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Nancy McAdams Retiring from her Post with the ESS Education Minor

Written by William Schmitt on Friday, 10 February 2012.

Associate Director of Education, Schooling, and Society Has ACE Ties

Nancy McAdams, an educator who has helped to give countless young people transformative experiences of learning and teaching, will retire as associate director of Notre Dame's Education, Schooling, and Society (ESS) minor program, effective Feb. 14, 2012.

Nancy's eight years in her crucial role with ESS—neither her first nor last term of service in education—have included teaching, advising, and otherwise assisting Notre Dame undergraduates who pursued the popular, interdisciplinary minor housed in the Institute for Educational Initiatives (IEI).

"My best experiences have been with the students, talking with them about their classes and their goals for the future," Nancy recalls. Among the approximately 100 enrolled in the minor, about 40 go into teaching after graduation, and she watches the entire group become "very knowledgeable and passionate about education."

In the Spotlight: Marisa Foyle

on Thursday, 09 February 2012.

Recently, we asked Marisa Foyle, ACE Teaching Fellows (STT) graduate and now a second grade teacher in the ACE English as a New Language (ENL) program, what difference these experiences have made in her life. Here is what she told us:

My ACE experiences over the past few years have truly blessed my life. I look forward to the challenges and the exciting discoveries I share with my students and colleagues each day in the classroom. I appreciate that I continue to learn more about myself and the world around me than I could have ever imagined. And I cherish the relationships I have built. Some of my ACE classmates have become my closest friends, and I readily turn to these people with my prayer requests, challenges, and success stories.

So far in my teaching career, I have worked primarily with students who are English Language Learners. This has sparked in me a deep desire to teach them well: to implement "best practices," to read the latest legislation, and to learn teaching strategies that serve my students better. This desire was the driving force behind my application to the ACE ENL program.

Through the program I am learning strategies and implementing assessments that I've found are beneficial not only to my ENL students, but to all of my students. In a sense, all of my students are English Language Learners because they are still learning the rules that govern our complicated language.

Through the program I am also collaborating with and learning from many other dedicated teachers throughout the country. As a result, this semester I will be forming a professional development plan to bring this information to more of the teachers at my school.

I am truly grateful to be a teacher, and I owe much of my thanks to ACE, which has given me the tools I need to refine my teaching practices and to continue to learn from and with my students each day. My students never cease to amaze me, with their eagerness to learn and explore. When I see their faces light up with smiles at their "aha!" moments, when I witness them praying, sharing, and laughing with each other, my heart fills with joy.

Student numbers grow in Chicago school

on Thursday, 09 February 2012.

The Catholic School Advantage Campaign works with (arch)dioceses to open up the possibility of a Catholic education to more students. In the Archdiocese of Chicago, St. Collete has seen a record 13% growth after working with the CSA Campaign. Read more about the wonderful story of St. Collete and other great news from Chicago Catholic schools in the Spanish newspaper Catolico. St. Colette.

Father Joe Corpora Appointed as Bishops' Consultant on Education

Written by William Schmitt on Thursday, 02 February 2012.

Rev. Joseph Corpora, C.S.C., director of university-school partnerships in the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed a consultant to the Committee on Catholic Education of theU.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Father Corpora, who is working to boost Latino enrollments in Catholic K-12 schools in his role as director of ACE’s Catholic School Advantage campaign, will consult with the bishops’ committee for a term extending to November 2014.

The committee provides guidance for the educational mission of the Church in the United States in all its institutional settings; its scope includes Catholic elementary and secondary schools as well as Catholic colleges and universities.

In the Spotlight: Peter Piscitello

on Wednesday, 01 February 2012.

As part of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, the CYO of Johnson & Wyandotte Counties is home to over 5,500 kids who represent their parishes while participating in football, volleyball, basketball and track each year.

When Peter Piscitello became the executive director of the CYO in 2010, he saw an opportunity to reshape the way these children, their parents and coaches interact with youth sports. "Youth sports are a tremendous vehicle for spiritual, physical and even cognitive growth," he notes. "It's important that in our Catholic parishes and schools we recognize the impact sports can have in a young person's life and treat it as a ministry, as an extension of their Catholic education." In the face of a society that can take youth sports too seriously and create poor environments for children, this meant finding a way to give parents and coaches the tools to lead a revitalized approach to youth sports.

Peter's search for a partner in the formation of coaches and parents led him to Notre Dame and the Play Like a Champion program. This past fall, the CYO implemented the "Sports as Ministry" and "Parent Like a Champion" workshops for coaches and parents. The response has been fantastic, with every coach in the organization attending along with a parent from nearly all of the participating families. "You can see the impact right away," Peter says, "the program helps parents and coaches to see sports as a way to develop their kids' relationship with Christ and grow as individuals. The feedback from parents and coaches has been fantastic and the environment at games has been great." The partnership has helped the CYO be a leader in providing an authentically Catholic opportunity for kids to participate in sports.

Peter developed his passion for this ministry at an early age, as he knows first-hand the impact of youth sports. A lifelong fan and competitor in a variety of sports, Peter came to the CYO from work in collegiate athletics. He met his wife Tessa while an undergraduate at Benedictine College and is thrilled to be settled in Kansas City with his family.

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