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Lessons on School Leadership: You Win with People

Tuesday, March 01, 2016 by Kole Knueppel

School Leadership You Win with People

As a school leader, you live your life for others. Winning is less about numbers and more about producing students who show up for their families, classmates, and community.

Remembering St. Jude: Lessons on Inclusion, Humility, and Struggle

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 by Scott Morgan

This excerpt is reproduced here with permission from Scott Morgan, member of the second cohort of ACE Teaching Fellows and founder of Education Pioneers

St. Jude Educational Institute Scott Morgan

I think often of my time at the storied St. Jude, an incredibly special place that helped change our nation’s trajectory in profound and positive ways. It’s perhaps best known in U.S. history as the campus that hosted 2,000 courageous individuals during the Selma-to-Montgomery March the night before they marched to the Capitol. The next day, they’d hear Dr. Martin Luther King deliver an inspiring address and remind the world that “the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”

February is Black History Month, the only dedicated time we have as a nation to honor and celebrate the significant accomplishments and contributions of African American and black Americans. We do ourselves and our students a sizable disservice when black history isn’t included in our history learnings and lessons throughout the year, or when we fail to recognize that black history is inextricably intertwined with our nation’s history.

More than two decades after I started teaching at St. Jude, I am incredibly grateful for the privilege of having worked in a place so steeped in history. I’m also reminded of three lessons from my experience there that remain as important as ever for me:

The Coleman Report at 50: Catholic Schools’ Unique Advantage

Monday, February 22, 2016 by Anna Egalite, ACE 14

FB Coleman

In an essay published by Education Next this week, I reflect on the 50th anniversary of the Coleman report by asking if social policy can effectively counter the influence of family disadvantage in order to achieve a more egalitarian society. In a nutshell, I wrestle with the question of whether or not it’s possible to develop programs, laws, and systems that can help disadvantaged children overcome the challenges associated with growing up in poverty. It’s a challenging proposition, for sure, but not one that’s impossible to accomplish. Based on my read of the research, school choice is a promising policy worth growing. A major reason is that Catholic schools in particular are uniquely positioned to play a compensating role in addressing the serious challenges faced by those who grow up poor.

Teacher Advice: What to Do When You're Angry

Friday, February 19, 2016 by Brian Collier, Ph.D.


If the Church is the people, then obviously the Church gets angry. Even the holiest of among us get angry sometimes.

Take my first boss at a school, Sr. Patrick Marie. She was kind, patient, and saintly in every way. She was quick to laugh and compassionate to a fault, but even she got angry sometimes.

Mercy and Compassion: Fr. Joe Corpora Reflects on His Papal Appointment

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 by Fr. Joe Corpora, C.S.C.

Mercy and Compassion: Fr. Joe Corpora Reflects on His Papal Appointment

In early January, we announced the exciting news that our own Fr. Joe Corpora received an invitation from Pope Francis to serve this Jubilee Year of Mercy in a special role as a Missionary of Mercy. The charge of the role, as outlined in Misericordiae Vultus (The Face of Mercy), encourages designated priests to extend Jesus Christ’s call to welcome all into the church, sinners and saints alike, particularly through the priests’ role as confessors.  

Upon returning from his Ash Wednesday missioning, Fr. Joe shared with us his thoughts from the trip to Rome. The following are his words. 

Every Student Succeeds Act: English Language Learning Children Not Left Behind

Monday, February 15, 2016 by Katy Walter Lichon, Ph.D.

ENLFebruary15on15thEnglish learners (ELs) are the fastest growing population in U.S. schools. By 2025, nearly 1 in 4 US school children will be an EL. While their numbers grow, their performance lags behind their native English-speaking peers. Less than 63 percent of English-language learners graduate high school in time. The recently minted Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) might provide an opportunity for educators who aim to help ELs thrive.

Why Students Need a Third Language

Friday, February 12, 2016 by Matt Kloser, Ph.D.

ComputerScienceBlog (1)

I had a difficult choice: Spanish, French, or Latin.

Those were my choices for my high school’s second language requirement. If I had to make the choice in 2016, I would say that an important option was missing—not Chinese or German, although those could be useful—but rather a “third language” option. I should be able to choose a computer programming language, and so should our students in Catholic (as well as public, private, and charter) schools.

