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Professional Development

Growth and exploration

As a community of learners, The Agnes Irwin School places a premium on continuing education for faculty and staff. The school offers an annual program of all-school professional development days, special workshops and opportunities for self-designed independent and team study and research.

Professional Growth Grants

The Professional Growth Grants program encourages institutional, curricular and pedagogical growth and innovation by providing financial assistance to members of the faculty and staff who are interested in improving the current curriculum, developing new courses, exploring new teaching strategies and methodologies and doing other work important to the life and mission of the School.

Grants are administered through the Center for the Advancement of Girls and the office of the Assistant Head of School.

Recent Grant Awards

Let’s Care: Leadership Tool Kit Curriculum
Dr. Lisa Dissinger and Melanie Slezak

Two-Part Teacher Training: Executive Functions
Dr. Lisa Dissinger and Joie Walsh

Developing Mindfulness in Lower School Through “Let’s Care”
Kim Beamon-Morton and Dr. Lisa Dissinger

Spanish Summer Camp Curriculum
Montserrat Nomdedeu

Educator’s Network
Kimberly Walker

Supplemental Activities for the Leadership Toolkit
Melanie Slezak

Classroom Assessments
Julie Haines

AIS Lower School Technology Philosophy Task Force
Shailla Bari, Molly Bergh, Julie Diana, Julie Haines, Veronika Paluch, Audrey Sikdar, and Melanie Slezak

Play-Based Learning: Incorporating Games and Picture Books into Middle School Instruction and Assessment
Leslie Hahne

Student Council Leadership Development
Katie Cooper and Cathy Lynch

Earth and Beyond 8th Grade Unit
David Christiansen

Student Projects for Middle School Latin Curriculum
Dominic Galante and Melissa Musacchio

Social-Emotional Experiential Workshop for 7th Grade Girls
Dr. Helene Walker

Interactive Student Notebooks for 7th Grade Girls
Joy Connelly

Curriculum Development: Nazi Germany & the Holocaust Seminar + History through Fiction Seminar
Sean McCormick

Upper School Student/Staff Community Building Day
Charesse Ford and Sharon Rudnicki

Research Skills Best Practices
Sara Webb

France Under German Occupation
Anne-Victoire Bonnamour

SAT Test Prep Curriculum (Latin)
Dr. Patrick Beasom

Follow Franklin SSP
Jodie Zielinksi

9th Grade Transitions Class: Social Justice
Charesse Ford and Sarah Kinder

SSP Program Manual
Sarah Kinder

Summer Dean Team Work
Brian Baille, Bill Esher, Wigs Frank, Michele Kane, and Melissa Musacchio

Tracks Application Development
Dr. Steve Grabania

Summer Technology Camp for Teachers
Julie Diana, David Marshall and Sarah Rafferty

Schedule Adjustments 2014-2015
Erica Novak

Professional Development 2015-2016

Call to Action
Donna Lindner

University and College Designers Association
Sandy Ulikowski

Online School for Girls Course
Janet Bartholdson, Elena Bertrand, Erin Brady, and Caroline Slingluff

National Athletic Directors Conference
Bridget Carlin and Sheila Pauley

Dissertation: In Pursuit of Educational Equity in U.S. Independent Schools: A Grounded Theory of Diversity Leadership
Charesse Ford

Blackbaud K-12 Roadshow
Carol Hillman

SEED New Leaders’ Week
Dolores Verdeur

Financial Option Online School for Girls Course
Janet Bartholdson

Wonder Women! Uncovering Your Superpower and Signature Leadership Presence
Rosann Westmeyer

American Association of Teachers of French Conference
Rita Davis

Outward Bound
Brian Baille and Susie McGiness

National Association of Biology Teachers Conference
Ethan Ake

Graduate Coursework
Corinna Segal

Wilson Training
Ashley Kauffman and Joe Flood

The PA State Modern Language Association conference
Ariadna Fink

Interplay Life Practice Program
Kim Beamon-Morton

PSMLA Fall Conference: Forging a Future
Montserrat Nomdedeu, Corinna Segal, and Anne Victoire-Bonnamour

Units of Study Conference
Liz Alleva, Shelly Esposito, Susie Hagin and Julie Haines

Turn Testing into Learning
Emily Brennan, Sara Carmichael and Rosann Westmeyer

National Association for Music Education In-Service Conference: Empower Creativity
Dr. Cara Latham

Conference on Literacy and Learning Disabilities
Elizabeth Barrows and Courtney Dougherty

AP Workshop- Spanish Language and Culture
Ines Gorban-Pheulpin

Navigating Health, Safety and Security Abroad
Sarah Kinder 

Board Service

Randie Benedict, Director of Enrollment Management

Secretary of the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools (PAIS) Board

Rita Davis, Acting Chair, Modern Languages Department

Vice President of the American Association of Teachers of French, Consultant to the College Board

Mariandl M.C. Hufford, Assistant Head of School and Director, Center for the Advancement of Girls

National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, Board of Trustees
Member, Governance Committee

Dr. Elizabeth K. Sands, Assistant Director of Lower School for Student Support

Pennsylvania Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (PBIDA) Board of Directors Member, Editorial Board for their FOCUS magazine

Paul Seaton, PreK teacher

Radnor High School Scholarship Fund, Board of Governors Member

Reflections from Sarah Rafferty
US Photography

"Exploring Print Mediums in Maine"

This summer, Agnes Irwin awarded me a Professional Growth Grant to attend Maine Media Workshops and College in Rockport, Maine. MMW is a world-renowned institution that provides degree and certificate programs, workshops and cooperative labs geared to artists pursuing creative work in fine arts and media-related professions. They have endless course offerings — from digital and analog photography workshops to videography, alternative process photography and book arts. I took “The Art and Craft of the Fine Art Digital Print” with Jim Nickelson, an accomplished fine art photographer and custom digital printer, because of my increased interest in understanding the software-to-print relationship.

The course focused on the differences between various kinds of paper used for creating prints and how they affect a final product. We learned about printers, printer profiles and paper profiles — all critical components of the printing process -- and reasons why prints can come out of a printer looking different from your computer screen. In one exercise, we printed the same photograph on several types of paper, and the differences in tonality, saturation and clarity were astounding.

My course had five other participants, all of whom were amateur photographers trying to better their skills. Nickelson, whose work is driven by an interest in science and nature and who has exhibited widely in museums and galleries, shared a wealth of knowledge. He showed us his studio and some of his personal work. It was a fun and informative visit!

We also took a few local field trips together as a class, where we were able to photograph some of the beauty of the Maine coast.

My course at MMW taught me so much that I was excited to bring back to my classroom. I have already shown my Photo II and AP Photo classes a few techniques that I learned while in Maine and cannot wait to show them more as we begin printing images.


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AN ALL-GIRLS' INDEPENDENT COLLEGE PREPARATORY SCHOOL FOR PREK-GRADE 12  •  Ithan Avenue & Conestoga Road, Rosemont, PA 19010  •  Tel 610.525.8400

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