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Faculty and Staff Care for Our Common Home during Fall Professional Development Day

Loyola Academy’s faculty and staff gathered on Friday, October 7, for a day of professional development that focused on caring  for the environment. The day included a keynote speaker, spiritual conversations with companion groups, and direct service and reflection opportunities.
The day kicked off with bagels, fresh fruit, hot coffee, and other breakfast items in the Loyola Lounge, where colleagues enjoyed fellowship and conversion with one another before heading to the McGrath Family Performing Arts Center. Loyola Academy President Rev. Gregory J. Ostdiek, SJ, and Principal Charlie Heintz welcomed faculty and staff and delivered community updates. Then, Dr. Brian Henning, professor of philosophy and environmental studies at Gonzaga University, gave a thoughtful keynote address regarding the climate crisis. He offered new perspectives on how we can reorient our approach to and address the climate crisis.

Next were meetings of faculty and staff Companion Groups, which are small groups of 10-15 individuals from various departments and offices across Loyola. During this time, teachers and staff reflected on the presentation by Dr. Henning. Faculty and staff discussed their biggest take-aways and lessons from the keynote and were encouraged to envision what “fixing” the climate crisis would look like in their classrooms and in their homes.

After lunch, service opportunities were hosted around campus and at different service sites, enabling faculty and staff to enjoy a day outside working together and putting theory into practice as they gathered seeds at Sommes and Harms Woods, gardened around Loyola’s main campus, cleaned up the bird sanctuary at Gillson Beach, and more.

A full list of service locations follows:
  • North Branch Restoration #1 (Harms Woods)
  • North Branch Restoration #2 (Sommes Woods)
  • Munz Campus Restoration (Glenview)
  • Emily Oaks Nature Preserve (Skokie)
  • 3434 Illinois (Wilmette)
  • Edens Pollinator Project (Wilmette)
  • Planting Project (Loyola main campus)
  • Bird Sanctuary Action at Gillson Beach (Wilmette)
  • Environmental Justice / Upcycling & Uniform Project (Loyola main campus)
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