NCEA Chief Innovation Officer Headed to Notre Dame University

Kevin Baxter will join the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program.

Arlington, VA – The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) announced on March 25 that Kevin Baxter, NCEA Chief Innovation Officer (CIO), will leave NCEA and begin a new position at the University of Notre Dame, serving as the director of the Mary Ann Remick Leadership program, beginning June 1, 2021.

"Kevin served as a member of the NCEA Board of Directors and became part of the staff of NCEA as chief innovation officer," said NCEA Board Chair, Bishop Gerald Kicanas. "He believes wholeheartedly in Catholic education. He has devoted his whole professional career to enhancing and growing Catholic schools. I am excited that in his new responsibilities at the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program at Notre Dame he will be influential in forming and preparing future leaders for our Catholic schools."

Dr. Baxter became CIO at NCEA in June 2019. His work focused specifically on three areas of the organization’s strategic plan: leadership formation and succession planning; curriculum and pedagogical innovation at the school site level; and developing new governance and finance structures for Catholic schools. Incorporating these three areas, Dr. Baxter concentrated on growth in Catholic schools across the U.S. paying attention to strong leadership at the school and diocesan levels and creating innovative models that rest on a culture of continuous improvement.

One of Dr. Baxter’s innovative models for Catholic schools has included a close look at micro-school models. Micro-schools usually include very small student populations and utilize instructional technology with an emphasis on personalized instruction. His work with micro-schools addresses the enrollment challenge at many Catholic schools by providing a model that leads to great faith and academic outcomes, while also creating a financially sustainable school. Dr. Baxter continues to work on a book for NCEA with NCEA Executive Director for Academic Excellence Jill Annable on micro-schools to be published in late spring 2021.

Another model Dr. Baxter has been developing is the creation of professional learning networks, often called PLNs, for Catholic schools. These PLNs are virtual networks grouping Catholic school educators to support collaboration and problem-solving with colleagues from across the U.S. These initial groups involving new school administrators and others are doing well and NCEA plans to expand this work. NCEA will continue to explore these areas of focus including micro-schools and PLNs.

Kathy Mears, interim president/CEO of NCEA stated, "Dr. Baxter’s commitment to Catholic schools is strong and his contributions are many. We will miss him at NCEA but are delighted that he will be working to form the next generation of Catholic school leaders."

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In service of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, NCEA strengthens Catholic school communities by providing professional development, formation, leadership and advocacy.