Murray Institute producing high-quality educators for archdiocese

| December 8, 2009 | 0 Comments

Sue Kerr, principal of Blessed Trinity Catholic School in Richfield, is a graduate of the Murray Institute, a collaboration between the University of St. Thomas and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis that provides advanced professional training and faith formation for teachers and educational leaders of the archdiocese.

Kerr, who has both a master’s degree and an education specialist degree in administration from the Murray Institute, spoke with The Catholic Spirit about how the Murray Institute has helped shape her career.

What is the Murray Institute?

It’s an institute at the University of St. Thomas that was built with some grant money specifically for improving teaching in the archdiocese and allowing financial aid for archdiocesan teachers and now principals. When you get accepted into the program, there is no tuition. Your only costs are the time and the materials.

How has the Murray Institute helped you?

First when I was a teacher getting my master’s degree, it just gave me a huge amount of confidence to be more of a leader on my faculty. It helped me to be able to research curriculum and be more aware of the educational research that was out there and the best practices. . . .

It also paved the way for the ed. specialist program because you can’t get into that without a master’s degree. The ed. specialist program opened up a whole new world. I didn’t even know I wanted to be an administrator until I got into that program. . . .

I have a different career now. I moved from teaching into administration, and I certainly wouldn’t have been able to do that without this ed. specialist degree. It’s made me see the big education picture.

How is the Murray Institute benefiting the archdiocese?

I think teachers in the archdiocese can tend to get sort of isolated in their classrooms and their schools. It makes the archdiocese, which is really a decentralized system, seem smaller. Being in the cohort model where you’re working with the same educators for three years, it really allows you to share what’s going on in your school and find out what’s going on in other schools. . . .

Also, it’s building a pool of teachers and administrators that are better educated. They are learning at a really high-quality Catholic institution that, frankly, most of us probably couldn’t afford without the Murray Institute. I think we’re getting more high-quality educators because of the experiences they’re having through the Murray system.

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Category: Explore the World of Catholic Education