School News

Summer Professional Development Activities
Posted 08/03/2017 08:37AM


It is hard to believe that the beginning of school is just a few weeks away. During the summer, the maintenance staff were busy cleaning all school areas and completing any requested repairs. The Administration, faculty and staff have been busy, also. Many engaged in professional development during June, July and August.

Summer began with the annual European trip. Ms. Materia, Mrs. Medina and Mrs. Senior accompanied a group of girls to Spain for twelve days of sightseeing and fun. Mrs. Toryak planned a day-long “Summerfest” for middle school girls in mid-July. Patty Davis, Danielle Lovallo, Susan DeFurianni, Donna Abrams and Francesca Sengel were on hand to give workshops in art, science, psychology, poetry and music. Sue Kaplan was here just in case one of the participants needed nursing care. Mrs. Toryak is teaching a prep course for the entrance exam during two weeks in July and August, also. She hosted a “Mom’s Coffee and Conversation” session for those with daughters entering eighth grade in the fall. In addition to all this, Mrs. Toryak is busily preparing for our new international students.

S. Lisa worked to prepare the school for the coming year. She collaborated with the Office of Advancement and team members and on the NJAIS/Middle States accreditation. She offered her services twice a month with Creature Comfort Association with Tommy her therapy dog. They visited a variety of facilities that are Creature Comfort-approved. S. Lisa took three courses for her continuing education requirements that are necessary for the many licenses she holds in the State of New Jersey, including a course on ethics, pain, and our culture and mental health issues in today’s youth.
Cecilia Kwilos attended the Blackbaud K-12 User Conference in July and has attended a series of four webinars to become familiar with the migration of functionality from Education Edge, FAWeb, and NetClassroom to the new education product suite from Blackbaud.

Michelle Daino and Brian Vagnini worked with Finalsite to develop Mount Saint Mary Academy’s new website, which will launch in mid-September.

Kathy McGroarty attended an on-line workshop on Developing Information Literate Students in the era of fake news, biases, propaganda and information overload.

Both Leslie Freling and Ashley Huston took tours of Elon University and High Point University in North Carolina. Leslie was going to visit Delaware University on her way home.

Justin Carter and Patty Davis attended the STEM Institute Professional Development Workshop at Dwight Englewood. The workshop covered paper circuits, Arduino computing and circuitry, 3D print design, Raspberry Pi computing and block coding. They also discussed project based learning for all grade levels.

Susan Choma left in late May to conduct an eight-day silent retreat in Griswold, Iowa as part of her graduate program at Creighton University where she spent the rest of the summer finishing her MA in Christian Spirituality.

Marion Drew directed “The Wizard of Oz” with the Somerset Hills Drama Workshop at Bishop James Church in Basking Ridge for the month of July. She is directing the Contemporary Choir at Our Lady of Perpetual Help for the summer and attending the annual Summer Music Educator’s Conference at the College of New Jersey in August. The focus will be on music technology integration and exploring multi-cultural music and instrumentation to be used in the choral classroom.
Joseph Bonk took a class entitled “Genetics and Society” offered through the American Museum of Natural History. It was an intersection of science, morality, and economy. He attended an AP Language and Composition prep class at Drew University, also.

Jennifer Larson attended the annual “Latin Camp” (active Latin/Latin immersion), a Shared Inquiry seminar on Edith Wharton and spent much time reading pre-dissertation material on intellectual history.

After chaperoning the trip to Spain, Marian Senior participated in several webinars focusing on TPRS and Teaching with Comprehensible Input.

Alicia Iacono took two on-line courses through the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History: “The Global Cold War” and “The Supreme Court and the Constitution in the 20th Century.” She and Marissa Maffei collaborated to incorporate Brown University’s “Choices” program into the Global Studies curriculum for the upcoming year. Both previously completed professional development workshops in the program and have begun integrating Brown’s “History and Current Issues” and “Teaching with the News” curriculum units into the Social Studies program. The units will be used to enhance the teaching of Global Studies, AP Comparative Government and United States History.

Marissa Maffei and Francesca Sengel attended the DBQ Project workshop at the Brooklyn Public Library in June. The objective of the workshop was to demonstrate pedagogical practices that help students read, write, and think critically about cross-curricular questions. The workshop offered strategies, quality resources, and interactive activities for students. Marissa and Francesca collaborated on plans to implement aspects of the program in their classes in September to facilitate a more interdisciplinary approach.

Joanne Cadigan-Peters took two on-line courses through the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History: “African American History Since Emancipation” and “The Supreme Court and the Constitution in the 20th Century”. She will use the material in the United States History Honors course and in AP United States Government.

Matthew Anzalone served as coach of the 2018-2019 New Jersey Highlight Division Regional Team at the Under Armour All American Underclass Tournament in Towson, Maryland for two weeks.

Karen Calta and Kathleen Brennan traveled to Washington, D.C. in June for the annual three-day conference sponsored by the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools. The theme was “Innovate or Perish”. Speakers included Jaime Casap from Google, Sarah Stein Greenberg from the Design Institute at Stanford and Amar Bakshi of Shared Studios. Karen and Kathleen were able to network with schools across the United States and to make connections that hopefully will lead to internships and partnerships with STEM businesses.

Kathleen Brennan served as a reader for the AP Microeconomics exam, attended a workshop at NJIT with Suzanne Granstrand on Algebraic Modeling and using Excel to solve systems of equations. In addition, Kathleen attended two workshops given by the NY Council on Economic Education: “Economics and the Environment”, “Cybersecurity”. She went to Rutgers University for a Data Literacy Series on Climate Science. Kathleen is facilitating an AP Economics workshop at Rutgers in August. She attended and served as a panelist at Financial Literacy Boot Camp at Raritan Valley Community College. She is taking three webinars on the design and development of effective financial literacy curricula.

Jacqueline Muratore designed and implemented an on-line summer pre-calculus course for One Schoolhouse, formerly known as the On-Line School for Girls. She also worked on the accreditation self-study with Karen Calta. Jackie also attend Chair training at the Middle States Association in Philadelphia and will serve as Chairperson of a Middle States team in the spring.

Stephen Muratore attended a Computer Science for High School workshop at Rutgers University, which focused on using the computer programming language Python for designing technological applications.

Last but not least, our entire Tech Team, Carolynn Parisi, David Cuttler, Justin Carter, Ed Lopez, and their summer interns including MSMA alumna Sophia Murgolo, worked all summer to update technology, prepare the new tablets and offer tablet training.

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