NCEA Announces the Appointment of Two New Board Members

Sister Mary Grace Walsh and Henry P. Fortier join the NCEA Board of Directors.

Arlington, VA – The National Catholic Educational Association, (NCEA) is pleased to announce the appointment of two new Board members, Sister Mary Grace Walsh, ASCJ, Ph.D., and Henry P. Fortier, to work with NCEA to support Catholic school educators and leaders in ongoing faith formation and the teaching mission of the Catholic Church.

"NCEA is blessed to have the expertise of Sister Mary Grace and Henry as part of the NCEA Board of Directors. Their insight and contributions will be valuable to the mission of NCEA," said Kathy Mears, NCEA Interim President/CEO.

Sister Mary Grace Walsh, ASCJ, Ph.D., is the president of Cor Jesu Academy, St. Louis, Missouri. Sr. Mary Grace is an Apostle of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an international congregation of religious women. She also serves on the leadership team of the Mary Queen of Apostles Province of the Congregation, which includes the sisters who serve in its missions throughout the United States and in Ireland. Cor Jesu Academy was founded and is owned by the sisters and is a college preparatory school for young women. As president, Sr. Mary Grace serves as the chief executive officer of the academy, provides overall leadership and vision and bears ultimate responsibility for the integration of faith and learning. Prior to her position at Cor Jesu Academy, Sister Mary Grace served as the provost for education, evangelization and catechesis and the president of Saint Thomas Seminary in the Archdiocese of Hartford. She also she served as superintendent and later secretary of Catholic education and faith formation in the Diocese of Bridgeport. She has been an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator in seven arch/dioceses throughout the country in parochial, diocesan and religious congregation-sponsored schools. Sister Mary Grace holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Albertus Magnus College, a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision from Saint Louis University and earned a Ph.D. in educational administration/church leadership from Fordham University.

Henry P. Fortier is the secretary for education/superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Orlando and is responsible for diocesan mission efforts in the Diocese of San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic. His work also includes the supervision of the San Pedro Spiritual Development Center in Winter Park, Florida. Previously, Henry was associate superintendent for public policy, government programs, special education, early childhood and information systems in the Archdiocese of New York. He was an adjunct professor at Fordham University and was associate superintendent for government programs for the Division of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. He began his teaching career in 1994 at St. Mark the Evangelist School Harlem, New York, and then moved to Baltimore City, Maryland, as a mental health counselor at the Charles Hickey Juvenile Detention Center and then worked at New All Saints Catholic School in West Baltimore, where he was a teacher and later principal. Henry graduated from St. Thomas Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut, and was affiliated with The Most Holy Name of Jesus Province of the Friars Minor. He received a bachelor’s degree from Central Connecticut State University, a master’s degree in educational leadership from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and took doctorate courses at George Washington University. Henry also is a member of the NCEA Advisory Committee on Racism.

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In service of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, NCEA strengthens Catholic school communities by providing professional development, formation, leadership and advocacy.