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 shared 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 on this format. You can also follow our journey on Instagram (adla_in_n.ireland) and on Twitter (@adla_in_n.ireland)

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.

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. Victoria 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.

Where Will We Be On Our Journey?

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.