Catholic education is a ministry, newbie teachers learn at orientation

Just weeks before the start of the school year, a crop of new Catholic school teachers assembled at the Cardinal Rigali Center for orientation into their new roles.

No doubt some of them were just as nervous as their students likely will be on the first day. Elementary schools in the archdiocese begin classes the week of Aug. 14, with most high schools starting around that time.

‘Dedicated educators’ | Emerson Excellence in Teaching Awardees focus on serving their students

The Archdiocese of St. Louis was well-represented at the recent Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award ceremonies, with recipients at all levels of education. Seven Catholic schools teachers — two each at the elementary, middle school and high school levels, and a college professor — were among 100 local educators honored for their achievements and dedication to teaching.Emerson executive vice president Patrick J. Sly called the winners "an inspiration," describing them as "dedicated educators ... who are striving to create bright futures for all of their students."

Cardinal Burke teacher awardee keeps students on the go

Beth Kassel laughed as her student Kaleigh Ishmael acted the role of Lucy from the Peanuts comic strip as they read from a play during a language arts class. Kassel teaches middle schoolers at St. Justin Martyr School in Sunset Hills. She is one of several teachers being honored as a Cardinal Burke Teacher Awardee.

It's clear that Beth Kassel's students prefer to be on the move. Whether it's a science experiment or a lesson in language arts, her students -- fifth-, sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders at St. Justin Martyr School in Sunset Hills -- are not often found in their seats and are rarely quiet.

But they're always on task, and their inquisitiveness and engagement in Kassel's classroom show that they are effectively fusing together study skills and content goals in order to become effective self-learners now and in the future.

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