In the Spotlight: Dane Whipple
You've heard of a "Double Domer." Well, Michigan native Dane Whipple is becoming what might be considered a "Double ACEr." Last year he completed his first certification with ACE in English as a New Language (ENL); now he is well on his way toward earning his second certification with ACE in Teaching Exceptional Children (TEC).
This long-time Notre Dame fan graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint, and taught in Flint-area Catholic schools until, as he says, "the General Motors strike approached and the economy took a downturn." He relocated to San Diego, where he continued teaching and found his way to ACE.
"My motivation to join the ACE TEC program," he says, "was based on my experience in the ENL program. I learned so much [there] and met so many wonderful people that, when this second program was offered, I decided to pursue it." Dane found that teaching English as a new language truly helped struggling students—his ultimate goal. So he knew that the TEC program would equally support students with mild to moderate disabilities.
What he may not have expected is the change these programs have wrought in him. Even as he has established his school's Student Study Team, a resource for parents and students to help students achieve success; and even as he has introduced Quizlet, a website that helps students make study flashcards for their classes, Dane attests to his own growth in body, mind and spirit. He speaks of his increasing empathy for students who struggle, his openness to differentiated instruction, and the value of daily mass and other resources offered during summertime training.
Just as this teacher calls his ACE experience "a blessing," so ACE calls him, ever grateful for the thought and commitment he and others like him bring to our Catholic schools.