addition, Elaine gives of herself to others through work at her parish, St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows in Elma. Elaine serves as a Eucharistic Minister at Mass as well as bringing the Body of Christ to those who are too ill to leave their home or care facility. She also drives infirm parishioners to medical appointments when necessary. Elaine continues to support the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity. Her dedication to Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart is remarkable. She is a member of our Bequest Society and has faithfully served on The Sister Maria Pares Golf Tournament Committee for nearly 20 years. Her fellow committee members often remark that she has brought more golfers to the event over the years than anyone else!

As an avid golfer and bowler she has received numerous achievement awards.

Elaine's every action reflects Franciscan qualities. She acts as a peacemaker, always helping opposing sides find common ground. She is tireless in her work and continually pushes forward toward achieving goal - while remaining caring and considerate of all involved. Her professional success and volunteer dedication both illustrate the quality of her character and depth of her loyalty.


Ellen Mancuso Coleman '86 is being recognized with the Christus Super Omnia distinguished Alumna award in recognition her commitment to the Western New York community, through her professional and volunteer service and dedication to supporting good health in all she does.

As a fitness professional, Ellen has successfully managed the group exercise programs for seven Buffalo Athletic Club locations with a staff nearing 80. She has attained AFAA Group Exercise certification, a YogaFit Level 1 &2 certification, a TRC certification and many other professional accreditations. She is currently a weight loss coach and will be certified through ACE. She uses her skills and qualifications to continually work with others toward a healthy life.

Ellen does not just help those she encounters at work. She constantly finds ways to go above and beyond and use her exceptional organizational skills to coordinate others to take action to benefit the community. Hope Chest Buffalo is an organization that has particularly benefitted from Ellen's passion and dedication. The Hope Chest Buffalo organization supports breast cancer survivors and their families. The organization works to  inspire women diagnosed with breast cancer to lead active and fulfilling lives through a unique health and physical fitness program known as dragon boat racing. This program addresses the whole person focusing on physical, emotional and spiritual health. Hope Chest Buffalo has one annual fundraising event, The Dragon Boat Race. For over five years, through Ellen's leadership, hundreds of paddlers participated in the race. For example in 2016, Ellen recruited 12 teams (including a record-breaking 276 paddlers) and raised $14,400 in sponsorship and an additional $5000 in individual contributions.

In addition to Hope Chest Buffalo, Ellen has worked as an individual and led groups in support of Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo and Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Ellen demonstrates Franciscan values through her daily interactions with hundreds of women. She coaches her students and clients to respect, accept and love themselves using exercise to develop their bodies, minds and spirits. Ellen is deeply committed to positively influencing the lives of all women no matter their height, weight, age, skin color, physical limitations or level of physical conditioning.

Ellen brings a sense of fun to her workplace and volunteer activities! She uses humor to encourage self-acceptance and to motivate women to work hard to achieve their goals. She gives a shout out to SHA during some of her classes and always gets a responding cheer back from other SHA alumnae working out with her.

Heide Herrmann '91 is being recognized with the Christus Super Omnia distinguished Alumna award for her lifelong commitment to serving the underserved through her work  in the US Attorney's office and as a Magistrate Judge in the District of Columbia.

Before graduating from Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart, Heide was not only accepted into Case Western Reserve University, but also guaranteed a spot in the CWRU School of Law upon completion of her undergraduate studies. After working as an attorney in Cleveland, Heide relocated to the District of Columbia in 2000 to begin her sixteen year career in the Department of Justice.

At the United States Attorney's Office, Heide worked on behalf of victims of sex crimes and domestic violence. She prosecuted the most serious of sexual offenses against the most vulnerable members of our society, including sex workers, transgender individuals, mentally disabled adults and children.

In addition to this work, Heide also acted as a trial attorney in the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Department of Justice. During that time she was part of a team that handled the Spent Nuclear Fuel Litigation, which stemmed from a multi-million dollar breach of contract. Heide and her team ultimately saved the US Government more than $50 million. Her work in this arena earned her the John Marshall Award for Outstanding Legal Achievement.

Outside of her professional responsibilities, Heide has worked as a pro bono guardian ad litem with the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project representing the interests of children in high-conflict custody cases. She volunteered to train advocates at the DC Rape Crisis Center, familiarizing personnel with criminal procedure and the life of a sexual assault prosecution.

Heide is also a lover of animals and has volunteered as an interpreter and guest educator at the Smithsonian National Zoo. She enjoys educating visitors about gorillas, orangutans, lemurs and gibbons, as well as highlighting conservation efforts and environmental issues.

When she is not advocating for the underserved, Heide is a woman who sets lofty personal goals and works diligently to achieve them. She has been a competitive powerlifter with the USA Power Lifting Association (USAPL) since 2014. She holds several records in the DC area. She also enjoys spending time with her family, entertaining and staying connected with her SHA friends!

David McNamara  is being recognized with the Franciscan Charism award for his years of service on the Board of Directors of Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart, as well as his commitment to our mission. Dave is the proud father of Jules, a SHA Alum, and has continued his commitment to the Academy after her graduation.

Dave is a partner at Philips Lytle, LLC and his practice is concentrated in commercial litigation. He served as managing partner from 2007-2016 and as a member of the governance committee from 2001-2016. He is also a member of the firm's diversity committee.

Dave is currently in his second term on the Board of Directors of Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart, serving as Vice President. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, The State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law Dean's Advisory Council the Harvard Law School Leadership in Law Firms Alumni Association and as the Explore & More Children's Museum "Play it Forward" capital campaign chair.

Dave has been honored for excellence in his field, to include being listed in The Best Lawyers in America. He has appeared on the Buffalo Business First Power 250 List each year from 2014-2017.

NativityMiguel Buffalo is being recognized with the Living the Spirit award.

The NativityMiguel Middle School is a faith-based middle school transforming the lives of underserved students in a secure and nurturing environment on single gender campuses:  the St. Monica Campus for girls and the St. Augustine Campus for boys.
In partnership with our families, we deliver a uniquely effective education that includes an extended school day and school year, dedicated and caring teachers, personal mentoring and continuing support through high school graduation.
Since September 2004, the NativityMiguel Middle School of Buffalo has provided middle school students the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty through education. Many students had failed at school and were ready to give up. Today, students at our St. Monica Campus for young women and St. Augustine Campus for young men embrace the programs they need to prepare for success in high school and beyond. Our graduates now attend many of the area's top public and private high schools and are continuing on to college.