Best and Brightest
Marywood Teaching Certificate Inspires Community Leadership
Teaching and other certification programs are a vital part of the graduate offerings at Marywood University. Michael Healey, Bethlehem, earned his teaching certificate from Marywood in 2003 and took courses toward his master’s degree. He demonstrates the vibrancy of this program and the impact it makes— on those who earn certificates and on the lives they touch.
“The trait I admired most about my professors was their commitment to preparing every student to be the best educators they could be,” says Michael, a social studies teacher and club advisor at East Stroudsburg High School. “My professors’ doors were always open for a professional or personal conversation. The idea of a teacher as a community leader, accessible and approachable, is the main lesson I carried with me from my time at Marywood.”
Michael was recently chosen as the recipient of the PSEA 2013 Human Rights and Civil Rights Award for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He also was awarded the Colonial Intermediate Unit’s 2012 Excellence in Education Award for the work of his social justice and global citizenship student group ASPIRE, which is officially recognized as a high school branch of the United Nations Academic Impact. He has been repeatedly recognized for showing his students the importance of embracing who they are and giving back to their community.
In February, Michael and his students were chosen by WNEP-TV for a “16 Salutes” feature, which highlighted their community activism and advocacy for inclusion and tolerance. In addition, the class was filmed and included in the PBS documentary adaptation of the international bestselling non-fiction book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity, by New York Times reporters and Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.
Michael loves being a teacher and praises the work of his students— work that goes beyond what is learned in the classroom.
“We have fundraised for Haiti, Japan, the Red Cross, the United Way, written letters to our soldiers abroad, and participated in the Social Good Summit. My students and I have presented at the United Nations Headquarters on several occasions, including the 56th Commission on the Status of Women,” he says. “I feel my students and my student group are an example of everything that is right with public education when so much seems to be wrong.”
Michael’s students, in turn, credit him, saying that he pushes them to be their best and shows them— by example— how they can make a difference in their community.
Photo courtesy of Dickinson Magazine and Van Zandbergen Photography.
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