The importance of leadership development is deeply rooted in our Ignatian charism. The understanding of one's self and one's call to live in imitation of Christ as a servant leader are central movements within the Spiritual Exercises. General Congregations 34, 35 and 36 all include an emphasis on the need for the formation of leaders in the apostolates of the Society of Jesus, inculcating in them a way of proceeding guided by discernment, collaboration, and networking.

In recognition of and response to this emphasis, the 2022-2025 JSN Strategic Plan has as one of its five initiatives the Formation of Discerning Leaders. I am pleased to be able to share two documents that inform and scaffold our plans for apostolic leadership development over the next three years. The pathways to and demands within our leadership landscape are changing, and it is our intent to be responsive to those changes.

The first of these documents, the JSN Leadership Development Continuum, identifies and characterizes three phases of leadership for which we will seek to provide programming and resources. Emerging leaders will continue to be served by our longstanding Seminars in Ignatian Leadership. Evolving leaders will be served within a developing program that we will test pilot in the summer of 2023. Entrusted leaders, who are specifically identified as school presidents and board members, will be supported through governance and board formation resources and opportunities, which the JSN will develop and compile through 2023.
The second of these documents is a summative report from seventeen interviews with school presidents, which I hosted earlier this year. These presidents shared their perspectives, experiences, and suggestions regarding our leadership development continuum and offered formative insights for our planning. Thanks go to all who participated and the impacts they have made on the future of leadership development within the Jesuit Schools Network.
JSN Educators Putting Leadership into Practice:
Collaborating with and Empowering Colleagues
From Theory to Practice
Last summer my fellow colleagues Greg Allen, Jennie Kuenz, and I joined academic leaders from Jesuit secondary schools across North America in a virtual “Master Class” on the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm (IPP). Guiding our learning was Fr. Johnny Go’s book “Learning By Refraction,” which presents a 21st Century understanding of the IPP that aims to empower learners to explore and deepen their sense of self as well as their purpose in the world through intentionally designed learning experiences. 

Our team has already begun articulating and executing a strategy for broader IPP implementation across classrooms and programs at Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon. This includes prototyping job descriptions, data tracking, and classroom observation tools for instructional coaching, designing and facilitating workshops for full-faculty IPP enrichment, and reimagining our first- and second-year teacher formation programs. Please follow this link to access our living library of materials. We welcome feedback and invitations to connect and discuss this critical work further! 
IPP Training Manual Collaboration

In Jewish Midrash, the story of the Red Sea crossing and the Israelites’ freedom depends not only on Moses stretching his arms over the waters, but also on a man named Nachshon, who boldly and faithfully walked into the sea. In the story, the Red Sea parts only after Nachshon waded out deep enough to have the water up to his nose. There is a lesson about leadership there for all of us. Leadership is not only found in the official roles and job titles where we tend to look for it; leadership can also emerge from the bold attempt to try something new.

This past summer, I was part of a JSN master class on the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm (IPP) – a pilot program for all of us, including the JSN. We were a cohort of more than 60 people from more than 30 schools – principals, academic deans, program directors, and department chairs, as well as frontline teachers – tasked with deepening our expertise in the IPP in order to find new and creative ways to bring this distinctive way of teaching and learning back to our various schools. 

Suffice it to say, this mixed multitude of Jesuit educators has waded into some deep and swirling waters. In the weeks since the class wrapped in August, I have wandered out up to my nose in an attempt to draft a training manual to help teachers in Jesuit schools incorporate the IPP’s priorities into their teaching practice. While the course material from this summer has been immeasurably helpful in setting the training priorities, I have benefited even more from the chance to trade insights and half-baked ideas with other members of the cohort. My first steps made slightly less tentative by walking alongside others.

There are still further steps to take, and I could use more help. I’d be thrilled to have any fellow travelers out there in the JSN take a look at the training manual I've drafted, provide feedback on how to improve it, test-drive it in your own schools, or join me in continuing the conversation about how to bring the IPP more deliberately into our classrooms. Reach out to if you are interested. Come on in. The water’s fine!
A Study on Women in Leadership Positions at Jesuit Schools

