St. Paul's Teachers Invest in Personal Learning During Summer 2021

St. Paul's Teachers Invest in Personal Learning During Summer 2021

Summer is not just a time of rest and relaxation for the hardworking faculty at St. Paul’s. It’s also a great opportunity to attend conferences, explore new curriculum, and invest in educational technology. This past summer, our teachers collectively participated in more than 400 hours of professional development across many focus areas including social emotional learning, STEAM, Math, Arts, and much more.

Read below to learn more about our teachers’ professional development highlights from this past summer!




Project Lead the Way, Creative Technologies Bootcamp, and Institute for Arts Integration
6th grade Science and Makerspace Teacher, Kelly Van Maren, attended several conferences focused on STEAM learning. During her Project Lead the Way training, she focused on The Magic of Electrons to enhance the 6th grade electricity unit. Later in the summer, Ms. Van Maren attended the Creative Technologies Bootcamp through Columbia University to learn about digital storytelling, stop motion animation, 3D printing and augmented reality, and creative coding.  Ms. Van Maren noted, “I’m looking forward to utilizing our Glowforge laser cutter and 3D printer during a new middle school elective class. In addition, all students in grades 3-5 will now have a Tinkercad classroom where they can design and create 3D projects using augmented reality form and coding.”


Printmaking Example from Summer 2021 Professional Development

Printmaking & Garmin Educators Summit
4th-8th grade Art Teacher, Jessica Lynn, participated in a printmaking workshop through the Interurban Arthouse focused on the process of linocut and multicolor printing. “There are so many benefits to teaching printmaking, including encouraging planning and engineering thought processes,” shared Ms. Lynn.

In addition, Ms. Lynn attended the Garmin Educators Summit where professionals shared techniques to encourage students to think creatively and innovative in the classroom.





Preschool students participate in a Sunshine Circle with Early Childhood Counselor, Phoebe Finley.

Sunshine Circles
In July, seven faculty members in T-2nd grade attended a hybrid in-person and online training for Sunshine Circles through the Theraplay Institute. Goals of the Sunshine Circles program include promoting connection and joy between teachers and students, developing self-regulation skills, creating a positive inner working model around social interactions, and creating a sense of safety for children. Early Childhood School Counselor, Phoebe Finley commented, “I’m excited to bring sunshine circles back into the classroom this year as I co-lead with the classroom teachers each week. The training over the summer was so helpful in giving tangible ways to promote connection, self-esteem, and a joy-filled classroom.”


These are just a few of the professional development highlights from this past summer. Teachers also attended seminars on multisensory math, social justice education, Science Olympiad, and Conscious Discipline. Many thanks to the following teachers and administrators for setting aside time this summer to attend training, conferences, and seminars.

Alankar Patel
Amy Shaaf
Christine Cowan
Emma Marston
Erica Bach
Gretchen Beilharz
Jessica Lynn
Jessica Nguyen
Jill Beckman
Judy Moriarty
Kelly Van Maren
Leslie Englund
Lisa Jones
Melissa Sansale
Mindy Stephenson
Phoebe Finley
Sarah Gouttierre
Val Luu

Faculty professional development is integral to providing engaging and innovative classroom instruction. Our ongoing investment in faculty growth supports the St. Paul’s mission while setting the St. Paul’s educational experience apart from other schools. To learn more about our academic approach in each division, visit