Sabbatical program enables Mrs. Kerry Bader to explore Goal Three

For the 2018-19 school year, Mrs. Kerry Bader exchanged her daily routine as an Upper School Theology Teacher, Director of Upper School Social Justice and Service, and Peer Leader Leadership Co-Moderator for the opportunity to explore community service.  Mrs. Bader took part in the Vivian Pomex Sabbatical, which enabled her to take time away from Sacred Heart Greenwich to work on a research project.

Kaitlin Reilly ’18, Angelique Stark ’18, Chelsea Beckford ’18, Maggie Shea ’19, and Lorraine Rinaldi ’19, members of the Community Service Club, organized the annual Christmas celebration between Sacred Heart Greenwich and the Carver Center under Mrs. Bader’s direction.  Courtesy of Rachel Zurheide

Sacred Heart designated the Vivian Pomex sabbatical year to commemorate Ms. Vivian Pomex, a former Upper School Art teacher who passed away at a young age.  The program allows Sacred Heart educators to delve into personal interests that also benefit them as Sacred Heart educators.

Mrs. Bader took her sabbatical time to expand her knowledge of different outlets of community service, and, as the Director of Upper School Social Justice and Service, how she can bring new initiatives to Sacred Heart.

“Originally, my sabbatical project was going to concentrate on innovations in teaching philosophy to high school students,” Mrs. Bader said.  “However, the project has now evolved into research and exploration in the best practices in community service.”

Mrs. Bader believes that her project directly connects with Goal Three of the Sacred Heart Goals and Criteria, “a social awareness which impels to action.”

“I wanted to pursue this project because I think it is important to engage students in service work,” Mrs. Bader said.  “It is critical to provide support for students as they navigate various areas in social justice, faith, and service.”

To do so, Mrs. Bader has immersed herself in studies at Fordham University, specifically exploring the principles of Catholic Social Teaching.  She also collaborated with service directors at other schools to observe how other institutions engage in community service work.

Maddie Bertrand ’21 participated in one of the Upper School breakfast runs in Tompkins Square Park in New York City, organized by Mrs. Bader.  Courtesy of Laura Moore ’19

Mrs. Bader hopes to use the information she has gathered to foster Sacred Heart’s service program next year, as well as initiate projects with other schools.  At Sacred Heart, although Mrs. Bader will not continue her career as a teacher, she wishes to form a committee to look at the best practices in community service and how students can implement them in their dedication to service.

In line with Goal Three, Mrs. Bader urges students to use their Catholic-based education to leave a positive impact on their communities.

“Social justice is the cornerstone to service as it is through seeking justice that we better our world,” Mrs. Bader said.  “The entire theology program at Sacred Heart helps to fuel an understanding of the value inherent in all people regardless of race, class, gender, or any other external attributes.  This foundational core strengthens our students’ commitment to service.”

Featured Image by Sydney Gallop ’20