Monthly Message from NCEA President – August 2015


The days of summer have passed quickly. It seems like only yesterday that we were saying goodbye to our students and now we are getting ready to welcome new students and a new school year! Endings and beginnings – the cycle of life!

NCEA is excited for this new school year and all that it brings for Catholic schools. As educators in the classroom get their lesson plans together and administrators finalize their calendars, here are a few reminders about what’s to come in the near future:

September 1 is World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. Pope Francis has established this day to highlight global environmental concerns. Join the community of Catholic schools as they pledge and share their commitment to the environment through conservation, service and prayer.

September 22 – 25 is the Eighth World Meeting of Families. NCEA will be attending the gathering to share resources and information to attendees at the event and provide online resources and social media opportunities for Catholic school educators nationwide.. For those also planning on attending the gathering join NCEA at a special panel event “Going to the Outskirts: A Call to Catholic Educators” on Friday, September 25. Please visit to learn more.

September 26 – 27 Pope Francis will be closing the World Meeting of Families with a visit to Philadelphia. Pope Francis will also be visiting New York City and Washington, D.C. NCEA is grateful to Pope Francis for his continued support of Catholic school and Catholic educators worldwide. Join us as we pray for him during this landmark visit.

October 5 marks the 25th Anniversary  of the NCEA Seton Awards Gala that will take place in D.C. This annual event raises fund to support NCEA’s research, leadership development and advocacy programs that support Catholic school educators and students. For more information, please visit

October 17 – 18 & October 18 – 21 brings leaders in Catholic school education together for NCEA’s Superintendent Academy and Catholic Leadership Summit in Atlanta. We look forward to providing professional developing sessions, inspirational keynotes and networking opportunities for our diocesan leaders.

As always, please continue to follow NCEA on Facebook /NCEAorg and Twitter @NCEATalk, for real-time updates on all that is happening at NCEA, as well as to connect and share with your fellow Catholic school educators.

Going to the Outskirts: A Call to Catholic Educators

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The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) will be attending the Eighth World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia this September!  In addition to sharing resources and information to attendees at the event, NCEA will also be providing online resources and social media opportunities for Catholic school educators nationwide. Please visit to learn more.

For those planning a trip for the gathering, please also plan to join NCEA as we continue the conversation after the World Meeting of Families!  In response to Pope Francis’s call to witness by “going to the outskirts,” NCEA will host a panel of experts to explore the gifts and challenges this brings to Catholic education in the 21st century.

Going to the Outskirts: A Call to Catholic Educators” will take place Friday, September 25, 2015, beginning at 2 p.m. at West Catholic Preparatory High School (4501 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA). Tickets are $15 (per person) or $50 (for group of four + $10 for each additional person) and advanced registration is required.  Reserve your space today!

Whether attending WMOF or following from home, don’t forget to follow the conversation using #NCEAatWMOF.



Didn’t have the chance to check in with NCEA Talk each day? We’ve got you covered. Each Friday NCEA Talk will post a roundup of Catholic education news and resources from the week.

In case you missed it…

Pope Francis’s stop at Catholic U. will be third papal visit to the school in 36 years

Priests Go to School … as Teachers or Administrators

Five Omaha Catholic schools adopt team-leadership approach

WEEKLY ROUND UP 07/31/2015



Didn’t have the chance to check in with NCEA Talk each day? We’ve got you covered. Each Friday NCEA Talk will post a roundup of Catholic education news and resources from the week.

In case you missed it…

Why Catholic School Reform Isn’t Like Other School Reforms

Pope’s Visit to East Harlem School Highlights Church’s Challenges

Catholic Education Foundation to host seminar on role of priests in parochial schools

Didn’t have the chance to check in with NCEA Talk each day? We’ve got you covered. Each Friday NCEA Talk will post a roundup of Catholic education news and resources from the week.

In case you missed it…

Discussion Post: Would anyone like to share either on the advantages or disadvantages of middle school programs?

Lead: Catholic Leadership Summit Registration Now Open

Proclaim: NCEA Appoints new Assistant Directors of Leadership Development and Professional Development


Other news and resources:

ACE to send forth 272 Catholic school teachers and leaders in missioning ceremonies (

Facing decline, Catholic schools form a charter-like network (Capital New York)

Using Technology to Educate and Catechize (Catholic World Report)

NCEA Appoints New Assistant Directors to Develop New and Innovative Programs for Catholic School Educators

Professional Development and Leadership Teams will work to refocus NCEA mission to Lead, Learn and Proclaim for Catholic schools

