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ACADEMIC DEPARTMENTS

For a detailed list of course offerings, please see the Magnificat Curriculum Guide.

Business/Technology Chairperson: Mrs. Dottie Perez

The development of current technological skills and Christian values in school, at home and in the global workplace are the premises upon which the Business Technology Department is based. This training is founded upon Catholic principles, including social justice teaching and the rights of children. The scope of student learning in the Business Technology Department encompasses economic, political, environmental, and social ideologies. Its goal is to foster in each student a sense of “responsible” use of technology- not only to learn the skills-but to use them wisely. This goal coincides with the National Catholic Education Association, “To educate students to meet the intellectual, social, and ethical challenges in living in a technological society of the 21st century.” The ultimate goal of the Business Technology Department is to teach skills that students can use as stepping stones to their futures. Students will maintain and develop current skills as a foundation for life-long learning. Lastly, in consideration of globalization, the department believes that all students need technology skills as well as broad business knowledge to succeed in their careers.

English Chairperson: Miss Elizabeth Twohig ’91

The English Department is committed to the holistic development of the self-confident and critically reflective young woman of faith in our Catholic context. Students will learn and develop the skills necessary for capable and creative participation in a literate society responsive to a technologically evolving global community. The English Department incorporates 21st century skills across the curriculum which stresses research and information literacy, academic and creative writing, the study of literature, and the progressive development of thinking and communication skills. All students are required to take four years of English with honors classes available on all four levels as well as choices for students in the regular junior and senior level classes. Electives are offered to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Health & Physical Education Chairperson: Miss Gloria Polzer

The Health and Physical Education program at Magnificat High school strives to promote the wellness approach to holistic health, which stresses the need for balance in one’s life. The program philosophy emphasizes the physical, emotional, social and spiritual development of well-rounded young women and the importance of lifetime fitness. Students are prepared to make responsible decisions, appropriate value judgments, and act in ways which contribute to good personal health.

Mathematics Chairperson: Mrs. Barbara Schumacher

The Mathematics Department provides a curriculum that makes available a four-year mathematics program for all our young women. Through this program, students experience “the enjoyment of a challenge, the excitement of success, and the development of a good self-image” (NCTM Standards). Students acquire competency in the processes of mathematical thinking, an understanding of the nature and structure of mathematics, and an appreciation of the value of mathematics in their everyday lives. They are evaluated for mathematical knowledge conceptual understanding, procedural skills and their ability to communicate mathematics. Students use appropriate technology, calculators (TI 84), computers and instructional materials during classroom instruction.

Performing Arts Chairperson and Theater Director: Mrs. Kris Koma Comer ’86

The Performing Arts Department encompasses choral, instrumental, drama, and dance modes of performance. The various facets of the program are mutually enriching. The department values the arts as unique ways to develop a student holistically. The Performing Arts program enables student’s abilities to use music, dance, and drama to bring about a personal, spiritual, and academic growth that contributes to a holistic development. The Performing Arts program helps each student to be the best that she can be, and offers her multiple opportunities to develop according to her potential.

Science Chairperson: Mrs. Lorinda Koss

The Science curriculum consists of those courses and activities that allow the individual student to interact with science as a discipline and to experience empirical inquiry as a method of investigation. Emphasis is placed on the processes of science so that students will discover and interpret scientific knowledge, develop positive attitudes and interests related to science and scientists, and recognize that these behaviors will be applied in making decisions in an age influenced by science and technology. Provisions are made for using instructional strategies that reflect the nature of science and scientific inquiry, and meet the needs of women learners. An understanding of the nature of science is stimulated through the use of the laboratory as a focal point for engaging in the processes of science. Opportunities are provided for students to apply methods and knowledge of science to formulate possible solutions for the problems of society. The science department promotes an atmosphere in which students become aware of the dynamic balance within the biosphere and learn to value themselves and the created world as a gift of God and therefore accept responsibility for stewardship of the earth.

Social Studies Chairperson: Mrs. Diane Visgak

The Social Studies Department has a responsibility to provide students with a challenging curriculum that will prepare students for college level studies, further a better understanding of the world, encourage students to become lifelong learners, and provide students with the skills, knowledge, Catholic social principles and gospel values necessary to be constructive participants in the global community.

Theology Chairperson: Mrs. Mary Therese Dwyer-Kueller

The theology program is essential to the mission of Magnificat and the holistic development of students in promoting the personal, spiritual, and academic growth of each student and her commitment to leadership and service and action on behalf of justice. The theology program makes unique contributions to the understanding of Mary and the Magnificat and the history and heritage of the school and the sponsoring community, the Sisters of the Humility of Mary with a special emphasis on women’s ways of knowing, leading, servicing and being holy. The theology program has a dual focus: to promote and enrich the faith dimension of each student and to enable her to apply the principles reflected upon in daily life. The knowledge, skills and values of the theology curriculum will be implemented in the light of the realities of adolescent development and the contexts and environments of our students’ lives.

Visual Arts Chairperson: Mrs. Alecia Janosik

Believing that Art is central to all learning, the Visual Arts Department strives to meet each student at her entry point into the visual arts and works with her to develop her individual skills, imagination, and vision. Believing that Art brings coherence to learning, the Visual Arts Department empowers students to recognize and respond to their own creative voice. Believing that Art connects past, present and future, the Visual Arts Department gives students tools to examine the rootedness in past cultures, especially the Christian heritage, to explore the dimensions of present realities, and to vision an evolving future. Believing that Art involves critical and creative decision- making processes which impact life-long learning, the Visual Arts Department develops art as a way of human knowing, connecting the elegance of God’s creation to the life, goals, and holistic growth of each student. Believing that Art both forms and functions in culture, the Visual Arts Department endeavors to foster in each student a commitment to communal experience of Art and the transformation of society through Art.

World Languages Chairperson: Mrs. Josephine O’Hara 

The World Language Department regards our students as people of one world, made up of many nations, languages and cultures. Committed to the development of our students’ personal, spiritual and academic growth, we seek to broaden their view of the world by providing opportunities to cross boundaries and open doors, both linguistically and culturally. We believe that through the study of a second language, students make comparisons to better understand their first language. We acknowledge that the world, though vast and ever changing, is shrinking with the widespread use of electronic communication, and the ease and availability of travel. We advocate that language as the expression of culture, and that the teaching of language goes hand in hand with the teaching of cultural perspectives, practices, products, traditions and beliefs. We believe in the importance of a four-year program to enable our students to communicate with those whose first language is not English. We value the ability to communicate in any language, both in the United States and abroad. We appreciate the importance of learning a world language by using that language in and outside of the classroom as much as possible. We make every effort to recognize the dynamics of life in the 21st century, which include the promise of unique career, service and leadership opportunities to students who may become bilingual. We encourage the interconnectedness of the various disciplines taught at Magnificat, together with the rights of all world citizens, and the themes of Catholic Social Justice teachings.