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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

As School Opens, St. Virgil Adds to Faculty & Expands with STEM Curriculum


MORRIS TWP. ‑ St. Virgil Academy (SVA) added four new teachers to its certified faculty at the Pre-K through grade eight school that opened Tuesday, Sept. 2.

Colleen Kiernan, who most recently worked as a teacher’s aide at St. Vincent de Paul School in Stirling, joins the staff as a second grade teacher.

“I hope to create a classroom full of students who love to learn and enjoy coming to school every day,” Kiernan said.

The school also plans to ramp up its focus on technology with the addition of Regina Cherill who will be working with the fourth grade and above students in areas such as computer programming, website design, hardware repair and computer animation.

The foreign language department will also get a boost with the addition of Claudia Ahuatzin.

Ahuatzin said she expects to “share my love of the Hispanic culture” and to help all SVA students connect with the Spanish language.

Finally, a teaching veteran, Ricardo Perez, is a welcome addition to the middle school faculty. Perez comes to St. Virgil Academy after years of teaching at Morris Catholic High School in Denville to specifically work with the eighth grade honors algebra students.

SVA expects to implement a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum throughout the school’s Early Childhood Center--which includes Pre-K--will continue this year, as will the award-winning STEM middle school program.

Even with the addition of new faculty, students and classes, a focus on individualized learning will remain at the forefront of SVA’s educational approach this school year, said Principal Debbie Duane.

With small class sizes, these certified teachers will be able to create an environment that stimulates group sharing and discovery, while still catering to individual needs. The St. Virgil community looks forward to a truly inspiring year, she added.

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