NCEA 2018 Social Media Influencers Announced

We are pleased to announce the participants of the Send A Teacher to NCEA 2018 Convention & Expo in Cincinnati Social Media Influencer Contest!

Ann Wright
Principal of St. John LaLande Elementary
Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph

In July I was lucky enough to attend the Bearing Witness program, sponsored in part by NCEA. We were encouraged to spread the “good news” via social media and I had SO much fun reporting on our visits with clergy, the tours of embassies and the United States Holocaust Memorial museum, as well as interactions between teacher attendees! Last night, I attended a marketing committee for our diocese and the firm we have engaged spoke about the significance of networking and social media presence for schools and dioceses.


Anna Scholl
Mathematics teacher at Xavier High School
Archdiocese of Dubuque

This summer I had the opportunity to attend Twitter Math Camp and engage with other math educators with whom I have communicated with virtually — sharing ideas, asking questions, building relationships. Since TMC, I have been able to share and read about how teachers are engaging students in discussions about Charleston, or Hurricane Harvey, and also sharing in first days ideas for building mini-communities of students where students do not fear math and will discuss math.

I’d like to expand my network to include Catholic school educators for sharing ideas to help students deepen their own faith– helping students feel comfortable sharing their faith thoughts even in a non-Theology class, and looking for God in “unlikely” places, such as many of the mathematicians of history, like Blaise Pascal, have done

Jay Hentzen
Teacher at Saint Stephen the Martyr
Archdiocese of Omaha

I have gained so much in my life through social media. When I was initially looking for a school to get my teaching certificate at, I was able to find a college through Facebook that I hadn’t known about to attend. After my first year of teaching, I was feeling pretty low about my teaching ability, but a twitter chat gave me the affirmation to continue in my journey. Currently, I am able to chat with teachers from across the world that are using strategies that I want to include in my work. I even gain many of my current events in science information through social media sources such as twitter or reddit. Without social media, none of this would be possible.

I can show my students that social media can be a positive useful tool. So many times we hear about the dangers of social media. Social media does have its potential pitfalls, but that is true of many things in life. I want to show my students and fellow teachers that there are positives as well. We can spread the love of what we do throughout the world using social media. Students can contact authentic audiences through twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms. Long ago, humans feared fire because it was dangerous. If we never looked past that fear, we would never notice the life sustaining warmth that it can provide.

Heather Tabor
History Teacher at St. Joseph Catholic School
Diocese of Shreveport

If you have not figured it out by now, I am kind of a big deal. Stop laughing, I am serious. Just ask any one of my amazing, smart, talented students who get their daily dose of history from yours truly. They will tell you just how awesome I am and then they will receive their bonus points. On a serious note, my name is Heather Tabor and I teach middle school history at St. Joseph Catholic School in Shreveport, Louisiana. And I really do have some amazing, smart, talented students that I have the privilege of teaching.

I am thankful for the opportunity to teach at a catholic school where I am able to enhance religion instruction within my history curriculum. For instance, when discussing historical events like the Crusades in World History, I can talk more about Jesus. When discussing the Puritans in American History and how they fled to Holland and then to the Americas, I can talk about religious freedoms and how important it is. And in Louisiana History I can stress just how important Catholic religion was and still is in southern Louisiana. There are many opportunities throughout the year to incorporate religion, specifically Catholicism, into my instruction and that makes me happy. I try to keep my students engaged by relating current events to historical events to give them a better understanding of the material. I also include things like interactive maps and other technological components to keep the instruction interesting. As part of my requirements as a teacher I am required to set two PGP (Professional Growth Plan) goals for the school year. This year I have chosen to expand my technology skills use in and out the classroom, including but not limited to, the use of social media. When my principal informed me of this contest, I felt this would be the perfect opportunity for me to dive in and see just how far I am able to exceed my goal.

Chris Hueg 
Campus Minister at St. Mary Immaculate Parish School
Diocese of Joliet

As one who is active and a part of the Catholic education world, I am always seeking new ways of evangelizing and sharing the mission of Christ with others. In this digital age, there are a variety of platforms available for this evangelization–from 140 characters, live streams, a cute and creative 5 second fast forward/rewind video, and some yet to be discovered. Each of these pivotal influencing techniques provide the nutrients for a faith-filled life and help to continue to share our story with the greater community. Additionally, as a presenter at this year’s NCEA convention, I would seek to continue the conversation outside of the breakout session workshop, connecting and sharing ideas for years to come with all participants–that is the beauty of the digital realm: being present and available at (almost) all hours.

