“People enter the ACE program because they want to make the world a better place.” -Katie Sutliff, ACE Baton Rouge
ACE teachers are motivated by a sense of service to others and a desire to work for the common good.
The school communities in which ACE teachers serve are often among the most under-resourced schools in the United States. Approximately 25% of ACE schools serve predominantly African-American students, while over 35% of ACE schools serve primarily Latino populations. While some of the middle and high schools in which we serve are not financially under-resourced in comparison with the elementary schools, Catholic schools are rarely able to offer salaries competitive with local public school systems, and teacher shortages are chronic and critical in most dioceses served by ACE teachers.
Teaching is a full-time job, and an ACE teacher’s service will extend beyond the walls of the classroom. ACE teachers serve the needs of these Catholic schools primarily as full-time teachers, leaders, and role models for the children at their schools, but they will also likely spend a lot of time after school working as coaches, club moderators, class sponsors, or tutors.
In the words of Carol McCarthy, ACE Savannah, “In ACE, you are constantly asked to give of yourself – in ways that you may not choose, at times that may be inconvenient, and with results that you would not always prefer. Yet you come to find that this type of generosity is the true definition of service.”
Patrick Vogtner, an ACE teacher in Jackson, Mississippi, echoed this sentiment: “ACE is the hardest job I ever loved.”
Year after year, ACE teachers continue to return from their placements with the same response – you get back far more than you put in.