Dr. Sonia Nieto Summer Academy Keynote Speaker


The Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools Announces Sonia Nieto as its Summer Academy Keynote Speaker

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass., April, 2019— The Barbara and Patrick Roche Center for Catholic Education is excited to announce the keynote speaker of the 2019 Summer Academy is Dr. Sonia Nieto. TWIN-CS is an initiative of the Roche Center for Catholic Education at Boston College. The TWIN-CS Summer Academy, the cornerstone of the program, is an annual, weeklong rigorous professional learning program designed to support the adoption and refinement of school-based TWI models. The program is grounded in the research and leadership of Boston College faculty and other university researchers from around the country, and implements and assesses models of dual-language immersion in Catholic school classrooms around the United States.

Dr. Sonia Nieto has devoted decades of research to questions of diversity, equity, and social justice in education. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Nieto began her teaching career in 1966 and has taught and mentored preservice and practicing teachers, and doctoral students at UMass from 1980 until 2006. Her research focuses on multicultural education, teacher education, and the education of students of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. She has written or edited eleven books. Dr. Nieto has also written dozens of book chapters and articles in such journals as The Harvard Education Review, Educational Leadership, Language Arts, and The New Educator, among others. She is editor of the Language, Culture, and Teaching Series (Routledge), currently comprising over twenty titles. Her memoir, Brooklyn Dreams: My Life in Public Education (Harvard Education Press) was published in 2015. Her most recent book, co-authored with her daughter Alicia López, is Teaching: A Life’s Work – A Mother/Daughter Dialogue (Teachers College Press, 2019). Dr. Nieto has received numerous awards for her scholarly work, teaching, activism, and advocacy, including 9 honorary doctorates. She has been a Visiting Scholar at various universities in the United States, as well as in Puerto Rico, Spain, and South Africa.

Dr. Nieto shared her excitement over speaking at the TWIN-CS Academy: “I’ve dedicated my professional life to multicultural, multilingual, and culturally sustaining approaches to educating our nation’s children. As a teacher in the first public two-way bilingual school in the Northeast in 1968, I am thrilled to see that bilingual education is flourishing in the Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools!”

In its seventh year, TWIN-CS continues to develop its nationwide leadership in the transformation of multilingual Catholic education. The network has grown from twelve to twenty member schools that serve populations in which at least one-third of the students speak the same non-English language.

The Network strives to “return schools to their original mission: to serve all who seek a Catholic education, especially those on the margins, and embrace cultural and linguistic diversity,” said Patricia A. Weitzel-O’Neill, Executive Director of the Roche Center. “Since its beginning the Network has grown not only in the number of member schools, but also geographically, linguistically, and culturally. Students now come from households where the traditions of Ecuador, Mexico, Taiwan, Ethiopia, and China are celebrated as well as those from all corners of the US. With the addition of these new schools, the Network engages more principals, teachers, and families. In turn, the Network is strengthened by their insights and ideas”

About The Roche Center

The Barbara and Patrick Roche Center for Catholic Education (The Roche Center) strengthens Catholic education through the promotion of research-based educational innovations and the generation of research to lead the transformation of Catholic schools to serve with a preferential option for the poor and marginalized.  The Roche Center accomplishes this mission through a strong commitment to research, professional development, advocacy, and outreach.

Housed within the top-ranked Lynch School of Education at Boston College, the Roche Center brings together a collaborative community of Catholic school leaders, teachers, researchers, scholars, and innovators to sustain and improve K-12 Catholic education.  Signature professional programs include: the Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools (TWIN-CS), a national dual-language immersion initiative; the Emmaus Series, a leadership advancement program for Catholic school leaders; and Urban Catholic Teacher Corps of Boston College (UCTC), a two year faith formation and graduate program for Catholic education, in which licensed teachers serve full-time at an urban Boston Catholic school. For more information, visit www.rochecenter.org.