Faculty Engage in Innovative Professional Development Workshops

While many of us have been enjoying the summer relaxing and recharging, the SRDS faculty has been hard at work attending learning opportunities in their respective academic fields.

The goal of professional development is to maintain and improve professional competence and to keep abreast of new technology and practices. Here are some of the great courses they have been taking:

In the Lower School, Kindergarten teacher Michelle Lanks attended a workshop that focused on children's literature, content literature, action research, and theoretical foundations of reading and writing. Michelle is working toward completing her requirements for a Master's Degree in Literature this Fall. Third Grade teacher Megan Thomas participated in the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 'Go Math' curriculum workshop in addition to being a counselor at the Rebel Rays Summer Program and coaching at Downtown Sports basketball camps (Megan is an assistant coach for the Lady Rebels Championship Basketball team at SRDS).

Yvonne McCort who teaches Grade 2 also attended a workshop that focused on incorporating STEAM concepts into the curriculum.

Carla Staffaroni teaches Upper School Spanish at SRDS. She attended an AP Summer Institute workshop at the Taft School for AP Spanish Language and Culture. Carla is also working toward completing the requirements for her Master's Degree in Spanish with a focus on pedagogy at Middlebury College. She is studying Spanish phonetics, Spanish teaching methodology and classic Spanish literature.

Stacey Giordano teaches Upper School science courses and serves as part of the Administration team as the Dean of Faculty. She attended a week-long course at the Bard College Institute for Writing and Thinking with a focus on teaching the academic paper. Three other faculty members also attended the program at Bard including Kathy Philipp, Katie Hoffman and Deirdre Angrick who took various courses with focus in their respective academic fields.

Other coursework included Virginia Bluth who attended an APSI (AP Summer Institute) about AP Computer Science Principles. Virginia also spent two weeks teaching HTML, CSS, JavaScript and A-Frame (Virtual Reality) to high schoolers in New York City. Chemistry teacher Susan Kim attended an AP Environmental Science Workshop and Head of the Upper School and Math teacher Jalaj Desai attended an NJAIS Innovation Symposium with a focus on curriculum development. Learning Specialist Annika Ahlstrom completed her year-long program with Mindful Schools. New teachers at SRDS, Vanessa Robinson attended the AP Summer Institute in Biology and Robert Kettlewell attended the AP US History course. Graphic Arts instructor Keri Eisenberg took several figure drawing classes, visited NYC museums, went to Colorado to study mural paintings and spent time learning new technology to use in her classes this Fall. Upper School English teacher Ken Alrutz spent his summer reading various works on student writing and literature of adventure.


And finally, Engineering teacher Anastasia Kelly attended a 3-day STEM workshop at Dwight Englewood where she learned about coding, arduino and some robotics. She also taught a workshop to approximately 30 teachers about Engineering and Design at the Middle School level on Long Island.

Congratulations to all of our faculty for your dedication and hard work!



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