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ACE celebrates 20th anniversary

Emily McConville | Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a cross-country bus tour, kicking off Sept. 30.

The tour will make 15 stops on its first leg, according to Fr. Timothy Scully, director of the Institute for Educational Initiatives and one of the bus’ annual riders. It will be at Notre Dame for the Navy football game on Nov. 2 and will make its official stop in South Bend on Nov. 19.

Scully said the purpose of the tour is to “celebrate the gift of Catholic education,” both within and outside of Catholic school systems.

“We want to recognize the gifts [of] people who have given their life’s energy to [Catholic education] and galvanize support for their efforts,” he said.  

With three weeks until the tour kicks off, Scully said ACE is finishing preparations, training bus drivers and confirming tour stops and events. The stops, which range from Indianapolis to Boston and Milwaukee, will each feature a celebration, speaker, awards and a Mass. The tour also will includes meetings and workshops with government and education leaders. In some the events will also include meeting with leaders in government and education.

“We have a conference at the [George W.] Bush Institute that the President and Mrs. Bush are hosting in Dallas,” Scully said. “It’s a workshop . . . on parental choice in school and the value of education in the inner cities.”

In addition, the Washington, D.C. stop will include meetings with members of Congress involved in education policy, he said.

 According to the program’s website, Scully and Fr. Sean McGraw co-founded ACE in 1993 with Service Through Teaching, a cost-free Masters’ in Education program that sends well-qualified teachers into Catholic school systems. The program has graduated more than 1,200 teachers.

Since its inception, ACE has expanded its programs and initiatives, which now include additional training programs for Catholic educators, such as the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program and the English as a New Language certification, the website states. It also provides services such as coach training and professional development workshops; and outreach initiatives that serve minority or at-risk populations.

Contact Emily McConville at emcconvl@nd.edu