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Dillan Leonard, Recipient of the Cornelia Connelly Love in Action Award

 “I am completing my student teaching at William Dick School and, as part of it, I am posting and editing lessons for their Google Classroom,” Dillan Leonard ’20 said.

An elementary and special education major, with a political science minor, Dillan was in the middle of completingAward recipient Dylan Leonard.her last semester at Rosemont and her student teaching requirements at William Dick School in North Philadelphia when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Dr. Denise Falconi, Director of Teacher Education, worked with Rosemont’s senior education students and their public school hosts to devise a plan to complete the required student teaching competencies virtually. This plan was created to comply with the new Act 13 emergency regulations released by the Commonwealth on April 9.

 “The transition to virtual learning has been a new challenge,” said Dillan. “However, Dr. Falconi and my co-op, a fellow Rosemont Raven in the graduate school, have been flexible and great at communicating the new mandates of the Pennsylvania Department of Education.”

 “Both Dillan Leonard and her fellow student teacher, Isabella Moraschi, exhibited flexibility and responsiveness to the changing requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Education,” said Dr. Falconi. “I am so proud of both of these student teachers.”

 On April 23, Dillan was honored during Rosemont’s virtual Founders Day award ceremony with the Cornelia Connelly Love in Action Award and was named one of the Student Ambassadors of the Year.

Dillan says she found a calling to service through her involvement in Campus Ministry, especially the four service trips she participated in during her time at Rosemont.

“This love of service is what ultimately led me to choose the Alliance for Catholic Education Program at Saint Joseph’s University,” she said.

Graphic for experience fund

In the fall, Dillan will begin teaching kindergarten at the Gesu School, a Catholic school specifically for moderate to low income families in North Philadelphia, while she works on her master's degree in education at Saint Joseph’s University.

 During her four years at Rosemont, she has been involved in numerous organizations on campus, such as Student Ambassadors, the women’s cross-country team, Campus Ministry, Jest and Gesture, book club, and yoga club. She has also worked at the Holy Child School at Rosemont.

Dillan, as a Student Ambassador, also assisted Rosemont’s Admissions effort during the pandemic by volunteering to participate in the College’s online Accepted Students event on April 16, where she shared her Rosemont story with prospective members of the class of 2024.

Dillan grew up knowing all about Rosemont. She is, after all, the fifth person in her family to attend the College.

 “I was unsure of attending a small college but truly felt at home as soon as I got to Rosemont's campus,” she said. “I always knew I wanted to be an elementary school teacher, and my advisors and professors were able to help me achieve my dreams in a more personal way than they would have been able to at a larger institution.”

 “The power of small means that Rosemont has a tight-knit community in which students can make connections that will serve them long after they leave the campus. I am looking forward to the next chapter of my teaching career.”