Presidents and principals of ERCBNA schools along with their board chairs, Sponsor Council members, members of the Province Leadership Team and of the Office of Educational Services gathered in New Rochelle at Iona Preparatory School for the annual School Leaders Meeting. They were also joined by international guests from Colegio Fe y Alegría No. 26 in Lima, Colegio Stella Maris in Montevideo and Colegio Cardenal Newman in Buenos Aires, as well as Brother Julian McDonald, CFC from the Congregational Leadership Team.
The meeting began with a Welcome Reception at Iona College on Monday evening. In addition to the meeting attendees, members of the boards of Iona Prep, All Hallows, Bergen Catholic and Iona College were also present. Artwork from students at the various schools was streamed throughout the evening.
On Tuesday the meeting officially began with keynote speaker, Tanya Stoltys, Director of Instructional Technology at St. Elizabeth's College who gave a presentation on online learning. Following that reports from Brother Kevin Griffith, Province Leader, Maureen Kiers, Co-Director Office of Educational Services, and Colleen Noonan, Director Edmund Rice Christian Brothers Foundation were given. During lunch participants were able to take a tour of the Iona Prep Upper School. Later in the day division meetings were held. Paul Sutera, Director of Advancement at Iona College, spoke to the presidents, board chairs and Sponsor Council members on how to build an advancement culture. Principals were led by Tim McElhinney, Principal of Bergen Catholic, in a discussion on training faculty to utilize student technology. That evening participants were treated to dinner at a local Peruvian restaurant.
On Wednesday, after attending a moving talk by Thomas Awiapo from Catholic Relief Services with the Iona Prep junior class, the leaders heard from Brother Dennis Gunn, CFC on Faculty Faith Formation and from Brother Tim Smyth, CFC with a report from the Synod on Youth and Young Adults. This was followed by small group sessions on online learning led by four members of the Bergen Catholic staff. Lunch followed at the Iona Prep Lower School with tours of that campus provided by the young students there.
The attendees then went by bus to All Hallows High School in the Bronx for a tour of that school and two sessions of roundtables. Dinner followed in the All Hallows Commons.
After prayer on Thursday morning, Brother Julian gave an update on education around the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers provinces. This was followed by a conversation on what had been presented the past two days regarding online learning. Finally, one leader from each school gave an update on all the good happening at his/her school. The leaders are clearly proud of their schools and some of the examples of the activities happening were very moving.
The meeting closed with a prayer led by Brother Kevin Griffith, CFC. Participants agreed that Brother Thomas Leto, CFC and the staff of Iona Prep had outdone themselves in hosting the meeting. The opportunity to visit three campuses of ERCBNA schools was also a plus. The 2020 meeting will be held at Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan from April 20 - 23, 2020.