Hidden authors in the hallways

Dr.+Kevin+Donnelly%27s+book%2C+Cecilia+del+Nacimiento%3A++Journeys+of+a+Mystic+Soul+in+Poetry+and+Prose+and+Mr.+Kenneth+Leong%27s+book%2C+The+Zen+Teachings+of+Jesus%2C++are+two+of+the+publications+featured+in+the+CSH+Faculty+Showcase+that+demonstrate+the+range+and+scope+of+faculty+talent.

Dr. Kevin Donnelly’s book, Cecilia del Nacimiento: Journeys of a Mystic Soul in Poetry and Prose and Mr. Kenneth Leong’s book, The Zen Teachings of Jesus, are two of the publications featured in the CSH Faculty Showcase that demonstrate the range and scope of faculty talent.

Dr. Kevin Donnelly’s book, Cecilia del Nacimiento: Journeys of a Mystic Soul in Poetry and Prose and Mr. Kenneth Leong’s book, The Zen Teachings of Jesus, are two of the publications featured in the CSH Faculty Showcase that demonstrate the range and scope of faculty talent.
Grace Isford ’14

Convent of the Sacred Heart teachers are making their voices heard with over 15 forms of various faculty authored print and digital publications in the media.

This fall, Sacred Heart librarian Ms. Elizabeth Fernandez compiled the faculty’s work in her CSH Faculty Showcase. She created not only a physical display in the school’s library, but also a website with QR scanning capabilities for smartphones to publicize the teachers’ work.
“During the faculty meetings at the beginning of this new school year,  we had the opportunity to exchange ideas and information from our summer experiences,” Ms. Fernandez said, “So many of our faculty shared news about their newly published work, or art and photography exhibits, that we decided to create a faculty and staff showcase.  I sent out  an email inviting all staff and faculty to submit work to share, I and received a tremendous response.”
Faculty members were eager to share their work with the community. Dr. Kristina Gremski, Upper School science, Mr. Michael Maida, Middle School mathematics, Ms. Breamond Scala, Middle School science and Dr. Bill Mottolese, head of the English department, all published articles, essays or poetry within various books and magazines on specific interests in their fields of expertise.
Mrs. Linda Vasu, Upper School English, authors a literary blog, Minimal Matters, as well as a personal blog, Linda VasuLateral Thinking. She enjoys crafting such analyses as featured on her literary blog because literature, “is a living record of inwardness, the life of the mind and heart. It shows us what it means to be human, or not,” Mrs. Vasu wrote on her Minimal Matters blog profile.
Dr. Kevin Donnelly, Upper School World Languages Department Chair recently authored a book translating the poetry of the Spanish mystic, Cecilia del Nacimiento. It is a comprehensive analysis and one of the first of its kind. Dr. Donnelly spent seven years working on the book from start to finish.
“I thought it would be really great to have Cecilia’s work more widely read, by people who do not normally read in Spanish. I wanted to make her work available for people who read English,” Dr. Donnelly said.
The many authors came as a surprise to students and teachers alike.
“It’s really interesting and surprising to know that teachers have books in the media,” junior Shelby Holland said. “Dr. Donnelly was my freshman teacher, and I didn’t realize that he had a publication.”
Besides the accomplishment of publishing a work, many students recognize the benefits of teacher authors.
“I think it’s great for teachers to be able to supply more information outside the classroom through their publications,” sophomore Mo Narasimhan said. “It’s wonderful for teachers to express their true academic interests and it really shows their dedication to teaching and academics.”
Representing the art spectrum, Mrs. Filmore, Upper School Photography, Mrs. Kimberly Raisbeck Castagna, Middle School art and Mr. Sal Rotondo, School Webmaster, all have published books, slideshows or videos of their artwork. Mrs. Filmore’s photography book, Abandoned, contains artistic photos of uninhabited buildings and homes.
Even with busy lives of teachers outside the classroom, these teachers are still focused on one goal: to educate Sacred Heart students. Mr. Kenneth Leong, Upper School mathematics and author of Zen Teachings of Jesus encourages his students to also write books.
“It is a very educational and [a] worthwhile experience for your personal growth,” Mr. Leong said.
Mr. Daniel Favata, Upper School Theology and AP Art History teacher is a candidate for his Ph.D. in art history and wrote two separate analyses of John Trumbull and Peter Paul Rubens’ artwork. He is particularly inspired by the abundant success of his colleagues.
“Often you have either a great teacher or a talented scholar, yet seldom do you have teachers who are both, like we do at Sacred Heart,” Mr. Favata said.
Ms. Fernandez has high expectations for the showcase in future months. “My hope is that it is going to be interactive and ongoing,” she said.
So instead of skipping through the library to grab an essay from the printer or running to the tech office, take a look at the library faculty showcase. These works of art demonstrate the outstanding quality of a Sacred Heart education.
As Ms. Fernandez said, “it’s a good way to see the treasures we have in our own community.”
 
– Grace Isford, Staff Writer