Our Team

Operations

Michael Van Hecke, M.Ed.
President
Founder

Elisabeth Sullivan
Executive Director

Patrick Boduch
Chief Operating Officer

Peter D. Crawford
Academic Dean

Ryan Messmore, Phil.D.
Director of the Credential Program

DeAnn Stuart, Ph.D.
Associate Director of the Credential Program
Senior Faculty

Alyssan Barnes, Ph.D.
Senior Faculty, Credential Program

Colleen M. Richards
Director of School Services

Abriana Chilelli
Diocesan Liaison

Rosemary Vander Weele
Faculty

Elizabeth Black
Faculty

Monica Clarke
Faculty

David Gockowski
Faculty

Marie Kelly
Faculty

Tyler Storey
Faculty

Megan Fassero
Program Manager

Hannah Naughton
Communications Manager

Elisabeth Seeley
Operations Associate

Board of Trustees

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

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

The Most Reverend Earl K. Fernandes
Bishop of Columbus, OH

Shawn Peterson
Catholic Education Partners

Deacon Chris Sandner
Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Andrew T. Seeley, Ph.D.
Boethius Institute

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

Elisabeth Sullivan
Institute for Catholic Liberal Education

Michael Van Hecke, M.Ed.
Institute for Catholic Liberal Education
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

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

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

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. 

Peter Crawford

Academic Dean

Peter Crawford was the founding headmaster of the St. Jerome Institute, a private liberal arts high school in the Catholic intellectual tradition located in Washington, DC. A graduate of Ave Maria University, he received his Master’s and MPhil degrees in philosophy from the University of Leuven. He taught ancient, medieval, and modern European history and humane letters at Glendale Preparatory Academy, a classical charter school in Phoenix, Arizona, from 2009-2013. In 2013, he founded two Great Hearts Academies in San Antonio, Texas. He grew both the lower school (K-5) and the upper school (6-12) enrollment to serve 700 students of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Peter and his beautiful wife have seven children four girls and three boys.

Ryan Messmore, Phil.D.

Director of Credential Program

Dr. Messmore brings to the role of Director of the Credential Program a broad range of educational leadership and teaching experience grounded in a theological framework. He previously served as President of Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts in New Hampshire and as President of Campion College in Australia. Dr. Messmore has also worked as Senior Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, Executive Director of the Millis Institute (Australia), and Assistant Headmaster for Academic Affairs at St. David’s School, in Raleigh, NC. He earned a D.Phil. in Theology from the University of Oxford, an M.Phil. in Theology from the University of Cambridge, an M.T.S. from Duke Divinity School, and an A.B. in Public Policy and Religion from Duke University. In 2017 he authored the book In Love: The Larger Story of Sex and Marriage. His commentary and analysis have appeared in newspapers such as The Washington Times and The Australian, online venues such as Crosswalk.com and FOXNews.com, and in national magazines such as First Things, Touchstone, and Comment. Dr. Messmore has four children (two in college) and lives with his wife and two daughters.

DeAnn Stuart, Ph.D.

Associate Director of Credential Program
Senior Faculty

DeAnn Stuart received her B.A. and Master of Humanities from the University of Dallas and her Ph.D. from Baylor University. Over the years, she has received multiple awards for excellence in teaching at the middle school, high school, and university levels. Currently, she works as Dean of Curriculum at St. Mary’s Catholic School, a PK-12th grade school in Taylor, TX. She also serves as Associate Director of the credential program and a senior faculty member at the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education.

Alyssan Barnes, Ph.D.

Senior Faculty, Credential Program

Dr. Aly Barnes studied the trivium at the University of Dallas in graduate school, and she began teaching in 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. Aly is the author of two high school textbooks: Rhetoric Alive: Principles of Persuasion and Rhetoric Alive: Senior Thesis Student Workbook. She developed and has taught 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. As a convert in 2010, Aly was delighted to bring her passion for liberal education together with her Catholic faith by developing and directing ICLE’s new Catholic Educator Formation and Credential program. After serving as the inaugural Director, Aly will continue to work with Catholic teachers in the CEFC as Head of Cohort for the Denver and Oklahoma cohorts.

Colleen M. 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.

