Faculty Focus: Christina Soukenik ’12

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Last month, Second Class teacher Miss Christina Soukenik ’12, attended the new Aspiring Leaders program for Network of Sacred Heart School educators. Aspiring Leaders are nominated by their schools and recognized for their leadership gifts and commitment to Sacred Heart education. Miss Soukenik was nominated for this two-year cohort which matches each Aspiring Leader with a Mentor and a Religious of the Sacred Heart to support their growth.

To begin the formation experience, Aspiring Leaders and their mentors gathered at St. Philomena’s School of the Sacred Heart in Portsmouth, RI at the end of September. Miss Soukenik was paired with mentor Lauren Mueller, the Admissions Director at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart in Omaha, NE.

Ms. Soukenik with her former Villa Duchesne theology teacher and current Villa principal, Jeannie Steenberge, at the Aspiring Leaders Conference.

“I appreciate the opportunity to connect with leaders from all 25 Network schools,” says Miss Soukenik, who enjoyed visiting St. Philomena, the newest school in the Network of Sacred Heart Schools, where she also met their Second Class students. While there, she participated in leadership workshops and discussions about delivering Sacred Heart education in the future. “As educators, we focused on how we will continue the mission into the next century,” she adds. There was also time for reflection and espacio.

Moving forward, six formal virtual community gatherings will follow during the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years. These sessions will focus on Sacred Heart Leadership topics. Additionally, Aspiring Leaders and Mentors will have six informal meetings to provide context and support throughout the program. Finally, each Aspiring Leader will be invited to connect with a Religious of the Sacred Heart.

Miss Soukenik was happy to learn that her Prayer Partner is Margaret Caire, RSCJ. “I’m excited to have Sister Caire as my prayer partner. She was my Head of School when I first began at the Academy!”

Through this program, each Sacred Heart Aspiring Leader will have the opportunity to meet and network with other Sacred Heart leaders, reflect on Sacred Heart leadership, receive mentoring from a Sacred Heart leader, and complete the program with a stronger foundation in Sacred Heart leadership. Additionally, the hope is that each Aspiring Leader will have a stronger understanding of the Network and develop relationships with other Network educators and leaders.

“I am looking forward to deepening my understanding of the Network and furthering my collaboration with colleagues across the U.S.,” Miss Soukenik says. “Their experience is an exceptional resource and demonstrates the power of our Network Schools.”