Former private school principal backs changes to public school system – The Royal Gazette

Updated: January 26, 2022 07:54

Susan Moench has retired from Mount Saint Agnes Academy after 14 years as principal of the school (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

A retired private school principal has backed government plans to upend the public education system – but said the project needed to be backed by good resources and teacher training.

Sue Moench, who retired from Mount St Agnes Academy, a Catholic secondary school, last August, said: “Reforms to the public education system are well defined and have the potential to position our Bermudian students favorably in terms of career and future goals.

“Implementing the reforms will require a commitment to change, investment in resources, professional development for teachers and improved facilities.

Ms Moench, a teacher for 41 years, said the public and private sectors both had their pros and cons.

But she added: ‘The key factor is ensuring that our Bermudian children have the same opportunity to get a quality education.

Ms Moench said: “Children are our most precious resource – they are our future. We must provide them with an environment that supports their success and meets their individual learning needs, whatever they may be.

“As educators, we need to nurture in our students a desire to be critical thinkers, analytical people, and decision-makers so that they can meet the challenges presented to them in our ever-changing world.

“Students must prepare to become successful citizens, parents, employees, innovators and leaders of the 21st century. »

She said the pandemic, which had forced creative solutions to solve problems quickly, had underscored the need to foster adaptability in students.

Former MSA principal Sue Moench with students (Photograph provided)

Ms. Moench added, “Students need to learn from their experiences so they can access information to solve real-world problems.

“The rapid transition to remote learning has changed the classroom forever. Access to technology is no longer a luxury, but a requirement. The future of learning is beyond the classroom of class.

“Students need to have experiences that inspire them to take risks and seize opportunities. The role of the teacher must also adapt to respond to the changes experienced in the classroom “anywhere/anytime”.

Ms. Moench spent 14 years at the helm of MSA, the school she attended before leaving in 1972 to attend university in Nova Scotia, Canada.

She said one of her proudest accomplishments was adopting an internationally-approved curriculum at MSA in 2009 and leading the school through the process.

The school established a relationship with Alberta Education in Canada with the goal of becoming an Alberta Accredited International School, which was achieved in 2013.

Sue Moench has her head shaved to raise money for cancer research for the Terry Fox Foundation. Her husband Ken Moench, left, died of cancer in 2007. (Photograph provided)

Ms Moench added: “This process involved working with teachers to learn about the new curriculum and adapt to change, educating parents about the benefits of the program and engaging students to adapt to new learning and learning strategies. ‘education.”

She said, “It gives me great satisfaction to know that our MSA students are earning an internationally accredited high school diploma and entering the post-secondary programs of their choice, whether at college, university or on the work market. They are prepared and ready for their journey to the next stage of their life.

Ms Moench said the later stages of her career had involved the major challenge of coping with the coronavirus crisis.

She admitted: “Certainly the pandemic and a school’s transition to remote learning within 24 hours is the biggest recent and most notable challenge.”

Ms Moench said she plans to spend more time reading for pleasure, enjoying the outdoors, completing her travel list and learning new trades in retirement.

She added: “I have always loved working with children, so in the future I will continue to pursue opportunities that make a difference in the lives of children and young people.”

Ms. Moench graduated in 1976 from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax with degrees in business and education.

She taught business at a post-secondary vocational school and pursued a master’s degree in vocational education and school administration at the University of Alberta, Canada.

Ms. Moench became the vice-principal of a junior high school in 1992, then a junior/senior high school.

Her first principalship was at Medicine Hat High School in Alberta in 1997.

Ms. Moench returned to Bermuda after the death of her husband Ken in 2007 and was appointed Director of MSA the same year.

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