Governance and Leadership in Our Schools

The following article was contributed by Annette Jones, Ed.S., Assistant Director of Leadership Development at NCEA.

At NCEA’s Institute of Catholic School Leaders (ICSL) 2017, Chris Uptmor (Principal, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in Decatur, IL) and I co-presented on the Perspectives of the Role of the Principal.  During the session, I suggested using the framework of the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools by Dr. Lorraine A. Ozar to organize and prioritize leadership tasks in preparation for the new school year.  Governance and Leadership is the second section in the National Standards and Benchmarks.

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.

As the school year begins, the hustle and bustle of planning and preparation is in full swing.  Catholic school leaders could use the following list as a guideline to focus on some essential areas of governance and leadership in their schools.


  • Complete required Diocesan training for staff.
  • Complete required background checks and for employees.
  • Ensure teachers have completed license requirements.
  • Update school handbooks (Faculty, Parent/Student, Safety, Technology, Substitutes, Volunteers).
  • Develop and continue Orientation and Mentoring Program for new teachers and employees.
  • Develop a plan for teachers’ goals, observations, and evaluations.
  • Plan and track teachers’ and staff members’ professional development.
  • Develop a plan for parent communication and conferences.
  • Keep abreast of legal issues and cases.
  • Maintain National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) membership.
  • Provide training for board members.
  • Connect with local counselors and community resources.


As we serve together, I wish you a blessed and successful school year!