Since the new school year started in September, a group of 20 students at Stepinac High School began studies in the Advanced Placement Computer Science course, one of 26 College Board AP courses offered at the renowned all-boys Catholic high school.
What makes the student composition of this class strikingly different from the others is that one of the students is more than twice the age of the others. He is Roy Ettere of Bronxville, 40 years old. His day job for the past five years has been a full-time math instructor at Stepinac. When he is not taking this AP course, Ettere instructs Stepinac students in AP Statistics, Algebra 2 and Geometry courses.
So why is Mr. Ettere, who earned a B.S. from Fairfield University and a Master’s in Education Degree from Mercy College, taking a course with teenagers who are preparing to be admitted to college? Simple. Mr. Ettere is living the teacher’s credo of pursuing a perpetual education by learning more about on a subject that is a close cousin to what he knows best, mathematics.
Accordingly, on every other day of the week (even dates) from 10:15 AM to 12:10 PM, Mr. Ettere joins other students to learn all about the core aspects of computer science including the design and implementation of computer programs used to solve problems that are relevant to today’s society including art, media, and engineering as well as learn to apply programming tools and solve complex problems through hands-on experience and examples.
And like his classmates, Mr. Ettere, is tasked with completing homework assignments.
When the comprehensive, in-depth course is completed next May, the students will be able to proudly add the completion of this rigorous College Board study as part of their Stepinac education in preparing to succeed at college and in their future careers.
And Mr. Ettere will feel equally accomplished for having enhanced his knowledge about arguably one of the most important branches of engineering science. And while that knowledge is not a continuing education requirement for him to teach math, it will no doubt help Ettere be a better teacher. And that’s what pursuing a perpetual education is all about.