Empowering Educators: Teacher Leadership Academy

Teacher leaders play a critical role in determining school culture, supporting new teacher success, and improving student learning outcomes. With this in mind, the Roche Center created the Empowering Educators: Teacher Leadership Academy, which develops and supports current and aspiring teacher-leaders in the core areas of understanding principles of adult learning, creating a culture of learning, mentoring new teachers, and leading initiatives in their schools.


Successful school cultures are ones in which everyone teaches and learns. For schools to be their best, leadership cannot be left to the principal alone. Distributed leadership is necessary. Over the course of this program, teacher-leaders from Catholic schools hone the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help transform their schools.

At a Glance

2-Year Professional Development Academy

Designed for PK-12 Catholic School Teacher-Leaders across the US

Participate in a Teacher-Leadership Cohort

Empowering Educators: Teacher Leadership Academy — Overview

Participating in the Boston College Teacher Leadership Academy was an unexpected opportunity and blessing. I was blown away by the talent of my fellow participants and am grateful to have had the privilege to learn from them.
Danielle Davis, Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School




The Empowering Educators professional development initiative is designed for PK-12 Catholic school teacher-leaders.

The Empowering Educators TLA partners with Catholic school systems (Diocesan or network) to form cohorts of teacher-leaders leading school-based change while developing teacher leadership competencies and skills.

2024-2025 Dates

1) In-person institute at Boston College to kick off the 2-year program

2) Monthly whole-group virtual (Zoom) sessions and 1-on-1 virtual check-ins

3) Implementation of a school-based teacher leadership project with impact presentations at the conclusion of each school year of participation

Specific dates set in collaboration with sponsoring partner and/or cohort members.


The cost of the Empowering Educators: Teacher Leadership Academy is $2,500 per teacher per year.

The Teacher-Leadership Academy will be comprised of a minimum of 10 teacher leaders per cohort.


Questions? Interested in forming a Diocesan or Network cohort?

Contact Dr. Michael O’Connor, Program Director of Outreach & Professional Development, at rochecenter@bc.edu.

Facilitator: Michael T. O'Connor, Ph.D.

Michael O'Connor

The Empowering Educators: Teacher Leadership Academy is facilitated by Dr. Michael O'Connor, Program Director of Outreach and Professional Development at the Roche Center. Michael has served as a middle school educator, instructional coach, professional learning consultant, teacher educator, researcher, and policymaker across Catholic and public education settings. He has supported beginning Catholic school educators in multiple roles with programs in the University Consortium for Catholic Education (UCCE), including as a Teaching Fellow with the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) at the University of Notre Dame, the founding Assistant Director of Programs with the Alliance for Catholic Education at Saint Joseph's University (ACESJU), an Instructional Coach with the Urban Catholic Teacher Corps (UCTC) at Boston College, and the Director of the Providence Alliance for Catholic Teachers (PACT) at Providence College. Michael earned his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Language, Literacy, and Culture from the Lynch School at Boston College.