The beginning of the school year is always a busy time–students and teachers are getting to know each other and new programs are introduced. At Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) School in Towson, the year has begun with exciting faculty news and a fun new challenge
NFL’s Play 60 Challenge
As part of their entry in the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge the more than 450 students at IHM showed their spirit in a big way, spelling out the name of their favorite team–The Ravens. The challenge is a program sponsored by the National Football League (NFL) and the American Heart Association to inspire kids to get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day in school and at home.
Teachers from Operation TEACH join faculty
This school year IHM welcomed two faculty members from Operation TEACH (Teachers Enlisted to Advance Catholic Heritage) a two-year post-graduate service program administered locally through Notre Dame of Maryland University. The program’sgoal is “to develop a corps of highly motivated and committed educators to meet the needs of children in the region’s Catholic elementary and secondary schools.” Participants agree to teach at an area Catholic school for two years while completing their graduate work.
IHM’s Operation TEACH faculty members, Chris Leavens and Nate Dippold, are an asset to the school. Principal Amy Belz said, “More diversity in our staffing will naturally create more diversity in our curriculum and classroom activities. Guys tend to bring more play, active movement, and entertainment to the way they interact with students. This teaching style works well for many of our children, especially those with achievement and behavior challenges.”
In addition to having the cost of their post-graduate work covered, Operation TEACH participants earn a stipend of less than $12,000 annually and live in community. These two factors (low pay and required living arrangements) typically limit the interest in the program to young, single professionals. While having experienced, seasoned teachers on staff is always a benefit, “adding young people with fresh ideas and lots of energy is like a cool drink of water on a typical summer day in Baltimore, refreshing!” said Mrs. Chrissy Blake, Assistant Principal.
Faculty member honored for excellence
Terri Archibald, an IHM middle school teacher, and 33-year veteran at Immaculate Heart of Mary was honored with a Teaching Excellence award at the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s inaugural convocation. The award was announced in front of two thousand fellow Catholic school teachers gathered to celebrate liturgy and enjoy professional development.
“I was so moved when my principal called to tell me I had won. It was thanks enough to know that my administrators felt I had exceeded expectations but to be honored among the whole Archdiocese was just too overwhelming,” said Mrs. Archibald.
Mrs. Archibald, an IHM teacher and an alumna, was instrumental in implementing the school’s environmental science program. She is moderator of the Environmental Club and coordinated IHM’s effort to qualify as a MAEOE (Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education) Certified Maryland Green School. Mrs. Archibald also directed the school’s Project Stream Clean and she forged an alliance with National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to be one of only four elementary schools in the state to participate in its Bay-Watershed Education Training. In addition to all her environmental efforts, Mrs. Archibald moderates the school’s student council and its fundraising efforts that benefit many diocesan charities.