Saint Mary's College has received a grant to expand its scholarship program for students who plan to teach in Lasallian high schools. The Bill Hannon Foundation awarded $184,000 in February to help fund the Lasallian Educators Fellowship program, which provides scholarships to School of Education students who agree to teach at a Lasallian high school after earning their credential.
The Hannon grant is a vital gift, says Carole Swain, dean of mission at the College and the coordinator of the program, because it will allow the program to expand into Southern California. The cost of living in the Bay Area and the cost of moving here has prevented aspiring Southern California teachers from participating in the program, explains Swain. The Hannon funds will support two Southern California students in each of the next two academic years by providing for their tuition, room and board, and expenses.
The Lasallian Educators Fellowship program was established in fall 2001 when principals at Lasallian high schools said they needed teachers who are familiar with Lasallian education. The College has since trained about twenty students, and the program is open to Saint Mary's College students, graduates of other colleges who want to teach at Lasallian high schools, and non-credentialed teachers already employed at Brothers' schools.
About six to eight students are accepted into the program each year after being admitted to the School of Education. Fellows attend an orientation retreat at the start of the academic year, and they participate in other activities, including retreats, through the remaining months. A portion of the Hannon funds also will be earmarked for expanding opportunities for retreats.
Swain believes a strength of the Lasallian Educators Fellowship program is increased cooperation between Saint Mary's College and the Brothers' high schools in the San Francisco District, which spans Washington, Oregon, California, and Arizona. Sharing the College's resources is important, and this is one very effective way to do that, she says.
"This program solidifies our contribution to the District in the area of teaching, which is the charisma of the Brothers," she says.
But just as important is the impact on the participating students.
"Although the fellowship isn't need-based," Swain explains, "I know that there are people in the program who couldn't get their credential and then go to teach young people without this program."
For more information about the program, contact Carole Swain, (925) 631-4695, [email protected].
-- by Joseph Wakelee-Lynch
William H. Hannon created the Bill Hannon Foundation in 1999, a separate entity from the William H. Hannon Foundation. The board of directors is composed of representative leaders from education, law, and academia. The current focus of the Bill Hannon Foundation is on Catholic schools and colleges in California, with a potential future interest in other Catholic-sponsored organizations engaged in health and human services for disadvantaged populations. This focus is in keeping with the interests of Bill Hannon, who during his lifetime was a leading real estate developer and philanthropist in Southern California, where he was a 1937 graduate of Loyola Marymount University and a trustee when he died in 1999.