Catholic School Leaders Making a Difference

June 4, 2021

As the 2020-2021 school year comes to a close, the Fulcrum Foundation recognizes all the incredible teachers and staff in Catholic schools across the Archdiocese of Seattle who made this difficult school year possible. These dedicated leaders lived their calling as educators and went above and beyond to keep students engaged in learning.

Read about some of the amazing leaders in action in Catholic schools across Western Washington and help Fulcrum show appreciation for all the teachers and staff who went above and beyond this school year!

St. Michael Catholic School Snohomish

GRACE Teacher- Leader Mary Anne Murphy (below left) honors Principal Dr. Karen Matthews (below right)

“St. Michael in Snohomish is a small school where staff members are close and support one another. Since last March, we have worked tirelessly to serve our students remotely, in person, and, mostly, both at once. The challenges inherent in these circumstances have been opportunities for us to learn and broaden our skills. For that, we have needed each other. Our principal, Dr. Karen Matthews, has shown great leadership in guiding us as a team. She is particularly skilled at seeing a need and discerning how that need can be met. As a GRACE leader, I have been delighted to support Dr. Matthews in any way she asks, but I do not stand out in that regard. All staff members have shared knowledge and resources selflessly and generously with one another. It has been an honor to be part of this team.”


Archbishop Murphy High School
Principal Alicia Mitchell honors members of the school’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team (both photos below)

“The DEI Team has volunteered countless hours to mentor the student Leaders of Change group, help launch a No Place for Hate Campaign in collaboration with our ASB/Leadership teachers, and lead multiple staff professional development sessions. Even during our campus closure last spring, they never stopped meeting over Zoom and have continued to champion our school’s Mission this year. Through the generous support of the Fulcrum Foundation, our DEI team members were able to attend additional professional development to further their learning, which they brought back to the AMHS community.”

The AMHS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team:
Danielle Appleby, Director of Academic Resource Center
Jordan James, Director of Wellness and PE/Health Department
Elianna Lucas, Co-Campus Minister
Dane Stringfellow, Counselor
Caleb Rivas-Ahrens, Social Studies Teacher


St. Cecilia Catholic School
Principal Susan Kilbane (below left) honors Office Manager Kiri Walton-Jones (below right)

“Kiri leads our COVID Health and Safety team along with caring for students who come to the office for any type of bump or cut. Kiri has been able to lead our COVID team with the support of the emergency grant from Fulcrum. We purchased six hand sanitizing stations and we keep windows and doors open to ensure proper ventilation throughout our building. Kiri takes student temperatures daily with the thermometers purchased through the emergency grant. She also has been instrumental in working on letters with me to send to families, sometimes on a weekly basis, to keep them updated on our COVID plan.”


Holy Family Bilingual Catholic School
Principal Larkin Temme (below left) honors Early Education Program Director Hilda Bell (below right)

“Aside from being a dynamic teacher with over 18 years of experience, Hilda has served as an outstanding leader at Holy Family Bilingual Catholic School. With the help of Fulcrum, Hilda has taken our Early Education Program to the next level. She has worked to license additional spaces, create curriculum that aligns and prepares students with early literacy foundational skills in both English and Spanish, and grow our enrollment. Fulcrum has helped Hilda make her vision for early education a reality with the Fulcrum Building Diversity and Inclusion Grant. Hilda was able to purchase new bilingual instructional materials for an additional preschool classroom. Hilda has also strengthened our program through her work with David Mayer in the Office for Catholic Schools where she receives support, structure, and can network with other leaders in early childhood education.”


St. Joseph Parish School in Issaquah
Shauna Richards, Dean of Students/GRACE Regional Teacher-Leader

“I decided this was the year to become a regional teacher-leader. I have been in the GRACE program for the last three years and knew this would be a challenging year for our parents, students, and our staff. I knew that our principal would need extra support and as Dean of Students, I thought the two roles would gel nicely together and ultimately go hand in hand. I was right. This opportunity has allowed me not only to work with other leaders within our archdiocese, but it also has allowed me to be a part of a group that helps support other teachers in our region. GRACE has allowed me to glean information about how other schools are responding to the pandemic and then relay that information to my principal. In the end, we are all learning from one another. This is what I have learned most from this program and I truly look forward to the opportunities to grow and work with others in the future.”


Eastside Catholic School
President Gil Picciotto (below left) honors Director of Equity and Social Action/Humanities Teacher Leslie Harris Johnston (below right)

“What sets Leslie apart? Her work with building Eastside Catholic School’s diversity and social equity programming across the schoolhouse. She has created several affinity groups for students, providing safe spaces for students who did not previously have them. Leslie’s role as the Director of Equity and Social Action benefits all students grades 6 through 12. She also created an affinity group for parents and guardians, which meets monthly. Leslie earned a Fulcrum grant for building the school’s Diversity and Inclusion Program. She also earned a Fulcrum grant for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), which Eastside Catholic School has used for professional development, including NWAIS Leaders of Color Cohort, the Atlanta Girls School Females in STEAM Conference, and Bishop Blanchet’s Annual Diversity Leadership Summit for students and speaker fees. Leslie spearheaded the effort for Eastside Catholic to virtually participate in this school year’s DEI Speaker Series that included 20 other independent schools.”