During the week of March 19, 2018, presidents, principals, board chairs, province leadership team members and presenters gathered at O’Dea High School in Seattle, WA for the annual School Leaders Meeting of the ERCBNA consortium of schools. The meeting was organized by the Office of Educational Services. Accommodations were at the Silver Cloud Broadway Hotel where each guest received a “swag” box of items that featured local businesses and foods.
The meeting began on Monday evening with a welcome reception where Principal Jim Walker greeted everyone and ensured the group was well-taken care of. After prayer on Tuesday morning Mary Foley of Christian Brothers Services gave the keynote address on Enrollment Management and Marketing. Student tours of the school followed lunch and in the afternoon Brother Kevin Griffith, Province Leader, gave a province update, and Maureen Kiers, Associate Director of the Office of Educational Services (OES), gave an update on OES activities and the needed support of its programs and services. Following that the presidents and board chairs attended a Governance update by Brother Thomas Murphy, Director of Governance for OES. A presentation on Christian Brother Support and the annual appeal by Mr. Don Chapin, Chairman of the Board of Palma School, and Colleen Noonan, Director of Edmund Rice Christian Brothers Foundation, followed.
Principals attended a meeting of a presentation by Mr. Cam Sylvester on Lattitude Global Learning and participated in a discussion on challenging teachers to keep fresh. This was led by Mr. Tom Beatty (Catholic Memorial), Mr. Johnny Bevacqua (Vancouver College), Mr. Jim Muting (St. Laurence) and Mr. David Sullivan (Palma). That evening dinner was held at Salty’s on Alki where the view of the city of Seattle was spectacular. Mr. Jim Antos, retiring principal of Br. Rice, Chicago, was honored for his contributions to the school and his dedication to the charism of the Christian Brothers.
On Wednesday morning Brother Tim Smyth, Mission Frère Edmund Rice Young Adult Ministry, led a reflection on the Essential Elements, pairing each one with a section of the Catholic Catechism. Mr. Brian Garrone of Edmund Rice Education Australia then gave a presentation on Edmund Rice Education Beyond Borders and showed all that is being done around the world to promote the Edmund Rice schools and the charism of the Christian Brothers. Later in the morning the group attended Mass with the O’Dea community at St. James Cathedral. After lunch there was the opportunity to attend two of the six roundtable discussions being offered. Reports from all groups followed. Dinner that evening was hosted by the school at the Archdiocesan Orr Center.
After prayer on Thursday each of the school leaders had the chance to respond to the question “What Are We Doing Right?” The leaders shared their successes, and everyone agreed that the sharing was a great exercise in keeping others informed about what was happening in the different schools. The meeting ended that morning, with the afternoon left to see Seattle or to meet with donors or alums from the area.
The next meeting of the school leaders will take place at the annual retreat from October 09 – 12, 2018 at the Q Center in St. Charles IL. The 2019 School Leaders Meeting will be hosted by Iona Preparatory School in New Rochelle, NY from April 08 – 11, 2019.
Schools represented at the conference were:
From the United States:
- All Hallows High School, Bronx, NY
- Bishop Kearney, Rochester, NY
- Iona Preparatory School, New Rochelle, NY
- Bergen Catholic, Oradell, NJ
- Br. Rice High School, Bloomfield Hills, MI
- Br. Rice High School, Chicago, IL
- St. Laurence High School, Burbank, IL
- Catholic Memorial School, West Roxbury, MA
- Tampa Catholic High School, Tampa, FL
- Damien Memorial School, Honolulu, HI
- O’Dea High School, Seattle, WA
- Palma School, Salinas, CA
- St. Patrick-St. Vincent High School, Vallejo, CA
- St. Thomas More Collegiate, Burnaby, BC
- Vancouver College, Vancouver, BC
From South America:
Colegio Cardenal Newman, Buenos Aires, Argentina Colegio Stella Maris, Montevideo, Uruguay