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Regional Roundup

on Wednesday, 06 June 2012.

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Boston ACE Advocates (BACE)
, along with several students, donated a Spring Clean-up day of service to St. Rose of Lima School in Chelsea.  Pictured above are BACE members Shannon Kwiatek and Meg DeLaney with a St. Rose student, sanitizing kindergarten toys.

The Chicago chapter of ACE Advocates hosted its third annual Educator Forum at Gordon Tech College Prep. The theme of this year's forum was "Meeting the Diverse Needs in Catholic Schools"; its focus was on best practices for inclusion, differentiation, and leadership at the elementary and high school level.

After hosting a CornHole Tournament to raise funds for Annunciation school (where, at right, Advocates receive instructions before launching the bean bag fun), Denver Advocates wrapped up the semester with gratitude, delivering gifts of bagels and juice to the area's six ACE schools.  They will celebrate the year (and the success of raising over $3,300 for Catholic schools) with a community happy hour.

Advocates in Indianapolis spruced up the gardens at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, a perfect springtime activity. This was the fourth of their Prayer/Service/Community-building days this year, which continue to draw not only graduates of ACE but also a host of other Catholic school supporters. Later this month, they'll finish the year with an afternoon retreat. Pictured above are Gary Asher, Peggy O'Conner-Campbell, Joe Feeser, Ann Berends, and Mary McCoy.

ACE Ireland had a Missioning Mass to send forth two teachers to serve in ACE partner schools in the United States. Fr. Michael Drumm shared a meaningful reflection on how grass grows. Read about that here.

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In Mobile, four local groups came together for a service project at Most Pure Heart of Mary School. Members of the Notre Dame Club of Mobile, the Eastern Shore Young Adults, and the Mobile ACE Advocates along with several local teachers from Notre Dame's ACE program did yard work and painted a classroom and other areas around the school.

Because area Catholic schools don't have a school soccer league, Tucson Advocates organized a soccer tournament for students last month.

View more pictures of some of these regional activities on Facebook.

If you have updates you'd like to share about your ACE Advocates region, click here.

Michael Pressley Awards Will Go to 3 Outstanding Educators

Written by William Schmitt on Tuesday, 05 June 2012.

Three outstanding educators committed to sustain, strengthen, and transform Catholic schools have been selected to receive the 2012 Michael Pressley Awards from the Alliance for Catholic Education's ACE Advocates for Catholic Schools.

The seventh annual Michael Pressley Awards for Excellence in Catholic Education will go to Molly Carlin and Kyle Pietrantonio, who are both outstanding school leaders in the Atlanta area. The second annual Michael Pressley Award for a Promising Scholar in the Education Field will go to Michael Faggella-Luby, a newly tenured associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut.

Catholic School Champion: G. Michael Pressley

on Saturday, 02 June 2012.

pressley awardA prodigious and world-renowned scholar, Dr. Pressley served as the inaugural academic director of ACE's ACE Teaching Fellows (STT) program. In May 2006, he lost a hard-fought battle with cancer.

Dr. Pressley's legacy in the academic world is replete with evidence from his research, writing, mentorship of graduate and undergraduate students, contributions to state and national education policy, and service to the profession in the areas of literacy and educational psychology. He was a member of the Notre Dame psychology faculty from 1997 to 2001 and, while serving ACE, was also Notre Dame Professor of Catholic Education.

Michael Pressley was one of the most cited scholars in the field of social science and education. He belonged to the distinguished few who were among the 1 percent cited in research literature. He was well-known for his work on balanced literacy instruction, reading strategies for comprehension and text analysis. He was renowned for his senior authorship of the k–6 basal literacy program, Open Court, now known as McGraw-Hill/SRA Open Court, a series that has had a direct impact on millions of children.

Dr. Pressley was honored with several prestigious career awards during his career. He published more than 350 articles and book chapters, and authored or edited more than 25 books on literacy, psychology and education. His contributions to individuals, programs, universities and the education profession are numerous; the value of his role as a key architect of ACE STT's academic program cannot be overstated.

Soon the 2012 recipients of the Michael Pressley Awards for Academic Excellence and Promising Scholar in the Education Field will be announced. To read about last year's recipients, click here.

Citation:Michigan State University School of Education

An Array of ACE Programs and People will Energize Summer at ND

Written by William Schmitt on Tuesday, 29 May 2012.

The summer break at the University of Notre Dame will surge with energy as the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) begins its peak season. This internationally known initiative will welcome new classes to its formation programs for teachers and leaders and will host numerous campus programs and events for people passionate about sustaining, strengthening, and transforming Catholic schools.

ACE is best known for its ACE Teaching Fellows program, founded in 1993, to prepare young men and women from around the country to serve as teachers in under-resourced Catholic K-12 schools in more than two dozen dioceses. Nearly 90 newcomers in ACE's 19th class will arrive on Friday, June 1, to begin their formation in this two-year journey that culminates in an M.Ed. degree.

These competitively selected members of ACE 19 will join the ACE 18 teachers taking their second summer of courses, and all will spend eight weeks experiencing the pillars of ACE formation—excellence in professional service, community life, and spiritual growth. The two cohorts will live in residence halls and share retreats and daily Mass opportunities during their rigorous summer schedules. They will prepare to take up classroom duties this fall in numerous cities—from Brownsville, TX, to Washington, DC, from Los Angeles to Memphis to Tucson—serving children in Catholic schools while living in intentional ACE community houses near those schools.

In the Spotlight: Matt Kloser

on Thursday, 24 May 2012.

kloserheadshotAs a teacher in ACE 9, Matt Kloser learned quickly that becoming a successful educator was about more than enthusiasm and hard work. Using ACE teaching methods in the high school science classroom, he says, "I recognized the professional nature of teaching and thus the complex practices that go into designing curriculum, interacting with students, facilitating discussion, and assessing what students understand."

Since graduating ACE, Matt has taken what he learned from the program and applied it both as a summer instructor for ACE and as a graduate student at Stanford University, where he earned a PhD in Science Education this spring (and where he received the 2011 Outstanding Paper Award from the National Association for Research in Science Teaching).

These endeavors have served to deepen his appreciation of ACE in transforming educational settings—from both inside and outside Catholic schools. Based on his experience as an ACE instructor, he says, ACE teachers are developing "into some of our schools' strongest teachers and leaders." And as a resident of the Bay Area, Matt attests to the value of what ACE Advocates are doing for Catholic schools there, such as raising funds for and awareness of a middle school in the heart of San Francisco's most under-resourced area. The school, he says, is an "oasis for students who would likely never make it through high school – their success stories are amazing." Both the school and the Advocates are benefiting from the partnership.

Matt Kloser and his new wife Lauren (ACE 14 and a high school English teacher) will return to Notre Dame this fall, where Lauren will join the faculty of St. Joseph High School and Matt will join the faculty of ACE and the Institute for Educational Initiatives. "My time will be balanced between teaching, establishing a research agenda in the teaching and learning of science, and developing a vision to improve STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education in the United States—in all schools, but specifically in Catholic schools." He goes on, "The University has so many resources available in the STEM areas and Notre Dame can be a major player in improving STEM education – that which is so vital to the success of our nation's financial and social welfare."

The ACE family is delighted to welcome the Klosers "home" and continue working together in the Spirit's movement to strengthen and sustain Catholic schools.

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