Education alumni honored for excellence

Several Saint Mary’s University Graduate School of Education alumni earned prestigious awards in the past year—the most notable being Angela Harvala, a 2012 graduate of the M.A. in Education Program, and Erin Quinlan, a 2011 graduate of the M.A. in Educational Leadership program, who both brought home National Milken Educator Awards, frequently referred to as the “Oscars for Teachers.” Harvala is a fifth-grade teacher at North Elementary in Princeton, Minn., and Quinlan is a reading specialist and instructional coach at the Captain Isaac Paine Elementary School in Foster, R.I. Each received a $25,000 cash prize and the acknowledgement of being one of the best teachers in the nation. Harvala was chosen, in part, because of her dedication in understanding students’ individual study habits and home lives, as well as her development of a “Catch Up Club,” a program that helps students complete work on time. Quinlan was honored for influencing school culture and student achievement by co-chairing the Curricular Revision subcommittee, co-running the school Learning Celebrations, and co-chairing the Student Council. She is also enrolled in her school’s principal residency program. Saint Mary’s education alumni and students frequently make news for excellence in teaching. Here’s the list of alumni who recently earned excellence in education awards: Child Care Exchange’s Emerging Leader — Roz Zuest M’12 MESPA Minnesota National Outstanding Assistant Principal— Christen Hull C’11 MESPA Minnesota School of Excellence Awards — Andrew Caflisch M’99, C’01; Peter Hardy M’01, C’03; Lisa Carlson M’97, C’05; MESPA 2015 Division Leadership Award Recipients — Thomas Cawcutt M’04, C’06; Nichole Laven M’03, C’09; Cheryl Martin M’00; Christine Vang M’98, C’04 MASSP Minnesota Assistant Principal...

Saint Mary’s a Princeton Review best college

WINONA, Minn.–Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is one of the best colleges in the Midwest. That’s according to the Princeton Review’s “2016 Best Colleges: Region by Region” listing. Released this week, on Aug. 3, 2015, the list includes only 159 colleges in 12 Midwestern states. Excellent academics and student satisfaction are the primary criteria for inclusion in the “2016 Best Colleges: Region by Region” list http://www.princetonreview.com/bestMWcolleges. This annual list identifies schools as “regional bests” across the country in four locales: the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, and West. In total, 649 schools received this designation, which is a select group that constitutes only 25 percent of the nation’s four-year colleges. The Princeton Review survey asks students to rate and comment on their colleges. Here are what some students say about Saint Mary’s undergraduate college campus in Winona: Saint Mary’s “beautiful setting” and “tight-knit community that focuses on growing in mind, body, and spirit” sets students up for success. An education major gushes that “Saint Mary’s offers students more than an education; this school gives students a home away from home.” Saint Mary’s has many strong academic programs, including education, science, and art. Students are enthusiastic about their classes, calling them “meaningful and worthwhile.” Students say that professors are “very helpful and knowledgeable” and are here “truly for the students.” The 12 Midwest states include: Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The Princeton Review is an education services company known for its tutoring, test-prep courses, books, and other student resources. About Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota awakens, nurtures, and empowers...
Creatively teaching to reach students

Creatively teaching to reach students

During his fall student teaching experience, Chris Sanchez found creative ways to effectively challenge and focus the energy of his students. With a classroom full of second-graders, there was a lot of energy to focus. After that taste of being in charge of his own classroom, Sanchez is anxious to begin his career. He hopes to teach children in any grades between two and six. “This age group loves learning and wants to learn more,” he said. “They want to read ahead; they want to do extra problems; and I love that energy.” Sanchez fell in love with teaching when he was trying out different majors at Saint Mary’s. “As I kept taking more education courses, it felt right,” he said. “Guiding and teaching children and finding ways to help every student is so rewarding.” Sanchez credits his elementary education classwork for helping him prepare for his first classroom experience. “The professors at Saint Mary’s want you to succeed and are always available to help you,” he said. “The education courses helped me learn how to be an effective teacher and how to create good lessons that will benefit my students. Professors really helped me create a toolbox of strategies and methods on how to be an effective teacher.” But, he says, much of what it takes to teach has to be learned on the job. “The courses prepared me as much as they could have,” he said. “You have to think on your feet and go with the flow. Through student teaching, I got to test my approaches and see what I needed to change once I got...
Missing Voices promotes equity in education

