July 9, 2011 – The Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) conducted its 16th Commencement exercises Saturday, July 9, with a U.S. Department of Education official addressing the 106 graduates. See WNDU-TV coverage.
Juan Sepulveda, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, delivered the keynote address, thanking the ACE graduates for serving as educators in under-resourced Catholic schools “at a very critical time for us a country” when all children must be globally competitive.
He urged the educators to be innovative, asking themselves, “How can I create schools that maybe haven’t even existed before, because that’s what it’s going to take for our kids to be successful.”
The graduates comprised 81 members of ACE’s “ACE Teaching Fellows” class, which prepares young adults as teachers in Catholic schools around the country, as well as the latest 25-member class from ACE’s Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program, focused on the formation of Catholic school principals.
The former group earned the Master of Education degree, while the latter group earned the Master of Arts in Educational Administration degree. They received the degrees from Notre Dame Vice President and Senior Associate Provost Christine Maziar, who served as master of ceremonies at the afternoon Commencement.
Also as part of the event, John and Patricia O’Brien received the 2011 Notre Dame Award for Catholic Education. Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C., a founder of ACE and director of the University’s Institute for Educational Initiatives, credited the O’Briens with a lifetime of “seeking better educational opportunity for children in need.”
Two members of former ACE graduating classes—Norma Nelson and Joseph Womac—were this year’s recipients of the Michael Pressley Award for Excellence in Catholic Education. An inaugural Micheal Pressley Award for a Promising Scholar in the Field of Education went to another ACE graduate, Peter Miller.
Since its inception some 18 years ago, the ACE ACE Teaching Fellows program has grown from a service initiative composed of a handful of Catholic school educators to a movement that has commissioned 1,400 teachers to serve Catholic schools throughout the United States. The Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program has prepared more than 170 educators now serving as school leaders in 41 states.
ACE and the Institute for Educational Initiatives, a Notre Dame academic unit of which ACE is part, undertake numerous formation, research, and professional service initiatives to support and strengthen K-12 education.
Contact: Bill Schmitt, Communications/Media Specialist 574-276-0340.