Healey Education Foundation Partners with Faith in the Future
Through a partnership with Faith in the Future and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Healey Education Foundation will begin work with four high schools to implement best practices in governance and board development, enrollment and institutional advancement. Healey will also collaborate with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Schools to offer the same approaches through the office’s central services to other schools in the Archdiocese.
“At the core of our strategy is the understanding that if you govern the schools differently, then you can operate them differently. But you have to change the business model first, if you want to improve the outcomes,” said Samuel Casey Carter, Chief Executive Officer, Faith in the Future. “Over many years, Healey has built a track record with the very same growth strategy that we’re pursuing. We deeply believe that the kind of work they do is a precondition for our success.”
Faith in the Future is a first-of-its-kind institution providing strategic management and operational oversight for the 17 Catholic high schools and four schools of special education in the Archdiocese.“We’re centralizing management while decentralizing authority as we help our 21 schools be individually excellent but better together,” Casey said. “We’re so glad to be partners with Healey Education Foundation and for their expertise in increasing the autonomy of individual schools while keeping them faithful to their Catholic mission. We are fellow travelers on this journey.”
Christine Healey, President of Healey Education Foundation, explained how this partnership differs from past endeavors. “The Archdiocese is already familiar with our work with its elementary schools and will continue to expect us to deliver on helping schools help themselves,” she said. “But with this partnership, we’ve also been called upon to work directly with the the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Schools office to accelerate deploying this model across all of its schools. We’re excited about this opportunity.”
A Strong Start
Over the next few months, Healey’s team will visit Archdiocesan high schools to meet with presidents, principals and enrollment and advancement staff. Together, they will conduct readiness assessments to determine which four schools will work directly with Healey.
Christopher Mominey, COO and Secretary for Education, Archdiocese of Philadelphia, anticipates that Healey will be pleased with advances already made in the three years since Faith in the Future was founded. “We still have work to do in enrollment and development, and especially in governance and moving forward with Boards of Directors, to build the three-pronged approach to sustainability,” he said. “But we have made significant steps forward and think Healey will find us light years ahead of other schools starting out.”
For example, in 2012 the Archdiocesan schools were bringing in $12 million per year through fundraising. At the end of the 2013-14 fiscal year, schools raised over $19.6 million to be reinvested to fund new growth and educational programs. In 2015-16, with enrollment up overall, Archdiocesan high schools will have the largest freshman class in years as the smallest senior class graduates.
“The schools that have been intentional about managing enrollment and development are the ones that are thriving right now,” Chris said. “We believe schools are best run locally and, with Healey’s help, we will continue to provide and improve central services that support rather than get in the way. There is sometimes a healthy tension between local autonomy and central management and oversight. But we really are here to offer economies of scale and to help ensure that good ideas can be carried out.”
Imagining the Possibilities
In April, the Healey Education Foundation welcomed Sr. Mary Dacey SSJ as Director of Schools to coach and train high schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. During 16 years as principal and then president of Mount Saint Joseph Academy in Flourtown, PA, Sr. Mary had facilitated the first strategic plan resulting in the creation of a board, the establishment of a president/principal model of governance, a new vision for enrollment and a $5 million capital campaign. She also has held numerous conference positions and served on various boards at both high school and university levels.
“Having been on the inside and knowing what these schools face, I feel very grateful for their commitment to Catholic education,” Sr. Mary said. “I also understand that there is not much of a chance using old ways for new problems and challenges. This is their time to imagine the possibilities, make their own choices and achieve success.”
UPDATE: The Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Faith in the Future Foundation Extend Their Management Agreement through 2022 (Press Release, February 4, 2016)