For more than 100 years the National Catholic Educational Association has dedicated itself to handing Catholic educators the tools to provide stellar learning environments and moral enrichment for the thousands of students enrolled in member schools.
As the NCEA prepares for its national convention and exposition April 10-13 in Baltimore – its third gathering in the city since 1916 – organizers are eager to offer ideas and materials to the thousands of participating educators that will allow them to get their students ready for future challenges.
“The diocesan leadership and all of the educators in Baltimore have worked many hours to support the convention,” said Karen M. Ristau, president of the NCEA. “I know we will leave the convention inspired by our past and looking to a bright future for Catholic education.”
Established as the Catholic Educational Association of the United States in 1904 and renamed National Catholic Educational Association in 1927, the mission of the group is to advance the general interests of Catholic education, encourage the spirit of cooperation among Catholic educators and promote the thoroughness of Catholic education work by study, conference and discussion.
The annual convention gives the NCEA the opportunity to assemble a large group of educators to keep the state of Catholic education vibrant and cutting edge, Ms. Ristau said.
With a $5 million annual budget and a staff of 50, the NCEA focuses its attention on support for professionally and religiously prepared educators; curriculum development; collaboration among colleges and universities; elementary and secondary schools, and seminaries; the protection of parental rights; and connecting with the broader educational community at the national and international levels, she said.
In addition to the annual convention, the NCEA is able to reach out to educators through Momentum Magazine, which is published four times each year, said Brian Gray, editor of the publication.
“The NCEA assists us as educators to preserve and cultivate professional enrichment to make sure we are proficient, so that we are acting as a ministry in teaching within the church,” said Dr. Ronald J. Valenti, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. “They set the benchmark and provide the supportive network to help us with our ministry.”