Our Team

Operations

Michael Van Hecke, M.Ed.
President
Founder

Elisabeth Sullivan
Executive Director

Patrick Boduch
Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Andrew Seeley
Director of Advanced Formation
Co-Founder

Colleen Richards
Director of School Services

Dr. Alyssan Barnes
Director of Credential Program
Senior Faculty

Erick Allen
Faculty

Charles Goodwin
Faculty

John Paul Thurau II
Faculty

Elisabeth Seeley
Operations Associate

Board of Directors

The Most Reverend Robert F. Barron
Bishop of Winona-Rochester, MN

The Rev. John Belmonte, S.J.
Superintendent of Catholic Education,
Diocese of Venice, FL

Marie de Lorimier
The Institute for Catholic Liberal Education

Mary Pat Donoghue
Secretariat of Catholic Education,
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Katherine Gschwind
de Nicola Center for Ethics & Culture,
University of Notre Dame 

Luke Macik, J.D.
The Lyceum

Rev. Wilson Miscamble, C.S.C.
University of Notre Dame

Andrew T. Seeley, Ph.D.
Thomas Aquinas College

David J.R. Stiennon, J.D.
St. Ambrose Academy 

Elisabeth Sullivan
Institute for Catholic Liberal Education

Michael Van Hecke, M.Ed.
St. Augustine Academy,
The Catholic Textbook Project

Advisory Board

The Most Reverend J. Michael Miller, C.S.B.
Archbishop of Vancouver, BC

His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke
Patron – Sovereign Military Order of Malta

The Most Reverend James D. Conley
Bishop of Lincoln, NE

Dr. Dominic A. Aquila
University of St. Thomas, Houston

Sr. Mary Anne Zuberbueler, O.P.
Principal, Mary Immaculate School, Dallas

Michael J. Van Hecke, M.Ed. 

President, Founder

Michael is the President and Founder of The Institute for Catholic Liberal Education. He has been a Catholic educator for 30 years, most recently he served 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.

Elisabeth Sullivan

Executive Director

A former journalist, Elisabeth developed her passion for Catholic liberal education while exploring authentic formation in faith and reason for her own children. She joined the Institute in 2010 to advance this vision and train educators in its philosophy and practice. As Executive Director, she develops ICLE’s program content and publications, designs our annual conference, and promotes our mission through speaking engagements across the country. Elisabeth is a CiRCE-Certified Classical Teacher who has taught middle school writing and literature, served on Catholic school boards, and served as director of communications for a liberal arts school in the Catholic tradition. She holds a B.S. in Humanities from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She and her husband live in North Carolina and have three sons.

Patrick Boduch

Chief operating officer

pboduch@catholicliberaleducation.org

Patrick Boduch is ICLE’s Chief Operating Officer. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Patrick attended the University of Notre Dame where he studied finance and economics. After college, he worked for Deloitte Consulting for three years before completing a year-long volunteer program with Mercy Volunteer Corps in Cincinnati. Most recently, Patrick attended Princeton University where he earned a Master in Public Affairs degree. 

Dr. Andrew Seeley

Director of Advanced Formation, Co-Founder

For three decades, Dr. Andrew Seeley has been a Tutor at Thomas Aquinas College in California. Dr. Seeley received a Licentiate from the Pontifical Institute in Medieval Studies (Toronto) and a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto (1995). He has taught joyfully and extensively in all the areas of a Great Books curriculum. Desiring to share his love of Catholic learning, Dr. Seeley joined the Institute in 2005. He and his wife, Lisa, have six children and seven grandchildren.

Colleen Richards

Director of School Services

crichards@catholicliberaleducation.org
Colleen Richards is ICLE’s Director of School Services, leading our teacher training and school advising efforts around the country. After 17 years of classroom teaching in a variety of Catholic elementary and high schools, she spent eight years as the second headmaster of St. John Bosco Schools in East Rochester, New York. Colleen led the school’s adoption of the St. Jerome Academy Educational Plan, training teachers and growing in the school to double its size. In 2014, she led the opening of Chesterton Academy of Rochester as part of the new Chesterton Schools Network, making the institution an option for a complete Catholic education for students from Pre-K through twelfth grade. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Canisius College, a Master’s Degree from the University of Phoenix in Curriculum and Instruction, and holds New York State Teacher Certification.

Dr. Alyssan Barnes

Director of Credential Program
Senior Faculty

Dr. Alyssan Barnes studied the trivium at the University of Dallas in graduate school, and she began teaching at trivium-based schools in 2001. She most recently served as a teacher of formal rhetoric, AP English, and moral philosophy at a classical Christian high school in Waco, Texas. As a convert in 2010, she is delighted to bring her passion for liberal education together with her Catholic faith by helping develop teacher formation programs as Senior Faculty at ICLE. She is the author of two high school textbooks: Rhetoric Alive: Principles of Persuasion and Rhetoric Alive: Senior Thesis Student Workbook. She currently teaches a graduate course on the trivium for the master’s program in classical ed at the University of Dallas, and she also serves as an Alcuin Fellow for the Society for Classical Learning.

