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III Leadership and Management Conference for Company of Mary Schools:

The III Leadership and Management Conference for Company of Mary Schools took place in Orvieto (Italy) from March19-25.

May 2014 | Mª Rita Calvo Sanz, odn (Roma, Italia) | Experiences

 “Ensure the quality of our educational work from the perspective of our identity”

THE FIRST CONFERENCE took place in Mexico City, October 2007, as part of the celebration of the 400 anniversary of the approbation of the Company of Mary by the Church. The theme was: “A humanistic education in a pluralistic world.” Sisters in school leadership and management roles participated; conferences were presented by some lay people.

THE SECOND CONFERENCE: “Manage for permanence and creativity for the future,” took place in Medellin (Colombia), July 2010. The participants were Provincials of the Americas, as well as religious and lay people in charge of management and administration structures in schools in the Americas and Europe.

One of the achievements of this conference was the development of the “Strategic Map of Company of Mary Schools.” Here we find the added-value components of these schools. It was an important step that helped to create unity in plurality and to continue moving forward together as universal Company of Mary. With this definition and with the participation of all the provinces, under the coordination of the Bordeaux Project, a common Educational Project for the Company of Mary was developed.

THE THIRD CONFERENCE, geared towards individuals with the final responsibility for the leadership and management of the schools, addressed one of the commitments stated in the VIII General Assembly of the Order (Bordeaux, 2012): “Ensure the quality of our educational work from the perspective of our identity.”

In this meeting, sixty one people participated from Europe, America, Asia and Africa. After sharing experiences and important lessons learned in the different parts of the world, ways of proceeding and specific common lines of action for the various levels were developed. The fruit of the conference is reflected in the following documents:

  • Framework for the development of the Leadership and Management Teams Organization Manual for Company of Mary Schools.
  • Strategic lines, strategic goals and actions to continue working on that are consistent with and in continuity with what has already been addressed in the Strategic Map. From everything that was programmed, priority was given to the following projects to work on together on a universal level.
    • Establish common criteria that characterizes Company of Mary Evangelization.
    • Formalize the Company of Mary pedagogical model
    • Develop the Personnel Management Manual
    • Promote virtual interaction in the sharing of resources, training and experiences.
    • Advance in creating the program, “Education for Development” and its implementation in the schools
  • Company of Mary International Network of Schools. In this document, among other issues, we defined the reason for establishing the network and its objective: respond to the desire, present since the origin of the Order, to join our strengths in order that our service to society and the Church may, “always be done better and better” and in “new ways.

In the conference we also worked on the Comprehensive Management Model and the instruments that will help us evaluate all the schools with the same criteria in order to promote organization, innovation and ongoing improvement.

In conclusion, the Corporate Image Manual was presented. It contains the logo that we will use in the Company, a single image that will be a sign of unity in diversity. It reflects the common path we are following as Universal Company of Mary.

Beatriz Acosta, General Superior, closed the meeting with these words: “universality is created by experiencing it, and throughout these days we have lived it in many different ways: in different languages, different work rhythms, various cultural expressions… Our mission of education constantly challenges us to seek the ‘magis.’ It is a ‘more’ that in humble boldness makes us feel grand in our littleness. It helps us continue serving with greater quality and in a new way the society and the Church in each of the places where we are located.”

Opportunities for conferences such as these help us become more aware that to educate today implies a spirit of openness, desire to continue learning and acceptance of others who can complement us. It requires a wide vision to continue going forward at the pace of the heartbeat of the world, without stopping, but also enjoying each small step.

Mª Rita Calvo Sanz: Sister of the Company of Mary Our lady. Licentiate in Philosophy and Science of Education and doctoral courses in education. Born in Tordesillas, Valladolid, Spain. Presently, member of the General Team and President of the Company of Mary International Solidarity Foundation (FISC).

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