0 Comment

Summer School… for Teachers! 

While our students were enjoying their summer vacation, many SJHS teachers were hard at work learning and growing as educators. Here’s a taste of some of the amazing Professional Development opportunities our faculty and staff took part in.

Ms. Mary Gallagher, Social Studies Department Chair

Ms. Gallagher participated in a week long PD at Hofstra University that offers insight into building an AP U.S. History curriculum. It provided resources such as test questions for each unit, curriculum planning materials and more that will help our history department develop our new AP courses. At the training, teachers were able to start creating a curriculum and were given professional feedback. They were also helped with selecting textbooks and reviewing books that would fit the needs of students.


Mr. Dennis Kallo, Social Studies Teacher and Ms. Elizabeth Peralta, Admissions & Marketing Director

Following the re-invigoration of our Student Government Association last year, Mr. Kallo and Ms. Peralta volunteered to head up our school’s participation in Civic Spirit, a three year pilot program focused on providing civic education  in the New York City area. Over the summer, Mr. Kallo and Ms. Peralta took part in a rigorous week-long professional development workshop for this program that helped prepare them to introduce SJHS students to foundational governmental concepts and civic virtues through primary texts and active learning opportunities.

Ms. Daisy Pinero, Mathematics Teacher

Ms. Pinero completed the Cowin Financial Literacy Summer Institute for High School Teachers, held at Columbia University and the Federal Reserve. At this fellowship, she studied the case study approach to Personal Finance through workshops that connected personal finance learning standards and curricula. Attendees came away ready to address a variety of topics such as budgeting, saving, investment, consumption, and borrowing through fun, collaborative activities tied to real-life circumstances.  On the last day, Ms. Pinero took a certification exam and was awarded a certification in Personal Finance.

Mr. Tim Sennet, Religion Teacher

Mr. Sennet took part in a one week long conference for Catholic School catechists. The Saint John Bosco Conference for Evangelization and Catechesis was held at Mr. Sennet’s alma mater, so he enjoyed the chance to reconnect with some of his professors, as well to network with others who work in his field and who teach the same discipline. Mr. Sennet shares, “One thing that I especially appreciated was the fact that in addition to being a conference for professionals, these four days also served as a spiritual retreat—filled with prayer and the sacraments—which, as a Religion teacher, is something that I can always benefit from.” In general, the workshops that I attended gave me plenty of ideas for ways in which I can improve as a religious educator, and enhance the classroom experience for my students. Now I’m excited to finally put what I learned into practice.

Ms. Rose Tomassi, English and Religion Teacher

After discovering The Hochman Method last year while teaching Freshman Composition at City Tech, and seeing huge improvements in her students’ reading and writing abilities, Ms. Tomassi decided to enroll in a 3 day training in this approach to writing education over the summer. Developed by Dr. Judith Hoffman in response to a growing crisis in reading and writing education throughout the US, this approach to verbal literacy education can be implemented in any subject area. Since the 2012 publication a major feature article in The Atlantic Magazine showcasing the method’s success at Staten Island’s New Dorp High School, more and more teachers and schools around the country have decided to integrate Dr. Hochman’s techniques into their curricula. Ms. Tomassi shares, “I am so excited to use the tools I gained through this training to help our students access the nuance and beauty of the written word.”

…. And plenty more! 

Ms. Alex Hu: AP Statistics Training

Ms. Rosario Campos: AP Spanish Training

Ms. Tara Daniels: AP Art History Training

Ms. Jennifer Tchiremu: Educational Technology Training

Mr. Matthew Mobijohn and Ms. Stacia Green: CS4CS Cyber Security Curricula Training

Mr. Robert Posch: Student Teaching at a school for children with autism

Ms. Aiesha Turman: Course on Using Comics to Foster Creative & Critical Conversations about Race and Social Justice

Ms. Mary Christy: Courses on School Counseling, Instilling Grit, and Rigor in Writing

Ms. Caroline Latham: Spirits on Fire CSJ Leaders Retreat

Ms. Amy Barron and Ms. Maysa Antonio: Course on School Law

Ms. Nichole Prime: Medical Mission Trip and Summer Youth Camp

Ms. Rozand Billinghurst-Barratt: Founded a neighborhood Summer Camp

Mr. Akil St. Louis and Coach Mike Toro: Built the SJHS Weight Room and repainted the school gym

Ms. Jenn Cacciola: Prepared a Solo Art Exhibit for a show at The Sheen Center