Erick Allen

Faculty

eallen@catholicliberaleducation.org
Erick discovered the rich tradition of a liberal arts education while in graduate school. Soon after, Erick entered the Church as an adult convert and spent six years assisting his public charter school in their transition to a more classical and humanizing model of education. Erick has more than 20 years of teaching experience in a variety of settings, including public and private schools, higher education, grades 7-12 and even in law enforcement. He has taught Latin, Medieval Literature, ESL and other subjects. He and his wife Kathy live in the mountains of western North Carolina where they raise chickens and rabbits.

Charlie Goodwin

Faculty

cgoodwin@catholicliberaleducation.org
After receiving his BA in classical Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, CA in 2010, Charlie then spent seven years as a seminarian at St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado, CA. Charlie continued his studies in philosophy and theology during this time, earning a second BA in Fundamental Theology from St. Philip’s Seminary in Toronto, ON. After leaving St. Michael’s in 2017, Charlie taught for a year at St. Monica Academy in Montrose, CA, while rekindling a relationship with his now-wife, Colleen. She convinced Charlie of the charms of country life and in 2018 he took a position as the Primary Dean of Libertas Academy in beautiful Angels Camp, CA. There Charlie, his wife, and their two daughters tend their garden, watch over their many animals, lead the church choir, entertain friends, and dabble in poetry, painting, and sailboats.

John Paul Thurau II

Faculty

jpthurau@catholicliberaleducation.org
Prior to his work with the Institute, JP was a school administrator and teacher. He worked at both Catholic and public charter schools in Arizona, most recently serving as Dean of Students, teacher, and varsity baseball coach at Great Hearts Lincoln Preparatory Academy. JP has taught a wide variety of subjects over the years, including geometry, government & economics, history, literature, Latin, music theory, physics, and rhetoric. He received a B.A. in classical Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College and an M.A. in Humanities/Classical Education from the University of Dallas. Now living in Hillsdale, Michigan, JP and his wife, Gabriela, have five children at home, and one in Heaven.

Elisabeth Seeley

operations associate

eseeley@catholicliberaleducation.org
Elisabeth has been steeped in Catholic liberal education her whole life. She graduated high school from St. Augustine Academy in Ventura, CA and received her B.A. in classical Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, CA. She worked in the Human Resources department at the college for almost a year after graduating. The daughter of our Director of Advanced Formation, Dr. Andrew T. Seeley, she has long been inspired by the dedication of the Institute’s team members and the fruit their work has born. After several years of volunteering with the Institute, she was delighted to join the team in September of 2020.

ICLE Faculty Consultants

Danny Flynn

Danny Flynn taught for six years at St. Jerome Academy after it became the first diocesan school in the country to adopt a classical liberal arts approach; he then stepped into the principal’s role in 2016. Under his leadership, the Pre-K through 8 school has continued to thrive and expand. He holds a BA from Franciscan University and an MSE from Trinity University. He is happily married and the father of 13.

Dr. Arthur Hippler

Dr. Arthur Hippler is Chairman of the Religion Department at Providence Academy, where he has taught since 2006. He also teaches as an adjunct professor in St. Paul School of Divinity at the University of St. Thomas and as an instructor in the Harry Flynn Catechetical Institute for the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis. A graduate of Thomas Aquinas College in California, he received his Doctorate in Philosophy from Boston College. He is the author of four books, two on Catholic social teaching and two iBooks on C. S. Lewis. He is married with five children.

Dr. Merrill Roberts

Dr. Merrill Roberts is a post-doctoral researcher at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, where he studies solar coronal transients and performs forward modeling for the Parker Solar Probe mission. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from The Catholic University of America in 2018, where he is currently a lecturer, and his Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College in 2003. Dr. Roberts serves the Institute as an instructor for the Catholic Educator Formation and Credential program, and also as a member of the School Services team. He combines his passions for nature and education as the Nature Studies teacher at St. Jerome Academy where he has instructed 5th through 8th graders from 2010 to the present. Dr. Roberts is the Co-director of Music at St. Jerome’s Parish, where he strives to emphasize the beauty and truth inherent in the Mass, along with his wife Elizabeth. Merrill and Elizabeth live in Hyattsville, MD, and are blessed to be the parents of four active, inquisitive young men.

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.

Alisha Barker

Allison Buras

Allison Buras is one of three founders of Live Oak Classical School, a Christian school devoted to liberal education that opened in 2004 in Waco, Texas.  She has served as the Dean of the Grammar School for over a decade.  She completed a Master’s in Theological Studies at Baylor’s Truett Seminary, has presented several times at Society for Classical Learning conferences, and currently serves as an Alcuin Fellow. She regularly hosts school visits to Live Oak where she mentors other school leaders in Christian schools engaged in a liberal arts education. 

Dr. DeAnn Stuart