“What drew my family to pick Mount Alvernia for my daughter 14 years ago and myself 6 years later is the feeling of community that is evident in all aspects of life here,” she stated. “Children helping each other, parents reaching out to each other, and school events meant to bring everyone together,” she continued. Mrs. Caruso values community so much that she has spearheaded an incredible program, along with fellow 4th Grade teacher Mr. Doyle, that connects our students with peers all around the world.
Through the JDO Foundation, an international educational non-profit committed to providing an enriching and educational experience through the use of technology, Mrs. Caruso’s class communicates and collaborates with fellow Fourth Grade students in Sweden every week. “JDO has been a great program that has given our students a view of how children are the same and different all over the world,” she stated. The program has helped broaden the MAA community and taught students valuable lessons in cross-cultural communication. “It is a fantastic opportunity to get to know their partners in Sweden as the year progresses and learn about their culture and everyday life,” she said. Thanks to JDO, our students also have a chance to use Chromebooks in the classroom, opening doors to new ways of learning.
Over April break, Mrs. Caruso traveled to the JDO headquarters in Littleton, Colorado for a conference. “It was a great chance to see how other teachers are incorporating their global learning experiences into their classrooms,” she exclaimed. For her, the best part of teaching is being a part of students’ academic journeys. “It is wonderful to see a student feel accomplished and successful, especially when he or she have had to work hard for his or her achievements,” she asserted. “Knowing that I was able to help them along in that journey is the greatest reward!”
As Mrs. Caruso’s second daughter prepares to graduate high school, she has been looking back on the role MAA played in her academic journey. “I loved having the opportunity to see my own children flourish here and share so many great experiences with them,” she reflected. “Even now that they have been gone for some time, they never resist the opportunity to come back to visit, help out, or just be on the hill, even for just a little while,” she smiled.
The knowledge that Mrs. Caruso is part of a community striving together for a common goal makes her feel “a part of something much greater than any one individual.” As much as MAA is bigger than any one person, Mrs. Caruso’s continued commitment to our community will leave a strong and long-lasting legacy. We are incredibly grateful for all of her hard work.