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From the Field: Sylvia Rodriguez

on Friday, 11 November 2011.


As any person involved in Notre Dame ACE Academies can tell you, the schools' goals are twofold: College and Heaven. Notre Dame ACE Academies board member Sylvia Rodriguez highlights this with everyone she meets: "I tell them that we are all in this for our children, to make it a better world for them by preparing them for College and Heaven."

Sylvia Rodriguez is a walking advertisement for thsylvia rodriguez teasere value of Catholic schools. Not only is she a parish representative on the Notre Dame ACE Academies board; not only is she a Catholic school parent; Mrs. Rodriguez also heads up Madrinas y Padrinos, "a group of wonderful people who help recruit families to our schools who may not realize that it is possible for our children to attend these schools," she explains.

Says Notre Dame ACE Academies associate director Andie Cisneros, "Sylvia has done awesome things since she took over the position, recruiting new madrinas and padrinos and coordinating their efforts. They speak at masses at local parishes, CCD classes and parent meetings, and even stand outside grocery stores handing out flyers and talking to parents about the schools. She's totally committed and a force to be reckoned with in the best possible way."

"I love the Madrinas program," Mrs. Rodriguez says, "because it opens up many doors of opportunity for children and their families. When I am out giving literature about ACE schools to potential families and see the look on their faces when they hear that their children can attend because we offer tuition assistance...I feel I make a difference, especially when families show up and register at one of our schools."

The highlight for her in this work, she says, is what it offers children in terms of faith formation and the pursuit of higher education, so they can "go out and achieve their hearts' desires and become great people in society." Great people in society--like Sylvia Rodriguez!

Renewal of the Haitian Education System

on Thursday, 10 November 2011.

The University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE), alongside international partners including Catholic Relief Services and the Congregation of Holy Cross, is playing a leading role in the renewal of the Haitian educational system.

ACE Consulting is supporting the rebuilding, revitalization and improved quality of primary and secondary Catholic schools throughout Haiti.

  • Renewal of Catholic education in Haiti. Under the leadership of Haiti’s Catholic bishops, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, and with support and partnership from Catholic Relief Services, ACE is coordinating a major Catholic Education Renewal Project. The project aims to improve the quality of and access to Catholic schools across the country.  ACE and CRS are facilitating a comprehensive assessment of the country’s estimated 2,400 Catholic schools. This diagnostic portrait will inform the development of action plans for raising quality, rebuilding schools, increasing access, strengthening governance, and expanding student services.
  • Teacher formation. ACE is supporting the Congregation of Holy Cross in developing a model teacher certification program that would provide rigorous formation for Haitian secondary school teachers utilizing international best practices and leveraging technology. A pilot program in cooperation with six Holy Cross schools is planned to launch in the coming months.
  • Rebuilding. Notre Dame and ACE have also supported the rebuilding of a major Holy Cross high school in Port-au-Prince, Basil Moreau School. Significant structural repairs have been completed on the primary school building, and construction is set to begin on a new secondary school complex.

To see more of ACE Consulting's collaboration with leaders in Haiti, please go to the Haiti photo gallery.

Book Guides Educators through Action Research

on Friday, 04 November 2011.

ACE is offering an updated resource to assist Catholic school teachers and leaders in generating the kind of research that will help solve problems and benefit students in the local school setting. By embracing this mission-driven and data-informed stance, Catholic educational leaders are better equipped and more empowered to act in ways that support the Catholic schools and Catholic education.

This practical educational research – also known as action research – is embodied in ACE's Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program (RLP), where the curriculum granting a Master of Arts in Educational Administration degree includes an action research project conducted by each participant.

Cardinal Mahony Visits ACE's New Home

on Friday, 04 November 2011.

His Eminence Cardinal Roger Mahony, recently retired leader of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, celebrated Mass with the ACE community in Carole Sandner Hall on Monday, October 31, 2011.

Cardinal Mahony, a long-time friend of ACE who has welcomed ACE teachers and ACE's Catholic School Advantage campaign into his archdiocese, spoke in his homily about Jesus' remarks in the day's Gospel reading.

In Chapter 14 of Luke, Jesus attends a dinner and gives this instruction: "When you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

Cardinal Mahony reminded the ACE congregation that "all are welcome at the table of the Lord," and he has seen how joyful the poor can be because "they sense the providence of God in their lives."

He said ACE teachers "bring great hope" to the schools serving the disadvantaged. Thanking ACE, he said, "The work that you're doing is basically setting up more tables."

Gift of an Extraordinary Cross

on Thursday, 03 November 2011.

"Nanovic Cross" Blessed in ACE's New Home

ACE’s new home is blessed with an inspiring piece of religious art sculpted by a Maine artist and made possible by two very generous friends of the University of Notre Dame. The piece of art is a stunning cross fabricated from nails.

  The artwork itself, which can be seen outside the Warner Retreat meeting room in Carole Sandner Hall, was blessed by Rev. Timothy Scully, C.S.C., director of the Institute for Educational Initiatives, on Oct. 22, 2011. The blessing took place as part of a celebratory event that welcomed the artist, John Bisbee, and the benefactors, Bob and Liz Nanovic.

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