Best practices shared at directors meeting

Principals, including Heather Crisci of Camden Catholic Secondary School and Philip Gianfortune of Paul VI Secondary School, attend the annual School Leadership Conference for Heads of South Jersey Catholic Schools on October 25 in Cape May. (Photos by Michael Bress)

“Very small things can have a big impact,” said Fr. Robert Hughes, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia of the Diocese of Camden, during his homily at the opening mass of the annual leadership conference. schools for headmasters of Catholic schools in South Jersey, October 29. 25-26 at Cape May.

Using a reading from the Mustard Seed Gospel of Luke, he encouraged those present to continue to encourage their teachers, students and school families.

Principals of elementary and secondary schools from across the diocese gathered for the conference to connect with one another, reflect on the current school year, and participate in several professional development workshops. Those in charge of parish catechesis were also invited.

Father Robert Hughes, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia of the Diocese of Camden, opens the conference.

The first day began with a workshop led by Father Hughes in which he commented on the National Catholic Revival that has been going on in the United States for two years now. He spoke about the history of the Eucharist and its importance in the Catholic Church. Along the same lines, he also presented a breakdown of the Last Supper and its connection to one’s life and the schools headed by principals.

The second day consisted of workshops for elementary schools, focusing on day-to-day operations, including academics, enrollment and government. Dr. Robert Lockwood, director of curriculum and assessment for the Diocesan Office of Catholic Schools, discussed teacher supervision and feedback, including information about the Charlotte Danielson teaching framework.

Marianela Nuñez, Director of Enrollment and Outreach, presented on recruitment and retention and the responsibility of directors and their enrollment teams to lead with vision. She included a “think and feel” visual audit activity, to help schools deliver an exceptional customer experience to new and current families.

Dr. William Watson, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, addresses the crowd.

The day ended with some updates from Sister Rose DiFluri, Assistant Superintendent of Catholic Schools, regarding upcoming funding deadlines as well as legislative updates currently affecting schools.

To learn more about South Jersey Catholic Schools, visit

Michael Bress, communications and marketing manager for the diocesan Catholic Education Office, contributed to this report.

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