NCEA Announces Keynote Speakers for NCEA 2023

Virtues and social emotional well-being are the topics of speakers Joy Roberts, Julie Widman and Sister John Dominic Rasmussen, OP.

Arlington, VA - The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) is excited to announce the keynote speakers for NCEA 2023 Convention in Dallas/Irving, TX, April 11 – 13, 2023.

Teaching the whole child – mind, body and soul – is paramount in Catholic school education. NCEA 2023 keynotes speak from vast experience.

Joy Roberts is an entrepreneur who co-launched with Julie Widman a non-profit organization and a social-emotional learning curriculum Friendzy. Joy developed a social, emotional and academic development framework for PreK - 8 that teaches skills like respect, confidence, problem solving, communication and critical thinking. The whole-school program supports teaching to the whole-child with sequenced classroom lessons that teach character, emotional intelligence, educator professional development, parent connection resources and more.

Joy has a Bachelor of Science in business management and marketing from Washington State University and a Master of Theology in theology and theological studies from Western Seminary.

Julie Widman is co-founder of Friendzy with Joy Roberts. She discovered her passion for supporting whole child development, especially in students finding their place of belonging in the classroom. Julie thrives when working in partnership with dioceses and schools to provide direct support to foster a positive campus climate and culture. Julie believes that teaching the Biblical pillars of friendship will give students tools that will benefit them for a lifetime.

Julie has a Master of Science from the University of Washington, is certified in SEL leadership through St. Elizabeth University and is completing a doctorate in educational leadership.

In a secular world, virtues are important and essential.

Sister John Dominic Rasmussen, OP, has been a Catholic educator and administrator for more than 35 years and is a foundress of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, MI. From her experience in education, she has developed Disciple of Christ, Education in Virtue curriculum, which provides schools, parishes and families the resources to learn the joy of living a virtuous life in Christ.

Sister John Dominic holds a Bachelor of Science in education from Belmont University and a master’s degree in theology from Franciscan University, and she currently serves as the executive director of Openlight Media, which produces video and print educational and reflective content to accompany and inspire Catholics toward a deeper life in Christ.

NCEA 2023 Convention is in Dallas/Irving, April 11 – 13, 2023. Registration is open.

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In service of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, NCEA strengthens Catholic school communities by convening all stakeholders and providing professional development, data, advocacy and resources to support faith and intellectual formation.

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