A recent episode of JSN's Ignatian Inquiry Podcast outlines the major findings of my dissertation, “Women as President in Jesuit Secondary and Pre-Secondary Schools: A Phenomenological Study of Pathways to and Experiences of Leadership,” which I completed as a part of the Ed.D program in Interdisciplinary Leadership at Creighton University.
As I studied the art and science of leadership in this program, I became more and more interested in studying, in a focused way, the way women experience leadership in the Jesuit Schools Network. I chose to study the experience of women Presidents in the JSN, specifically, because of the wide gender gap that exists for women in the role of President, and because of the unique role the President of a Jesuit school holds as Director of a Jesuit apostolate.
The podcast episode summarizes the findings of my study including the four solutions I propose to begin to close that gender gap in the role of President. If you have any questions about my study, or about the Ed.D in Interdisciplinary Leadership at Creighton, please do not hesitate to contact me at
Women's Advent Retreat
Sign up for On the Road to Bethlehem: A Women's Retreat from UMI Province Office and receive a prayerful reflection in your email inbox each Sunday of Advent, beginning with an introduction on November 20. Register via the button below.
Graduate Student Leadership at ISN Teach-In

Advancing justice through education is the mission of the School of Education at The University of San Francisco and it was inspiring to see so much student leadership evident at the Teach-In.

Current faculty and students from The Catholic Educational Leadership Program and The McGrath Institute for Jesuit Catholic Education traveled to Washington, DC for the annual gathering. CEL students are current and aspiring Jesuit school leaders in Catholic schools locally, nationally, globally. Every year, we welcome the opportunity to connect with our graduate students from New York, Oakland, Phoenix, Cincinnati, Mexico, and Colombia.
Dr. Jane Beasdale (program director) and doctoral student Michele Darchuck co-facilitated a large break out session on the topic of critical feminist perspectives on leadership in Catholic Jesuit schools and universities. The session ‘flip the table feminism’ brought some rich dialogue among the 100 + people in the room. 
Dr. Bleasdale shared, "We were excited to return to USF and recommit our energy to supporting leaders in our schools. We appreciated hearing from everyone about the work being done and the need for prophetic leadership for ALL our students so that marginalized voices can be amplified and uplifted in Catholic Jesuit institutions. It was great to share space with students and their leaders who are really committed to advancing justice."

Huge shout out to everyone who attended our session, stopped by the table to say hi or connected during our community lunch. Let’s go flip some tables ! We invite all the current and aspiring leaders in Catholic education who want to make the Teach-In a lived reality in our school and colleges to consider joining our Jesuit leadership cohort this summer.
USF community luncheon with CEL students (among others), Deena Sellers (Brophy Prep), Michele Darchuck (Catapult Catholic School Services), Eduardo Valencia (Cristo Rey De La Salle Oakland), and Annie Nyugen (Cristo Rey de La Salle Oakland)
Cristo Rey De La Salle Oakland students enjoying lunch with their chaperones Annie Nyugen and Edurod Valencia and former ISN director Ann McGovern
JSN Educators: Serving as and
Shaping Leaders in the Community
The 2022 National Board Academy Keynote Conversation: “Reimagining the Future of Teaching & Learning”

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) hosted its annual National Board Academy from June 28 to 30. A free event open to all educators, the National Board Academy organized a series of discussions and workshops aimed to build community and to promote accomplished teaching. I participated in the “Keynote Conversation” on June 30 called “Reimagining the Future of Teaching & Learning” in which NBPTS President & CEO Peggy Brookins moderated a discussion with three educators and two students. All of the participants were asked to respond to four questions:
1. What are some of the challenges and/or opportunities that must be reimagined in how we learn and lead for the future of and within a global community?

2. What capabilities do you believe students, teachers, and/or leaders need to be more innovative?

3. How do we innovate for change or transformation in an ever-evolving, unforeseen future?

4. Share one commitment that you believe must be made in order to ensure a more just, equitable, and inclusive education for our diverse learners and leaders?
In my answers, I highlighted the importance of adopting asset-based pedagogies instead of deficit-based pedagogies, the need to make teachers and learners comfortable taking risks and redefine the concepts of “success” and “failure,” the reasons why we need to respect teachers as professionals and allow them to deal with difficult or even controversial issues, and the effect of money (or specifically the lack of money) on the education of our children. Click here to view the entire recorded session.
An Ignatian Leader Emerges from a Seed Sown in a Brophy Prep 2009 Exchange Program

