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From the Field: Noah Franske

on Thursday, 13 October 2011.

How would you answer this question? At its core, teaching is about _____. Fr. Tim Scully, CSC, co-founder of ACE answers the question this way: "Teaching is ultimately a sacrament of friendship." And Noah Franske, ACE STT second year teacher and our From the Field focus this week, agrees. "I don't think I ever realized how much I could care for another person," he says."You have to reach deep down to find that kind of a relationship, and teaching creates that experience."

The native Minnesotan is learning this valuable lesson in St. Petersburg, FL, where he teaches math at St. Petersburg Catholic High School. "I had so many great math teachers in high school," he says. "I really wanted to give back." He goes on, "Most of my math students have never had a math teacher anywhere near their age. Bringing energy, enthusiasm, and a true love for math to the classroom makes them realize that math really can be fun and hip. Bringing my faith and life experiences into the mix also provides them with a solid role model, something several of my students need."

True to the give-and-take of relationship, Franske also emphasizes what he has learned from his students. "I've learned incredible patience, gratitude, and humility through my students' struggles. I've learned that nothing in life should be taken for granted. And I'm thankful for every day I have to learn from my students." Teaching is, he says, "truly life-changing."

Noah Franske will graduate the ACE program in July.

Countdown to ACE Marathon 2012

on Wednesday, 07 September 2011.

The history of this fundraising extravaganza

The ACE Marathon began in 2002 when a small group of ACE teachers decided they were crazy enough and dedicated enough to run 26.2 miles to raise money for one of ACE’s neediest schools, St. Malachy, in South Central Los Angeles. Over the course of the year, this small yet committed group raised enough money to keep the doors of St. Malachy open--and a new ACE tradition was born.

Since that start in LA over nine years ago, the ACE Marathon has made stops in New Orleans, Austin, Tampa Bay, Birmingham, Ft. Worth, Pensacola, and Phoenix, and has raised nearly $300,000 for ACE schools along the way. Last year alone, runners in the Phoenix marathon raised over $27,000 for St.Therese Catholic School as well as the various schools at which the ACE runners teach. As you can see from the picture above, they were none the worse for wear!

Want to learn more? Visit the marathon website.

ACE Missioning Sends Forth Teachers

on Monday, 01 August 2011.

The Most Reverend Jaime Soto, Bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento, joined the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) in a rite of “missioning” on Friday, July 22, invoking blessings for more than 200 educators set to teach in Catholic schools around the country.

The group being sent forth from the University of Notre Dame included recent college graduates pursuing graduate degrees in education in ACE’s ACE Teaching Fellows program and certified teachers pursuing graduate degrees in educational administration in the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program. Teachers in ACE’s English as a New Language (ENL) program and field consultants in ACE’s campaign to increase Latino enrollments in Catholic schools were also missioned.

“It is for all of us together a privilege to share in the teaching ministry of Jesus,” Bishop Soto told the ACE gathering at the Missioning Mass in Notre Dame’s Basilica of the Sacred Heart. He urged the teachers, “Do not be timid about your desire to know, love, and serve the Lord Jesus. Let this light shine because it is the Lord’s light shining in you.”

ACE conducts a range of initiatives, including formation programs and professional services, to sustain, strengthen, and transform Catholic K-12 education. ACE Teaching Fellows, ACE’s original formation program founded in 1993, is sending 173 teachers to Catholic schools in 26 dioceses around the country, including Bishop Soto’s Sacramento Diocese. The missioning caps ACE’s summer of on-campus studies for the formation programs but serves as the prelude to continued study and classroom experience.

The Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program, which prepares teachers to be principals and other leaders in Catholic education, sent forth 54 educators to schools where they will continue their formation. Certificate programs in ENL and Teaching Exceptional Children (TEC) together enroll about 50 educators every year.

The “Catholic School Advantage” campaign has formed partnerships with seven dioceses, consulting with schools to double Latino enrollments.

ACE’s traditional “missioning” events also included a prayer service on Thursday evening. ACE co-founder Rev. Timothy Scully, C.S.C., cited Gospel references about light and the Christian mission. “If Catholic schools are about anything,” he told ACE teachers, “it’s to proclaim this truth to your students, to your families, to yourselves: ‘You are the light of the world.’

106 Graduate at ACE Commencement

on Tuesday, 26 July 2011.

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.

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