Patrick Fennessy is about to make the leap from Vice Principal to Principal at Seattle’s St. Joseph School, so he’s thinking a great deal about the challenges in front of him. St. Joseph School was an early technology pioneer, securing personal computers for students in the late 1970s. The tradition of applying technological innovation in the classroom has continued, and St. Joseph now uses interactive white boards and laptops not only routinely, but also in innovative ways. Fennessy’s mission will be to ensure that this type of innovative and pioneering spirit not only flourishes, but also inspires teachers — and other schools — to strive for constant improvement, particularly regarding collaboration. He is also committed to ensuring that the school, a privately-funded Catholic institution, continues to evolve and reinvent itself.
And for Fennessy, one of the best ways to guarantee innovation and relevancy is by encouraging teacher collaboration. Teacher collaboration, and the role it plays in helping students develop 21st century skills, continues to be one of the most dominant themes here at Daily Edventures. No surprise, given mounting evidence on the effectiveness of building skills vs. the traditional pedagogical model of information dissemination. For more perspectives on the critical need for teachers to work together toward common goals, be sure to check out our recent interview with Principal Eric Sheninger, who facilitates collaboration to promote innovative teaching and the effective use of social media in the classroom. You can also learn more about efforts to encourage collaborative problem-solving in our post presenting the ACT21S partnership to promote 21st century skills including collaboration.
I had the pleasure of talking to Patrick Fennessy recently as he considers what it will take to be an effective leader in a 21st century school, and emphasizes the importance of teacher collaboration. I’m happy to share his unique insights into the development of 21st century skills.
News: Today, the Catholic International Education Office (OIEC) signed an agreement with Microsoft to bring Office 365 and other resources to 4.5 million Catholic School Students with the potential to reach 43 million students in over 210,000 schools. They will offer the most advanced technology, knowledge and skills to their schools so the next generation of graduates is prepared for the new challenges of the 21st century.
Read more here.
About Patrick Fennessy
Vice Principal, Saint Joseph School, Seattle, Washington, USA
Patrick Fennessy was recently named principal at St. Joseph School, where he has been
serving as Vice Principal. Prior to joining St. Joseph, Fennessy served as director of admissions and communications at Seattle’s Bishop Blanchet High School, from 2007 to 2010, where he was an outspoken advocate for Catholic education. He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Portland and has two graduate degrees from the University of Notre Dame. Fennessy has taught at St. Anne’s grade school in Seattle; St. Peter and Paul grade school in Tulsa, Oklahoma; and at St. George in Chile.