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ACE Visits Chicago, IL

(April 4-5)

ACE in the Community:

The Alliance for Catholic Education has expanded its already strong presence in Chicago. A group of teachers in the ACE Teaching Fellows initiative established an intentional faith community in the city during this academic year--ACE’s first such house in Chicago. The four teachers fan out daily, each serving in one of these archdiocesan schools: Holy Trinity High School, Saint Ann School, Maternity BVM Catholic School, and St. Sylvester School.

ACE’s Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program bolsters the ranks of school leaders in the archdiocese. Sixteen graduates of the program live and work in Chicago, serving as Catholic school principals or in other educational roles. Two current participants in the program serve in Catholic schools in the area, and two educators from the city have been accepted as future participants.

The Archdiocese of Chicago is a close partner with the Alliance for Catholic Education in Notre Dame's Catholic School Advantage campaign, which aims to increase Latino student enrollments in Catholic schools around the country. The partnership includes the on-site presence of a member of the ACE Consulting team who works closely with the archdiocesan school leaders and individual school leaders to foster closer relationships between schools and the Latino community.

With over 150 ACE graduates in the area, Chicago hosts the largest concentration of ACErs in the country. The Chicago ACE Advocates regional group proudly supports Catholic schools in a variety of ways, including financial contributions to Chicago’s Big Shoulders Fund, which raises millions of dollars in scholarships to help underprivileged Chicago children to attend Catholic schools. In partnership with the fund, the Advocates of the region recently established a three-year renewable scholarship fund to support five ACE Advocates Scholars.

On Saturday, March 1, the Advocates hosted the 5th annual Educator Forum at St. Clement School. This professional development seminar focused on best practices for sharing resources among schools for education reform initiatives and support for teachers.

Where We’ll Be:

Friday, April 4

10:00 a.m. — School visit to Maternity BVM
         1537 N. Lawndale, Chicago, IL 60651   

1:30 p.m. — School visit to Saint Ann Catholic School
     - Jim Perry willreceive the University of Notre Dame Sorin Award for Service to Catholic Schools
     - On behalf of his father, Jim, Fred O'Connor will receive the University of Notre Dame Champion of Education Award
         2211 W. 18th Place, Chicago, IL 60608

Event Point of Contact: Drew Clary,

Award Recipients:

About the Awards

University of Notre Dame Sorin Award for Service to Catholic Schools

Co-founder and managing director at Madison Dearborn Partners, a private equity firm based in Chicago, James N. Perry devotes much talent and time to the Archdiocese of Chicago. He serves as vice-chairman of the Chicago Archdiocesen School Board. He is a member of both the Board of Directors of the Big Shoulders Fund and the Advisory Board of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese. Between 2003 and 2009, he served as a founding lay board member of Catholic Relief Services. He now serves on the Catholic Relief Services Foundation Board.

Mr. Perry was a founding supporter of Father Robert Barron’s "Catholicism" documentary series, and he sits on the board of Fr. Barron’s WordOnFire digital media evangelization enterprise. He also serves on the board of Chicago Public Media, as well as the Institute on Religion and Public Life, which publishes First Things. He is a 1982 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, and he received an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago in 1985. Jim and his wife, Molly, have three children and reside in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago.


The University of Notre Dame Champion of Education Award

James O’Connor is one of the original founders of the Big Shoulders Fund, which provides millions annually for Chicago's inner-city Catholic schools. He has been Co-Chairman of Big Shoulders since its inception in 1986. In 1998, he retired from his position as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Unicom Corporation and Commonwealth Edison after 35 years with the company. Since then, he has devoted his time to serving Chicago through his philanthropic efforts.

In recent years, Mr. O'Connor has served on the philanthropic and corporate boards of a number of organizations including Corning Incorporated, United Airlines, the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago Urban League, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, the Adler Planetarium, the Chicago Symphony, the Lyric Opera, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the 100 Club of Chicago and Northwestern University. He holds a BA (Government) and JD from Georgetown University and an MBA from the Northwestern University's J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management. The award will be accepted on behalf of Mr. O'Connor by his son, Fred.

Media Point of Contact: Bill Schmitt - 

Information confirmed: 3/25/14 - 12:13 p.m.