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Haverhill News, Lawrence News

Dominican School Recruits NECC Alumni for Teaching Program

Posted: July 24, 2017 at 8:07 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

A school for gifted students nestled in the northern hills of the Dominican Republic is actively recruiting Northern Essex Community College alumni and faculty to apply for fellowships to teach for a semester or a year.

This is a new partnership between the Provincial Technical Office of Salcedo and Northern Essex thanks to a chance meeting between an NECC administrator and a member of The Civil Society of the Hermanas Mirabal Province.

First, the school…

El Liceo Cientifico Dr. Miguel Canela Lazaro, which opened in 2013, is the Dominican Republic’s first and only public school with a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) focus. It serves 400 academically talented students, from local rural communities, in grades 7 through 12. It is a “green” campus located in an abandoned warehouse in the Province of Salcedo. It employs more than 40 individuals and infuses the local economy with millions in pesos. As a sustainable campus, it harvests rainwater, composts organic matter, produces its own food, and builds its own furniture using locally produced wood. All students are taught English to prepare them to attend universities internationally.

Now the recruitment…

Northern Essex and the Provincial Technical Office of Salcedo entered into a memorandum of understanding to actively recruit NECC faculty for sabbaticals, NECC alumni who now hold bachelor’s degrees or higher for faculty fellows, and alumni with an associate degree , in any major, for teaching fellows where they will assist a lead teacher in the classroom.

The program will accept up to three individuals for these positions which will begin in August. The positions come with free housing, transportation, some meals, and a stipend. Speaking Spanish is not a requirement. Most students at the school speak Spanish, English, and French.

This partnership evolved after Dr. Noemi Custodia-Lora, NECC’s vice president of Lawrence campus and community relations, visited the Dominican Republic and met the country’s former vice president Dr. Jaime David Fernández Mirabal, nephew of the famed Mirabal sisters, heroines of the anti-Trujillo movement. Mirabal was one of the emblematic figures in the development of the Hermanas Mirabal Province. During a conversation with Custodia-Lora he reminisced about visiting relatives in Lawrence and shopping on Essex Street and eating at Bishop’s Restaurant.

“He expressed an interest in creating a collaboration between the school and NECC’s students many of whom are Dominican or of Dominican descent,” said Custodia-Lora.

NECC graduates with associate degrees can work as teacher’s aides assisting with extracurricular activities and service learning projects. They will receive U.S. $300 a month stipend. NECC graduates who now hold a bachelor’s degree or higher or NECC faculty can apply for Faculty fellowships. They will teach core classes and assist in curriculum assessment and improvement and serve as mentors to local Dominican teachers. No teaching license is required. They will receive U.S. $1,000 a month stipend.

Northern Essex English Professor Barbra Stachniewicz, who visited the school earlier this year, hopes to return in the fall of 2018 and spend her sabbatical as a faculty fellow.

“The students, faculty and staff at the school are fabulous,” she said. “I loved meeting them and am looking forward to a sabbatical where I will learn much more about the Dominican Republic and will be able to work with the faculty at the Liceo.”

Custodia-Lora says this partnership is beneficial to the students of the school who are taught by teachers of different cultures and to NECC students whose professors return to Northern Essex with a better understanding of Caribbean and Latino culture.

“The students will feel more connected to their professors when they share an understanding of the culture,” she said.

For additional information contact Analuz Garcia at agarcia@necc.mass.edu