Teacher hosts information session on teaching in Iraq

Mary Murphy

Staff Writer

There was an informational session Tuesday, April 20 at 7 p.m. in the Pugliese Auditorium about teaching at the new Chesterton Academy of St. Thomas the Apostle in Erbil, Iraq.

Andrew Youngblood, director of curriculum for the Chesterton Academy network, led the information session. Tiffany Boury, director of the masters in Catholic leadership who recently visited St. Thomas the Apostle, also assisted in giving the presentation.

Youngblood said that Erbil, Iraq, had a rapid increase in the Christian population in the past six years due to the unrest caused by ISIS.

In response to the rapid population increase, the Erbil Archbishop Bashar Warda has developed critical infrastructure including a new university, hospital and schools like St. Thomas the Apostle.

Youngblood said, “Archbishop Bashar Warda is Fr. Dave Pivonka-level awesome.”

St. Thomas the Apostle is currently looking to hire Franciscan University of Steubenville seniors for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year, Youngblood said. Seniors from all majors are welcome to apply.

The teaching program is for two years. The Archdiocese of Erbil provides transportation, housing and a salary. Teachers would receive training before the school year began.

The curriculum is classically based in the Socratic seminar style, as are other Chesterton schools, and all classes would be taught in English, Youngblood said.

Boury said that there may also be possible openings to teach middle and elementary school at the Mar Qardakh School, which shares its building with St. Thomas the Apostle.

Boury said, “If you know anyone who is a senior who might be a good fit, we would ask you to share this with them.”

Interested students may reach out to Youngblood and Boury for more information.

Junior Austyn Patz said, “I am excited that the university is sponsoring Bishop Warda over there and all that he is doing in building a community. I think a lot of philosophy and theology majors should consider applying.”

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