Contact: Alicia Simon, Director of Membership and Catholic Education
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Eleven Catholic School Principals Selected for National Mentor Program
Year-long Pilot Program to Provide Ongoing Coaching and Mentoring
Washington, D.C. (October __ 2019) Catholic elementary school principals who demonstrate strong, transformational leadership were nominated by superintendents from all regions of the country to participate in a new National Catholic School Mentor Program. The program kicked off in August with a three-day Leadership Institute where the principals analyzed their current strategies for curriculum development, funding models, and enrollment management to identify areas of improvement.
The National Catholic School Mentor Program was developed in correlation with the 2016 research on parental perceptions of Catholic schools, The Catholic School Choice: Understanding the Perspectives of Parents and Opportunities for More Engagement. The program intends to equip principals with the skills and resources needed to apply the research and positively impact enrollment and retention in their respective schools.
The program’s sponsors, FADICA, (Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities) and the National Catholic Educational Association selected the professional consultants at Meitler to lead the initiative. As experts in Catholic school planning and operational strategy, Meitler coordinated the Leadership Institute and will continue to provide ongoing mentoring and coaching to the principals throughout the 2019-2020 school year. All of these benefits are provided at no cost to the participant or the diocese, due to the generous support of project donors.
Although the program is national in scale, it is designed to impact real change at the local level in each principal’s community and school. To alleviate the isolation that principals often experience, the program utilizes a cohort model offering regular opportunities throughout the school year for principals to engage and support each other.
The benefit from peer support was immediately observed by the eleven principals who gathered at the Carmelite Spiritual Center in Darien, Illinois for the Leadership Institute in August. [As one participant shared, the workshop provided “ample opportunity to collaborate with others. Because we were from such varied parts of the country, I felt comfortable being frank about the challenges my school faces.”] [NOTE TO DIOCESES: Quote in brackets may be replaced with a quote from your respective principal.]
The eleven principals who are participating in the National Catholic School Mentor Program include:
- Sister Marie Isaac Staub, O.P., St. Dominic Catholic School, Diocese of Joliet, IL;
- Teresa Matetich, St. Joseph’s School, Diocese of Duluth, MN;
- Jennifer Crombie, St. Katherine Drexel School, Diocese of Milwaukee, WI;
- Michael Kosar, Holy Spirit School, Diocese of Albany, NY;
- Jessica Walters, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School, Diocese of Providence, RI;
- Sandy Pizzolato, Ascension Catholic Diocesan Regional School, Diocese of Baton Rouge, LA;
- Lee Sayago, St. John Paul II, Diocese of St. Petersburg, FL;
- Mazi McCoy, Corpus Christi School, Diocese of Galveston/Houston, TX;
- Lilly Samaniego, Ss. Cyril and Methodius School, Diocese of Corpus Christi, TX;
- Paul Richardson, Butte Central Schools, Diocese of Great Falls/Helena, MT; and
- Patricia Provo, St. Kieran Catholic School, Diocese of San Diego, CA.
Since its establishment in 1976, FADICA (Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities) has become the leading philanthropic peer network which serves as a catalyst for a vital Catholic Church, Catholic ministries, and the common good. The organization promotes the growth and effectiveness of Catholic philanthropy inspired by the joy of the Gospel and the Catholic social tradition.
The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) is the largest, private professional education association in the world. NCEA works with Catholic educators to support ongoing faith formation and the teaching mission of the Catholic Church. Their membership includes more than 150,000 educators serving 1.8 million students in Catholic education.
Meitler was founded in 1971 to respond to the needs of faith-based institutions for professional planning. Nearly 50 years later, Meitler has consulted with more than 2,000 Catholic schools, parishes, dioceses, and religious congregations across the United States to create transformational strategies driven by data and fueled by faith.