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    While Latino children are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. school population, only 8% of teachers, 4% of board members, and 2% of senior education leaders are Latino (Fernandez, 2018). The majority of Latino Catholic school children, may never be instructed or led by a Latina/o teacher, principal, or administrator.

    Research shows that representation matters, and Latino leadership is essential. A shared student and teacher identity (home language, ethnicity, background knowledge, lived experiences, etc.) can lead to improved academic outcomes (Dixon, 2017). Additionally, “by exposing Latino children to more leaders who look like them, it helps them imagine what they want to become and can reinforce strong self-efficacy around the value of their identities and Latinidad. It’s been said ‘you can’t be what you can’t see.’” (Fernandez, 2018).


    The Alliance for Catholic Education and the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) have partnered to offer a new and exciting opportunity. The Latino Educator and Administrator Development (LEAD) program aims to strengthen the Latino voice in both the classroom and school level nationally. This initiative is designed to invite, advance, and retain Latino educators in Catholic schools, as well as develop a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges that exist in this landscape.

  • Conference Details

    The LEAD program consists of a three-day conference at the University of Notre Dame, followed by a one-year fellowship experience centered around:

    • COMMUNITY via networking
    • SPIRITUALITY through a retreat atmosphere
    • PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT through presentations and workshops

    Fellowship teams, facilitated by a mentor, will work through a series of modules made available online each month. An additional opportunity for in-person fellowship will take place at the NCEA 2020 Convention and Expo in the spring. Through the LEAD program, ACE and NCEA aim to cultivate a “think tank” for the larger movement to develop Latino leaders in education.

    Who We Look For

    We are looking for Latina/o educators who are passionate about improving educational opportunities for Latino children and have an interest in learning more about and pursuing leadership opportunities in Catholic schools.
  • Thank you for your interest in the inaugural LEAD conference! We will begin accepting applications for the 2020-21 school year on January 15, 2020.

    Further information regarding cost and registration will be made available when the applicaiton goes live, but for a general overview, please see the important program dates below:

    • January 15, 2020: Application opens
    • March 15, 2020: Application deadline
    • April 15, 2020: Acceptance Notification
    • July 22-24, 2020: LEAD Summer Conference

    For any questions, please contact Manny Fernandez at or 574-631-9434.

Interested in LEAD?

We will begin accepting applications to join the first LEAD cohort on January 15, 2020. In the meantime, please contact Manny Fernandez with any questions. 


If you know of a Latina/o educator who is passionate about improving educational opportunities for Latino children and has an interest in learning more about pursuing leadership opportunities in Catholic schools, you can nominate them by clicking the link below and we will reach out to him or her.

Important Dates

January 15, 2020: Application Opens
March 15, 2020: Application Deadline
April 15, 2020: Applicants will be notified
July 22-24, 2020: Summer Conference