Engaging, embracing, elevating, and empowering educators and supporting the skills students need to be prepared for college and work in the 21st century: that is the role of the newly-created position of Director of Professional Development. To fill that role, Cardinal Gibbons is excited to welcome home former Social Studies Educator Amy Ernenwein, a national board-certified teacher who brings with her 16 years of experience as an education analyst, consultant, and educator. Ernenwein, who assumes the Director of Professional Development position this month, returns to Gibbons after creating curriculum and professional development programs for IXL Learning.
Assistant Director of Instruction Nancy Barkan said the position, which was developed out of the school’s strategic planning processes, enhances our school’s commitment to a college preparatory education for all students and completes the vision of how educators reflect, engage, and transform themselves and one another in faith, service, and leadership. “It is,” she stressed, “one more element that solidifies our commitment to advancing teaching and learning.”
Indeed, over the last 12 years, Barkan said Gibbons has seen exponential growth in the number of educators who have earned NC licensure, completed advanced academic degrees and certification programs, as well as led and presented at local, state, and national conferences. Most recently, she said the school identified classroom educators’ commitment to best practices by, among other initiatives, forming a group dedicated to modeling instruction and innovation in the pursuit of excellence.
Principal Jason D. Curtis said he is grateful to the Board of Trustees’ support of the creation of this new position, which underscores our continued growth as professionals, and our school’s strong commitment to our educators. “Amy Ernenwein’s significant experience in high school education, in both the classroom and in curriculum and professional development, will be an asset to our school community,” he added.
Amy Ernenwein fully understands and appreciates Gibbons' mission, culture, and vision and brings a wonderful combination of experience and insight into current academic theories and strategies to our school, said Nancy Barkan, Assistant Principal of Instruction.
Barkan noted that Ernenwein fully understands and appreciates Gibbons' mission, culture, and vision and brings a wonderful combination of experience and insight into current academic theories and strategies to our school.
Ernenwein, a native of North Carolina, graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science and a Master of Arts in Education, focusing on educational theory and instructional design. She has taught Social Studies at East Chapel Hill High School, Apex High School, and Cardinal Gibbons. She also worked as an Education Analyst at RTI International and as a K-12 Social Studies Consultant for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
In her new position at Gibbons Ernenwein, among other initiatives, will be responsible for: creating innovative professional learning opportunities, nurturing reflective practices, integrating mission focus into content areas, providing individualized choice in professional growth, developing a reimagined approach to instruction and assessment, and fostering a classroom climate of trust commitment and love.
For her part, Ernenwein is excited to begin her new role at Gibbons. Asked to describe her vision of professional development for Gibbons educators she said: “Gibbons educators will be models for excellence in teaching through staying closely connected to the core teacher identity that drove them to become educators. To accomplish this, Gibbons will create a culture of professional support and growth that will empower educators to see and value each and every one of their students, create innovative opportunities for learning, and become inspirational ambassadors for their content, ensuring their legacies live on within their students.”
Of the new Director of Professional Development position Barkan concluded: "Our educators continually seek meaningful, relevant and engaging professional development opportunities. … The creation of this new position is the next and necessary phase of our commitment to our educators.” Ernenwein, she said, is the right person at the right time to help fulfill that commitment.