ACE logo

From the Field: Joe Womac

on Friday, 06 January 2012.

womacs teaserJoe Womac has carried the spirit and mission of ACE with him from Indiana to Louisiana to the Pacific Northwest. He leads the Fulcrum Foundation, which provides grants enabling students—some 10,000 of them so far—to attend Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle. His determination in boosting access to Catholic education dates back to his time as an ACE teacher in Louisiana Catholic schools between 2000 and 2002.

After teaching and coaching in Louisiana, this Washington native earned a J.D. degree at Seattle University and was then hired as executive director of the Fulcrum Foundation. Under Joe's direction, Fulcrum has become a model for other private organizations around the country providing support to at-risk Catholic schools, raising more than $42 million for children in the Seattle area. With tuition aid and other forms of financial and management assistance, Fulcrum promotes academic excellence and faith formation in at-risk schools. In 2010 alone, Fulcrum distributed more than $2.5 million to western Washington families, teachers, and schools.

In the summer of 2011, Joe returned to Notre Dame to accept the Michael Pressley Award for Excellence in Catholic Education, bestowed annually to honor ACE graduates who have made significant contributions to the ministry of Catholic education. In accepting the award, Joe recalled that, as a law student, he was always told not to take one's work personally. "I broke that advice every day that I taught in the ACE program, and every day since I took the job at the Fulcrum Foundation," he said.

Joe also extended his gratitude to Paola, his wife. The couple met as members of the ACE 7 cohort, and Paola expresses her commitment to Catholic education by continuing to teach. Joe and Paola are now the parents of two children.

"She really inspires me day to day," says Joe.

Share this story. . .

Search News