My old friend Jim McIntyre joins today’s Catholic School Matters podcast to discuss our joint project, the Nashville Exchange.  We discussed how we have grown as Catholic school educators and why we have developed the Nashville Exchange.

Diocesan high school presidents/heads of school are on an island without networks of support and there is no specific professional development designed for them.  Jim’s experience as a diocesan high school president certainly supports this.

We outlined the speakers and the importance of each topic that will be discussed:

  • The keynote speaker will be Fr. Dennis Holtschneider, CM, the president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities and the former president of DePaul University from 2004-17.  He will discuss leading for mission and share his experiences of leading Catholic institutions. The guided discussions will be led by:
  • Tom Mengler, president of St. Mary’s University (TX), who will discuss successful fundraising.
  • Br. Tom Long, FMS, a long-time Marist head of school, will lead the discussion on strategic planning.
  •  Jack Peterson, current president of Managing for Mission and former president of Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, will discuss spiritual leadership
  • Dr. Melodie Wyttenbach, the Executive Director of Boston College’s Roche Center and a former President of a Nativity School, will talk about Board relations.

All of these topics are relevant for new, emerging, and experienced heads of school.  What are we doing to support our Catholic school leaders? The conference is designed to be a collaborative exchange of best practices and community.   The Greeley Center of Loyola-Chicago has been kind enough to underwrite many of our expenses, and the Meitler Group and FACTS Education have signed on as partners.  The Diocese of Nashville is our host and we are grateful for their support.  Here is a link to the Nashville Exchange flyer.  Please go to this link for more information and to register.

Then I’m joined by Melodie Wyttenbach, one of the discussion leaders at the Nashville Exchange.  Dr. Wyttenbach moved from Notre Dame to Boston College last summer to become the Executive Director of the Roche Center at Boston College.  She spoke about her interest in the position–namely, the Jesuit charism as well as the pull of some familiar faces. She described her beginnings in Catholic education and her pathway of leadership, specifically urban Catholic schools, and the challenges of transitioning to a new position.

She described her understanding of the vision for the Roche Center: to be a place to support K-12 initiatives.  Their 4 strategic initiatives:

  1. Leadership development & formation (e.g. Emmaus Series)
  2. Culturally diverse & responsive schools
  3. Innovative professional development
  4. Research

She also described her timely Ph.D. dissertation investigating DACA students and her current research interests and we talk about measurements of effective Catholic school governance.  We also discuss the role of research in supporting Catholic schools and what that practically can look like.

Here is another link to the podcast.