Brother Robert R. Bimonte, FSC has accepted the top leadership position of the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), effective July 1, 2013. As President of NCEA, Bro. Robert will be at the helm of the largest private professional education organization in the world, representing more than 200,000 Catholic educators who serve 7.6 million students in Catholic elementary and secondary schools, religious education programs, seminaries, and institutions of higher learning.
Bro. Robert has served as the NCEA Executive Vice President since July 2012 and is responsible for oversight of the Events Office, Technology Department and Office of Membership Services, along with coordination of department programs, projects and publishing efforts, and professional development for the NCEA staff. He began his career with NCEA in 2002 as the Executive Director of the Elementary Schools Department, providing leadership and advocacy for more than 6,800 Catholic elementary schools.
“I am honored and humbled to serve as President of NCEA,” said Bro. Robert who was selected by the Board of Directors at its March 4 meeting. He reiterated NCEA’s commitment to providing its members with “outstanding professional development to strengthen and enhance their great work and to equip them to face the challenges ahead.”
“Teachers and administrators in Catholic schools and religious education programs throughout this country are doing amazing work,” continued Bro. Robert. “They provide students with an academically excellent education steeped in Catholic values.”
As a member of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, Bro. Robert has dedicated the past 35 years of his life to education working to further the Lasallian mission of providing a human and Christian education to the young, especially those who are poor and disadvantaged. Founded by John Baptist de La Salle, Patron Saint of Teachers, in 17th century France, the Institute today consists of 5,000 Brothers and 80,000 lay Partners, serving nearly 900,000 students in about 1,000 educational ministries in 80 countries.
“As a Brother of the Christian Schools, Brother Robert brings the spiritual vision of Saint John Baptist de La Salle to his new position,” stated Brother Robert Schieler, General Councilor, “a vision that places primacy on the creation of a community of educators, educators who touch the hearts of their students, stimulate minds and prepare students for a life of service to society and the Church.”
Bro. Robert’s service to the Lasallian Region of North America has been extensive. He spent years serving students and educators alike, including as an elementary/middle school teacher, parish director of religious education, associate principal, Assistant Superintendent for the Diocese of Syracuse, NY, and Superintendent of Catholic Education for the Buffalo Diocese. As the Region’s Secretary of Education in the early nineties, he coordinated the educational activities for Lasallian schools and ministries. Since 2001, he has been a regular presenter at the Lasallian Leadership Institute, a Regional mission formation program for Brothers and Partners.
“Brother Robert’s lifetime of commitment to the field of Catholic education, coupled with his visionary role at NCEA over the past decade make him uniquely positioned to assume the mantle of leadership at NCEA,” said Dr. Margaret McCarty, Executive Director of the Office of Lasallian Education. “We are so proud of his accomplishments!”
Bro. Robert holds bachelor’s degrees in education and psychology, and a master’s in religious education. He has conducted numerous retreats and workshops on a wide variety of topics, including collaborative learning, the power of myth, transformational leadership, and brain-compatible learning. His work in brain-compatible learning has been recognized by the Hewlett/Packard Foundation.
The NCEA plans to introduce Bro. Robert as the new president at the NCEA Convention in Houston, Texas in April. He succeeds Dr. Karen Ristau, who announced her retirement plans last year.