NCEA announces the appointment of two new assistant directors. Marcella “Mickie” Abatemarco will serve as the Assistant Director of Professional Development and Annette Jones will serve as the Assistant Director of Leadership Development. With the appointment of these new positions, NCEA will continue its commitment to Catholic school education and refocus its mission to lead, learn and proclaim.
“We are delighted to welcome new staff who will bring their gifts to enhance the mission of NCEA to Lead, Learn and Proclaim,” said NCEA President Brother Robert Bimonte. “Working in collaboration with our new teams, Mickie and Annette will provide leadership for Catholic school educators by developing new programs, services and resources for our members.”
As the Assistant Director of Professional Development, Mickie Abatemarco will work with the Professional Development Team to assist with the implementation and oversight of professional development programs and services, as well as develop online tools and resources for preschool, elementary, and secondary teachers who serve Catholic schools.
In acknowledgement of her appointment, Mickie says, “I look forward to supporting teachers in Catholic education as they work to bring the gospel message to those they teach.”
As the Assistant Director of Leadership Development, Annette Jones will work with the Leadership Development Team to assist with the development of programs, services, and resources for the ongoing professional development of current Catholic school leaders, as well as the preparation and development of the next generation of Catholic school leaders.
“NCEA has embraced innovative leadership to enhance the mission of our Catholic schools and parishes.  As the Assistant Director of Leadership, I am thrilled to serve in this role and look forward to creating supportive programs and working collaboratively with school leaders, including principals, pastors and presidents, governing bodies, as well as superintendents,” said Annette.
Mickie came to NCEA in October 2012 as the associate executive director for the Religious Education Department. In this role, she was responsible for recruiting and supporting NCEA’s Religious Education Assessment tool, and for conducting assessment workshops to educate members across the country. She also was responsible for managing recruitment for the National Association of Parish Catechetical Directors (NPCD), supporting its members and planning the yearly NPCD Convocation. Prior to her work at NCEA, Mickie brings extensive experience working in Catholic schools and parishes both as a teacher and religious educator.
Annette brings a history of collaborative and visionary leadership that yielded to two National Blue Ribbon Schools. She most recently served as principal at St. Louis de Montfort Catholic School in Fishers, Indiana, where she spearheaded innovative strategies to advance curriculum and technology at the school; and prior to that as principal at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Indianapolis, in which her leadership at both schools was recognized with the National Blue Ribbon School Award. In 2010 she was recognized as the District #5 Elementary Principal of the Year by the Indiana Association of School Principals. In 2007 she was a Senator William Fulbright Scholar to Finland; and she has extensive international experience through collaborative partnerships with administrators and educators in Argentina, China, Finland, and Germany.

Catholic Leadership Summit – Registration Now Open


The 2015 NCEA Catholic Leadership Summit will be held at the Sheraton Atlanta from October 18-21, 2015.

Formerly known as the CACE meeting, the NCEA Catholic Leadership Summit is open to all NCEA members who are arch/diocesan directors who serve Catholic schools and CHESCS members.  The meeting consists of professional development sessions, inspirational keynotes and networking opportunities.

This year we are honored to have David Coleman, President and Chief Executive Officer of The College Board, as our keynote speaker.

Breakout sessions will focus on faith integration, governance, educational trends, and best practices, among other relevant topics.  The preliminary program will be available mid-August for your consideration.

We invite you to register early for this year’s meeting.  Our meeting is open to all arch/diocesan directors who serve Catholic schools, including superintendents, assistant superintendents and association superintendents, as well as CHESCS members.  We encourage you to bring a team from your diocese.

Please also mark your calendars for The Superintendent Academy on October 17 and 18.  The Academy provides insight, direction, and collaboration to superintendents, assistant superintendents, and associate superintendents in Catholic education.  While the Academy focuses primarily on new or nearly new diocesan leaders, it is also an excellent professional development opportunity for aspiring superintendents and seasoned veterans in need of a refresher.  Take a moment to register for this professional development opportunity.

The NCEA Catholic Leadership Summit provides you with wonderful opportunities to interact, as well as learn with and from your colleagues across the country, while participating in professional development, prayer, and networking opportunities.  Stay tuned for updates and the preliminary program as it is available.  We hope that you will be able to join us in Atlanta!

Monday Morning Discussion: Middle School vs. K-8

On Mondays, NCEA Talk presents member submitted topic or question for discussion. Share your knowledge and resources with your Catholic school educators across the country by emailing

This week’s question comes to us from the Diocese of Altoona/Johnstown:

“We are considering establishing a middle school in the Altoona Johnstown Diocese.  We have always had K-8 programs.  I hear that those who have established middle schools are now returning to K-8 programs.  Would anyone like to share either on the advantages or disadvantages of middle school programs?” Sister Donna Marie Leiden, S.C.,

If you have information and resources to share, please email or Tweet us @NCEATalk to join the conversation!

Final Call for Proposals Today!


Last calL! The Call for Proposals for the NCEA 2016 Convention & Expo closes today, July 15. Whether you have presented before or have been inspired by a session you have attended, we invite you to submit a proposal to present at NCEA 2016.

The selection process involves a thorough review of every complete proposal submitted prior to the deadline. Please be sure to complete your submissions to include speaker contact information (for each session speaker), session description(s), target audiences, topic areas, and actionable learning objectives. Keep in mind, only the first two completed proposals submitted will be considered for a session slot at NCEA 2016.

For full details on the NCEA 2016 Call for Proposals process and access to submitting a proposal online, please follow this link.

Monthly Message from NCEA President – July 2015


On July 1, NCEA started a new year of operation as a restructured organization. Our new team-based approach to serving our members will fulfill our mission to Lead, Learn and Proclaim.

Principals, presidents, pastors, superintendents and governing bodies will now be served by our Leadership Team. Teachers will receive resources and professional development opportunities from the Professional Development Team. The good news story of Catholic schools will be proclaimed by our Marketing Communications Team.

In the months ahead, you will be hearing much more from the new NCEA staff as we seek to assist you in fulfilling your mission as Catholic school educators. One of the ways we hope to do that is by being in direct communication with teachers. In the past, only the school administrator received NCEA communications. We are making a concerted effort to gather as many teacher email addresses as we can so that the faculty can receive our communications directly.

In the year ahead, you will also see a new website that will be much more user-friendly. It will also have multiple teacher resources available and afford Catholic educators an opportunity to communicate with each other.

All of us at NCEA are looking forward to an exciting new beginning for the school year – and for NCEA!