by Moira Cullings
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Educators in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas can expect more opportunities for connection this school year thanks to a new hire in the archdiocesan school office.
“We’re at an exciting place, I think, when it comes to Catholic education right now,” said Felicia Holcomb, who joined the office on July 1. “The last three years with COVID really gave us some momentum in terms of enrollment.”
Holcomb hopes to keep that momentum going in her role as consultant for marketing and enrollment.
“Ultimately, Felicia’s responsibility is to work with school leaders to bring more students and families into our schools,” said archdiocesan superintendent Vince Cascone.
“This will allow us to help bring more children into a relationship with our Lord,” he added, “and ultimately, to eternal life with him.”
Cascone said Holcomb’s background and professional experience make her the perfect fit for the job.
She attended Xavier School in Leavenworth, and went on to become a teacher after graduating from Avila University with a degree in elementary education.
After three years of teaching middle school English, she transitioned to a director of marketing, enrollment and development position at Resurrection School in Kansas City, Kansas.
Holcomb believes the variety of experience she has will be a valuable asset to her work — both in increasing enrollment and acting as a support system for Catholic educators.
“Being able to approach it from the educator perspective, as well as having been in the enrollment, management and marketing positions, I think allows me to connect with school leaders a little bit more,” she said, “and hopefully understand their perspective.”
Cascone said the school office previously had a similar position but that revamping it has come at an opportune time.
Interest in Catholic education grew during the fall of 2020, when most archdiocesan Catholic schools opened their doors for full-time in-person learning.
“This brought a great deal of attention to our schools,” said Cascone, “and many people began looking at enrolling their children who may not have otherwise done so.
“In addition, many parents who send their children to public schools have been unhappy or uncomfortable with those schools. This leads to a unique opportunity for us to welcome in new families and evangelize.”
Holcomb has big plans for her position.
“Sometimes I think in our Catholic schools, you feel a little bit like you’re on an island,” she said. “You’re operating on your own.
“I want to create this culture and opportunities for people to come together and say, ‘I tried this, and it did not work for us.’ Let’s not recreate the wheel — let’s help each other out.”
Holcomb has already launched a monthly e-newsletter for schoolteachers and staff to keep them updated on happenings around the archdiocese, as well as provide various resources.
She also created a marketing enrollment group that meets once a month via Zoom. The group is open to all Catholic school personnel in the archdiocese.
Topics include “Engaging Families During the Enrollment/Recruitment Process,” “Enrollment Marketing to Connect with Rural Communities,” “Financial Accessibility” and more.
To top it off, Holcomb is also managing social media for the school office.
“I don’t have all the answers and I don’t pretend to,” she said. “What I want to be able to do is to share what I’ve learned and also learn from other people as well.
“And if they have questions, [I want] to be able to help go out and find solutions and answers for them to help them in what they do.”
To reach out to Holcomb, send an email to: email@example.com.
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