Jody Keene
Social Media Coordinator at the Immaculate Conception School – North Little Rock
Diocese of Little Rock

“With great power comes great responsibility.” Sure, the quote comes from a superhero movie, but the sentiment stands: social media has become a powerful force in our lives, influencing everything from what we find funny to how we view political events. Those of us who find ourselves managing social media for Catholic schools have to use that power in a responsible way. For me, participating in this contest is a way to challenge myself to use the weekly prompts and push the limits of what I’ve done so far. It’s also a way to see how other schools approach the power/responsibility dynamic in their social media.


Marie O’Shea
Instructional Specialist at Central Westchester Region
Archdiocese of New York

In my work as an Instructional Specialist in the Central Westchester Region of the Archdiocese of New York, I collaborate with over 400 teachers and 24 principals, who work tirelessly, unceasingly, and compassionately to provide each student entrusted to our care with the finest Catholic education possible.

I use Social Media EVERY DAY to communicate our message–fantastic things happening in our Catholic schools! I use Twitter, edWeb, and YouTube to keep parents, students, teachers, and principals in the know.

I have attended NCEA 2014, NCEA 2015, and NCEA 2016. Each time, I am so deeply humbled to be in the presence of so many dedicated Catholic school educators.

Anna Nicely
Librarian/Media Specialist at Holy Spirit Regional Catholic School
Diocese of Birmingham

In this past school year, I had the opportunity to travel with my coworkers to St. Louis for the 2017 NCEA. I learned a great deal with much of that knowledge being based in that our possibilities in education and with our students are endless if we put forth the time and have the faith that we will succeed. It was one such session that led me to propose to my principal that we begin our social media accounts this school year. I would like to participate in this contest to give me a stronger focus, a challenge, and goal through which to aim our media outlets into the promotion of, not only our school, our teachers, and our children, but also our Catholic faith. It may be used as building blocks towards a common goal among our staff and faculty as we strive to be better across the grades.

Holy Spirit Regional’s mission statement is to “provide an education strongly rooted in Catholic Values, reflecting each student’s unique qualities and promoting excellence in the whole person.” To this end, the decisions in the school are made through prayer and reflection. It was decided to begin our social media pages just this year as another method of achieving this end. By highlighting the accomplishments and achievements of our students, faculty, and community, we found that we could encourage the promotion of each ones’ individual qualities and excellence. On the first night of welcoming back students, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts were unveiled as ways in which families could not only track the information being sent out for their students, but primarily that they could see the lives of their children while they are apart, and could see what it is that the teachers are fortunate enough to experience with their children each and every day. A teacher spends eight hours in a day with their students, a time in which the parents have little connection with what is unfolding. Through the implementation of our social media, it was the aim that the parents of our students could feel more a part of what is happening through the day, have another outlet through which parents could receive important information, and, most importantly, that the students would have another means through which they are encouraged to grow and excel while appreciating those around them.

Beginning Monday, September 25, NCEA will follow the progress of these individuals as they make their mark in the social realm of Catholic education. NCEA will provide a topic (provided below) for each week and they will use social media to share, engage and inspire the online community! NCEA hopes you will follow this year’s participants and engage on social media with others to build a buzz around Catholic school education. Stay tuned next week for an update on all of the participant’s social media handles to follow!

  • Week 1 (September 25): Why Choose Catholic Education?
  • Week 2: (October 2): Professional Development for Catholic Educators
  • Week 3: (October 9): Service in Catholic Schools
  • Week 4: (October 16): Catholic Schools and Parent Relationships
  • Week 5: (October 23): STREAM
  • Week 6: (October 30): Exceptional Learning in Catholic Schools
  • Week 7: (November 6): Professional Learning Networks for Catholic Educators
  • Week 8: (November 13): NCEA 2018: Convention and Expo – Prelim. Sessions of Interest
  • Thanksgiving Break: November 20 – 24: No Posts
  • Week 9: (November 27): Leadership in Catholic Schools
  • Week 10: (December 4): Catholic Identity

Good luck!