The first graduates of the University of Notre Dames ACE Leadership Program will receive their master of arts in educational administration degrees in a ceremony at 3 p.m. Saturday (July 12) in the Leighton Concert Hall of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
The 35 leadership graduates will be joined by 83 students who will receive their master of education degrees through the Universitys Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program.
Howard Fuller, founding director of Marquette Universitys Institute for the Transformation of Learning, will be the principal speaker. The former superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools, Fuller is a distinguished professor of education at Marquette and one of the nations most influential advocates for school choice and other educational reforms.
Two students also will address the assembly: Hector Garza will speak on behalf of the master of education class and Amanda Briggs Angaiak will represent the leadership program graduates.
Mary Ann Remick of Minnesota will be honored with the Notre Dame Award for Outstanding Contributions to Catholic Education. Two ACE graduates – Kelly Surapaneni, a graduate of the third ACE class, and Brian Morten, a graduate of the fifth ACE class and one of the leadership program graduates this year – will receive the Michael Pressley Award for Excellence in Catholic Education in recognition of their work as principals at Catholic schools in Boston and Chicago, respectively.
Founded in 1994 by Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C., and Rev. Sean McGraw, C.S.C., the ACE program supports three academic components at the center of its growing initiatives to sustain and strengthen Catholic schools in the United States.
The teaching formation program provides college graduates an opportunity to earn master of education degrees while serving as teachers in understaffed Catholic schools nationwide. In exchange for a modest stipend and a tuition-free graduate program, the ACE participants make a two-year commitment to teach in these schools.
More than 85 recent college graduates from a wide variety of educational disciplines enter the ACE teaching program each year. They take courses and participate in teacher training projects at Notre Dame during their two summers in the program and are assigned to full-time teaching positions at schools in more than 30 cities and 14 states during the academic year. After two years, the students graduate with a masters degree, and about 75 percent elect to remain in education.
The ACE Leadership Program is a 26-month degree program that prepares committed and talented leaders to serve as Catholic school administrators.
ACE also offers the English as a New Language (ENL) Program, a one-year licensure program which prepares Catholic school teachers to serve more effectively the needs of students whose native language is not English.