ADLA in Northern Ireland

Who are we?

We are a group of 15 Catholic elementary principals, high school principals, superintendents, and university professors from Los Angeles who have come together to explore the education system of Northern Ireland. We are excited to be in partnership with the School of Education at Loyola Marymount during this endeavor. We are specifically focused on understanding how Catholic schools in Northern Ireland approach inclusion, Catholic identity, and share resources. Our hope is that our experience will inspire us and arm us with the knowledge to reflect on how we can make positive changes in our own school environments and all the great Catholic schools of Los Angeles. We will be posting and writing about our journey.

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Our Goal: Inspire & Implement

Our goal is to be inspired by what we see in northern Ireland. Our entire group of principals has committed, through professional development and training, to taking what we learn on our visit and finding ways to apply it in meaningful ways to our Catholic schools in Los Angeles. With the support of Loyola Marymount and the Department of Catholic Schools, we hope that this principal study tour will help to bring innovative and outside-the-box thinking to our dynamic and ever-evolving Catholic school system in Los Angeles.

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Our Team

  • Dr. Victoria Graf, Professor of Teaching & Learning, Loyola Marymount University*
  • Mr. Rick Billups, Principal at St. Bernard High School, Playa Del Rey*
  • Mr. Kris Brough, Principal at Our Lady of Lourdes School, Northridge*
  • Mr. Ryan Halverson, Assistant Superintendent*
  • Dr. Elizabeth Gregg, Assistant Superintendent
  • Ms. Paulette Clagon, Principal at St. Gregory the Great School, Whittier
  • Ms. Allison Essman, Principal at Our Mother of Good Counsel School, Los Feliz
  • Ms. Adrienne Ferguson, Principal at St. Dorothy School, Glendora
  • Dr. Camryn Friel, Principal at American Martyrs School, Manhattan Beach
  • Mr. John Genova, Principal at St. Charles Borromeo School, North Hollywood
  • Ms. Angelica Izquierdo, Principal at St. Lucy School, Long Beach
  • Ms. Grace Kelly, Principal at St. Sebastian School, Santa Paula
  • Mr. CJ Kruska, Principal at St. Joseph the Worker School, Winnetka
  • Ms. Catalina Saenz, Principal at Resurrection School, Boyle Heights
  • Dr. Michelle Weschler, Principal at Nativity School, Torrance

*Members of the Leadership Team

Our Partner: Loyola Marymount University

Our journey to Northern Ireland starts with our partnership with the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University. Through the leadership and collaboration of Dr. Vicotria Graf, we have been given the opportunity to have a professional development and research partner in Loyola Marymount. Through Dr. Graf’s connections in the Northern Ireland region, we will have the opportunity to visit preschools, primary, and secondary schools on our tour, as well as meet with teachers, principals, clergy, and policymakers.

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Where will the journey take us?

We will be learning about Northern Ireland Catholic schools in the cities of Belfast, Londonderry/Derry, Newry, Limavady, and Ballycastle. Northern Ireland is a diverse area of the United Kingdom, with cultural influences from both Ireland and England. Northern Ireland is lightly populated, with Belfast as its main city centre. While constituting 30% of the land mass of the United Kingdom, it only represents 3% of the total population of the United Kingdom.

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