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Robbie Masterson, Teacher Education Scholarship Winner,
Fall I, 2010

Dominican University, in partnership with Bisk Education, Inc., is proud to recognize Robbie Masterson – principal of St. James Academy in Louisville, Kentucky – as one of five winners of the Bisk Foundation Teacher Education Scholarship for the Fall I, 2010 session. The scholarship supports ongoing professional development of teachers and administrators who are making a difference in others’ lives.

Currently enrolled in Dominican University’s online Master of Arts in Education program with a concentration in Reading, Masterson is highly regarded by her peers and pupils at St. James Academy. She is committed to finding innovative ways to provide a sound, traditional education for her students while encouraging high academic standards.

Masterson recently shared her enthusiasm for teaching and explained how the scholarship will help her continue making a difference in the lives of her students. “After just one semester of college, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. It is all I have ever wanted to do,” she asserted. “I have been blessed with many opportunities to learn and expand my knowledge so that I can inspire my students to want to learn for the rest of their lives.”

She continued, “I believe I have made a difference in this school and helped many students get through their difficult years. As principal, I am faced with students’ emotional journeys as well as their academic challenges. Every day, I am a counselor, educator, nurse and hopefully a role model to 45 students.” Through her leadership and dedication, Masterson is truly making a difference in the lives of her St. James Academy pupils by inspiring them to pursue lifelong learning.

As passionate about travel as she is about education, Masterson noted that the highlight of her teaching career was being awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to attend the Classical Summer School for teachers at the American Academy in Rome.

When asked how her life experiences enhance her work as an educator, she again emphasized her love of travel and learning. “I always have my students in mind when I travel. I rotate more than 100 posters of historical sites from my travels throughout the halls and classrooms of our school to encourage students to travel and see these places first-hand.”

In fact, Masterson has accompanied them to some of those very sites, having led several student groups on trips to Italy and France. “I believe that traveling opens up a whole new world of culture and language that can only be experienced by being there,” she stated. “It makes us more tolerant and open-minded of other people who seem so different from us, but really are not.”

Masterson takes great pride in her students and the school itself. “St. James Academy is small and independent, supported by tuition, donations and fundraising – and it’s the very school from which I graduated,” she explained. “For the past 20 years, I have dedicated myself to the school. We set our tuition unusually low to make private school education possible for more families. The Bisk Foundation Teacher Education Scholarship will impact the entire culture of our school by enabling me to pursue my master’s degree and help St. James Academy become the best that it can be.”

In addition to her Bisk Foundation and Fulbright scholarships, Masterson was selected to participate in the National Endowment for the Humanities program for Latin teachers. “Not a day goes by that I do not think of this wonderful opportunity to study in Rome and southern Italy, the contacts I made and hands-on experiences I encountered,” she stated. Her commitment to travel and continuing education has already paid off: this year, every one of her Latin II students won awards on the National Latin Exam.

These results, along with the contributions of Masterson’s equally dedicated peers, have helped the small private institution develop a reputation for excellence. According to a colleague, “Ms. Masterson displays integrity, loyalty and a genuine interest in improving our school. She has demonstrated her commitment to St. James Academy by furthering her education through professional development, private classes and Dominican University’s online Master of Arts in Education program.”

Together with Dominican University, Bisk Education is proud to salute Robbie Masterson – a true everyday hero who is making a difference through the gift of education!