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ACE's Top Stories of 2015

Thursday, December 31, 2015

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As we prepare for the ball to drop, for a rousing rendition of Auld Lang Syne, and to ring in the New Year with loved ones, New Year’s Eve also gives us a chance to look back at the year we’ll be leaving behind. Here at ACE, we’d like to share with you our top stories from 2015, a year filled with blessings for all those who devote their lives to Catholic schools.

Plus, what’s more fun than a countdown?

10. What a blessing it was for the Holy Father, Pope Francis, to visit a Catholic school during his visit to the United States in September. Fr. Tim Scully’s editorial from the New York Post reflected on the meaningfulness of the visit: “Francis’ visit is no empty gesture. It’s an invitation to each of us—calling us to go out to the world, to the periphery, and bring life and hope to the people who need it most.”

9. Throughout the year, education reform leaders have talked about Catholic schools being on the cusp of a “renaissance,” particularly as they fit into a concept called “3-sector reform.” Just what is 3-sector reform, and why should you care? John Schoenig, ACE’s Senior Director of Teacher Formation and Education Policy, explains in the ACE Blog.

8. 2015 was filled with inspiring stories from classrooms around the country that are making God known, loved, and served every day through their hard work and devotion to the Gospel. One such story from a Notre Dame ACE Academy in Tucson reminded us what is possible when children stop to think about what they can do for those around them, even with something as simple as peanut butter and jelly.

7. We know that Catholic school teachers around the country are doing whatever it takes to provide a quality education for their children, and ACE Teaching Fellows Coordinator of Supervision Brian Collier’s advice on strengthening content area expertise provides an excellent way for all teachers to keep improving!

6. ACE 22 began its journey in 2015, and a member of the newest ACE Teaching Fellows cohort shared three things to know about this group of teachers who now have a semester of teaching under their belt.

5. ACE graduates have gone on to do many great things after their time serving through ACE Teaching Fellows, and ACE was blessed to honor a few of those graduates this year for their outstanding contributions to their fields—from transformational principals to game-changing researchers, both in education and in other fields.

4. This year’s graduating classes from ACE Teaching Fellows and the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program were blessed with the opportunity to hear former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz provide his witty, inspiration advice at the 2015 ACE Commencement Exercises.

3. The Notre Dame ACE Academies, ACE’s leading network of authentically Catholic schools providing an education of the highest quality to as many children as possible, expanded its reach in 2015, partnering with four new schools in the Diocese of Orlando—St. Andrew School, Holy Redeemer School, the Basilica School of St. Paul, and Lourdes Academy.

2. When we stop to reflect on the saints, how do we picture them? Perhaps in habits, robes, or clerics, thinking of them in their roles as priests and religious women? But in Catholic schools, we’re in the business of forming saints—children in hoodies, J. Crew polos, and Air Jordans—who have just as much potential to become saints as those who came before them.

1. 2015 was an amazing year for Catholic schools, but don’t forget that this school year still has another semester that’s just about to start! Here are six things about Catholic schools that are just as important to know now as they were at the beginning of the school year.