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ACE in Chile Transcends Borders and Languages

Written by William Schmitt on Monday, 27 February 2012.

In a world where the call to teach and learn transcends national boundaries, the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) has found a powerful synergy in teaching English as a New Language (ENL), whether the learners reside in the United States or in Chile.

ACE at the University of Notre Dame has been offering an ENL licensure program since 2006, with the aim of increasing the expertise of Catholic school teachers who teach English-language learners. The ENL program is an integral part of ACE's mission to help Catholic schools become more inclusionary for immigrant children.

The ENL program arose, in part, because ACE started to send some of its teacher-formation graduates to Santiago, Chile, to teach English at St. George's College, a K-12 school administered by the Congregation of Holy Cross, according to Rita Lyden, coordinator of the Chile ACE program (ChACE). These ACE graduates communicated their own need for further preparation in English language instruction. ‎Brian Green, Jennifer Hendrix, Michelle Cobb, and Joe Waln were the first Chile ACE program (ChACE) cohort, arriving in August 2001. They were followed by Patrick Fennessy, Townsend Bailey, Erin Kent(Lillis), Erin Luby, Jeff Nichols, and Jennifer Mullins Podichetty in 2002.

"We began with just three teachers at St. George’s in 2000,” says Lyden. The school’s leadership asked Rev. Timothy Scully, C.S.C., co-founder of ACE, “to tap into the amazing talent, experience, and spirit-filled enthusiasm of the graduating ACErs and send a few to St. George’s to be English language teachers."

In the Spotlight: Dan Faas

on Thursday, 23 February 2012.

ACE Mobile SmallDan Faas (pictured above, back row left, with his ACE community and Dr. Tom Doyle) is a middle school Language Arts and Religion teacher in Mobile, Alabama. The dedicated and creative teacher recently answered our questions about ACE Teaching Fellows:

What motivated you to apply to ACE?
I wanted to serve young people through teaching and also discern whether the vocation of teaching was "for me." The three pillars of ACE were what won me over to the program. There are a lot of teaching/service programs out there, but very few offer the built-in community and spiritual growth opportunities that ACE provides.

How has this experience changed you so far?
ACE has gradually made me into a more selfless person. The vast majority of my time and effort is dedicated to my students—which can be frustrating, but is ultimately incredibly rewarding. ACE has shown me that there are much more important things in life than my own comfort and convenience, and that serving others is the source of greatest fulfillment.

Where/how do you feel yourself making a difference?
I don't have many "aha" moments where I feel myself making a huge difference. Rather, I know that I've made the biggest difference just by showing up, day in and day out, talking about life with my students. I think the biggest difference I can make in my students' lives is just being a constant reminder that there is someone who cares about them, holds them to high expectations and believes they can achieve them. Being present and "not going away" over time has taught my students more than any 45-minute lesson, and has made the biggest difference.

What has been your greatest highlight thus far?
Being accepted into a school community and culture vastly different than my own. I'm so thankful to have been welcomed by the African-American community at Most Pure Heart of Mary and to become a part of a school family with such rich tradition and history.

For instance, I once accepted a challenge from one of my students to a rap battle — an incredibly foolish choice on my part. However, it worked out: My willingness to do so showed my students that I was engaged in their interests, willing to have fun with them, and not afraid to back down from a challenge. It was the student who was the one who eventually "cracked" under the pressure in our lighthearted duel and after that day, my students were more willing to trust, cooperate, and have fun with me.

Stations of the Cross for Teachers

Written by Ricky Austin on Wednesday, 22 February 2012.

A Series of Lenten Reflections

During Lent this year, the ACE Advocates for Catholic Schools are offering a series of brief meditations based on the Stations of the Cross. Sent twice a week to your email, each begins with a short Scripture passage, followed by a few words of reflection and then a brief prayer.  You can view the first station "Jesus is condemned to death" here.
 
Sign up now to receive these Lenten reflections.

Research on Teacher Resources Exemplifies ACE Teaching Fellowship

Written by William Schmitt on Wednesday, 22 February 2012.

Melody Family Program Supports Teachers at the Leading Edge

Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) graduate Beth Burau is taking her passion for Catholic school teaching to the next level, along with her desire to give disadvantaged children excellent educational resources. Her efforts are taking her deeper into the world of digital information, with help from a new fellowship program.

An ACE program, now in its second year, is assisting her cyberspace explorations while reaffirming her enthusiasm to stay in the classroom. This pilot program, called the Melody Family ACE Teaching Fellowship, strives to enhance the leadership potential of ACE graduates. That's a goal particularly advanced by the international network called ACE Advocates for Catholic Schools, where the Fellowship program is housed and where Beth's entrepreneurship has found a helping hand.

Beth is one of the first ACE Teaching Fellows, receiving a range of support thanks to a generous gift from the Melody family of Houston. The Melody family has partnered with ACE to support highly talented Catholic school teachers in their commitment to teaching, learning, and leadership.

Father Ronald Nuzzi Shares Catholic School Views in Ireland

Written by William Schmitt on Monday, 13 February 2012.

Ireland marked Catholic Schools Week recently with a national conference hosted by Cardinal Sean Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland. Rev. Ronald Nuzzi, ACE’s senior director of the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program, was invited to keynote the gathering with a talk titled “Catholic Schools as Eucharistic Communities.”

The participation by Father Nuzzi, who is an author and frequent speaker on the mission and meaning of Catholic schools in the United States, was the latest sign of the relationship that has grown between Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education and many of Ireland’s educators.

"I learned a lot from their experiences, and I shared a few of my own,” Father Nuzzi said of talks not only at the national conference but at additional events with religious orders and other patron groups, or trusts, who sponsor and support Catholic schools in the country.

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