On Friday, October 10, 2014, 33 Villa Maria staff members attended the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools (PAIS) Biennial Conference at Episcopal Academy in Newtown Square. This was the first time in 20 years that the statewide independent schools’ organization held a statewide conference and the feedback was that it was an overwhelming success.
Wrapped around the theme “Engage, Connect, Experience,” Villa staffers were joined by 1,400 private school educators from across Pennsylvania. The day included bookend keynotes, interactive workshops, vendor space and a ‘makers lab’ for make and take type of activities. Villa teachers Carol Sweeney and Leah Kim walked away with two winning door prizes. Carol won a ‘technology’ basket, which included a document camera, a Hummingbird robotics kit that works with Villa’s system for the Finch robot, several circuit set kits with sensors and leads that students can sew into clothing or use to make projects, and 3 squishy circuit sets that work with Playdoh for use in physics classes. Leah won a $1,000 certificate to be used at any upcoming PAIS professional development endeavor. Faculty appreciated the support of the Villa Maria administration to promote this most worthwhile professional development opportunity.