New teachers come with specialized training

New teachers come with specialized training
Bishop Dennis Sullivan stands with new Gloucester Catholic High School teachers Dan Satterfield and Jennifer Cush from the Alliance for Catholic Education at St. Joseph’s University, and Megan Heeder from the University of Notre Dame Echo program.

Bishop Dennis Sullivan stands with new Gloucester Catholic High School teachers Dan Satterfield and Jennifer Cush from the Alliance for Catholic Education at St. Joseph’s University, and Megan Heeder from the University of Notre Dame Echo program.

As it opened its doors for the new school year, Gloucester Catholic High School welcomed three new faculty members from Catholic universities with open arms.

The newcomers are young educators who clearly hope to positively influence their students spiritually and intellectually. And the winners here, said Principal Ed Beckett, are the GCHS students.

These faculty fellows include Megan Heeder, from the University of Notre Dame Echo program, and Jennifer Cush and Dan Satterfield, who hail from the Alliance for Catholic Education at St. Joseph’s University (ACESJU) program.

“Our partnership with the ACESJU program at St. Joseph’s University continues to provide us with quality fellows to supplement our faculty,” said Beckett. “We also expect this to be the case with the University of Notre Dame Echo program. As they have in the past, our students will clearly benefit from their interactions with dynamic young faculty members.”

Echo is a two-year graduate service program offered by the University of Notre Dame that prepares tomorrow’s leaders in faith formation. Echo apprentices and theology teachers have the opportunity to engage in ongoing intellectual, professional-ministerial, human, communal, and spiritual formation while serving at a parish or school in a partner dioceses. Currently, the Diocese of Camden is a partner with the Echo Program.

Heeder, who teaches religion classes, has already been a welcome addition to the Gloucester Catholic faculty and looks forward to making a difference in students’ lives.

“Many places describe their community as a ‘family,’ but it is rare to find a community in which members welcome one another with the warm embrace of a family,” Heeder said. “Gloucester Catholic has welcomed me as a member of their family from the first day of teacher orientation, and as the school week begins it is clear that the students feel as though they are a part — a very important part — of this family as well.

“In the next two years I aspire to make a difference in the lives of each of my students. Whether this difference is immediate or a seed that God will bring to fruition in years to come, I hope to be a tool in God’s hands to make his love present to each student I am blessed enough to teach.”

In June 2010, St. Joseph’s University launched the ACESJU, a two-year service program that provides recent college graduates the opportunity to serve as full-time teachers and administrators in Catholic schools while pursuing a master’s degree. To prepare these highly motivated educators, ACESJU provides an intensive service experience encompassing four programmatic pillars: education, community, spirituality and simple living.

The ACESJU partners with the Diocese of Camden and has provided two promising young faculty members to Gloucester Catholic in Jennifer Cush and Dan Satterfield.

Cush begins the school year teaching French classes. A native of Northern New Jersey and a 2013 SJU graduate, she is excited about this new phase in her career.

“As the French teacher at Gloucester Catholic, I am hoping to transcend the four walls of the classroom and dive into the richness and diversity of the francophone world,” Cush said. “With language as a tool, we will be able to discuss important topics, and learn about the people and cultures that use this language every day.

“I hope to create a classroom community of tolerance, and to ignite within students a desire to discover the world around them and the incredible people that live in it. My class will focus on authenticity, from perfecting our accents to understanding what it is really like to live in France.”

Satterfield will oversee the Service Program at Gloucester Catholic and teach religion classes.

“I am grateful for being given the excellent opportunity to contribute my talent and skill as the new service director at Gloucester Catholic,” said Satterfield. “I am already impressed by the dedication of the students regarding their willingness to go out into the world and be men and women for others.

“I am determined over the next two years to help the students increase their service to the wider community, to engage with the demands of Catholic social teaching, and to grow in spiritual awareness of the indwelling presence of God in all things.”

Gus Ostrum is director of Development, Gloucester Catholic High School.

Categories: Catholic School News

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