The Diocese of Palm Beach is proud to announce three teachers from one of its local Catholic schools, St. Luke Catholic School in Palm Springs, have been selected from an extremely competitive pool of national applicants to participate in the University of Notre Dame’s Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows Program. The Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows Program provides support and professional growth for high-quality teachers in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) with a focus on providing teachers with support to increase student interest and learning in STEM disciplines.
The Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows awards the fellowship to teams of three to five educators that teach STEM related-courses. The three educators from St. Luke Catholic School selected are: Diann Bacchus, Middle School Science Teacher and STEM Coordinator; Jillian Sargent (Project Lead the Way Coordinator and First Grade Teacher) and Tamsynn Storin (Middle School Math Teacher and Math Coordinator). The teachers from St. Luke Catholic School are the only teaching staff within the State of Florida to be selected this year. In all, the 2015 Trustey Family STEM Fellows participants include 36 teachers representing 10 schools from eight states.
As part of the 2015 Trustey Family STEM Fellows, the selected teachers will engage in three-years of professional development, content specific coaching and the development of a STEM Impact Plan for St. Luke Catholic School.
Gary Gelo, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Palm Beach, says the selection of the diocesan teachers demonstrates the quality of the curriculum offered at the diocesan schools and the benefits of the diocese continued partnership with the University of Notre Dame.
“The Notre Dame Center for STEM Education was instrumental in the development of the STEM Program at St. Luke Catholic School and facilitated a visioning session that led to the creation of the STEM Program at the school. In addition to the fellows program, St. Luke will host a summer Science and Engineering Camp in conjunction with the university,” stated Gelo.
Last year, more than 24 students attended a two-week STEM summer camp in which students learned how to build and program a robot. This summer, middle school students attending the St. Luke camp will explore animal anatomy and physiology as well as learn engineering and design. The camp, to be held June 16-26, is designed for active student engagement.
Suzanne Sandelier, Principal at St. Luke Catholic School, says the entire school is proud of the achievement of its staff and STEM Program.
“We are always proud and excited when one of our teachers receives recognition. St. Luke School supports each one of our teachers along their path to learn and share their knowledge with our students. This acceptance by the Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows Program is a wonderful opportunity for our teachers to work with their Catholic school colleagues from around the country to enhance our school program and to continue to prepare our students for college,” said Principal Sandelier.
Superintendent Gelo also states that St. Luke Catholic School is the only school in the diocese using the Project Lead the Way program. Project Lead the Way is recognized nationally for providing STEM curriculum programs, teacher professional development and partnerships to help students develop the skills needed to succeed in the global economy. At St. Luke Catholic School, Project Lead the Way is utilized in grades K-5.
The STEM instruction for students in grades 6-8 includes the Science and Technology Concepts Program–Secondary™ (STC Secondary™). It is an inquiry-centered middle school science curriculum developed by the Smithsonian Science Education Center, an organization of the Smithsonian Institution. Students are provided opportunities to experience scientific phenomena firsthand. A comprehensive, research-based curriculum, STC Secondary™ is aligned with the National Science Education Standards of the National Research Council.
The Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach encompasses the five counties of Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee. Comprised of 280,000 Catholics in 53 parishes and missions, the Diocese also serves the faithful community through its schools.
About the Notre Dame Center for Stem Education
The Notre Dame Center for STEM Education, through innovative research and the translation of research into practice, seeks to help all students, especially the underserved and those in Catholic schools, engage and excel in STEM disciplines. Founded in 2013 to make a lasting impact in STEM Education, the center collaborates with departments and programs across the Notre Dame campus, across the state, and across the nation to address emerging needs in STEM education, especially through its broad network of Catholic school partners. The Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows is unique, competitive, and formative program focused on increasing student interest and learning in STEM disciplines through the support and growth of high-quality STEM teachers.