December 15, 2017
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History of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools

The chief strength, greatest asset and strongest bond of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools derives from the common heritage and common purpose which those schools together hold.
--Catherine (Kit) Collins, RSCJ (1937-2010)

While five goals and their criterion unite the twenty-four member schools of the Network in the United States and Canada, the schools enjoy an even wider affiliation with the people and institutions associated with the Society of the Sacred Heart in forty-one countries around the globe. This truly international character of Sacred Heart education helps to foster an important global awareness in our students as we strive to build a more just world.

The Network provides a means for mutual support and development among the schools through sharing of intellectual, spiritual and other resources in furthering the mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart. Member schools have numerous opportunities for collaboration. Faculty, staff, administrators and trustees participate in national Network workshops and seminars. Students benefit from Network summer service programs, national and international exchange programs, group conferences and opportunities to use shared technology resources (in the future including distance learning).

The Network is incorporated as a membership organization made up of the provincial team and the executive director of the Network, and the Network schools (represented by the heads of school and the chairs of the boards of trustees). The Network Board of Trustees, U.S. Provincial, Network Executive Director and others elected by the membership, has the task of directing the life of the Network as an entity. The membership and its board are not responsible for the life of individual schools, but rather for Network programming, funding, and planning.

The Network is served by its executive director, a director of technology and global integration and a business manager. Standing committees of the Board of Trustees are: finance, formation to mission, membership and committee on trustees. Faculty, staff, administrators and trustees from Network schools serve on these committees.

Significant Events

1972     Catherine (Kit) Collins, RSCJ, appointed to be national coordinator of Sacred Heart Schools

1973     First national meeting of heads of Sacred Heart schools that included headmistresses, upper, middle and lower school heads

1975     Goals & Criteria approved

1978     Network Commission on Goals appointed by the Interprovincial Board (IPB)

1982    First Trustees’ Conference held in Washington, D.C.

1988    Meeting of board chairs, heads and provincial team Executive committee elected for strategic planning

1990    Goals and Criteria revised

1991    NCOG training process shifts from training visiting committees to training steering committees

1991    First Network Board of Trustees elected by heads, chairs and provincial team

1997-1998       Revision of Bylaws

            •           Authority rests in the membership, not the provincial, executive director or Network Board

            •           Program Committee becomes a committee of the Board

            •           Head of SHCOG becomes an ex officio member of the Program Committee

2000       International meetings of the heads in Joigny, France

2002       International meetings of the heads in Sydney, Australia

2005       Goals and Criteria revised

2007       International Heads Meeting in St. Charles, Missouri

2007       Global Education Plan approved

2008       Formation to Mission Plan approved

2011       International Heads Meeting in Pali, Taiwan

2013       Two Provinces Become One: Network of Sacred Heart Schools: US-Canada

2015       Network of Sacred Heart Schools and Society of the Sacred Heart develop Program Planning and Conference Format

2015       Network Office moves to the Stuart Center, Washington, DC

2015       International Heads Meeting in Mexico City, Mexico


The Executive Directors of the Network

1972-1984         Catherine (Kit) Collins RSCJ, National Network Coordinator

1984-1995         Susan Maxwell RSCJ, Executive Director

1995-1996         Jan Dunn RSCJ, Interim Director

1996-1999         Paula Toner RSCJ, Executive Director

1999-2003         Marsha Whelan, First Lay Executive Director

2003-2013         Madeleine Ortman, Executive Director

2013-2015         Jan Dunn RSCJ, Interim Executive Director

2015-2016         Ian K. Humphreys, Director of Network Programs and Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ, Head of the Conference of Sacred Heart Education

2016-2017         Sister Matthew Anita MacDonald, Interim Director of Network Programs and Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ, Head of Conference of Sacred Heart Education 

2017 -                Bill Hobbs, Director of Program Planning and Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ, Head of Conference of Sacred Heart Education 


Locations of Office

1972-1982         Provincial House of the Washington Province on Commonwealth Avenue, in Newton, Massachusetts

1982-1992         Small house on campus of Newton Academy in Newton, Massachusetts

1992-2003         860 Beacon Street, Newton, Massachusetts

2004-2015         700 North Third Street, St. Charles, Missouri

2015-                 821 Varnum Street NE, Washington, DC