Kevin Baxter, the chief innovation officer at the National Catholic Educational Association and past senior director and superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, has been named the director of the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program at the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE).
As director, Baxter will oversee the formation of Catholic school leaders in one of ACE’s flagship programs and serve as a professor. Students in the Remick Leadership Program earn a master’s degree in educational leadership as they learn to build robust Catholic school communities, advance teaching and learning, and manage school resources.
“Kevin brings a unique combination of experience driving change in Catholic schools and in higher education,” said John Staud, the acting director of the Institute for Educational Initiatives and executive director of ACE. “He is exactly the right fit to lead our mission to form the next generation of principals and school leaders at this critical moment in Catholic education.”
Baxter will draw on a long career dedicated to serving students, teachers and principals in Catholic schools. Over the span of more than 20 years, he has taught middle and high school math and science; served as an assistant principal, principal and superintendent of elementary schools; and, in 2015, became superintendent of schools in the nation’s largest Catholic archdiocese, with more than 265 schools and 77,500 students.
At NCEA, Baxter developed the New Leaders Academy, a leadership formation program for new Catholic school principals, and also focused on reform initiatives in governance and school finance. He co-wrote the book “Greatness in Smallness: A Vision for Catholic Microschools,” which looks to shift the paradigm on how to evaluate schools based on enrollment size. He collaborated with ACE on LEAD, a new initiative designed to increase Latino leadership in Catholic schools. After the pandemic struck, Baxter worked on converting NCEA offerings to virtual programming and taking the lead in creating the virtual meeting structure for the Catholic Leadership Summit in fall 2020.
In addition to his experience working in Catholic schools, Baxter has taught graduate-level courses in educational leadership for almost 20 years. He taught courses on transformative leadership, organizational leadership and private school law and ethics at Loyola Marymount University. He has also taught and served as an executive coach in the Remick Leadership Program and written and spoken extensively on leadership in Catholic schools.
Baxter earned a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University, a master’s degree in secondary education from Loyola Marymount and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Southern California.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to lead the Remick Leadership Program,” Baxter said. “I believe that great Catholic schools are great because they have high-quality, effective leaders who approach their work with diligence and innovation. I am honored and excited to work with the incredible staff at Remick and ACE to ensure that we continue to nurture and develop leaders who will transform and grow Catholic schools across the United States.”
ACE founded the Remick Leadership Program in 2002 in response to the need for transformational school leaders in Catholic schools across the country. Mary Ann Remick of Rochester, Minnesota, graciously endowed the program in 2006. Over the past 19 years, more than 400 students have graduated from the program; 78 percent serve in positions of leadership within Catholic schools, at the diocesan level and within higher education.