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Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program

Principals Academy: An Opportunity to Impact School Culture

Written by William Schmitt on Tuesday, 10 April 2012.

ACE Consulting Will Host Summer Event -- Registration Under Way

Those who attend ACE's 2012 Principals Academy this June will be immersed in culture—or, more precisely, in dynamic discussions of how to identify and shape a school's culture to benefit leadership and learning.

This third annual Academy, taking place June 26-29 on the University of Notre Dame campus, is sponsored by ACE Consulting. Principals from around the country are invited to develop new skills and perspectives that give students more robust structures for achievement.

"Every school has a culture, but the key is to be intentional about forming one that is shared and understood and alive for your teachers and your students," says Dr. Christian Dallavis, director of the Notre Dame ACE Academies initiative and an expert on the power of vibrant school cultures. He will lead a team of presenters at the Principals Academy.

"The goal is to give principals tools they can use to do formation around the values of a school," Dallavis says.
There are several components of a culture, ranging from the faculty's sense of purpose to the values that undergird educators' actions in the classroom to the environmental features—how a school looks and feels.

"We'll walk principals through that framework and then help them develop action plans for their own school culture," says Dallavis. Building this awareness and structure can help a school in many ways, he says, including succession planning for the leaders, reducing students' achievement gaps, and promoting continuous improvement throughout the school.

Some 75 principals attended last year's event. Those interested in this year's Title IIA-eligible Academy can visit the ACE Consulting site at http://ace.nd.edu/consulting/professional-development/principals-academy and click on the registration box.

"Getting the Word Out" Helps Boost a School's Enrollment

Written by William Schmitt on Wednesday, 04 April 2012.

Ideas from Action Research by RLP Grad Gina Groch Send a Message

Gina Groch, a graduate of cohort 8 in ACE's Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program (RLP), is assistant principal at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School in Naples, Fla. As with all of her RLP classmates, Gina's preparation for the M.A. degree in Educational Administration degree included an action research project, addressing a particular school problem and striving to offer data-informed insights that would help other schools facing the same challenges.

Her project explored how the basic principles of marketing might be applied to help increase a Catholic school's enrollment. Gina, who received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Temple University with a double major in computer science and marketing, has applied her graduate-level research insights at St. Elizabeth Seton and reports impressive results.

"In an overall sense, I tried to analyze our school in relation to the 4 P's of marketing--product, price, place, and promotion," she commented recently. In short, the first three P's told a positive story. The school's product is a quality Catholic education. Its price is twice the national average but still the lowest among private schools in the area. Its place is an area with many young, growing Catholic families.

Father Ronald Nuzzi Shares Catholic School Views in Ireland

Written by William Schmitt on Monday, 13 February 2012.

Ireland marked Catholic Schools Week recently with a national conference hosted by Cardinal Sean Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland. Rev. Ronald Nuzzi, ACE’s senior director of the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program, was invited to keynote the gathering with a talk titled “Catholic Schools as Eucharistic Communities.”

The participation by Father Nuzzi, who is an author and frequent speaker on the mission and meaning of Catholic schools in the United States, was the latest sign of the relationship that has grown between Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education and many of Ireland’s educators.

"I learned a lot from their experiences, and I shared a few of my own,” Father Nuzzi said of talks not only at the national conference but at additional events with religious orders and other patron groups, or trusts, who sponsor and support Catholic schools in the country.

Remick Leadership Retreats and Renews

on Tuesday, 31 January 2012.

Nuzzi"The word 'retreat' has military connotations," admitted Fr. Ron Nuzzi in a Sunday homily to members of the Remick Leadership Program's tenth cohort. He continued, though, "To retreat is to surrender temporarily, but in order to gather the resources that you need in order to return to the front."

When it comes to resources, what tops the list for a Catholic school leader? Not books, not the latest technology, not funding for athletics and fine arts programs--though these aren't unimportant. What tops the list for these committed educators is a sense of faith and mission that guides their daily work. The most cherished, most necessary "resource" to have on hand in the principal's office is a nurtured relationship with Jesus Christ.

That is why the Remick Leadership program gathers its participants, all of whom are engaged in the daily administration of Catholic schools, for an annual winter retreat.

First-year program participants met in January, soon to be followed in mid-February by their second-year counterparts. Every year, the resounding chorus of feedback affirms that the weekend provides a replenishment of those much-needed resources: precious time for quiet reflection, re-connection with one another, prayer, and a motivating charge as they return for the second semester.

Our Catholic schools are blessed by the efforts of these faith-filled men and women. Join the ACE community in praying for them and all Catholic school leaders, that with each new challenge they face in their service, they may be continually strengthened and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

ACE Missioning Sends Forth Teachers

on Monday, 01 August 2011.

The Most Reverend Jaime Soto, Bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento, joined the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) in a rite of “missioning” on Friday, July 22, invoking blessings for more than 200 educators set to teach in Catholic schools around the country.

The group being sent forth from the University of Notre Dame included recent college graduates pursuing graduate degrees in education in ACE’s ACE Teaching Fellows program and certified teachers pursuing graduate degrees in educational administration in the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program. Teachers in ACE’s English as a New Language (ENL) program and field consultants in ACE’s campaign to increase Latino enrollments in Catholic schools were also missioned.

“It is for all of us together a privilege to share in the teaching ministry of Jesus,” Bishop Soto told the ACE gathering at the Missioning Mass in Notre Dame’s Basilica of the Sacred Heart. He urged the teachers, “Do not be timid about your desire to know, love, and serve the Lord Jesus. Let this light shine because it is the Lord’s light shining in you.”

ACE conducts a range of initiatives, including formation programs and professional services, to sustain, strengthen, and transform Catholic K-12 education. ACE Teaching Fellows, ACE’s original formation program founded in 1993, is sending 173 teachers to Catholic schools in 26 dioceses around the country, including Bishop Soto’s Sacramento Diocese. The missioning caps ACE’s summer of on-campus studies for the formation programs but serves as the prelude to continued study and classroom experience.

The Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program, which prepares teachers to be principals and other leaders in Catholic education, sent forth 54 educators to schools where they will continue their formation. Certificate programs in ENL and Teaching Exceptional Children (TEC) together enroll about 50 educators every year.

The “Catholic School Advantage” campaign has formed partnerships with seven dioceses, consulting with schools to double Latino enrollments.

ACE’s traditional “missioning” events also included a prayer service on Thursday evening. ACE co-founder Rev. Timothy Scully, C.S.C., cited Gospel references about light and the Christian mission. “If Catholic schools are about anything,” he told ACE teachers, “it’s to proclaim this truth to your students, to your families, to yourselves: ‘You are the light of the world.’