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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.

    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.

    The LEAD conference will begin on Wednesday, July 22, at 5:00 p.m., and will conclude on Friday, July 24, at noon.


    If an applicant is accepted into LEAD, there is a non-refundable registration fee of $1,600, which covers the following expenses for cohort member's participation in the conference: lodging for two nights, all meals while on campus, and all materials. Additionally, the registration fee includes an experienced mentor who will work closely with the cohort member over the course of the academic year. All participants will be responsible for their own travel to the summer conference. Upon acceptance, details about the registration fee payment options will be communicated.

    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.

    • January 15, 2020: Application opens with rolling admission
    • April 30, 2020: Application deadline
    • July 22-24, 2020: LEAD Summer Conference

    For any questions, please contact Itzxul Moreno at or 574-631-2758.
    1. Can I use Title funds to pay the registration fee?

      Yes! We strongly encourage you and your school to access Title II (professional development) and Title III (English language learners) funds to defray the cost of participating in the LEAD program. Upon acceptance, we will provide an invoice, a W9, and an agenda that will satisfy the local education agencies.

    2. I would like to attend the summer conference, but I do not want to participate in the online modules and the monthly video calls with the team and the LEAD coach. Can I still attend LEAD?

      Unfortunately, no. The follow-up aspect of our program is essential to participant formation.

    3. What is the application timeline?

      The application period is from January 15, 2020, to April 30, 2020. Participants will be accepted and notified on a rolling basis until the cohort is filled to capacity.

    4. What is the closest airport to the University of Notre Dame?

      The closest airport is South Bend International Airport (SBN), which is about a 12-minute cab ride to the University of Notre Dame. It is often more expensive than other major hubs, but this largely depends on where you are traveling from. Midway International Airport and O'Hare International Airport are both in Chicago, and the commute on average is about two hours. Both airports are considerably less expensive to fly into. Midway is a bit closer to campus than O'Hare, and is also the smaller of the two airports.

    5. What are the accommodations like?

      Participants stay in an air-conditioned residence hall on campus at the University of Notre Dame. All rooms are single occupancy with a sink, while the bathrooms and showers are shared and gender-specific by floor.

    6. Can I stay off campus?

      Participants may stay off campus if they so choose, however, they will be required to book their own rooms at their own expense, and will be responsible for their own transportation to and from campus. We are certainly happy to provide anyone seeking this option with a list of nearby hotels upon request.

      If you have any further questions, please contact Itzxul Moreno at or 574-631-2758.

Interested in LEAD?

The application for the inaugural LEAD conference is now open! If you're interested in joining the first cohort of Latina/o educators who are interested in pursuing leadership opportunities in Catholic schools and are passionate about improving educational opportunities for Latino children, click the link below to start your application.


If you know of a Latina/o educator who is intertested in learning more about pursuing a leadership opportunity in Catholic schools, you can nominate them by clicking the link below and we will reach out to him or her.
If you have any questions, please contact Itzxul Moreno . 

Important Dates

January 15, 2020: Application Opens with Rolling Admission
April 30, 2020: Application Deadline
July 22-24, 2020: Summer Conference