Current scholars in the Big Shoulders Program discuss the impact of DePaul’s Catholic Leadership Program on their academic and professional lives
Andrew DiMarco has been working at St. Rita of Cascia High School for the past four years in various capacities. He began as an Augustinian Volunteer as a part of their Campus Ministry Center and assisted in their Student Activities program. Due to his demonstrated passion for the work, the following year Andrew was hired as a full time math teacher. He now is in his third year teaching AP Calculus, Algebra 2, and Geometry. Outside of an academic setting, Andrew builds a relationship with the high school students through coaching sports, sponsoring the yearbook, and a fantasy sports club.
Andrew notes that the Catholic Leadership Program has challenged him to reflect on how to continue the mission of Catholic schools: “In the current climate of Catholic schools, this program is allowing me to be a part of helping future schools thrive and continue to stay true to the mission of Catholic education. There is nothing more valuable than education, and I am excited that through this Leadership Program I can continue to be a part of that mission.”
Mary Deletioglu started her work in Catholic School through volunteering at St. Gregory the Great for 2 years when she was completing her first masters at DePaul in Teaching and Learning. For the past 7 years, she has been working at St. Benedict Preparatory School as a math teacher and Math Department Chair for 6th-12th grade.
She states that the Catholic Leadership Program at DePaul “is much more than I expected. The program is grounded in business, ethics, education policy and the foundation of leadership which is essential to managing a successful school. It pushes your thinking and spirit in order for you to articulate your passion to lead. The professors are down to earth, care about you as a person as help to support you in your growth and program.”
Jenna Ryan, a current scholar in the Big Shoulders Fund, is working at St. Margaret of Scotland where she teaches math to her fourth and fifth grade students. Jenna remarks on the importance of a Catholic background in education: “Teachers will never be able to give students what they need unless they take time to replenish the their own practice through prayer and other outlets. Teachers across the country have so much expected of them throughout the day: actually making sure more learning is happening, planning, grading, reviewing data, continuing their own education. Teachers need time to discuss and reflect. The DePaul experience too allows us to reflect on the true purpose and mission of our Catholic schools.”