Local principal presents at national event


PITTSBURGH – DawnMarie Smith is reincorporating something into her professional life. And, she said, it’s rewarding.

The Franciscan School principal recently presented to fellow educators at the 2024 National Catholic Educational Association’s Convention at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA. The event typically draws thousands of educators from throughout the U.S. and Canada

“It was the first time I returned to a conference since Covid,” said Smith. “Pre-Covid I did a lot of presenting … it is so fulfilling to spend time with colleagues and share ideas.”

She spoke April 2 on the topic of "Building Connections through A Middle School Advisory Program.”

The middle school advisory program’s purpose is to equip students with academic, social and emotional life skills that foster individual wellbeing and promote a healthy faith-based community connection, she shared with NC Catholics.

Smith added the advisory program element at TFS during the 2022-2023 school year and expanded upon it in the 2023-2024 year.

“To foster connections, you need to intentionally build the space into your schedule and develop the programming. In addition to imparting knowledge, education is also about forming the whole child and fostering a sense of belonging and community,” she said. “A focus on individual connections and relationships promotes a sense of responsibility and service to others as well. Service is rooted in the Catholic tradition of social responsibility and the belief that everyone has a duty to contribute to the common good.”

The result, she said, is not only a sense of community but also a positive outcome for students considering that connected students feel “a sense of ownership in their learning.”


Read the full article at: https://dioceseofraleigh.org/news/local-principal-presents-national-event