St. Mary’s High School is beginning a new Adjunct Professor Program that involves bringing in accomplished professionals and college-level professors to guest lecture in certain classes throughout the semester. The goal of the program is to take the theories and concepts students learn in the classroom and expose them to the next-level thinking and application from someone who has real-world experience in the appropriate fields.
St. Mary’s Head of School, Kevin Kelleher, brought this idea to the Board of Trustees and is excited about its potential: “There is really no limit to ideas for a program like this because we have such a knowledgeable and successful alumni and friends base here at St. Mary’s, with experienced professionals in so many different fields, ranging from college professors and judges to wealth management professionals and neurologists. The possibilities as to what our students can learn are endless and will hopefully give them the edge when it comes to gaining extra experience and maybe even choosing a career path.” St. Mary’s will work various adjunct professors into different departments throughout the spring semester, growing the program each year.
The Adjunct Professor Program will begin in January, with Dianna Cichocki, Clinical Assistant Professor in Management Science and Systems at the University at Buffalo School of Management, joining the St. Mary’s Mathematics and Finance Departments. Cichocki teaches Statistical Decisions in Management and Statistical Foundations in Analytics with a focus on incorporating technology into her curriculum. Cichocki has her Bachelor’s Degree from St. John Fisher College and Master’s Degree from Oswego State University.
Professor Cichocki really wants to add a new dynamic to the typical high school classroom: “Most of my lectures at UB are set up online, so I would love to set up something similar to an online lab for St. Mary’s students to get them exposed to a different kind of classroom setting,” Cichocki said. “…and to really introduce them to [Microsoft] Excel because there is rarely any time to learn these skills in a regular high school stats or precalculus curriculum. Just having a basic working knowledge of the program can really give St. Mary’s students a leg up in college.”
The business world is clearly in need of people who can work with and manipulate “big data,” and Cichocki says the field is only going to grow: “Data analytics is a huge field to get into, so if students have some exposure to these concepts, that’s huge for colleges and employers,” Cichocki said.
Dean of Academic Affairs, Keith Junik, expects students to respond well to the program as a whole: “The kids will get excited to have a ‘guest lecturer’ – just to have the opportunity to mix things up on this level is exciting for us all,” he said. “The teachers themselves are excited as well, as they are always looking for new things to incorporate into their lesson plans, and this provides them with a challenging, unique way to do just that,” he added. Junik emphasized that the ultimate goal of St. Mary’s as an academic institution is to leave students as well prepared as possible for life after high school, and this Adjunct Faculty Program will only bolster this goal: “Academically, we want to expose our students to as many things as we can, so that the things they try in the future won’t seem so abstract and they have confidence to not only succeed in college but also in life beyond the classroom,” Junik concluded.
St. Mary’s welcomed back some recent alumni to discuss their experiences about their college application processes and life on campus thus far in College 101 – A Panel Discussion. The panel was also on hand to answer any questions from the audience, which consisted of current St. Mary’s sophomores, juniors, and seniors along with their families.
The College 101 Panel is part of a series of efforts by St. Mary’s to offer students different opportunities to learn more about life after graduation as early and as often as possible. St. Mary’s also offers a college tour program twice a year that invites students and their parents to tour 6-8 schools over a weekend in different parts of the country, where transportation and lodging are provided for a nominal fee. For example, last year’s fall tour visited schools along Interstate 90 West, including Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, and University of Pittsburgh, among others. St. Mary’s also has a Director of College Counseling on staff who specializes in helping students through the rigorous college application process. Throughout the year, college admission counselors from around the area are also available for small group meetings on the St. Mary’s campus, and the school holds several college fairs for sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
Mr. Kelleher knows the importance of offering these types of programs for the families at St. Mary’s: “At St. Mary’s, we’re constantly striving to open our students’ eyes to different life experiences to really prepare them for college and beyond,” Kelleher said. “We believe it is in everyone’s best interests for our students to start thinking about college as soon as possible, so the admissions process as a whole doesn’t seem so daunting to them. We have the programs and staff in place to prepare our students to take that next step in their education, which is really what a college-preparatory school should be all about,” Kelleher concluded.
The panel members consisted of eight St. Mary’s graduates who are currently enrolled in some of the nation’s top schools― local and across the country and large and small in terms of enrollment.
Pictured from left to right are: Leah Meyer ʼ15 (Duke University), Caitlyn Meyer ʼ17 (James Madison University), Danielle Hockwater ʼ16 (University at Buffalo), Brad Berchou ʼ16 (Canisius College), Maddie Wnuk ʼ16 (University at Buffalo), Kendra Ciezki ʼ16 (University of Alabama), Collin Tytka ʼ17 (Rochester Institute of Technology), and Erin Hufford ʼ17 (Canisius College).
The Class of 2018 set off for a their senior trip to Walt Disney World. An amazing time was had by all and memories were made that will last a lifetime.
Can’t beat that view!
St. Mary’s announced that the 2018 Spring Musical will be Once On This Island.
From the Once On This Island website:
“Once On This Island is the tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. When their divided cultures keep them apart, Ti Moune is guided by the powerful island gods, Erzulie, Asaka, Papa Ge, and Agwe, on a remarkable quest to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.
Bursting with Caribbean colors, rhythms and dance, the story comes to vibrant life in a striking production that transforms the reality of a tropical village devastated by a storm into a fantastical world alive with hope.
Come and gather around for Once On This Island, a triumph of the timeless power of theatre to bring us together, move our hearts, and help us conquer life’s storms.”
We can’t wait to see what our amazing Performing Arts Department and students will do with such a wonderful production!
Stay tuned for the cast list!