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Mentor Spotlight: Getting to Know Patrick Jefferies

on Tuesday, 27 April 2021.

Mentor Spotlight: Getting to Know Patrick Jefferies


Mentor principals have played a critical role in the success of the Latino Enrollment Institute (LEI) since the program’s inception in 2012. The experience, accountability, and personal attention that these leaders provide has been a defining characteristic of the LEI, helping Catholic school principals—and their teams— institute lasting changes. 

After schools attend the LEI summer conference, mentor principals maintain regular contact with the 4-6 school leaders in their group through monthly video conference calls. These conversations, which focus on various themes related to Latino outreach, recruitment, and enrollment, are an opportunity for school leaders to learn from one another and receive real-time consultation and feedback from their mentor on some of the things that they’re doing in their school. 

The commitment of our LEI mentors, most of whom are still active Catholic school principals themselves, is truly the engine that drives the LEI. These Mentor Spotlight pieces are intended to be a fun way to help you get to know these incredible school leaders—both professionally and personally—who dedicate so much of their lives to this mission.

This month, we highlight Patrick Jefferies. Patrick originally attended the LEI in 2015 as a member of Cohort 4. At that time, he had just completed his first year as principal of St. Andrew School in Riverton, Utah. He arrived at St. Andrew a year earlier with a mandate and a plan to turn the school around, which had been experiencing a rather substantial and alarming decline in enrollment. By implementing a number of proven LEI strategies, committing to doing the little things right, and working to restore the trust of the Latino community, Patrick was able to significantly grow his school's enrollment, quickly drawing the attention of the LEI leadership team. Not long after, Patrick joined the LEI team of mentors and has helped guide other school leaders along this same path.

Read the full interview with Patrick Jefferies below.


Walking the Red Path: St. Joseph’s Indian School Event Emphasizes Healthy Living

on Monday, 26 April 2021.

By: Clare Willrodt, St. Joseph’s Indian School

St. Joseph Indian School Sobriety Walk

(Chamberlain, S.D.) – Each spring for the past 26 years, students and staff at St. Joseph’s Indian School, a member of the American Indian Catholic Schools Network,  walk for sobriety in April, starting on campus and splitting into the four directions sacred to Native Americans. In addition to the health benefits of walking, to “walk the Red Path” in Native American spirituality means living in healthy spiritual, physical, mental and emotional balance.

Earth Day at St. Joseph's Indian School

on Friday, 23 April 2021.

By: Clare Willrodt, St. Joseph’s Indian School


(Chamberlain, S.D.) – For the Lakota students at St. Joseph’s Indian School, a member of the American Indian Catholic Schools Network, taking care of Grandmother Earth – Uŋčí Makȟá – isn’t a one-day-per-year thing, but a daily spiritual commitment. Still, the grade-school students energetically embraced the event, planning and participating in several Earth Day activities.

Cultivating Community Contacts and Carrying Car-Line Conversations: Tapping into the Power of Madrinas

Written by Manny Fernandez, Katy Lichon, Ph.D., Steve McClure on Wednesday, 21 April 2021.

202104 MadrinasArticle BannerMadrinas at Holy Cross School in North Portland, OR. (Photo Credit: Holy Cross School) 

“Oh no, esta escuela católica no es para nosotros. Es para los ricos!” This is a line that many school leaders attending ACE’s Latino Enrollment Institute (LEI) have heard all too often from Latino parents - that their local Catholic school is not for them. It’s only for the rich.

LEI’s decade of work in increasing Latino enrollment has highlighted the unfortunate reality that many Latino families have too little information when it comes to Catholic schools in the United States. Since Catholic schools in Latin America typically serve only the elite members of society, many low and middle-income Latino families in the United States consider a Catholic education to be inaccessible, and they do not even consider it to be an educational option for their children. We regard this to be a missed opportunity for schools and a missed opportunity for families.

The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) recently released sobering statistics of record-breaking drops in enrollment in Catholic schools across the country. Given that many of these drops came in urban areas in heavily populated Latino neighborhoods, schools with Latino children have been among the hardest hit. This has left many school and diocesan leaders wondering what they can do to ensure the fastest-growing group of Catholics in the United States continues to benefit from a Catholic education.

St. Joseph’s Indian School Named Top-Rated Nonprofit

on Tuesday, 20 April 2021.

By: Calre Wilrodt, St. Joseph’s Indian School

(Chamberlain, S.D.) –St. Joseph’s Indian School is a “2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit” by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews of charities and nonprofits.

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