Abriana Chilelli

Diocesan Liaison

Abriana Chilelli believes deeply that there can be no true education which is not wholly directed to man’s last end (Pope Pius XI, 1929). After nearly a decade of teaching and curriculum writing, she served a variety of leadership roles at the archdiocesan-level in the Archdiocese of Denver, including Assistant Superintendent, as well as Associate Superintendent for Academic Renewal. As ICLE’s new Diocesan Liaison, she will lead this program by drawing on a wealth of educational leadership experience, from the classroom to the archdiocese. In addition to her work at ICLE, she also serves as the Assistant Director of Catholic Education for the Archdiocese of Portland. Abriana has an undergraduate degree from Franciscan University of Steubenville, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Colorado, and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Notre Dame. She and her husband currently reside in Denver with her favorite students — their four children who all attend Catholic schools steeped in the Church’s charter for education.

Rosemary Vander Weele

Faculty

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, and as Faculty for ICLE.

Elizabeth Black

Faculty

Elizabeth has worked in Catholic liberal education for seventeen years, most recently as principal of Saint Stephen School in East Grand Rapids. She has taught broadly over grades 3-12, including philosophy, Latin, Logic and Rhetoric, music, geometry, history, and literature. Elizabeth has developed curriculum for several schools as well as created several unique programs, such as a high school sacred music apprenticeship and a Way of Beauty program. As Dean of Faculty and Curriculum at Oakcrest School, she developed the school’s liberal arts educational vision. Elizabeth is trained in the Ward Method of Music Instruction, holds a B.A. in Classical and Early Christian Studies from Christendom College and a M.A. from the University of St. Mary of the Lake. Elizabeth is a consecrated virgin living in the world.

Monica Clarke

Faculty

Monica grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and attended Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. She holds a Master of Arts in Theology from St. Charles Borromeo School of Theological Studies in Philadelphia. Monica has worked in Catholic education for 13 years, teaching a variety of grade levels and subjects, including math, Latin, religion, and music. She has served both as a Master Teacher and Upper School Dean of Regina Coeli Academy in Abington, PA, during which time she mentored and conducted professional development for a portion of the faculty in addition to her regular teaching duties. Her most recent project has been helping develop, articulate, and implement a comprehensive curriculum and pedagogy for the Academy. She is a classically trained musician and enjoys adding the beauty of music to the liturgy both at school and in her parish. Her passion for authentic Catholic and classical education stems from ever-growing gratitude for her own formation, and she hopes to work towards making the same formation possible for many future generations of students.

David Gockowski

Faculty

David Gockowski studied the life and works of Saint John H. Cardinal Newman under the auspices of the late Dr. Don Briel at the University of St. Thomas, MN. He spent four years in formation for the priesthood at Saint Paul Seminary, ultimately discerning God’s calling to teach. While there, he grew in his appreciation for the importance of robust schools in the life and mission of the Church. He has spent time working in youth Catholic faith formation, as a special education specialist, and lately taught for several years at the acclaimed Saint Agnes School in Saint Paul, MN. David holds a Master’s in Elementary Education and a certificate in Catholic School Leadership from Saint Paul Seminary. He delights in teaching and supporting other primary educators in authentic Catholic pedagogy. David, his wife Bernadette, and their four children live in the Twin Cities.

Marie Kelly

Faculty

Marie was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, before receiving her B.A. in elementary education from St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. She has experience teaching in a variety of PK-12 classroom settings but found her passion in teaching early elementary students. Marie was first introduced to the rich tradition of a Catholic liberal arts education when she began to teach at St. Thomas the Apostle in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she helped the school make the transition to a classical curriculum. After a number of years teaching first and second grade, Marie and her husband moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where they currently reside. Marie was blessed to continue teaching second grade at St. Benedict Classical Academy, where she continued to help her students grow in the classical intellectual tradition of the Catholic Church. Marie is excited to be joining the ICLE team in helping inspire and renew Catholic educators in the rich tradition of the Catholic Church. Together, may we provide students with an authentic encounter with the transcendental Good, True, and Beautiful in a joyful and faithful Catholic environment.