As a result of the exchange experiences run by Brophy College Preparatory’s Office of Faith and Justice, it's always a teacher’s hope that, someday, the paths of students and teachers may cross again and students will share how they grew from that experience. Recently, Patty Mazier, a Brophy science teacher, had that wish granted when Mijail Zegalo, formerly a student at Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion in Santa Fe, Argentina and part of Brophy’s first Argentina exchange in 2009, dropped by her class for a visit. 
Mijail, who left his job as a chemical engineer to return to Phoenix and enroll at Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management, reminded Mrs. Mazier that she took his exchange group to the Phoenix recycling center and that experience stayed with him, steering him toward his path today. Mijail has received a scholarship from ASU based on his business plan for his own recycling venture — producing lumber made of recycled plastic and rice husks. His business is not only sustainable but it also will provide jobs for vulnerable populations.
Mijail states, “Eleven years ago, Brophy hosted me as an exchange student. I feel blessed to come back as a professional. The exchange program is one of the reasons that I am back in Arizona and determined to accomplish this business plan.” Mijail’s leadership will help care for his community and creation, and is a great example of the power of exchange programs to build leaders and foster collaboration.
Cristo Rey Jesuit Students Enhance Their Leadership Skills with AMIGOS

As part of our Jesuit identity, Cristo Rey Jesuit of Houston strives to form students into leaders of their communities both inside and outside of the classroom. We recently connected students to Amigos de las Americas (AMIGOS) for their summer service programs in Latin America.
Students received leadership training before and during their service abroad and learned how, as young people, they can address global challenges. They returned home with confidence, inspiration, and commitment to serve. Student Brittany Santos also participated in the AMIGOS Social Impact Accelerator, a free service and leadership program for AMIGOS alumni, which helped her implement a tutoring program in her church community. Students can earn service hours, college credit, and generous financial assistance through AMIGOS.
Strake Builds Men for Others Through AMIGOS

This past summer, three of our Strake Jesuit students participated in AMIGOS programs in Costa Rica and Panama and had the opportunity to put their faith to action. Students collaborated with local youth and community partners on ecological service projects, developing their humility, compassion, and scope of thinking beyond themselves. They gained leadership skills and learned how to work towards justice in Caring for Our Common Home and Walking with the Excluded.
AMIGOS Offers Transformational Service and Leadership Programs

Amigos de las Américas (AMIGOS), an international youth leadership and community service nonprofit, offers young people transformational service and cultural immersion experiences in the U.S. and Latin America. This year, AMIGOS is offering summer programs in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Panama ranging from two to six weeks for youth ages 13-19. Programs include community service, leadership training, exploration of a project theme, Spanish language instruction, and cultural immersion. In 2023, AMIGOS is offering a full scholarship specifically for JSN students. For more information about AMIGOS, watch the AMIGOS video, attend a virtual info session, and download the linked flyers.
JSN Global School Leaders Share Our Global Dimension Banners
JSN Shares Global Programming at Principals ICG in Winnipeg, Canada
At the recent Ignatian Colleagues Gathering for Principals in Winnipeg, Catharine Steffens, JSN's Director of Global Partnerships and Initiatives, shared information and updates about three new global programs offered which she discussed in JSN's latest Virtual Ignatian Inquiry Session.
Join JSN on the Camino Ignaciano – An Ignatian Pilgrimage
In the summer of 2023, from June 26 to July 5, the Jesuit Schools Network will sponsor an Ignatian Pilgrimage in Spain, "In the Footsteps of St. Ignatius," led by Jesuit Fr. Jose Luis Iriberri, Bill Haardt from Georgetown Prep, and Bob Reiser, SJ, and Catharine Steffens from JSN. We invite and encourage any interested faculty and staff members to join us on the Camino Ignacio. Click here or the button below for an informational flyer and contact Bill Haardt at or Catharine Steffens at with any questions
Camino Institute – Offering International Seminars in the Dominican Republic

Founded by two veteran Ignatian educators, the Camino Institute offers individuals and groups the opportunity to travel with purpose, disconnect to reconnect, focus on what matters, and be of service. Our international seminars in the mountains of the Dominican Republic can be tailored to meet the goals of families, teams, schools, companies, or almost any type of organization.

Participants in the seminars stay at our simple but comfortable campus near Jarabacoa, spending the days engaged in service and encounter with the community, and the evenings resting and reflecting in guided, meaningful conversations. A comprehensive preparatory program and follow-up sessions help ensure the time in the Dominican Republic has the best possible impact on both the local community and the cohort members.
We've set aside February 18 to 25 for a JSN member school or schools to have an introduction to the international seminars we offer. We welcome the opportunity to discuss how our program might be a chance for your school to expand the horizons of your faculty, students, or alumni. Learn more from our latest video update and by visiting our website, or by contacting Adam Baber (McQuaid Jesuit) or Paul Cumbo (Canisius High School).