Superintendent for Catholic Schools Nicholas Ford gave an update on the state of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle at the Fulcrum Foundation Chairman’s Leadership Breakfast held on September 13.
“Though we are the Archdiocese of Seattle, we serve 12 counties spread throughout Western Washington in 72 schools,” Nicholas said. “These 72 schools are led by 2,500 dedicated team members who serve over 21,000 students.”
Nicholas shared the good news that based on early projections, the Archdiocese of Seattle was anticipating enrollment growth that “would be the largest two-year period of growth our schools have experienced in over two decades.”
The update was presented to Fulcrum’s board members and major and planned giving donors, who were excited to learn about the impact of their work in the archdiocese.
“This is in no small part a shared result of your generosity,” Nicholas said. “During the pandemic, you rose to the call—supporting our schools as we raised over $4 million dollars to support Catholic schools as our leaders, faculties, and staffs worked tirelessly to ensure our students could return to the classroom as soon as possible in a safe and healthy learning environment.”
Nicholas also outlined several priorities for the archdiocese in the coming years, including aging infrastructure, tuition costs, and teacher retention.
“The impact of your support is felt far and wide in our schools, directly and indirectly. It is certainly felt by the students and families whose dreams of a Catholic education are realized because of Fulcrum’s tuition assistance program,” said Nicholas. “But [these students] also benefit from safe, healthy, and innovative learning environments, and they benefit from school leaders and educators who are well-formed.”
“This is our work, and it is made possible because of your support, your faith in Catholic schools, your belief in the transforming power of an education rooted in faith that seeks to spread the Kingdom of God,” Nicholas continued. “And so, like Mother Joseph, who helped build the mission church here in the Northwest, ‘It seems to me that we should be glad to feel the pinch, in order to do good.’”