Missing Voices promotes equity in education

The annual Missing Voices: Equity in Education Summit is one way Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota helps people, through intense inquiry, discover the truths in the world around them and the character within. “I’m going to leave with a brain full of things to think about. It’s definitely more than a one-day experience. It’s about what we do after this event, after we walk out the doors, that really matters,” said one Missing Voices 2015 attendee, a local high school science teacher. The third annual Missing Voices: Equity in Education Summit, hosted by the Graduate School of Education at Saint Mary’s University and its Graduate Certificate in Culturally Responsive Teaching program, was held Feb. 16 at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis. Nearly 400 youth, educators, and community members participated in the one-day conference with the theme of “Honoring local brilliance: We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for,” which featured keynote and breakout session speakers and presenters solely from the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Missing Voices is focused on bringing a diverse and multicultural group of people together to actively talk about inequities in education, but it uniquely includes the student voice as high school students attend and are also presenters. The students involved make a big impact. In fact, two student groups who presented keynote sessions during the morning achieved standing ovations. They included a dance creation called Still Fighting by Al-Taw’am, 16-year-old twin sisters Iman and Khadijah Siferllah-Griffin, and Jovenes con Derechos and Uhuru Youth Scholars who presented a session posing “How do you fight a nation that puts words in your mouth.” Another unique aspect of the...
Missing Voices 2015: equity in education summit

Missing Voices 2015: equity in education summit

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is holding its annual Missing Voices educational conference for community members, teachers, and high school students on Feb. 16, 2015 in Minneapolis. This third annual event with the goal of providing equity in education is being held near Saint Mary’s Twin Cities Campus at DeLaSalle High School. The theme for this year’s conference is “Honoring Local Brilliance: We’re the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For,” which will bring together local talent of all ages and various walks of life to share ideas and resources with parents, youth, educators/administrators, and community members. Attendance is $75 for educators and the cost includes conference participation, breakfast, and lunch. Youth, parents, and community members may attend the event for free but advanced registration is required. Click here to register for this year’s event—only a few spots remain. “The Missing Voices conference is an important event for youth, families, and educators to move beyond talking ‘around’ relevant issues of diversity, equity, and social justice,” said Teresa Taylor, program director for Saint Mary’s Graduate Certificate in Culturally Responsive Teaching. “We must actively engage in promoting change through local partnerships germane to globally responsive teaching.” This event is known throughout the educational community as one that features strong guest speeches/performances, and this year is no different. Keynote speakers featured this year include Al-Taw’am, an inspirational Muslim dance duo made up of twin sisters; Asalesol Young, an educator who is building an African-centered and trauma-responsive charter school in North Minneapolis; Tracine Asberry, executive director of St. Paul Youth Services and an elected member of the Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education; and Jovenes...
Centeno leads Spanish immersion classroom of kindergarten niños

Centeno leads Spanish immersion classroom of kindergarten niños

When Darlene Centeno ’14 was in kindergarten, she was asked what she wanted to be when she was 100 years old. She wrote, “A teacher.” As a child, the St. Paul native often pretended she was a teacher, surrounded by a make-believe classroom full of students. As she grew older, she had opportunities to assist her mother, a Spanish immersion teacher, in the classroom. As the Winona Area Public Schools’ first Spanish immersion kindergarten teacher at Madison Elementary School, Centeno’s lifelong dream is coming true. Each day she is charged with teaching 23 children a full kindergarten curriculum—nearly entirely in Spanish. And her little niños are learning Spanish muy rápido (very rapidly). Centeno, who double majored in elementary education and Spanish at Saint Mary’s University, was student teaching at Jefferson Elementary School last year when she learned that the Winona school district was considering beginning a Spanish immersion program. She hesitated to apply until the superintendent personally encouraged her to consider becoming part of the program. After interviewing, Centeno was hired—just prior to college graduation. “They told me, ‘You’ll be creating the curriculum as you go, and you will be helping other Spanish immersion teachers as they are added,” Centeno said. “I was very nervous as a new teacher. I knew it would be a lot of work, but it’s something I love, so the work didn’t really seem like work.” And, Centeno felt the support of the Saint Mary’s education faculty behind her. “All my classes and my student teaching experience helped me prepare,” she said. “They helped make us better teachers. They prepared us really well. I...
Page 1 of 41234