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"Don't go to where you're comfortable. Go to where you're needed."

Audrey Scott on Tuesday, 27 February 2018.

Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Denver Elias Moo reflects back on his journey in Catholic education, and looks forward to new challenges.

Elias Moo Superintendent Denver

“My first encounter with Notre Dame was Rudy”.

Elias Moo was at his Oxnard, California, high school’s college fair when his guidance counselor asked if he had gone to the Notre Dame table and what he thought of them. Moo answered, “Yeah, I did. I don’t really remember the conversation. I remember getting some packets from them, but I don’t even know where Notre Dame is.” She asked, “You’ve never heard of Notre Dame? Have you ever seen the movie Rudy?” After Elias answered “no” to both questions, his counselor told him, “I have a homework assignment for you. We’ll talk more about Notre Dame tomorrow, tonight you go home and watch the movie Rudy.”

ENL and the Church

on Monday, 19 February 2018.

By: Will F. Peterson, ACE 21 Memphis

ENL and the Church Will Peterson

The February after I graduated from ACE Teaching Fellows, I stumbled into a social justice position at the University of Kentucky’s Newman Center. My timing was fortunate as the Diocese of Lexington’s bishop, John Stowe, OFM Conv., had recently appointed three parishes to serve as places of welcome for the influx of Catholic Congolese refugees to the United States escaping the horrific violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Our Newman Center was to be one of them.

Teachers Helping Teachers: Lauren Kloser, ACE 14

Kati Macaluso, Ph.D. Matt Rhodes on Tuesday, 06 February 2018.

Teachers Helping Teachers - Lauren Kloser

ACE 14 graduate Lauren Kloser currently teaches English at Saint Joseph High School in South Bend, IN. This third installment of Teachers Helping Teachers highlights a different way English teachers can combine a variety of genres (novels and poetry) and communication modes (reading, writing, and performance) into one larger learning objective. In this particular case, Lauren uses the theme of “choice and its importance in our lives” as a way to unify her teaching of Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi with poetry writing and performance. Her unit design and instruction help to illustrate for students the ways that authors can deploy themes and devices across genres, but in accordance with different genre-based conventions.

Catholic Schools Week 2018 - Succeed

Written by Stacie Rego, Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellow on Friday, 02 February 2018.

Catholic Schools Week 2018 - Succeed

To celebrate National Catholic Schools Week, we are sharing four reflections centered around the themes of "Learn, Serve, Lead, and Succeed." Today's reflection on "Succeed" comes from Stacie Rego, a Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellow from St. Edward the Confessor Parish School in Dana Point, CA.


 On this day of Catholic Schools Week, we reflect on our call to succeed. As educators, we are asked to analyze and reflect on data, scores, and formative assessments to gauge lesson success. However, our true success cannot be measured simply by a test. Rather, success is reflected in the courageous and selfless actions, choices, and faith of the students that we serve.

In our time with students, we’ve found that students’ choices and actions that have moved us to define success in new ways. These two examples have shown us that ultimately, our success is reflected in the learners we share our lives with each and every day.

Our students have the courage to see Jesus in others and be Jesus to others. Last week, a student reminded us that our vocations call us to more than academic success. While walking down the hall, we came across a student sitting along the wall in tears. He had forgotten his homework and was heartbroken by his mistake. Before reaching the student, another boy gently leaned down and comforted him with soft and calm words. He explained, “It’s ok. We all make mistakes. It hurts right now, but it will get better.” The tears began to wane, and a smile appeared. As educators, this moment reflected success in our mission to help our learners develop into faith-filled servants of Christ. A young boy was able to look outside of himself and see Jesus in another while still having the courage to be Jesus to someone in need.

Our greatest success is reflected in the confidence to take risks amidst the struggles and challenges. As Catholic educators, we seek to support and serve students from all backgrounds and ability. With this mission comes times of struggle, hardship, and difficulty. As we mentor and support our students through scaffolding, targeted strategies, and data-driven methods, we also seek to support their emotional wellbeing and confidence to take the first steps down a difficult path.

We are reminded of these courageous first steps with a student who began believing in himself through tough and timely trials. When completing assessments or assignments in the past, our student showed anxiety and fear when the time to complete drew near. Afraid that his choices were incorrect and afraid to take new risks, he would draw out assignments until unfinished work became unmanageable. With the support of teachers and his family, he began to trust in himself, knowing that each setback was an opportunity to grow and learn. In his most recent assignment, he confidently answered each question without hesitation, trusting that his preparation and knowledge would carry him through. He relied on himself, knowing that his teachers stood steadfastly at his side to guide him in his pursuit. Seeing the beaming face of a confident child courageous enough to take new risks reflects the success that we seek and savor as Catholic educators.

During Catholic Schools Week, our hope is that we continue to support and cherish the success we experience through the children that we serve. For our success is not one that can be measured by numbers, but rather, reflected in the faces of the children with whom we are blessed to share our calling.


Interested in improving your school's STEM instruction? Visit stemeducation.nd.edu/trustey and submit your application to the Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows before March 1!

Catholic Schools Week 2018 - Lead

Written by Margie Marshall, Principal of St. Juliana School and member of the Center for Transformational Educational Leadership on Thursday, 01 February 2018.

Catholic Schools Week 2018 - Lead

To celebrate National Catholic Schools Week, we are sharing four reflections centered around the themes of "Learn, Serve, Lead, and Succeed." Today's reflection on "Lead" comes from Margie Marshall, the Principal at St. Juliana School in Chicago and a member of the Center for Transformational Educational Leadership.


During my first year as a Catholic school teacher, whenever I complained about a challenge at school, a close friend and fellow teacher used to say, “We didn’t sign up for easy.” As I lead a school, I am often reminded of this, as every day presents a new challenge. While I can rarely use the word “easy” to describe my profession, I don’t think I would want to, as there is so much good that comes from the challenges of school leadership. 

Each day I am lucky enough to interact with hundreds of smiling children who are truly happy to come to school. I am touched by the kindness and generosity they show to one another, day in and day out. I am inspired by their willingness to forgive and the ease with which they see Jesus in one another. As I visit classrooms, I witness students coming together to complete assignments, share ideas, and help each other learn. I see excitement and joy as they master a difficult concept, and I hear thought-provoking discussion and reflection as they consider new and different viewpoints. 

It can be easy to forget about these moments as I go through my endless to-do list each day: responding to emails, completing paperwork, and managing the many parents, staff members, and stakeholders who ask for a minute of my time. However, these moments with the students are why I do this work; they are the motivation behind all I do. 

With these students in mind, I strive to view obstacles in light of the opportunities they bring, rather than the difficulties they present. Balancing the budget can be a chance to use every dollar available to improve our curriculum and provide our students with the resources they deserve. Discussing a classroom observation with a teacher is a way to share a new strategy that will improve student learning. Conversing with an angry parent is an occasion for collaboration for the good of that particular child. None of this work is easy, but I do believe it is a privilege and a blessing. I am rewarded daily as I share in the joys and successes of my students, and their smiling faces make it all worthwhile. They are the reason that I do this work and that I love leading a Catholic school.


Learn more about the Center for Transformational Educational Leadership at ace.nd.edu/transform