School Leaders Academy

August 2023-May 2024


This 10-month executive coaching program supports Catholic school leaders who are in the process of renewing their schools. The participants in the cohort will benefit from the personal mentorship of two veteran Catholic educators with over five decades of combined experience with the Church’s vision of liberal arts education. Since a significant benefit of the program is the experience and commitment of the cohort itself, participants in the School Leaders Academy will be selected through an application process.

Due to the popularity of the program we will be expanding to two concurrent cohorts. Secure your spot today!

The course will focus on ICLE’s Five Pillars of School Leadership:

1. Vision
2. Pedagogy
3. Curriculum
4. Environment
5. Management

FORMAT: The program will begin with a mandatory online orientation retreat in August. Subsequent meetings will take place on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, 60-90 minutes each. Participants will also receive a monthly half-hour, one-on-one coaching call with a program leader. As an added bonus, this year the cohorts will be invited for a group visit to a flagship member school.

APPLICATION PROCESS: The cohorts will be determined on an application basis. Preference will be given to those who display a sincere desire to learn and grow and whose experience will contribute to the collective wisdom of the cohorts. Rolling admission.

COST: $4,950

Payment Options:
1. Paid in full by the beginning of the program
2. Monthly automatic payment plan begun before the program start date and concluded by the program end date.

Cancellations received at least 60 days in advance of the start of the program will be honored with a full refund for any payments made. Cancellations received at least 30 days in advance will receive a 50% refund for any payments made. Program cancellations received less than 30 days in advance or after the program begins will receive no refund for any payments made. Please allow up to 30 days for a refund to be processed by ICLE.

We have found that many benefactors, having led successful initiatives of their own, appreciate the importance of intensive leadership development and quality mentorship. With that in mind, we are happy to assist accepted applicants in acquiring funding by providing sponsorship letters, promotional materials, referrals, etc.

A limited number of partial, needs-based scholarships are available for priests and vowed religious interested in participating in this program. To apply for a scholarship, please complete this scholarship request form.

CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION: Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) are granted for participation in ICLE workshops, programs, and events. You may request a certificate of completion for a previous event HERE.


Rosemary Vander Weele  – Program Leader and Principal Trainer for Monthly Sessions

Rosemary was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. She earned an undergraduate degree from Franciscan University of Steubenville and graduate degrees in Catholic Leadership from the Augustine Institute and Education Administration from Regis University. In 2011, after teaching middle school English and history for seven years, Rosemary was appointed principal of Our Lady of Lourdes, which at the time had less than 100 students and was identified for closure the following year. At the encouragement of then-Auxiliary Bishop James Conley, she led the school through a renewal in the Catholic liberal arts that resulted in a return to maximum enrollment within seven years and the addition of a second campus in the fall of 2018. Rosemary now serves as President of Our Lady of Lourdes, overseeing the continued development of both campuses.

Michael J. Van Hecke, M.Ed. – High School Leader Mentor and Contributing Commentator in Monthly Sessions

Michael is the President and Founder of The Institute for Catholic Liberal Education. He has been a Catholic educator for 30 years, most recently serving as Headmaster of St. Augustine Academy in Ventura for 20 years. He received a B.A. in classical Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College and an M.Ed. in Educational Administration from the University of North Texas. He is President and Publisher of the Catholic Textbook Project, a company producing the first history textbooks specifically for Catholic Schools in nearly 50 years. As a consultant and speaker, Michael loves to share his passion for Catholic liberal education across the country. When not doing that, he enjoys life with his wife doting on grandchildren and tending on their avocado ranch in bucolic Santa Paula, California.

What Past Participants Say

"Rosemary's experience, wisdom, and kindness means that as she just generally opens up about her experiences and talks, there is always something fruitful to glean. Same for Michael. I am very grateful for Michael's candor and willingness to share practical documents during our individual phone calls."

"The classes are great. I enjoy listening to the lectures and feel like I do get a better grasp as to the philosophy and reasoning behind Classical Liberal Education, and how that affects day to day operations. I also enjoy having a direct line to Mike Van Hecke."

"The encouragement factor is huge. It’s just nice to be in touch with other school leaders and to hear their experiences and thoughts. I really learn a lot from the comments from the other folks in the class. Another thing that is working is the level of transparency that both Rosemary and Mike exhibit. The job seems “doable” when you’re hearing from folks who are executing well on an impossibly huge task but are also very real about their own finite limits."

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