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BC Honored for Catholic Schools Partnerships

lynch school of education praised for its outreach efforts by catholic schools foundation of boston

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (March 2013) – The Catholic Schools Foundation will honor Boston College President William P. Leahy, S.J., and the University’s extensive partnerships with Catholic schools at the foundation’s 23rd annual Inner-City Scholarship Fund gala on Wednesday, March 27.

Students at St. Columbkille Partnership School
Students at St. Columbkille Partnership School

The annual event helps support financial aid to as many as 5,000 students across grades K-12 in Boston’s Catholic schools. The foundation estimates it will award $6.5 million in scholarships, $1 million in program grants to schools and another $500,000 in donor-specified initiatives.

Boston College, through efforts led by the Lynch School of Education, partners with Catholic schools through a multi-tiered strategy that provides services for students, program grants, strategic planning, leadership development, and professional development and graduate school courses for educators.

Lynch School Interim Dean Maureen Kenny said the University strives to build excellent and sustainable Catholic schools that improve the lives of their students.

“Strengthening and advancing Catholic education in Boston is truly a team effort involving teachers and principals, students and families, generous supporters and the University,” said Kenny. “Under Fr. Leahy’s leadership, faculty, staff and students in the Lynch School and across the University have dedicated themselves to initiatives designed to ensure that children in Boston have the opportunity to attend outstanding Catholic schools.”

Catholic Schools Foundation Executive Director Michael R. Reardon praised Fr. Leahy for his leadership and vision, which have helped to shape BC’s initiatives on behalf of Catholic schools.

“Under Fr. Leahy’s leadership, BC has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to our Catholic schools,” said Reardon. “Catholic education in Boston has been enriched by the genuine commitment of BC to develop deep and sustaining partnerships that can transform Catholic schools by bringing together essential resources and inspiring others to support this vital work.” 

The cornerstone of BC’s work with Boston Catholic schools is the St. Columbkille Partnership School, an in-depth collaboration between BC, St. Columbkille Parish and the Archdiocese of Boston that saved the last Catholic elementary school in Brighton. On the verge of closing, the school is now a thriving K-8 success story. The collaboration has grown enrollment, enhanced curriculum, restored facilities, improved finances and management, and allowed St. Columbkille teachers to earn their masters degrees at BC at no cost.

The gala celebration, chaired this year by Suffolk Construction CEO John Fish, will feature remarks by Carlos Tamayo, an eighth-grade student at St. Columbkille Partnership School. With the help of the Hispanic Recruitment Initiative, Carlos enrolled in St. Columbkille. Next year, he will attend Boston College High School.

Carlos will be introduced by Jonathan Pierre, who also attended St. Columbkille’s and BC High with scholarship aid from the foundation. He is now a sophomore studying economics at BC, where he is also a student manager for the men’s basketball team.

“I would like the people who support Catholic schools to know that their investment does make a difference,” said Pierre, who grew up in Brighton and Cambridge. “Believe in the mission and believe in the work of the Catholic Schools Foundation. It does work and I’m just one of the many examples.”

In addition to the St. Columbkille Partnership School, BC’s work in the city’s Catholic schools includes:

  • The Barbara and Patrick Roche Center for Catholic Education is central to the Lynch School’s national leadership in the development of excellence and sustainability for Catholic education in Boston and across the U.S..
  • Boston Catholic Connects, with funding from the Catholic Schools Foundation, is one of the nation’s largest systemic efforts to improve counseling and support services in Catholic schools, providing staff and training at 14 Catholic schools in seven Boston neighborhoods.
  • The Lynch Leadership Academy, funded by the Lynch Foundation, is the nation’s first program to bring together the leaders of public, charter and Catholic schools, offering a one-year leadership and management development program for Boston’s mid-career principals.
  • The Urban Catholic Teacher Corps places graduate education students in Boston Catholic schools to teach for two years. Many alumni teach in urban Catholic schools in Boston and throughout the Archdiocese of Boston.
  • As the city’s preeminent teacher training program, the Lynch School provides student teachers to Boston’s parochial schools, where they teach while learning from accomplished veteran teachers.
  • The Lynch School and the Roche Center provide services and support to Brighton’s new, co-educational Saint Joseph Preparatory High School, formed by the merger of Mount Saint Joseph Academy and Trinity Catholic High School.
  • The St. Columbkille Summer Camp opens the BC campus to 120 children, ages 3 to 14, residing mainly in Allston-Brighton, for nine weeks of day camp focused on recreation and academic enrichment.
  • The Summer Technology Academy, sponsored by the Catholic Schools Foundation with funding from the Lynch Foundation, provides Catholic School teachers with training to use digital tools in class and help students use them effectively in school.

Ed Hayward is associate director of the Office of News & Public Affairs;