Educator Programs

Aspiring Leaders Program

Aspiring Leaders Program Overview

“You have been chosen to a kind of apostleship: 
a mission that is great, noble and divine.”
-St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

The Sacred Heart Aspiring Leaders Program is a two-year cohort of aspiring leaders, mentors and facilitators who meet in person at the start and end of the formation experience. Six formal virtual community gatherings are focused on various Sacred Heart Leadership topics and six informal connections between mentor and mentee help provide context and support .  Each Sacred Heart School is invited to put forward one Aspiring Leader candidate from their community to grow alongside peers, mentors and facilitators in this exciting and important program for our Network of Sacred Heart Schools.

The goal of the program is to provide each Sacred Heart Aspiring Leader with an opportunity to:
  • Meet and network with other Sacred Heart leaders
  • Reflect on personal skills, talents and gifts that have been identified as qualities that highlight leadership capabilities in the Network of Sacred Heart Schools.
  • Engage with key focused Sacred Heart School leadership topics that can provide context and discernment for aspiring leaders.
  • Dialogue within a year-long mentorship opportunity for formal and informal conversations with a current Sacred Heart leader mentor.
  • Gather for in-person formation experiences to begin and end the ALP.
  • Move forward from the experience with an affirmation of personal and professional qualities for Sacred Heart leadership.

Aspiring Leaders Program Candidate Description

The Network of Sacred Heart Schools supports, develops and encourages the gifts and talents of professionals in our schools who come from diverse backgrounds, roles and experiences.  The Aspiring Leaders Program fosters a professional community of former and current Sacred Heart leaders who support professionals who are identified for their enthusiasm, talent and desire to grow as a leader in Sacred Heart Education.  Aspiring Leaders leave this formation experience empowered to serve Sacred Heart Communities as administrators, managers, committee chairpersons, leaders of new school initiatives and other important Sacred Heart  School and Network opportunities.  Communities are encouraged to discern the following characteristics and attributes when selecting one candidate for the Aspiring Leaders Program from their school:

  • Someone who has “caught the charism” - who has connected to the Sacred Heart mission in a really meaningful way - and is prepared to invest their energy to go deeper
  • Someone who can step back and see the big picture
  • Someone who is attentive to others and builds connections/finds collaborators
  • Someone who steps forward to make the mission real in significant ways AND brings others along with them
  • Someone committed to their own professional and personal growth and competence
  • Someone who does the “hard work” to continue to grow

The following recommendations might guide school leadership when nominating the ideal candidate for the Aspiring Leaders Program:
  • She/he has been in Sacred Heart Education for three or more years
  • Participation in Network programing such as Roots, Network Summer Service Projects, SHCOG, Network committees

Aspiring Leaders Outcomes

At the conclusion of the two-year program, graduates of the Aspiring Leaders Program will have:
  • A clearer understanding of the individual’s unique leadership style and Sacred Heart Transformational leadership modeling
  • A broader awareness of the spiritual, structural and organizational implications of Sacred Heart Education and schools
  • A stronger sense of the Network of Sacred Heart schools and established relationships with other Network educators and leaders

Aspiring Leaders Program Mentor Description

Mentors are experienced Sacred Heart Educators, from all roles within Sacred Heart school communities, who have demonstrated leadership qualities and a strong desire to positively impact the future of Sacred Heart Education. Mentors encourage, guide and support aspiring leaders through the two-year program while sharing faith, mission and experience. Individuals are encouraged to discern the following characteristics and attributes when nominating potential mentors from across the Network:
Ideal mentors are:
  • Someone with a depth of  experience in Sacred Heart Education (currently employed or retired)
  • Someone who articulates and animates the Sacred Heart mission in action and word  
  • Someone who reflects and authentically expresses their faith and spirituality
  • Someone who is dynamic and enthusiastic
  • Someone who is intentional, relational, collaborative and empowering
  • Someone who desires to foster the gifts and talents of aspiring leaders
  • Someone actively engaged in the Network of Sacred Heart Schools or Conference of Sacred Heart Education through committees, Summer Service, SHCOG, etc.

