School Leaders Academy

July 2021-May 2022
Program Description

Full, But Accepting Wait List Applicants

This 10-month executive coaching program supports Catholic school leaders who are in the process of renewing their schools. The 15 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.

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

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

Each month different aspects of each pillar will be studied in depth and participants will come away with concrete plans and support as they move through the process of renewal. Participants will be guided through exercises that will offer substantial practical tools for immediate use in the following areas:

● Mission Statements                      ● Enrollment Management

● Parent Education                           ● Marketing

● Faculty Formation                         ● Hiring

● Curriculum Integration               ● Culture

● Prayer                                                  ● Fundraising

Format: The program will begin with an orientation retreat in July. Subsequent meetings will take place on the first and third Tuesday of each month, 60-90 minutes each. Participants will also receive a monthly half-hour, one-on-one coaching call with a program leader.

Application process: Due to the limited size of this program (15), the cohort 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 cohort.

Cost: $4,950 (can be paid in installments according to your needs)
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 (see sample below), promotional materials, referrals, etc.

Meet your mentors:


Rosemary Vander Weele 

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. 

Michael is the President and Founder of The Institute for Catholic Liberal Education. He has been a Catholic educator since 1988, currently serving as President of St. Augustine Academy in Ventura. He received a B.A. in 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 and three children on their avocado ranch in bucolic Santa Paula, California.

Registration Options


Our Leaders

Rosemary Vander Weele
Michael J. Van Hecke, M.Ed.

For more Information

For more information on the ICLE School Leaders Academy, contact Rosemary Vander Weele: 844-425-3832

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.

The topics being discussed are great and highly applicable to where my school is in our renewal process. I've been able to make a lot of connections and turn the learning into actionable items in my daily work.

Wait List

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Please upload a single document in PDF format that addresses the following questions: 1) Briefly describe your background in Catholic liberal education. 2) Why are you interested in the School Leaders Academy? What do you hope to gain from the program? 3) One of the primary benefits of this program is the opportunity to be a part of a small cohort of like-minded colleagues with a unique array of strengths and experience. Why would you be a valuable addition to the cohort?

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Please upload your résumé in PDF format.