Best of the Week 2018-2019: Teaching to the Future


To empower St. Ed's faculty to come up with new, enriching programming ideas for our Edsmen this coming spring, St. Ed's launched The Porter Prize Competition, similar to the reality television show "Shark Tank." Through this competition, all departments were given the opportunity to make a pitch for a $1,000, $2,000 or $3,000 infusion of money to their department's budget. The Porter Prize Competition, named after St. Andre Bessette who worked as a porter at Notre Dame College in Côte-des-Neiges, Quebec, allowed departments to pitch their ideas for a new student-enrichment experience to a panel of guest judges including Dr. Frank O'Linn '93 (pictured far left), Associate Superintendent for secondary schools in the Office of Catechetical Formation and Education for the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, Mr. Brian Sinchak (pictured far right), President of Lakewood Catholic Academy, and current student Teon Smith '19 (pictured second from left). Each department gave a five-minute presentation describing the purpose of their idea, explaining why their idea would offer a unique and meaningful experience for students, discussing which students would directly benefit from this experience and assessing how this experience will measure student knowledge and growth.

"Our hope was for the competition to allow our faculty to open more figurative doors for our students, who we constantly strive to bring new and useful experiences to day in and day out," says Film Department Chair and Director of Innovation Mr. Nick Kuhar, who came up with the idea for The Porter Prize Competition. "I think this event gave our faculty the opportunity to empower themselves and to practice the entrepreneurial mindset that we're accelerating amongst our student body." Congratulations to the Theology Department ($1,000 prize winner), the English Department ($2,000 prize winner) and the Engineering Department ($3,000 prize winner) who are the first winners of The Porter Prize Competition.

The Engineering Department pitched the idea to build a working model of the MVP Football Tackling Dummy, "The 13th Man." The purpose of recreating "The 13th Man" serves to help both football and rugby players reduce the potential for concussions from man-to-man contact in practice while still providing a realistic tackling environment. "This idea incorporates many things our school excels at such as our robotics program, engineering classes, football and rugby programs," says Engineering and Mathematics teacher Mr. JC Froelich '08 (pictured second from right). "This has been an idea in our department for a few months now, but we could not justify the cost in our budget for such a project. The Porter Prize Competition was the perfect opportunity to find a way to connect engineering students with athletics and athletes with engineering opportunities. Our enrichment experience will allow students of all different backgrounds and interests to better understand the inner workings of robotics and engineering. It is the hope that students come away with a passion for utilizing engineering in the field they are passionate about."