Administrators in the Diocese of Grand Rapids continue to prove to be experts in education & school management

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NCEA Greatness in Smallness

In June, the NCEA published a book titled Greatness in Smallness: A Vision for Catholic Microschools co-authored by our previous assistant superintendent, Jill Annable. With collaboration from educational leaders across the nation but specifically in the Grand Rapids area, the book takes a closer look at purposefully small and sustainable Catholic schools - microschools. 

From the prologue of the book, “the term Catholic microschool refers to a sustainable Catholic school that is rooted in the tenets of Catholic faith and that has employed excellence in faith formation, academic programs and operational vitality while maintaining a student population that is smaller than its neighboring schools. Overall, 25 percent of the Catholic schools in the United States serve a population with less than 150 students. Greatness in Smallness: A Vision for Catholic Microschools, examines effective practices that Catholic microschools use, as aligned to the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools (NSBECS).”

In response to NCEA’s book, a team of leaders from the Diocese of Joliet traveled to Divine Providence Academy in Conklin and St. Thomas the Apostle in Grand Rapids today. This team is looking to our schools to better understand multi-age learning in a successful microschool. It is a great testament that our schools are being sought out because of their expertise and extraordinary leadership. 


Here are our local, talented contributors for Greatness in Smallness: A Vision for Catholic Microschools:

  • Cindy Thomas of St. Stephen’s Catholic School, EGR
  • Dave Faber, Superintendent of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids
  • Domenic Franconi of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Belmont
  • Jenny Leik of SS. Peter & Paul Catholic School, Ionia
  • Kate Beuschel of Divine Providence Academy, Ravenna and Conklin
  • Liz Peters of St. Robert Catholic School, Ada
  • Ludington Area Catholic School Staff
  • Margaret Karpus of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School, Greenville
  • Nicole Patterson of All Saints Academy, Grand Rapids
  • Pat O’Mara of St. Joseph School, Pewamo
  • St. Michael Catholic School Staff
  • Scott Czarnopys of St. Patrick School, Parnell
  • Suzie Furtwangler of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School, Grand Rapids
  • Tara Lafferty of Divine Providence Academy, Ravenna and Conklin
  • Tony Fischer of West Catholic High School, Grand Rapids
  • Pat Nugent of West Catholic High School, Grand Rapids

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