Loyola Marymount University School of Education today named Antonio Felix, M.A. ’07 ’10, as Director of PLACE Corps (Partners in Los Angeles Catholic Education), a nationally recognized Catholic teacher service corps, housed within LMU’s Center for Catholic Education. Felix will oversee the program’s mission to serve under-resourced schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Diocese of Orange and Diocese of San Bernardino through the program’s three pillars – professional development, community living and spiritual growth. Felix will begin work at PLACE Corps in July 2017, as the program welcomes its 17th cohort.
“Antonio is a proven leader in Catholic education who has a track record for developing strong faith-filled communities that encourage academic excellence through the education of the whole person,” said Shane P. Martin, dean of the School of Education. “We are honored and delighted to welcome Antonio as the next leader of the PLACE Corps, as the program continues to strengthen and enhance its mission to transform Catholic schools.”
Felix is a South Central Los Angeles native who has served as the Principal for Nativity School, a PLACE partner Transitional Kindergarten through eighth grade Catholic elementary school located in the Vermont-Slauson community of South Los Angeles. Prior to becoming Nativity School’s principal, a role in which he has served for the last five years, Felix served as the Nativity School’s junior high math and science teacher, and then as the school’s Director of Marketing and Development.
Felix obtained two master’s degrees from the Loyola Marymount University School of Education. His first Master’s Degree was in Elementary Education along with a California Teaching Credential. Upon graduation, Felix was awarded the LMU School of Education Bilingual Educator of the Year Award. Felix returned to LMU and received a Master’s Degree in Catholic School Administration and a California Administrative Services Credential.
“I am excited to join the School of Education at LMU as we support Catholic school educators in community through their academic and spiritual development, ” said Felix. “I look forward to serving PLACE Corps at LMU and across Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino.”
Felix currently serves on the Elementary School Leadership Council within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as the Deanery 16 Chairperson. An advocate for Catholic education, he serves as a Western Catholic Educational Association (WCEA) Visiting Committee member. Felix comes from a family of nine children and is one of five educators in the family. He credits his love for learning and teaching to his parents, his first teachers, who have always stressed the importance of an education.
PLACE Corps, established in 2001, is a part of the national University Consortium for Catholic Education. The program strives to develop Catholic K-12 school educators to establish a career of service to the mission of Catholic education. Program members serve as teachers in primarily under-resourced Catholic schools while earning a master’s degree in education and California preliminary teaching credential. During the experience, members live in intentional faith-filled communities and engage in a variety of fellowship, education, mentoring, and spiritual activities that serve to both build a strong supportive community and to strengthen teaching competencies of corps members.
For more than fifteen years, PLACE Corps has provided Catholic schools with hundreds of well-prepared educators who are also men and women of faith. As of the 2015-2016 academic year, PLACE Corps has trained 369 educators who have taught 45,474 students at 77 Los Angeles Catholic schools. In addition, at the conclusion of their two-year commitment with PLACE Corps, 90 percent of graduates continue to teach in Catholic schools, and over time 80 percent remain working in education.