The NativityMiguel School of Scranton (Northeast PA) officially opened its doors yesterday to its inaugural class of 5th graders. All leaders who have founded a school know well the exhilaration and exhaustion of each day in the first year of a new school with the entire school community responsible for setting the tone, culture, and traditions for years to come. We wish them all the best and are glad to welcome them to the Coalition!
Four schools that were former members of the NativityMiguel Network will contribute their history of experience and expertise to the Coalition:
- Mother Caroline Academy in Boston, MA is one of several pioneering schools that opened in 1993 as word spread that the sizable impact and hopeful possibility of Nativity Mission Center was being replicated in other communities. Ed Hudner, who first served as a board member for the Academy, is head of school.
- Nativity Prep of Wilmington is starting its 13th year. David Kubacki who started at Nativity Prep as a GSP Director and was instrumental to defining GSP, organizing GSP Directors, and supporting alumni in NativityMiguel Schools across the country, is now in his third year of leading the school to a promising future.
- Sacred Heart Nativity Schools in San Jose, CA operates two middle school campuses – Sacred Heart Nativity School for Boys started in 2001 and Our Lady of Grace School for Girls started in 2006. Sonya Arriola, who worked previously at the Jesuit high school in San Jose, is in her second year as President and is committed to ensuring the next phase of the school’s history.
- Patricia Gauvey and a dedicated team of educators and board members have led Brooklyn Jesuit Prep’s transition to an independent middle school over the last few years and are continuing a strong tradition of educational mission in the neighborhood.
The Coalition will also benefit from the commitment of four other schools that are maturing from their founding stage to well-established programs:
- Having started as a co-educational middle school, Trinity Academy in Hartford, CT is now growing to a K-4 school with the vision that many of its graduates will attend two other member schools, all-boys Covenant Preparatory School and all-girls Grace Academy,. This collaboration will establish a seamless K-8 system that will significantly impact families and communities in Hartford.
- Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School in Richmond, VA is a 5-8th grade middle school in its 7th year of operation, a milestone in that the first graduates will be applying for college this year. The school was founded and is led by Mike Maruca, a former Jesuit who had worked at Nativity Mission Center during his formation.
- Seattle Nativity School will graduate its first class of 8th graders this year. Jeff McDougall, SJ, who served as Principal at St. Andrews Nativity School in Portland, OR, is in his second year as President/Principal shaping a strong future for this newer endeavor.
- Finally, the Coalition is pleased to welcome Logan Hope to the family. This school, which serves mostly Cambodian refugee families in the North Philadelphia neighborhood of Logan, will bring a fresh perspective to how we best educate and advocate for immigrant families.
Our member schools are stronger together than they are as a single school. These nine schools (contact information available on our schools page) extend our membership to 44 schools serving over 3,300 students and supporting over 5,500 graduates. Our member schools are a vital strength in our communities and a relevant presence in transforming vibrant urban education.
Additionally, we welcome several new heads of school into the Coalition:
- First, Mary Claire Ryan returns to our educational mission as President of St. Aloysius in Harlem. Welcome back Mary Claire!
- After serving on the board for several years, Sue Smith was appointed President of Nativity Jesuit Academy in Milwaukee and will lead the school through its growth plan.
- Nativity Prep of New Bedford (MA) will benefit from the strong independent school leadership of John Martin as the new Executive Director at Nativity Prep of New Bedford (MA).
- Jason Otte is the new principal at St. Louis the King School, one of three Access Academies in St. Louis that are members in the Coalition. He brings extensive experience working at a local Catholic high school that educates many NativityMiguel graduates.
Our schools and school leaders believe that private, faith-based schools need to remain accessible to economically-poor families who desire a formative, quality education for their children. We also believe that our schools need to be authentic to the families we serve and excellent in delivering on our educational promise to these families who have trusted us with their hope in the future. Together, our Coalition represents a powerful message: we are committed to do what it takes to remain accessible, authentic, and excellent for those we serve.
Our member schools are mission-aligned, share a common governance structure, commit to several core beliefs, and track similar outcomes. The priority of the Coalition though is fidelity to our educational mission and not to a checklist of design components in an educational model. We are, in a way, crowd-sourcing school leaders, figuring how our schools best thrive in our mission and then sharing what we learn with others. As a Coalition, our members advocate for the leadership, practices, and opportunities that yield results and amplify the innovations and adaptions necessary for long-term solutions.
The Coalition is a professional learning community that supports one another to become the best of who they are called to be. With 44 schools now joined in this ambitious effort, there is an energy, spirit and push forward that will ensure that our schools are accessible, authentic, and excellent for many years to come.