Spring is a season of new beginnings and fresh starts. As we move further along in the school year, many educators—recent graduates, teaching veterans, and those relocating to other cities—are beginning to consider their plans for the next academic year.
On behalf of those aspiring applicants, we reached out to three Catholic school leaders—Matthew DeBoer, Tony Harris, and Martine Romero—to get their thoughts on what they look for when reviewing a resume and interviewing a potential new team member. Here are three areas you’ll want to emphasize on your resume when applying for a position at a Catholic school.
1. Zeal for the Mission
Matt DeBoer: We cannot pay our teachers what they deserve, so when I see people giving their time, talent, and too often treasure for their vocation, it fuels me to better serve our students and our teachers. Students and parents see this dedication, too, and they feel it, which makes the community stronger.
Martine Romero: I look at a resume for a commitment of multiple years at the same school, and especially whether or not they have Catholic school experience. I check for multiple certifications, such as special education and general education certifications, or a certification in another particular area of focus. Finally, I look to see if they have a catechetical certification.
Tony Harris: I am most impressed by our community members who demonstrate a commitment to mission each day through their involvement with each other and with students, their expressions of faith and belief, and their ability to model Christ as a member of our school community. Even those who are not Catholic, or who are not products of a Jesuit education, learn and appreciate the depth of a wholesome teacher/student or coach/athlete relationship.
I am awed by their commitment to their students, and am often inspired by their knowledge and talent!
2. Growth Mindset
Matt DeBoer: A growth mindset is important because for far too long in our profession we have continued doing the same thing despite contrary evidence. Mission-driven, data-informed educators with a growth mindset can do anything they put their collaborative minds to, and it is inspiring to see teams work in this way to accomplish our mission!
Tony Harris: For applicants just coming out of undergrad or an education program, I look to their transcript and personal statements for a growth mindset. Grades are important, but it is more important to me that a newly-graduated candidate demonstrates a level of academic excellence by the end of their undergraduate career that may not be evident in the first few semesters. Personal statements should reflect a willingness to learn and openness and flexibility for the new responsibilities and school environment.
Martine Romero: Our faculty and staff members express unconditional commitment by remaining open to creative accommodations and modifications in order to work with individual student needs.
It is clear that everyone intentionally embraces our values, and their empathy and compassion for students are readily evident. This translates to the special ability of sharing faith with every student.
3. Commitment to the Community
Matt DeBoer: When looking for mission-driven candidates, I am less eager to see awards and accolades and more eager to see involvement in activities that go beyond basic responsibilities–as well as volunteer and service experiences outside of work.
Tony Harris: For candidates that are coming to us with some teaching experience, I look in a more focused way at any indications of their commitment to their community through involvement in leadership opportunities, professional development, and co-curriculars.
Martine Romero: I also look at some of the extra responsibilities they held at previous schools, including coaching, art, music, and after school clubs.
About Our Experts
Matt DeBoer serves as principal of St. Therese Catholic Academy in Seattle. He is a Remick 12 graduate and has committed himself wholeheartedly to grounding his school in the Catholic faith. In his time as principal, DeBoer has implemented daily morning and afternoon student assemblies and has spent his mornings greeting parents individually as they bring their children to school.
Tony Harris is the assistant principal for student services at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago. He is a graduate of the 15th cohort of the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program. He highlights the importance of staying true to the school’s mission: a commitment to “outstanding teaching and personal formation” that “challenges [the] talented student body to intellectual excellence, integrity, and life-long learning and growth.”
Martine Romero is the principal of St. Madeleine Sophie Catholic School in Bellevue, Washington, and a graduate of the 12th cohort of the Remick Leadership Program. She has dedicated herself to promoting diversity and inclusion within her school community. Students at St. Madeleine Sophie vary widely in abilities, talents and learning styles, and the school curriculum is tailored to best serve the needs of each child.
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