LEI Mentors 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 have been a defining characteristic of the LEI, helping Catholic school principals—and their teams—institute lasting changes.
After schools attend the LEI summer conference, LEI mentors 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 mentors on some of the things that they’re doing in their school.
This month, we invite you to get to know Kristin Moore, Director of Marketing and Enrollment for the Archdiocese of Seattle Catholic Schools. Kristin has been a trailblazer in Catholic education for over 20 years. A creative and daring approach to Catholic School marketing is her signature. She has been a Catholic School teacher, fundraiser, admissions and advancement director, interpreter, and has been a leader in Latino outreach. Kristin now serves as Director of Marketing and Enrollment for the 72 schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle, and she has developed innovative supportive initiatives to enrich, challenge, and grow the schools in Western Washington. Kristin is a national speaker on marketing and enrollment topics in addition to being a member of two national marketing groups where there is a generous exchange of ideas and a desire to develop compelling, effective, and unified messaging for Catholic schools.
Read the interview below to learn more about Kristin Moore, her LEI journey over the years, and what fuels her passion for Catholic education and serving Latino families.
Let’s start with a fun question. If you were stranded on a deserted island, which three items would you want to have with you?
First, I would HAVE to have my pillow. I love my pillow and can sleep absolutely anywhere with it! Second, my water bottle. I've got to get my 80 oz in! And last, I'd need to have my sun hat. Hopefully, I am on a tropical island, so some sun protection is key if I'm going to stay outside all day long!
Tell us a little about yourself and what interests you have outside of work.
I was born and raised in Corning, New York, and am the oldest of four. My three brothers and I attended Catholic schools. After high school, I ventured west to the University of San Francisco where I completed both undergraduate and graduate work in bilingual education. My goal was to teach in an inner-city school, but I guess sometimes God has other plans!
After spending the summer in Mexico teaching and working in very impoverished neighborhoods, I returned to San Francisco to get a “real” job. It was August and not an ideal time to find that perfect job before the school year started. I accepted a position teaching K-8 Spanish in Pacific Heights—not exactly the inner city! In hindsight, it was an important step in my journey. I dove into a study of Latino culture that cultivated in me a deep appreciation for the struggles of this community in the U.S. and the beautiful contributions Latinos have made to the city of San Francisco.
I married my college sweetheart and we have three amazing children ages 19, 23, and 25. Adventure is in my DNA. It fuels my love of travel, exploration, and meeting new people. I love a good dive and meeting locals when visiting a new place. My natural curiosity for others has helped me make lifelong friends from all walks of life. Boating is also a happy place for me. The Pacific Northwest is absolutely stunning and home to some of the most beautiful lakes, rivers, and, of course, the Puget Sound. Zipping around in a boat with mountains in full view (most of the time) is both relaxing and exhilarating. Exercise is also a big part of my life. I am a Peloton rider in the winter, and in the summer, you will find me outside walking, hiking, paddleboarding, and soaking up the sun.
What inspires you in your work and what keeps you going?
Honestly, for me, my life's work needs to have great purpose. But if I were to think of some specific things that inspire me and keep me moving forward, two things come to mind: 1) The saints. I am deeply inspired by the "ordinary" saints that have gone before us have accomplished extraordinary things. I aspire to be like them. 2) People. The families we serve keep me doing what I am doing. The impact we can have on others—and the impact they have on us—is what it's all about!
Who is your favorite saint and why?
St. Mother Teresa is my favorite! As a child, I remember reading about her work and the total trust she had in God. Her words were simple yet profound. I admire her because as a woman in modern times, she understood the complexities of our world and continued to serve with joy. A radical woman who changed the world with her faith. Now that is someone I want to be just like. One of my favorite quotes from her is, “If you want to bring happiness to the whole world, go home and love your family.”
Be brave. Take chances. Open your heart and be authentic. Become a student of Latino cultures and find a mentor to guide and support you.
As the Director of Marketing and Enrollment for the Archdiocese of Seattle, you have done many different things. What was one of your most successful marketing tools/projects and why do you think it worked?
In the Archdiocese of Seattle, we have made the shift from focusing on simply the latest and greatest marketing tactic to taking an honest look at our internal reality—culture, practices, and processes.
Much of our marketing efforts need to be “inside-out” work. We need to hear from our families how they feel about practices in our school (surveys), we need to host events that honor and build our community, and we need to build a culture of belonging with staff and the families we serve. Don’t get me wrong, smart marketing practices are super important; however, if a family’s experience walking through your door is something different than what you are marketing, it is money lost!
I have built a Marketing Portal on mycatholicschool.org that houses MANY resources. My Advancement Planning Tool is probably my favorite as it sets the pace for your entire year. I will say your website is your #1 marketing tool and it is a critical investment for schools.
