March – Educators Making a Difference

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By Marianne Reid Anderson

In this, our third installment of highlighting a few of our region’s Educators Making a Difference, we at Northern Connection our proud to continue featuring these incredible teachers who continually go above and beyond in their devotion to educating the future generation.

anne marie brock

anne marie brock

Anne Marie Brock of Saint Kilian Catholic School– Anne Marie Brock’s love of teaching and education began at a very young age.  Her mother, who is a retired art teacher, inspired her and her passion to teach was cultivated by wonderful teachers at Butler Catholic School where she attended pre-school to eighth grade.  There was never a doubt that she wanted to become a teacher.  After Butler High School, she attended Clarion University were she received her bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education and went on to achieve her masters from Duquesne University in Special Education. She is now a second grade teacher at Saint Kilian Parish School.  According to Ms. Brock, “I love teaching for many reasons but as I reflect and think about my favorite part it’s hard to pick one, so I’ll settle on two.  I love when students have the moment when they truly understand what they are learning.  In my classroom, we call that the “light bulb” moment.  Children’s honest inquiry and exploration of the world festinates me and I love that I have the privilege to be a part of their growth for a short time.  The second favorite is that I have been given the gift to teach about the faith during such an important sacramental year for my second grade students.  They have a beautiful love for God and you can truly see the works of the Holy Spirit through each and every one of them.  This past week, one the little girl in my class shared her beautiful insight as to why we thank God for our good days and our tough days.  She explained to the class, without a doubt in her mind, that ‘we need the good and bad days because without the bad days, how else would we learn to be a good person and be close with God?’ What a gift I am given each day by spending it with a classroom filled with wonderful little people!” To learn more about St. Kilian Parish School, visit http://school.saintkilian.org.

Anne Olon of Saint Alexis – Anne Olon teaches 7th and 8th grade math and science and is also very active in directing the 6th and 7th graders in the Saint Alexis Catholic School AIM (Activating Inquisitive Minds) Team. Recently, the team competed for the first time in the Pittsburgh Regional Future City Competition. The Saint Alexis team was one of 47 teams who had to design a computerized simulation of a city that included researching and investigating a solution for feeding the citizens of their city. They also had to design a model of their simulated city using recyclable materials. The entire project was judged in more than 20 categories, and the Saint Alexis team won the award for the city with the Best Transportation System. Their specific award was presented by the American Society of Highway Engineers. The daylong event took place at Carnegie Mellon University. The members of the Saint Alexis AIM team include seventh-grade students Morgan Balkovec, Ansley Haught, Kayleigh Robic and Christopher Wilkinson and sixth-grade student Clare Nettleton. To learn more about St. Alexis Catholic School, visit http://www.stalexis.org.

Erin Marron

Erin Marron

Erin Marron of Hampton Township High School – Erin Marron teaches 9th and 10th grade English during the regular school year and in addition to incorporating innovative technology and exercises into her classroom, Ms. Marron has developed a very popular summer program: “Mastering the College Application Essay” for 9th-11th graders. In addition to helping students produce a polished essay, the program examines the entire college application process and how the essay is an opportunity for students to differentiate themselves from other applicants and show colleges what unique perspectives, experiences, and personalities they have to offer. Ms. Marron summer program is open to ALL students (not just those enrolled at Hampton High School). To learn more and register for Ms. Marron’s summer program, go to http://www.ht-sd.org, click on the Community Tab and select HTSD Summer Program 2015 to download the summer program brochure and registration and health forms.

Maria Yamanaka

Maria Yamanaka

Maria Yamanaka of Providence Heights Alpha School Maria Yamanaka recently joined the faculty at Providence Heights Alpha School as a Computer Teacher specializing in Robotics.  Maria received her Master’s Degree in Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1996.  She worked several years in Supply Chain Management projects for major companies such as Unilever and Bay Valley Foods in Pittsburgh. Maria has been involved in teaching children science, technology and engineering since 2007. Founder of GreenE Academy, she has trained over 1,500 students in Computer Technology programs such as Lego Robotics, Programming with Scratch, Video Game Design, and Coding with RobotC. The GreenE Academy has received several awards in Programming and Engineering Design. Maria creates new programs in science, technology and engineering every year to prepare young audiences in careers where logical thinking, system oriented programming and collaboration will be the key to professional success. The administration, faculty and families of Providence Heights Alpha School feel very fortunate to have Maria as a part of the Alpha family.  In addition to teaching Computer to students in kindergarten through eighth grade, Maria also coaches and moderates for Alpha’s Robotic Competition team. To learn more, visit http://www.alphaschool.org.

 

If you know of an educator, administrator, camp counselor or volunteer making a difference, contact us by emailing NorthCon@consolidated.net or by calling 724-940-2444.