Aspiring Leader Prayer Partners

Prayer Partners are Religious of the Sacred Heart who are paired with an Aspiring Leader to form a two-year spiritual partnership of prayer and companionship.  Holding each other in prayer during the program, the prayer partners and candidates are invited to arrange opportunities for informal conversations while also committed to praying for and with each other. 

Aspiring Leaders Program Timeline

  1. September 28-30, 2022: In-Person Gathering, Portsmouth & Newport,RI
  2. October 2022: mentor/leader meetings (virtual, to be arranged by mentor/leader)
  3. Wednesday, November 30, 2022: Virtual Community Meeting #1
  4. January 2023: Mentor/leader meetings (virtual, to be arranged by mentor/leader)
  5. Wednesday, March 1, 2023: Virtual Community Meeting #2
  6. April 2023: mentor/leader meetings (virtual, to be arranged by mentor/leader)
  7. Wednesday, May 3, 2023: Virtual Community Meeting #3

  1. August 2023: mentor/leader meetings (virtual, to be arranged by mentor/leader)
  2. Wednesday, September 27, 2023: Virtual Community Meeting #3 
  3.  October 2023: mentor/leader meetings (virtual, to be arranged by mentor/leader)
  4. Wednesday, November 29, 2023: Virtual Community Meeting #3
  5. January 2024: mentor/leader meetings (virtual, to be arranged by mentor/leader)
  6. Wednesday, February 28, 2024: Virtual Community Meeting #3
  7.  April 2024 Membership Meeting: In-Person Closing, Location TBD

Virtual Community Meeting Times: 9 AM: Pacific / 11 AM: Central / 12 PM: Eastern / 1 PM: Atlantic

Aspiring Leadership Formation Overview

Year One: Ways of Being as Sacred Heart Leader
  • September 2022: Mission, Identity & Calling as a Sacred Heart Leader 
  • November 2022: Deeper into the Mission of Sacred Heart Education
  • March 2023: Sacred Heart Relationships & Leadership
  • May 2023: Profiles of Courage & Confidence in Sacred Heart Leadership

Year Two: Ways of Action as a Sacred Heart Leader
  • September 2023: Structural Implications of Sacred Heart Schools : Part 1
  • November 2023: Structural Implications of Sacred Heart Schools : Part 2
  • February 2024: Sacred Heart Operational Vitality
  • April 2024: Practical Implications of Sacred Heart Leadership & Commissioning

Meeting Types

Initial In-Person Gathering 2022: Saint Philomena School of the Sacred Heart
 The initial gathering of aspiring leaders and mentors join together in-person at Saint Philomena School of Sacred Heart in Portsmouth, RI.  The Cohort will stay in Newport, Rhode Island with aspiring leaders and mentors arriving for Wednesday evening and concluding by Noon on Friday.

Virtual Community Meetings:  

9 AM: Pacific / 11 AM: Central / 12 PM: Eastern / 1 PM: Atlantic 

Virtual Community Meetings are opportunities for aspiring leaders, mentors and committee members to gather for formal presentations by various leaders, experts and Sacred Heart partners.  Each two-hour meeting provides an opportunity for presentation, reflection and dialogue as mentors, leaders, program staff and presenters gather in a virtual community.
Mentor/Leader Meetings:

Arranged between individuals at a time that works best for their schedules with the expectation that mentors and leaders spend approximately an hour in dialogue. These opportunities provide the mentor and aspiring leader to connect either one-on-one or in the small virtual group of the mentor and both aspiring leaders. 

Closing In-Person Gathering: 2024 April Heads/Chairs Network Meeting

Aspiring leaders, mentors and program staff join with Sacred Heart leaders at the Spring Network Meeting for conclusion of the two year program and cohort.

Program Committee Contact Information

For further information or questions, please contact the Aspiring Leaders Program Committee at : 
Schools of the Sacred Heart share in the educational mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart as articulated in the Goals and Criteria. The structure supporting Sacred Heart education in Canada and the United States includes the Conference of Sacred Heart Education and the Network of Sacred Heart Schools.  Together they provide services and programs to ensure vitality of mission for the member schools sponsored by the Society of the Sacred Heart.