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A Great Decision at First-An Even Better One in Retrospect

Friday, February 09, 2018 by Connor Bliss - ACE 24, Mission TX

Connor Bliss Blog

As I think back on my decision to say “yes” to ACE nearly a year ago, so much in my life since that moment that has confirmed that I am where I am meant to be. When I started my final year of college, I found myself in a position that is familiar to many seniors with an interest in education: I needed to choose between the countless alternative teacher certification programs that dot the country. In the moment, the only thing that mattered to me was picking the program that would best prepare me to walk into a classroom sometime in mid- to late August for my first day of school. On these grounds, ACE stood out to me based on the qualities that have made it a world-renowned program (intensive summer coursework and practicum placement, excellent academic support from a team of extremely accessible faculty, ability to earn a free Master of Education degree from the University of Notre Dame–the list goes on and on).

"Why is This Model of Learning Not Standard Across the Nation?"

Monday, February 05, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Trustey STEM Teaching Fellows RISE Summit

I recently had the privilege of joining my colleagues from the Notre Dame Center for STEM Education for the third annual RISE Summit in Palo Alto, California. The RISE Summit is an opportunity for Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows–some of the nation’s most outstanding STEM teachers who take part in a multiyear professional development program through the Center–to gather, reflect, collaborate, and grow. As if a trip to California in January was not enough on its own, I was overjoyed by the enthusiasm, curiosity, and determination of the 56 Fellows. I learned so much from these outstanding teachers throughout our short workshop on blended learning, and I wanted to share one of the most important takeaways and one of the most interesting discussions from our session.

Why ACE? 7 Reasons, Factors, and Motivators

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 by Caroline Rooney, ACE 25 Intern

Caroline Rooney Why ACE? 7 Reasons, Factors, and Motivators

Entering into a new community can be an intimidating experience. But sitting in ACE Chaplain Father Joe Carey’s family room at the beginning of the year, I felt at home with the other ACE Interns as we talked about our discernment processes. Talking to FJ, surrounded by my incredible classmates and ACE community leaders—some I knew and some I had just met— we all laughed, listened, and spoke with one another as if we had been long-time friends. I vividly remember feeling so profoundly struck by each person’s vocational journey that guided them to say “yes” to ACE. Inspired by that night and the passionate responses of my ACE community members, I came up with the seven (my lucky number) reasons, factors, and motivators that guided my vocational discernment:

The Epitome of Perseverance

Thursday, January 04, 2018 by Katie Heussman, ACE 23 – LA South Central

ACE 23 Kaite Heussman Perseverance

I often lament the hardships the we face as educators, complaining to housemates or anyone who will listen, and too infrequently acknowledge the resilience of my students. One student in particular, John, a sixth-grade student at Holy Trinity, displays his perseverance despite his circumstances.

A Few Thoughts on Vocation and Education

Monday, December 18, 2017 by Dr. Ernest Morrell

The following was taken from a presentation given to current ACE Teaching Fellows by Dr. Ernest Morrell at the 2017 December Retreat. 


Vocation and Education Ernest Morrell

The next day John was there again with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. - John 1: 35-39

“Are Y’all the New ACE Teachers?”

Friday, November 17, 2017 by Patrick Scheuring - ACE 23, Plaquemine

Patrick Scheuring ACE 23 Baton Rouge

One of my first memories of Plaquemine, Louisiana, was the day after I arrived. My community and I decided to go to Mass at the local church, and I remember a feeling of discomfort coming over me as we walked in. Here we were, strangers in an already tight-knit community, and the stares of the parishioners reminded me of that fact. When Mass ended, a middle-aged couple in front of us turned around and asked, “Are y’all the new ACE teachers?” Our cover was blown! In a town where everyone knew everyone, I suppose it was an easy assumption, but what followed felt like the love of Christ shining through this special place.

