Community honors ACES' founder
William O'Brien will retire this summer as a combined ACES/Xavier system starts
By Joanne Flemming
The Appleton Catholic Education System and the City of Appleton honored William O'Brien May 30 for his accomplishments as founder and executive director of ACES.
O'Brien will step down this summer to make way for Sr. Patrice Hughes of Greensburg, Pa., who will serve as head of a combined ACES and Xavier system.
Sr. Hughes is capital campaign coordinator for her congregation, the Sisters of Charity whose founder is St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
O'Brien came to Appleton in 1985 as principal of Xavier High School. He served in that capacity for four years. In June 1986, he became director of ACES.
Appleton mayor Timothy Hanna declared May 30 "William O'Brien Day." O'Brien began the day with a Mass in his honor at St. Mary Church, then toured all the ACES campuses.
The evening ended with a program and reception at the new St. Joseph Middle School. A service berry tree had been planted on his behalf at the school. The plaque beneath it read: "With gratitude to our ACES founder and executive director, Mr. William O'Brien. You have put our gifts at the service of others. Thus in you God is glorified through Jesus Christ."