Urban Catholic Teacher Corps Grows With 5
New Instructors

By Mark Sullivan
Staff Writer

Five new teachers and a new resident supervisor have signed on for two-year stints in the Urban Catholic Teacher Corps, a joint program of Boston College and the Boston Archdiocese that offers beginning educators an opportunity to serve in inner-city parochial schools.

"I am absolutely excited about the program this year," said Urban Catholic Teacher Corps Director Madeleine Gervais, who described the incoming class as "a fantastic group of young people."

Launched in the fall of 1997, the Urban Catholic Teacher Corps offers professional experience and spiritual development to young teachers interested in Catholic education, while providing the Boston Archdiocese with a source of trained educators committed to urban Catholic schools. Funded by the Archdiocese, Boston College Trustee Thomas Flatley and Trustee Associate Peter Lynch, the program recruits from a pool of newly certified teachers that includes graduates from BC and other institutions.
This year's Urban Catholic Teacher Corp includes, from left, Heather Rasku, Kate Driscoll and Monica Weingarten, and supervisor Erin Bergin. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

Erin Bergin, a 1996 School of Education graduate, will serve as the UCTC's on-site supervisor and liaison between the UCTC teachers and staff. She spent the past two years living in a community of Catholic school teachers in Oklahoma City under the Alliance for Catholic Education program of the University of Notre Dame.

Other newcomers to the program this fall include Stephanie Allt, a 1997 SOE graduate who earned a master's degree from SOE this past year through the Charles F. Donovan, SJ, Teaching Scholars program, and will teach first grade at St. Patrick's School in Roxbury. Kate Driscoll '97, will be a full-time tutor in a newly created program at Cathedral High School in Boston.

Philip Dujardin '95, taught third grade for two years and sixth grade for one year at St. Gabriel elementary school in Queens, NY, while living in community with the de LaSalle Christian Brothers. He will teach at St. William's School in Dorchester. Heather Rasku '98, a member of the Jesuit honor society Alpha Sigma Nu, will teach language arts and social studies to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders at St. Kevin's School in Dorchester.

The other new UCTC participant is Millicent Hartgering, a 1994 alumnus of Lesley College, who will teach third grade at St. Matthew's School in Dorchester.

Another pair of SOE alumni are returning for their second year in the Urban Catholic Teacher Corps. Maria DeCataldo '94, teaches second grade at Cathedral Elementary School in Boston, while Monica Weingarten '97, will have a sixth-grade homeroom at St. Kevin's School in Dorchester.

The young teachers share a converted convent in Dorchester, where they live together in a faith community.

"They've already formed a community and built relationships among themselves," said Gervais. "Now they're getting to know people in the neighborhood and getting active in the local parish. One of our goals is to build partnerships with people in the community. There's great potential for that this year."

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