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"The mind will not be cultivated at the expense of the heart."

Wednesday, February 10, 2021 by Connor Ruff | Frassati Intern - Cohort 3 | Computer Science ‘22 | Archdiocese of Chicago

Connor Ruff Frassati Internship

"The mind will not be cultivated at the expense of the heart."

To a Notre Dame student, these words, plastered around University advertisements and brochures, perhaps have become a bit trite. But the Frassati Internship dares you to consider this idea beyond just your First Year Experience course and gives you the opportunity to do so.

What Catholic Education Has Taught Me

Tuesday, February 09, 2021 by Rachel Rell | Frassati Intern - Cohort 3 | Marketing and Theology ‘22 | National Catholic Educational Association

From kindergarten through eighth grade, I attended a very small Catholic school in central Wisconsin. St. Francis was the only Catholic school in my town, and one of only fourteen Catholic elementary schools in the northern half of the state. I certainly enjoyed my time at St. Francis, but saying that I moved on to high school and college without fully recognizing the impact my school and church had on my life would be an understatement.

Celebrate Good Times? Even Amid a Pandemic, Catholic Schools Bring the Joy

Monday, February 01, 2021 by Tim Will

Celebrate Good Times? Even Amid a Pandemic, Catholic Schools Bring the Joy

“Umm...what are we celebrating, Miss Ogden?”

The voice came through Kathy Ogden’s computer speakers, barely audible over the uplifting beats of “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang.

“We just finished our first full day of virtual learning!” was Kathy’s energetic answer.

Finding Grace in the Daily Drive

Monday, November 23, 2020 by Kenna Arana

ACE Teaching Fellows - Finding Grace in the Daily Drive

Whitney Lim and Raymond Moylan never know what their daily drive down Broad Street in Philadelphia will bring, but they both agree that it’s grace-filled.

As first-year teachers in ACE 27 and community members, they’re part of a long ACE tradition: carpool buddies. That means mornings and afternoons swapping stories and reliving the fun parts of the day together.

A First Communion and a New Community

Thursday, September 24, 2020 by Kenna Arana

Alliance for Catholic Education Teaching Fellow Blog - A First Communion and a New CommunityPhoto credit: Morgan Hale (ACE 27 - Jacksonville)

As a student at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, Nick Hughes (ACE 27, Detroit) was trying to learn more about the Catholic faith. Although he was baptized Catholic, St. Thomas’ Catholic identity didn’t play a role in his initial decision to attend.

Nick didn’t know it at the time, but his decision to explore his faith in college would play a major role in his post-graduate plans. Not only that, it would ultimately lead to the celebration of his First Communion during his first summer in ACE.

Choosing Joy

Monday, September 21, 2020 by Corey Gayheart, ACE 26 Austin - 5th & 6th Grade Teacher at St. Louis Catholic School

Sometimes we have teachers that touch our lives in ways we only discover once we are well past their class in our lives. Those teachers can be few and far between for some kids, and for others, they may be every teacher at their school. Other times, those lessons don’t come from a teacher, but from a mom, or an older sister standing up to a bully at your bus stop. Being a teacher, I recently discovered one of those “far off” lessons that one of my teachers subtly and unknowingly gave me years ago: choosing joy.

The Aspect of Love

Friday, September 04, 2020 by Hannah Steiner - ACE 26, Indianapolis

“You’re an ACE teacher?!” one student exclaimed during a brief chat after her soccer game. “All the ACE teachers are so nice!”

I’ve met most of the people who deserve that shout out, the people who have paved my way into an automatic positive repertoire: Imani Bunn, Andrew Jansen, Allie Griffith, Sam Lobo. It extends further than that, too. It extends to every ACEr, every little cog in the great big ACE machine, dedicated towards bringing Christ to the students of Catholic schools, day in and day out. But what exactly should I take from this student's words – “so nice”?

Forming Educators from a Distance

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 by Kenna Arana

Forming Educators from a Distance

At the beginning of 2020, who would have foreseen that this would become the year of Zoom calls? Our day-to-day lives have been transformed by the need to social distance, and we’ve all had to find new ways to connect with one another. By now, we’ve become accustomed to seeing only as much of people as can fit into a rectangle, and “Zoom fatigue” is setting in. We’re eager to know what life will look like in a few months, and as educators, we’re especially eager to know what it will look like to reopen schools and classrooms.

