Hybrid Professional Day to be Sept. 24

Published: September 3, 2021

The 84th annual Arkansas Catholic Schools Professional Day will be held Friday, Sept. 24. In the morning, Catholic school principals and teachers from Little Rock and North Little Rock will attend Mass and the keynote address at Christ the King School in Little Rock, while all other Catholic school educators in the state will watch via livestream. Afternoon, in-service sessions will be presented via Zoom for all participants at their schools. This year's theme is: “You Satisfy the Hungry Heart."

Professional Day is sponsored by the diocesan Office of Catholic Schools. Because COVID-19 continues to spread in Arkansas, "the decision to change the format of the day was made with the safety of all our school teachers and administrators in mind," explained Marguerite Olberts, associate superintendent.

Father Erik Pohlmeier, pastor of Christ the King Church and faith formation director for the Diocese of Little Rock, will celebrate Mass at 9 a.m. Catholic speaker and author Mike Patin, of Lafayette, Louisiana, will then deliver the keynote presentation on the topic: "Now Go and Do the Same." He holds a master's degree in pastoral studies from Loyola University in New Orleans, and worked as a high school teacher, coach and for the Archdiocese of New Orleans before becoming a full-time speaker in 2003. Since then he has spoken in more than 130 dioceses in the U.S. and Canada.

Virtual break-out sessions will be offered in the afternoon. Educate LLC will provide coaching sessions specific for various grade levels on authentic learning activities, supporting our littlest learners, educating the whole child, mindfulness and social, emotional learning. Additional training on utilizing resources through NWEA Map will be provided. Sessions will also be held for religion teachers and DREs, administrators and marketing/development personnel.

Teachers and staff who have served 25 or 50 years in Catholic education will also be honored during the event. For more information, contact Ileana Dobbins, associate superintendent of Catholic schools, at (501) 664-0340, ext. 322.