A Place for Mercy in Our Schools

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

In our broken world, Pope Francis consistently lights flames of hope and love in the hearts of others, making him one of greatest transformational leaders of our day. And like a great leader, he challenges us.

Catholic Schools Enable Teachers, Students to Feel “Fully Alive"

Friday, February 05, 2016 by Andrea Cisneros


I am a product of public schools from pre-school clear through university, even teaching in a massive public high school as a student teacher. The eighteen-year experience was overwhelmingly positive, and I was blessed with one great teacher after another. Moreover, several public school teachers in my family were role models who inspired me to become a teacher in the first place. In fact, the first Catholic school I ever set foot in was the first one I taught in. Yet despite their absence from my formative years and my deep appreciation for my education, I have not looked back. Since my first day at St. John Bosco School, I have been fixated on Catholic schools.

Come and See: Catholic Schools Plant Seeds for Vocations

Thursday, February 04, 2016 by Fr. Lou DelFra, C.S.C.


I discovered my vocation to be a priest in Catholic schools. Surely, the seed was planted by the diocesan priests and IHM sisters who taught me at St. Pius X Grade School in Broomall, PA, and the Augustinians who taught me at Malvern Prep. But it was while I stood on the other side of the desk, as a teacher, that these seeds took root and blossomed into a religious vocation. Though the details differ, many could tell a similar story….

Why I Sent My Protestant Son to a Catholic School

Wednesday, February 03, 2016 by Ann Primus Berends by Ann Primus Berends

“We don’t teach them because they’re Catholic but because we are Catholic.”
                                                                        - Cardinal James Hickey, Washington, DC
This quote is a favorite of mine. Education Next dubbed it “a call to arms in the new crusade to save Catholic education.” Capturing as it does the Catholic principles of charity and devotion, the quote reflects the fundamental reason Catholic schools make a difference in this country—and will continue to do so: they are grounded in the Church.

Catholic Schools Debunk the Myth of Unteachability

Monday, February 01, 2016 by Laura MacLean

Pens need to be vertical. Every teacher knows that. When a student’s wrist goes limp and his pen falls to the desk, it’s trouble. It’s the sign of despair, the sign that the mental willpower to tackle a problem has been exhausted.

Catholic Schools Week 2016 - For Our Communities

Sunday, January 31, 2016 by Caela Carter


Chicago Jesuit Academy, where I was blessed to work for four years, is a place of hope. Although it is surrounded by violence and poverty, and although the students are choosing to use their already-tough middle school years to do something incredibly daunting, the attitude of these young men and their teachers, families, and benefactors is consistent: work hard, love well, pray often and there are great things waiting on the horizon.

Catholic Schools Week: 3 Ways to Celebrate All Students

Saturday, January 30, 2016 by Jennifer Dees, M.Ed.


Beginning tomorrow, Catholic school communities across the country will seize the opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary gift that we have in Catholic education. Most schools mark this festive week with special liturgies, open houses, and fun activities for students and families. As we began to prepare for the week with our own children's schools, my colleagues and I in the English as a New Language team wondered how we might ensure that students and families from every tradition feel included in the celebration.

Catholic Schools Week 2016 - For Our Parishes

Saturday, January 30, 2016 by Fr. Nate Wills, C.S.C.


"The seeds of faith, sown at his Catholic school, drew Gabe’s family together in faith and made them an inspiration for the parish"

When I was an associate pastor at St. Joseph parish in South Bend, Indiana, I met a fifth-grade boy named Gabe who wanted to become Catholic. Gabe learned about our Catholic faith in his religion classes, he went to Mass with his classmates, and he decided he wanted to be baptized. His parents sent him to a Catholic school, but Gabe’s family didn’t go to Mass on Sunday and his parents didn’t quite know what to make of their son’s desire to join the Church. But they were supportive of their son and took him to Mass one Sunday. The spark of Gabe’s enthusiasm and faith spread to the rest of his family and I started to see them at Mass every weekend. Not long after, Gabe’s dad joined RCIA, his little sister was baptized, and his mom who had grown up Catholic, came back to the Church.

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