Leadership in Teaching and Coaching

Monday, June 29, 2020 by Sam Lobo - ACE 25, Indianapolis

Leadership in Teaching and Coaching

As a high school soccer and middle school volleyball coach, I’ve had to talk about leadership to several students, so I’ve spent some time pondering this question: 

What makes a good leader?

Finding Hope from a Distance

Thursday, May 28, 2020 by Anna Bourjaily - ACE 24, Sacramento

Anna Bourjaily ACE Blog - Hope from a Distance

I’ve grown accustomed to a new norm as a teacher: sleeping in.

Instead of my usual 6 a.m. alarm, since March 16th my alarm has gone off at 7:45, with just enough time for me to roll over in bed and grab my computer. From there, I sit and wait for my school Gmail to explode with notifications of assignments posting for the day. Within minutes, another set of emails arrives from students who are up and ready to go right at 8:00 asking for clarification in directions. Nine times out of 10, they read the directions too fast, but every so often I’ve forgotten to post something or forgotten a step in the directions. So begins another day of virtual instruction. This one will not end until close to 11 p.m., once I am done grading assignments and editing the next day’s assignments. The day finishes with a daily update video for my sixth graders explaining what to expect the next day.

Zoom with a Dash of Salt: Community Dinners in the Age of Quarantine

Friday, May 22, 2020 by Audrey Scott

ACE 21 Tampa Zoom Reunion

“We had this awesome house reunion on Zoom,” says Iona (née Hughan) Popa, who was a member of ACE 21 in Tampa. “Those relationships… I know that ACE has deeply influenced who I am.”

The Remaining Pages

Thursday, May 21, 2020 by By: Joe DiSipio - ACE 25, Sacramento

Joe DiSipio - The Remaining Pages

Joe DiSipio is a member of ACE 25 in Sacramento, where he taught fifth grade for the last two years at Saint John Vianney School in Rancho Cordova, California. When his time at SJV is complete, Joe will receive his M.Ed. and join the ACE Teaching Fellows Pastoral Team to help recruit and form future cohorts of ACE teachers.This piece was originally published in the SJV parish magazine, Built on the Rock

Have you ever read a great book that so captures your imagination that you feel immersed in this story, in this world, that you don’t want to finish the book? It is a conflicted feeling; as you see the remaining pages dwindle, you are torn between wanting to know what comes next and never wanting to leave this place you’ve come to love. Maybe you never wanted to leave Middle Earth, Narnia, Hogwarts or countless other lands. But the story must come to an end.

A Time for Everything

Thursday, May 07, 2020 by Bridgette McDermott

Clock - Time for Everything

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot…a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away...a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace…” - Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, 4, 6-8

As I reflect on the past few weeks, these verses from Ecclesiastes have stuck with me. I have often found myself teetering between moments of pure hope and joy and moments of pain and sadness. We have all entered into a “new normal,” learning how to love and to sacrifice for those around us in the midst of social isolation and pandemic fear. It can feel challenging and difficult to weather this season of life and to remain hopeful in the process.

What Will You Do?

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 by Katie Willis - ACE 25, Santa Ana

25 Santa Ana WillisWhen my school first shut down, my first thoughts were of all the things I could no longer do: see my kids, hang out with friends, or coach lacrosse. These thoughts were followed by all the things I was suddenly expected to do: teach online, stay in the house, and be “normal.” These seemed like impossible tasks, each riddled with challenges. 

Teach online? You may as well tell me I’m a first-summer ACE teacher leading practicum lessons the next day with no idea what a lesson plan is. 

Stay within the same four walls all day? I thrive off a busy schedule. I went from having a ready-made schedule to facing expectations of creating and sticking to a new routine, separating work and home life, and juggling family and friends. I struggled to handle it.

But in a recent conversation with my mom, she asked me to contemplate all the new things I could do during quarantine. 

Finding New Blessings

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 by Matt Sheber-Howard - ACE 25, Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City Skyline

This was supposed to be a “victory tour.” These post-spring break weeks were supposed to be a wonderful celebratory string of “lasts” at Mount St. Mary Catholic High School, a place that has meant so much to me for two years. This was supposed to be an incredible conclusion to an incredible two years. This is not how it was supposed to be.

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