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New York Life creates scholarships for at-risk children in Notre Dame ACE Academies

Written by William Schmitt on Thursday, 29 September 2011.

The University of Notre Dame last week recognized leaders of the Tucson General Office of New York Life Insurance Company as "champions for educational opportunity." New York Life's recent contribution of $100,000 through Arizona's corporate tax credit scholarship program will provide scholarships for more than 100 at-risk children to attend Notre Dame ACE Academy schools in the south-side Tucson community.

Dr. Christian Dallavis, director of the Notre Dame ACE Academies initiative, and Andrea Cisneros, assistant director of Notre Dame ACE Academies, presented a token of the University’s appreciation to Marc Braden, the Managing Partner of New York Life’s Tucson General Office, and Joe Casey (Notre Dame Class of ’79), a Tucson-area New York Life agent.

The Notre Dame ACE Academies leaders were joined in their statement of appreciation by the superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Tucson, Sister Rosa Maria Ruiz, CCFM.NYL Plaque small

 In Arizona, insurance companies and C-corporations may receive a 100-percent tax credit when they contribute their state tax liability to certified scholarship granting organizations like the Catholic Tuition Support Organization (CTSO) of the Diocese of Tucson. New York Life’s contribution to CTSO provides opportunities for disadvantaged children of low-income families to attend high-quality schools, including two Notre Dame ACE Academies in Tucson.

“New York Life is pleased to invest in our local community, and to work with Notre Dame to strengthen educational opportunities in Tucson,” said Marc Braden, managing partner of New York Life’s Tucson General Office.

“This tax credit program has enabled an incredible partnership,” said Christian Dallavis, director of the Notre Dame ACE Academies initiative. “It allows a major national company like New York Life to invest in a community it serves while making it possible for the Notre Dame ACE Academies to put more at-risk kids on the path to college.”

The Arizona tax credit initiative was one of several education reform initiatives discussed Wednesday, September 28, by the Notre Dame Forum Panel, “The Conversation: Developing the Schools Our Children Deserve.”  The Most Rev. Gerald Kicanas, bishop of Tucson and a panel participant, said, "I think it’s wonderful that New York Life, a company that is literally in the business of risk management, is creating opportunities for at-risk children.  In a very real way, this contribution is at the heart of both their mission and ours."

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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