In my years of service as a diocesan superintendent, NCEA’s Catholic Leadership Summit was always a highlight. I knew that I would return to my diocese with at least one big idea that would inform my priorities for the next year. In addition, I looked forward to broadening my network of fellow leaders who helped me grow and excel.
Regional Groups and PLCs
We are shaking up the event schedule this year. Each participant will be part of two groups – their regional group and a Professional Learning Community. Regarding the regional groups, NCEA’s map divides the country into fourteen regions regarding the regional groups, and we will reinvigorate that infrastructure. If your regional group is functional, we look forward to supporting your work. If your group hasn’t met in a while, we will work with you to put the band back together. We will also bring together the leads for the 14 regions into a national committee. We used to meet this way in a structure called CACE (Chief Administrators of Catholic Education), and that same format is a natural way for us to organize our conversations around policy.
As for the PLCs, it’s frequently noted that the best conversations at CLS happen spontaneously, and we want to bring those conversations into the classroom. When you register for CLS, you’ll be asked to identify your office by certain denominators; large diocesan offices, offices of one, and everything in between – you will join a group of like leaders, and we will work with your PLC to develop the agenda for that session. We will also have PLCs for religious order and private school networks and for associate superintendents. Moreover, we will host virtual meetings for your PLC after CLS to continue the conversations. My hope is that everyone finds their tribe within the tribe, and the event feels more conversational and less didactic.
We are particularly excited to dedicate a day to visiting Capitol Hill to advocate for our Catholic schools and their students as a national system. Our goal is to get in front of as many members of Congress and their staff as possible. If you’ve never done advocacy work, no fear – we will prepare you with all the talking points you need to make an impact. In addition, we will need to collect data from you to create materials for your senators and representatives that will flow into a handsome one-sheet telling the story of Catholic education in your state and district, so please look for that email soon.
Director of Leadership Engagement
We are thrilled that Karen Barreras will start her new position of director of leadership engagement on July 1. Karen will reach out to every superintendent and network leader, and coordinate all your PLCs and regional committees going forward. Based on your feedback, we are investing in better infrastructure for bringing people together, and I trust that you will be happy with the results. Coming together virtually, between our in-person events, will strengthen us as a system and help all dioceses and schools succeed.
Let us know if your state or region needs help organizing a regional committee! We are here to help facilitate the conversation and support you in structuring a group that provides you the support you need from fellow superintendents and network leaders.
If you haven’t already, please take a moment now to register for this event. Karen will be reaching out to you personally with next steps to ensure you are prepared for the great things we have planned.
It’s a wonderful time for us to come back together in person, and we look forward to seeing you in Arlington.