(Chicago, September 23, 2013) — The Academy of Education Arts and Sciences has named Beth Jele, Alphonsus Academy & Center for the Arts’ Preschool Director, the 2013 Educator’s Voice Preschool Director of the Year.
“It is heartwarming to be recognized by our community members, families and colleagues alike, for the work that I love,” shares Jele, “I truly enjoy teaching and I learn so much each year from observing and listening to my students.”
Jele began teaching more than 30 years ago and joined the Alphonsus Academy & Center for the Arts faculty in 2006. In addition to serving as the Preschool Director, Jele teaches a part-time preschool class of three year olds.
“We have always known Beth to be a gift to our community,” shared Dr. Megan Stanton-Anderson, Principal, “This nomination confirms Beth’s far-reaching, positive impact on the AACA community as our Preschool Program Director”.
Nominations and community voting for the Educator’s Voice Awards began on April 2 and closed on May 15. During that period more than 500 nominations were received and 351 were accepted in 31 categories across the education field. Jele received the most community votes in her category and will now be considered a candidate for a Bammy Award. She will also become a member of the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences’ Council of Peers.
Both Educator’s Voice Awards and Bammy Awards will be presented publicly on September 21, 2013 in Washington D.C.
Bammy Award honorees will be selected by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences Board of Governors. Five finalists were selected in each category. The results of the votes cast by the Council of Peers were computer-tallied, entered into finalists’ ballots and are being sent to the Academy’s Board of Governors, who will vote to determine who will receive the Bammy Award for 2013.
Based on the notion that it takes a village to educate a child, the Academy identifies, recognizes and celebrates the contributions of education professionals, para-professionals and support staff across the entire field. The awards aim to foster cross-discipline recognition for the vital role played by every member of the education village, encourage collaboration and respect across the various domains, elevate education and education successes in the public eye, and raise the profile and voices of the many undervalued and unrecognized people who are making a difference in the field every day.
Parents and supporters of Alphonsus Academy & Center for the Arts raised more than $25,000 during the 2011-12 school year to fund the initial investment into the new program. With the money raised, the school was able to purchase 20 iPads. Classes at all grade levels have access to the technology.
As a result of the program, faculty members are reporting an increase in student engagement in a variety of learning activities and across multiple subjects.
"The use of the technology appeals to many different learning styles - visual, auditory, and hands-on learning - and students showcase more excitement in material when we're using iPads," shares Bridgette Carroll, Alphonsus Academy Third Grade Teacher.
Students are even able to educate one another with the use of iPads. Third graders created tutorial videos to document and explain math strategies using the app, Edu-creations. These short videos can be reviewed by classmates who need to practice a particular strategy.
The iPad Pilot Program has also had a positive impact on fostering collaboration between parents and teachers at Alphonsus Academy.
"My students are eager to try out iPad apps used in the classroom, at home. Students are also excited to bring apps they have used with their parents to my attention at school. Recently, a student shared a star app that helps navigate stars in the solar system to accompany our space unit," says Carroll. She continues, "I would love to invest in the purchase of more iPads so that students could store more information on the devices."
Alphonsus Academy & Center for the Arts will continue to invest in the iPad Pilot Program with funds raised through the school's Annual Campaign. Donors can support the school's Technology Fund by making a gift online at www.alphonsusacademy.org/donatenow or by mailing a check made out to AACA to 1439 W Wellington Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657.
But viewing and discussing the 1882 piece by the American artist John Singer Sargent isn't just a cultural experience. It also presents a powerful opportunity to tap into some of the same skills asked of students under the Common Core State Standards, said Michelle A. Grohe, the director of school and teacher programs at the museum, which has a close partnership with four Boston public schools.
About Alphonsus Academy: At Alphonsus Academy & Center for the Arts, we inspire and enable our children to reach their full potential by providing a rigorous education combining academic excellence, an arts-integrated curriculum and a strong Catholic foundation. Located in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, AACA serves students in preschool through eighth grade. For additional information, please contact Mandy H. Moody, Director of Development & Communications at 773-348-4629, extension 151 or at email@example.com.