As part of continued efforts in reform, the Roman Catholic Church of Belize is proud to announce the appointment of Sr. Barbara Flores as President of Catholic Education. The creation of this new post is just one component of a ten-year strategic plan to build on the Church’s solid foundation of excellence in education by improving communication with school managers, principals and teachers and by ensuring that core Catholic values are delivered to the thousands of students we serve, effectively and efficiently.
The President’s primary responsibility will be to offer leadership within the Catholic School system, focusing on building relationships that embody Gospel values and academic excellence. As she transitions into her new role Sr. Flores shared, “We are determined to strengthen the Catholic ethos within our schools in Belize…to enhance Catholic identity without compromising the delivery of quality education. As a church, we operate as a family and I embrace this opportunity to strengthen the relationships between different members of our family.”
Sr. Flores’ duties will also include communicating with the managers, principals and teachers of the one hundred and eighteen (118) primary schools, collaborating with the secondary Catholic schools through the Belize Association of Catholic School Principals and serving as liaison between the Catholic school system and the Ministry of Education as well as respective union representatives.
The creation of the office of President of Education comes on the heels of the appointment of sixteen individuals as members of the Bishop’s Education Commission. The Commission was established in 2009 by His Excellency Bishop Dorick Wright to fulfill his vision to create an advisory body in the management of Catholic schools. The team has been charged with implementing reforms in the organizational structure, policy, faith formation, academics and social outreach in Catholic education.
Chair of the Education Commission, Maria Elena Zabaneh says, “We are excited about our vision forward, which focuses on a renewed sense of discipleship and mission, which will unite us in our Ministry of Love and lead us to an edifying Catholic Renaissance. In education, we all have the same destination in mind but it requires finding the common denominators upon which we can build and grow. Through the Bishop’s Education Commission and in this new era of communication, we have been able to sit down, dialogue and come to mutual understanding with our key stakeholders. Today we are proud to say we have excellent partnerships with the Ministry of Education, as well as other major stakeholders such as the Belize Teachers Union and Leaders of the other denominations.”
The office of the President of Catholic Education will be housed at the Catholic Diocesan Center at the corner of North Front and Queen Streets in Belize City. For more information on these most recent developments within the Catholic Education system, please contact Sr. Barbara Flores at 223-7040 or the Bishop’s Education Commission at 223-6919.
Sr. Flores holds Master’s Degrees in both Education and Religious Studies as well as a doctorate in Theological Studies. Her previous work experience includes serving as Vice President of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Nazareth, Kentucky. Since returning to Belize in 2009, Sr. Barbara has been a member of faculty at St. John’s Junior College.