Teachers Freshen Up Their Academic Excellence at “Summer School”
August 22, 2022

Many CRSM teachers are returning to the classroom this week with a renewed passion for literature, science, leadership, social studies, and a variety of new AP exam testing expertise after attending teacher institutes and professional development programs across the country.

From Salt Lake City and Boston to Indianapolis and Cincinnati, many CRSM teachers spent part of their summer immersed in academic excellence programs across the country.

“It felt like going away to summer camp,” says Elizabeth Partenach, English and Theater teacher
, who with Rob Horcher, Math teacher, headed to Boston for a “Teacher-Leadership for Catholic Schools,” program held at Boston College. “It was very intensive, but really helps you come back with a lot of great ideas and commitment to try them.”

“CRSM teachers’ participation in these professional development programs does a lot to empower
 them and is instrumental in helping to create a successful school culture where everyone, including the teachers, teach and learn,” says Michael Odiotti, Principal.

Jon Taus Social Studies teacher, spent a week in Salt Lake City, at the same time AP teacher Rob Horcher also studied virtually in a second program along with Patricia Ferrer, Spanish teacher, who traveled to Cincinnati, to participate in AP Reading Programs. The reading programs are aimed at helping the teachers gain an in-depth understanding of the AP Exam so they can better assess their own students’ work. The programs are sponsored by College Board, a not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity (and helps teachers learn to do so).

The University of Notre Dame’s Advanced Placement Teacher Investment Program (AP-Tip)
 in Indiana was the destination for teachers Caitlin Murphy, English teacher, and Kumkum Bonnerjee, Math and Science teacher in late July. The program has grown from a state-wide math, science, and English initiative to a national endeavor dedicated to improving students’ college and career readiness. The program aligns with the CRSM mission, sharing the beliefs that all young people, especially those from underserved communities, deserve a high-quality education that prepares them for their own futures and empowers them to influence the communities in which they live.

“It was really helpful because we often have a difficult time getting female students into AP Physics, but I was able to have some great conversations with other teachers about this,” says Kumkum.

Teachers Katie Cothran and Lourdes Marrero traveled to Wisconsin to attend the Advanced Placement Summer Institute (APSI), Lourdes for AP Calculus and Katie for AP Biology. The workshop is designed to strengthen how instructors design and teach their AP courses.