ACE Advocates Kicks Off Young Professionals Board in Chicago to Help Catholic Schools
By: The ACE Advocates Team
ACE Advocates kicked off an initiative on Sept. 13 to channel the energy of enthusiastic supporters in Chicago to directly help students in Catholic schools as members of the new ACE Advocates Chicago Young Professionals Board.
Sixty advocates gathered to learn how they could use their talents outside of the classroom to transform schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago at the invitation of six Advocates who are leading this effort. As most Catholic school principals come from the classroom, they enter into school leadership positions knowing a great deal about curriculum development, instructional leadership, and parent communication. Far fewer school leaders have experience in the financial, marketing, legal, and fundraising skills implicit in the everyday realities of running a school.
The Board’s work will begin in a concrete way, with members sharing their time and professional talents with two Catholic schools in different parts of the Chicago area: St. Agnes of Bohemia in Little Village and St. Genevieve in Belmont-Cragin. Both schools’ leaders, Kaitlin Kysiak of St. Agnes and McKenna Corrigan of St. Genevieve, are part of the ACE’s Center for Transformational Educational Leadership.
Both principals described their visions for how members of the Young Professionals Board might serve their schools. John Storino, a local attorney and a board member at St. Ann’s in Pilsen, shared several stories about how he has been able to serve the St. Ann’s community with his legal background. Jim Rigg, the Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese, underscored just how impactful the talents and networks of Chicago-area young professionals could be for a system that supports over 200 Catholic schools. The recent approval of Illinois tax credit scholarships capable of increasing lower and middle-income families’ access to Catholic schools makes the support from young professional advocates of Catholic education all the more timely.
To conclude the event, Pat Loughery shared what he and his fellow originators of the Young Professionals Board saw as the board’s next steps. The board’s next meeting will take place the first week in October, with two additional meetings to follow in the 2017-18 academic year. If you are interested in learning more about the Young Professionals Board, please email Pat Loughery at for more information. If you are interested in adopting a similar initiative in your own city, please email Kati Macaluso, Director of ACE Advocates, at .