What advice would you give to a school leader trying to increase Latino enrollment and better serve their Latino students?
Be brave. Take chances. Open your heart and be authentic. Become a student of Latino culture and find a mentor to guide and support you.
What marketing campaign(s) inspire you?
I look at marketing collateral every day. I make a point to keep anything that comes in the mail that catches my eye. Most are totally unrelated to education but I get so many design ideas from them.
One campaign that inspired me actually came from the public school sector and was a teacher recruitment campaign. It was titled “I need YOU” with different photos of students in front of a chalkboard and scribbled behind them in chalk were images of what their future might look like—what they may become. It was joyful and communicated the impact a teacher has on a young person’s life. I just loved it and have designed something similar in the Archdiocese of Seattle.
For someone going to visit Seattle for the first time, what would you recommend seeing, doing, and eating?
First, come in the summer or early fall. In my opinion, Seattle is best seen from the water by boat, kayak, or paddleboard. Lake Union is fun—you have a full view of downtown and experience seaplanes landing all around you. Another “must experience" is taking a ferry to one of the many islands. You can walk onto the ferry or drive your car. Explore the island and have lunch in one of the sweet island towns. Seafood is also a MUST—fresh off the boat. Ray’s Boathouse, Chinook’s, and Dalia Lounge are some of my Pacific Northwest favorites.
Describe your dream vacation. Do you pack ahead of time or the night before?
My dream vacation is somewhere tropical where the water is warm and crystal clear. Having someone prepare meals, tidy up, and be a captain on a boat would be lovely. I would also want to be surrounded by friends and family! In terms of packing, well... I am getting better. I now pack a couple of days before the trip. Truth be told, most of my life I have been a night-before gal and have had many all-nighters doing laundry to be able to pack! I am getting wiser by the year.
Family traditions become part of who we are. Tell us about one of your favorite family traditions and why.
All of our extended family is out of state, so our holidays often look different each year. A few consistent traditions we have been able to maintain are around Christmas:
- Christmas Eve Mass at the Cathedral and a restaurant in downtown Seattle
- Christmas morning breakfast with homemade cinnamon rolls
- Decorating sugar cookies (I have the best recipe!)
Pineapple on a pizza can be very controversial. Tell us your take. What are your favorite pizza topping(s)?
I grew up on New York pizza, so my #1 is a plain ol’ cheese pie—the kind that has a thin crust and you can fold in half. Oh, and Polly-O cheese is a MUST with a sprinkle of oregano. Truth be told, I do like Hawaiian pizza, too.
You have been involved with Notre Dame and the Catholic School Advantage for many years now. What inspires you about the mission and the work of the CSA?
The Catholic School Advantage has played a significant role in my work over the past 10+ years. The team had modeled the outcomes they desired in all of us always in a spirit of invitation, accompaniment, and empowerment. They are open to new ideas and collaboration and yet are truly experts in their field. This team has been a constant voice for change and advocacy and are without a doubt the national experts in welcoming Latino families to our Catholic Schools. It has truly been an honor to be a small part of this work. Furthermore, every conference I have been a part of, both as a participant and as a presenter, is thoughtfully planned and beautifully executed, always reminding us of the call we have as a Church. Dr. Lichon and her team tirelessly lead with love. They challenge us to open our hearts and embrace all. This has been such an inspiration to me!
More about Kristin Moore...
Kristin Moore is a Catholic school marketing expert whose creative and daring approach challenges audiences to think WAY out of the box. Her dynamic strategy and practical resources have been shared with schools across the country and inspire a more contemporary approach to expanding the mission of our schools. After her graduate work at the University of San Francisco, Kristin began her career as a classroom teacher in the Bay Area. Witnessing firsthand the transformational effect of Catholic education on the entire family, she couldn’t help but wonder who was not in her classroom and why. Her passion for educational access deepened and her trajectory shifted. Kristin stepped away from her first love, teaching, to pursue leadership roles in admissions, marketing, and advancement to provide access to a larger number of students. Now, as Director of Marketing and Enrollment for the 72 schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle, it is not business as usual. Kristin continues to develop innovative support initiatives to enrich, challenge, and expand the schools in Western Washington. She has become a true leader and advocate for Latino outreach and is relentless in her efforts to grow schools into the future. Kristin is a national speaker on marketing and enrollment topics in addition to being a member of two national marketing groups where there is a generous exchange of ideas and a desire to develop compelling, effective, and unified messaging for Catholic schools.
If you're interested in learning how to recruit, enroll, and better serve Latino children in your school, as well as work with an incredible mentor like Kristin, consider joining the LEI!