Tyler Storey

Faculty

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Tyler Storey holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Whitman College, in Walla Walla, WA, with additional study in social and political philosophy, studio art, and urban horticulture. After a time as a legislative analyst and speech-writer in Washington, D.C., he continued in communications, and then taught urban horticulture and irrigation. He entered the Church and Catholic liberal arts education, one right after the other, in 2009. Since then, he has taught students from fifth-grade to seniors across a wide swath of curriculum, from literature and philosophy, to economics, history, grammar, and nature studies. As an administrator, he served most recently as Dean of Students and humanities department chair at Saint Mary’s Catholic High School in Phoenix, where he worked to develop the original Seat of Wisdom curriculum. Tyler joined the ICLE faculty team in the spring of 2024.

Megan Fassero

PROGRAM MANAGER

mfassero@catholicliberaleducation.org
Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Megan was educated K-12 in Catholic schools and discovered the liberal arts for the first time as a student at Benedictine College (Atchison, Kansas).  After graduating with Bachelor of Arts degrees in French, History, and Religious Studies, Megan married her husband Matt and embarked on a 15-year homeschooling journey with her own daughter, leading to a deeper understanding and appreciation of classical education.  For the past five years, Megan has served in various roles at Benedictine College, most notably as the Homeschool Outreach Coordinator.  As a Catholic school graduate, she wholeheartedly supports ICLE’s mission “to renew today’s Catholic schools.”  She and her husband Matt reside in rural Atchison County Kansas, where they raise cattle, pigs, and chickens.

Hannah Naughton

Communications Manager

hnaughton@catholicliberaleducation.org
With experience in both communications and Catholic education, Hannah is thrilled to tell the story of ICLE in her role as Communications Manager. She joined the Institute in 2023 after completing the University of Portland’s Pacific Alliance for Catholic Education (PACE) program, where she taught high school English at a Catholic school in Fairbanks, Alaska, and earned her M.A. in Teaching. Before that, Hannah worked in Marketing and Communications at the University of Illinois and graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a B.A. in English. She and her husband currently reside in Virginia with their son.

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 Co-Founder and Faculty Consultant, 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

Andrew Seeley, Ph.D.

Dr. Andrew Seeley, one of the founders of ICLE, served for three decades as a Tutor at Thomas Aquinas College in California, and is currently the Director of Advanced Formation for Educators at the Augustine Institute. He 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 has recently launched a new complementary effort, the Boethius Institute for the Advancement of Liberal Education, to help scholars and leaders grow in their understanding of the traditional liberal arts and sciences. Dr. Seeley and his wife, Lisa, have six children and eight grandchildren.

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. Since 2021, Danny has led ICLE’s Aspiring School Leaders Program, a six-month online school leader training program. He will join the Institute full-time in summer 2024 as the Director of Diocesan and School Relationships to share his expertise with dioceses and a growing number of Catholic liberal arts schools across the country. He holds a BA from Franciscan University and an MSE from Trinity University. He is happily married and the father of 14.

Merrill Roberts, Ph.D.

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.

Arthur Hippler, Ph.D.

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.

Alisha Barker

Alisha Barker gained an enthusiasm for liberals arts education as an undergraduate through the impassioned teaching of a favorite college professor. After teaching English as a second language in Taiwan and earning her MA in literature at Baylor University, she joined the faculty of a classical Christian school in Waco, Texas in 2009. She has taught first, fourth, and fifth grade and now serves as the Assistant Dean of the Grammar School. As she worked with students with language-based learning differences in the classroom, she gained an appreciation for both the challenges and gifts a liberal arts education offers these students. When her daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia and dysgraphia, she took a deep dive into the science of reading as she trained to become a certified academic language therapist (CALT). Her ability to offer dyslexia therapy, alongside her work as an administrator and ICLE’s literacy specialist, allows her to bring her experiences together to help support teachers and students alike in their pursuit of liberal arts education. She and her husband have one son and three daughters.

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. 

Caitlin Dillon, Ph.D.

Caitlin Dillon’s primary aim is to follow God’s call with love and help others to do the same, especially through reading instruction and teacher-training. Her reliance on prayer, Ph.D. in Linguistics, and experience as a reading researcher provided the necessary foundation for her to successfully teach reading to students of all ages, as a classroom teacher, a reading specialist,and tutor. In 2016, Caitlin founded Mark Trinity, an organization through which she has been carrying out her mission to clarify effective approaches to reading instruction for teachers, as literacy coach, literacy consultant, and teacher-trainer. She enjoys continuing this mission through ICLE as well, relying on Saint Thomas Aquinas and other heavenly patrons to provide all that is needed.