​Building Leadership Capacity by Partnering with Catholic Universities

January 02, 2020

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Recognizing that schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle are only as strong as their leadership, the Office for Catholic Schools (OCS) and Fulcrum Foundation created the Building Leadership Capacity Program (BLC) for all schools by identifying, forming, and retaining high-quality teacher leaders and principals committed to serving the Archdiocese of Seattle's Catholic schools.

OCS and the Fulcrum Foundation are currently partnering with six Catholic universities to provide leadership credentials: Creighton University, Gonzaga University, Saint Martin’s University, Seattle University, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Portland. Through these programs, aspiring leaders prepare to become principals and administrators in the 73 schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle.

All partner schools operate on a cohort basis, providing a network of aspiring administrators. These Educational Leadership partners provide a range of Catholic leadership opportunities to support our aspiring administrators.

The generosity of Fulcrum donors provides partial scholarships for aspiring leaders who currently work full-time in the Archdiocese of Seattle’s Catholic schools seeking a Master's in Educational Leadership or a Certificate in Principal Leadership. Without these scholarships, many individuals would not be able to pursue their degrees.

Since 2016, 14 participants from BLC programs are now serving in our Catholic schools as principals. This year, 12 leaders from 10 elementary schools and two high schools are pursuing a certificate or degree, spread out over all six of the partner universities.

Here are some reflections from leaders in the scholarship program, all of which received BLC scholarship funding through Fulcrum.

  • It is a great honor to be a Catholic school servant. The University of Notre Dame’s Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program has helped me grow in my confidence and develop a new lens with which to see how the good work we all do in this vocation, is in service of the larger mission of our faith.
    –Jessica Patterson, Vice Principal, St. Madeleine Sophie, Bellevue
  • The ongoing formation that I have received from Creighton University has enabled me to grow as a Catholic school leader. One key charism that I have taken from the program – a charism that inspires my ongoing leadership formation and school leadership role – is Contemplation in Action.
    -Thomas Cody McDonald, Principal, Queen of Angels Catholic School, Port Angeles
  • I have enjoyed my classes at Saint Martin’s University very much. The mixing of ideas with my public school counterparts has helped me prepare for what I have been and will be facing as an administrator in Catholic schools. Thank you Fulcrum Foundation for helping me make this certification an affordable possibility!
    -Kevin Kealy, Principal, Our Lady Star of the Sea, Bremerton

If you are an aspiring leader who would like to learn more about Fulcrum’s BLC programs or if you would like to donate to this program, email Kelly Surapaneni at ksurapaneni@fulcrumfoundation.org.