As more than 250 teachers and school leaders are missioned back to their Catholic schools after a busy summer on campus, a beloved leader of the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) community is transitioning to a new phase of her distinguished career. Dr. Joyce Johnstone will retire from her directorship roles in ACE and the Institute for Educational Initiatives, becoming a Professor Emeritus at the University, effective Aug. 1.
Throughout her prodigious career spanning more than four decades of service at every level in the field of education, Johnstone has been a tireless advocate for children. She has contributed her extraordinary talent, imagination, and energy to an array of initiatives during her 16 years at Notre Dame. As Ryan Director of Educational Outreach for the Institute and Senior Director for Program Development in ACE, she has helped to advance the University’s mission of service and the work of Catholic schools around the nation and abroad, and she has consistently shown a commitment to excellence in public and faith-based education for all students.
Johnstone is both a strong advocate for and an innovator in the field of education. The list of initiatives that exist due in large part to her efforts includes the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program, ACE’s inclusionary licensure programs in English as a New Language (ENL) and Teaching Exceptional Children (TEC), the University Consortium for Catholic Education, and Notre Dame’s administrative role in the Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program for Indiana (AP-TIP IN).
Her accomplishments have been both global and local. In 2012, Johnstone spearheaded an initiative to provide ACE’s ENL curriculum to hundreds of educators in Puerto Rico. In 2014, she was a driving force behind Notre Dame’s deepening partnership with schools in Brazil, hosting 30 Brazilian English teachers for several weeks this winter; the ambitious initiative engaged South Bend public school teachers and students in a display of hospitality and an exchange of cultural insights.
In her decade and a half of leadership in the Alliance for Catholic Education, her commitment to the dignity of every human person has been unmatched. Educators across the state of Indiana have recognized Johnstone, who holds a Ph.D. in special education from Indiana University, and her particular interest in meeting the learning needs of all children; the Indiana Council for Exceptional Children named her Professor of the Year in 2010.
Members of the ACE team and colleagues in the Institute for Educational Initiatives know Johnstone as an outstanding teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend. They offer their gratitude to her for her years of service and her creativity in improving the lives of countless students, teachers, and educational leaders. Her vision and entrepreneurial spirit have left an indelible mark on the Alliance for Catholic Education and the University of Notre Dame, and have touched the lives of generations of educators.