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ACE Visits Tampa, FL

The Fighting for Our Children's Future National Bus Tour Visit February 19-20

ACE in Tampa:

Thirty-three ACE teachers have served in Tampa and St. Petersburg since 1997. The community is currently home to eight teachers who engage in the lives of over 2500 students in six schools in the area: Holy Family Catholic School, Incarnation Catholic School, Sacred Heart Catholic School, St. Joseph Catholic School, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, and Tampa Catholic High School.

In 2012, the Alliance for Catholic Education deepened its partnership with the Diocese of St. Peterburg at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Pinellas Park and St. Joseph School in Tampa to form the second site of the unique university-school partnership known as the the Notre Dame ACE Academies (NDAA). Using research-proven methods to address every aspect of schooling, from classroom instruction to resource management to leadership development, the NDAA schools help students aspire to reach their goals of college and heaven. 

In just over three years, student enrollment and academic achievement in the Notre Dame ACE Academies have risen both in Tampa as well as the three NDAA schools in Tucson. To learn more about the this exciting initiative and the impact it is having on the students and their communities, visit the Notre Dame ACE Academy website. 

Where We’ll Be:

Wednesday, February 19

10:00 a.m. — School visit to Sacred Heart Catholic School

7951 46th Way North, Pinellas Park, FL 33781 

Thursday, February 20

10:00 a.m. — School visit to St. Joseph Catholic School

2200 N Gomez Ave, Tampa, FL 33607

Award Recipients:

The University of Notre Dame Champion of Education Award

John Kirtley is a Tampa-based venture capitalist who established his own foundation in 1998 to fund private-school scholarships for low-income students. In just three short months, the Children’s Scholarship Fund of Tampa Bay received 12,500 applications for 750 scholarships, a testament to the great need Kirtley saw and attempts to meet. In 2001, he persuaded the Florida Legislature to create a statewide tax credit scholarship to serve more. John is now chairman of Step Up For Students, which provides tax credit scholarships to 33,000 low-income students. He also has established himself as a national figure in the arena of parental choice, serving as vice chairman of the Alliance for School Choice and the American Federation for Children. He has built numerous partnerships with public education and was recently appointed to the Hillsborough Education Foundation, which supports the nation’s eighth largest school district.


University of Notre Dame Sorin Award for Service to Catholic Schools

Most Rev. Robert N. Lynch has served the Diocese of St. Petersburg as Bishop for the past 16 years. From the beginning of his episcopacy, Bishop Lynch expressed the belief that a bishop's responsibilities are primarily to the diocese where he serves. Throughout his tenure in St. Petersburg, Bishop Lynch has made this evident in his dedication to revitalizing the community. Bishop Lynch made Catholic education, in the Catholic schools as well as in the religious education programs of the parishes, a top priority in the diocese. He also took an active role in planning for the future construction of new Catholic high schools, and improvements to the existing schools. Bishop Lynch once again focused on his responsibilities to the people the diocese in establishing its first Catholic Charities Fund. He put in effect a plan to increase the priests' retirement fund; started plans for the building of a Family Life/Spirituality Center for the spiritual growth of the people; established an endowment fund for Catholic Charities with special emphasis on support for senior citizens; and established two endowment funds for youth ministry: one for the youth ministers themselves, and the other for leadership development and scholarships for the youth under their care.

ACE Point of Contact: Bill Schmitt —