Academy of Holy the Angels Hosts Sustaining Excellence Colloquium

Academy of Holy the Angels Hosts Sustaining Excellence Colloquium

The colloquium focused on how a growth mindset affects education.

An intensive, five-year Middle States self-study at the Academy of the Holy Angels recently culminated in the successful Sustaining Excellence Colloquium. This event was so notable that Middle States Association President Henry Cram and Associate Director Pat Impreveduto have asked AHA to mentor others who use this protocol.

AHA Principal Jean Miller noted that Holy Angels is one of only 20 schools out of nearly 500 that was granted the privilege of using the Sustaining Excellence Protocol for reaccreditation. In order to use this protocol, a school must demonstrate effectiveness in growing, improving, and sustaining student performance, particularly in academics. The school must then choose a self-study topic. AHA selected growth mindset.

As described by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., growth mindset encourages individuals to embrace challenges and view mistakes and failures as pathways to growth and learning. Those who espouse a growth mindset believe people can learn anything.

“Our study hypothesized that ‘The adoption of a growth mindset (the belief in the capacity to develop one’s abilities through effort over time) by members of the school community will create a transformative environment that promotes resilience, personal growth, and a desire to learn,’” Principal Miller explained, adding that AHA has achieved its goal.

AHA Internal Middle States Coordinators Dr. Martha Weinstein and Carmen Quiñones spearheaded the colloquium. Guests included Middle States Association representatives and educators from several states.

The event included an address by educator and best-selling author Jessica Lahey. Lahey, who penned The Gift of Failure, noted that competence builds self-esteem. She urges parents to give their children control over the details of their lives so they can become self-reliant and resilient.

Several workshops involved specific aspects of growth mindset. One offering was a video featuring Jennifer Moran. Moran was AHA's principal when the self-study was launched, and she was the driving force behind bringing growth mindset to AHA. Teachers Patricia Prucnel and Christopher Petrozzo discussed psychological and neurological topics, including memory, retention, and the impact of stress.

Carmen Quiñones moderated a student panel on how growth mindset has influenced their education. Speakers included Julia Farah, Ashley Hess, Katherine Gazzini, Joanna Scorese, Maria Hannoush, Aimee Hannoush, Heidi Hannoush, Samantha Romano, Hannah Velarde, and Amelia Brunda. One student revealed that she is experiencing greater success since she began reviewing her work and speaking with her teachers about how she can make improvements.

The Angels noted that it is difficult to retain a fixed mindset and truly enjoy learning. Fixed mindset refers to the idea that skills are innate and people either have, or do not have, the ability to succeed in a particular subject.

One student said she tried an experiment. For one quarter, she enjoyed her classes and did not monitor her marks. At the end of the quarter, she found that her grades had improved.

Sue Herrera moderated a group of parents, including Kerry Ann Flahive. Flahive said AHA students (including her daughters) receive the message that they are in control of their grades and their futures.


The Academy of the Holy Angels
315 Hillside Ave.