NDP 2014 Header

Patricia M. Freund
St. Gregory the Great Catholic School
Diocese of Buffalo
Williamsville, New York

Under the leadership of Principal Patricia M. Freund, St. Gregory the Great Catholic School has implemented an initiative to align Common Core Standards with curriculum and assessments school-wide, instituted a practice of deep and ongoing data analysis to ensure student achievement, and set clear and high expectations for every student’s growth. Addressing what can often be the daunting process of change in education reform, Freund stepped up to take a week-long workshop in the Thoughtful Classroom Teacher Effectiveness Framework, a system for observing, evaluating, and refining classroom practice. The framework enabled staff to create a common language for talking about high-quality teaching and how standards and expectations can be aligned with teacher evaluations. Faculty grade-level teams meet weekly to review student achievement in classroom work and/or test results, identify struggling students, and develop plans to help each student reach their greatest potential. Parents and students are kept informed of progress on an ongoing basis, and teachers, administrators, and families are all actively involved as advocates for students by reevaluating instructional practices and opportunities throughout the year. The setting of expectations for growth of the entire student---including social, emotional, and academic growth, as well as growth in character and faith---are at the center of each child’s development at the 643-student, prekindergarten through eighth grade school. A full-time guidance counselor and enrichment programs established by Freund support students’ social and emotional needs and provide them with opportunities to experience a wide variety of activities such as Mandarin Chinese, Tae Kwon Do, and drawing and painting classes. Freund holds a B.S. from the University of Iowa, certification from Buffalo State College, and an M.S. from Canisius College.