NCEA Town Hall with Interim President/CEO Kathy Mears
The past year has been like no other in the history of American education. All of us at NCEA have been inspired by the selfless leadership and heartfelt action of Catholic school leaders and teachers. In the midst of grief, anger, loss and longing, your work has been heroic. I want to reiterate NCEA’s commitment to you, as we work in partnership to evangelize and teach.
On Wednesday, August 5 at 6 PM EDT/3 PM PDT, we are holding a Virtual Town Hall to give voice to the 130,000+ Catholic educators who have responded to the recent challenges with grace, resilience, determination and heart. We ask that you join us for this dialogue and discussion as we chart a path forward in a time of great need.
Over the last five months, we have worked tirelessly to ensure that you would not journey alone in these uncharted waters.
- We have advocated in partnership with the USCCB and other organizations to ensure equitable access to the supports needed to sustain the work of Catholic schools, including the Paycheck Protection Program, CARES Act funding and communication on the landmark decision in Espinoza; while continuing to work with policymakers and the general public develop a deep understanding of the substantial contributions Catholic schools make to the common good.
- We have invested in creating channels of community engagement, with biweekly superintendents and principals calls, the creation of Professional Learning Networks (PLNs) and fostering important dialogue on the need to combat systemic racism and marginalization within Catholic schools.
- We have elevated our professional development, including a groundbreaking NCEA Virtual Convention with over 7,000 participants, nearly 100 webinars on topics ranging from parent engagement to accessing federal funding for pandemic response and the launch of the NCEA podcast – all at no additional cost to NCEA members and providing global access to world-class expertise in Catholic education.
We stand proud of our relentless focus on advocacy, community and professional development but we remain steadfast in our belief that the most important work lies ahead – and that it does not happen without your support of NCEA. The love of Jesus Christ and the fullness of truth, beauty and goodness are the beating heart of our shared mission; but as St. Teresa of Avila said, "Christ has no body but yours." It is then equally true that if we are to realize our vision of vibrant Catholic schools that transform lives and society, it will only be by way of the hands, feet, hearts and minds you offer in service of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We invite you to walk with us in crafting a narrative of growth and transformation in our schools, communities and society.
We invite you to work shoulder to shoulder with us so that history might look back on this pivotal moment in the life of our Church and know that much fruit was borne because of our courageous endeavors.
We invite you to invest in the present and future of NCEA – a present and future where our leadership in advocacy, community and professional development and the innovation of cutting-edge models for student and adult learning means that you are seen, valued and elevated as a mission-driven Catholic educator.
In these unprecedented times, we know that it is true that we are stronger together. We know that united in our faith and in our work, we will continue to spread the message of Jesus and that we will teach our students well, helping them to develop their own God-given gifts for the good of the world.
Thank you for your consideration. We will keep each of you in prayer as we work to return to our schools, and we hope that you will join us on Wednesday, August 5 so that your voice – and the voices of the students and families you serve – may be heard.