Collecting Hope in the Wake of Hurricane Harvey

Wednesday, November 08, 2017 by Amanda Walsh - ACE 23, New Orleans

Amanda Walsh Collecting Hope Hurricane Harvey

When my second graders at St. Joan of Arc School in New Orleans heard about Hurricane Harvey, the news struck them particularly hard. Many of them have relatives in Houston, and the images of the flooding and destruction were difficult to comprehend. After my principal asked our classrooms to figure out how we could help, we decided that we wanted to do something besides hosting a classroom food drive. We created a community action plan, which included asking not just our friends and family members for donations, but also asking our neighbors.

A Good Shot to the Ego

Saturday, October 14, 2017 by Thomas Yarcusko - ACE 23, Chicago

Yarcusko Blog

I must admit that I’ve always struggled with being humble. That’s why there’s nothing quite like a good shot to the ego. 

No Longer a New Face in the Crowd

Sunday, October 01, 2017 by By: Adam Farchone - ACE 23, Tampa

ACE Tampa 2017-18

During my second ACE summer, I heard a lot of stories from ACE grads about the second-year teaching experience. Maybe it was because I asked more questions, or maybe it was because these seasoned ACErs saw the curiosity in my eyes and were more than willing to offer a few pieces of advice to an eager almost-second-year teacher.

"I am #2"

Thursday, September 21, 2017 by John Cunningham, ACE 25 Intern

I am #2 - John Cunningham ACE Teaching Fellows

During my sophomore year of high school, I first heard the call to serve. Ms. McGuire, my literature teacher at Bishop Kelley High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, asked the class to pick a dream job. For some reason, my response was “teacher.”

Cindy Hayden: Sunshine at St. Philip Neri Catholic School

Thursday, September 14, 2017 by Elizabeth Anthony

Cindy Hayden Notre Dame ACE Academies

When I think of Cindy Hayden, a veteran teacher at St. Philip Neri Catholic School with 36 years of experience, I think of sunshine. Cindy exudes positivity, enthusiasm, and love in everything she does, especially when she interacts with her first-grade students. When I entered her classroom for the first time last year, I saw smiling students working hard on meaningful assignments–a sure sign of leadership by an outstanding teacher.

Let Us Begin Building!

Monday, September 11, 2017 by Michael Zelenka

Michael Zelenka Let Us Begin Building

My daughters Elizabeth (age 6) and Catherine (age 4), constantly create. Whether coloring blackline pictures, drawing freehand, cutting things out, glueing, taping, dancing, or singing, they create incessantly.

Returning to the Classroom

Thursday, August 31, 2017 by Karen Gilmore - ACE 23, Baton Rouge

Karen Gilmore ACE 23 Return to the Classroom

Returning to my school after my second ACE summer felt like how I imagined Lucy felt when she returned to Narnia through the wardrobe after trying to relay her experiences to her siblings to no avail in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Ascension Catholic High School was a place where I experienced exciting and difficult things, where I forged relationships with people most of my friends and family were likely never going to meet, and where my worldview changed profoundly.

Teaching Tolerance

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Teaching Tolerance Monica Kowalski, Ph.D.

In the wake of the horrific events in Charlottesville, Virginia, knowing that racism and violence still have a prominent place in our nation is frustrating and embarrassing. I am acutely aware of my own white privilege as I write this, knowing that it is my place of privilege that allows me to just be frustrated and ashamed of this situation rather than imminently threatened and afraid. My heart goes out to those facing discrimination and violence and I pray for greater tolerance and love in our communities.

Teachers as Translators: Lighting a Fire

Friday, August 11, 2017 by Luke Janicki - ACE 22, Peoria

JanickBlog2

ACE Teaching Fellows graduate Luke Janicki (ACE 22 - Peoria) offers a two-part reflection on his experiences in the classroom and how he used his Spanish speaking skills to create connections in the broader school community. Part two is below and part one is titled, "Teachers as Translators: Doing the Unexpected".

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