Michael Van Hecke, M.Ed.
Chief Operating Officer
Dean of Academics
Director of School Services
Dr. Alyssan Barnes
Director of Credential Program
Dr. DeAnn Stuart
Associate Director of the Credential Program
Rosemary Vander Weele
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
Luke Macik, J.D.
Catholic Education Partners
Deacon Chris Sandner
Archdiocese of Los Angeles
Andrew T. Seeley, Ph.D.
David J.R. Stiennon, J.D.
St. Ambrose Academy
Institute for Catholic Liberal Education
Michael Van Hecke, M.Ed.
Institute for Catholic Liberal Education
The Catholic Textbook Project
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dean of Academics
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 six children — four girls and two boys.
Director of School Services
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
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 is 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.
Dr. DeAnn Stuart
Associate Director of Credential Program
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 a senior faculty member at the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education.
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.
Elizabeth has worked in Catholic liberal education for seventeen years in a wide variety of capacities, most recently as principal of Saint Stephen School in East Grand Rapids. She has taught broadly over grades 3-12 curriculum, including philosophy, Latin, Logic and Rhetoric, music, Euclidean 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. For nine years, Elizabeth worked at Oakcrest School in Vienna, VA, where, over the course of these years, she served as a faculty member, master teacher of the foreign language department, and Dean of Faculty and Curriculum. In this latter capacity, she developed the school’s liberal arts educational vision and guided the academic accreditation process. Elizabeth holds a B.A. in Classical and Early Christian Studies from Christendom College and a M.A. in Liturgical Studies from the University of St. Mary of the Lake. She is trained in the Ward Method of Music Instruction at the Catholic University of America. Elizabeth is a consecrated virgin living in the world of the Diocese of Grand Rapids and was consecrated in 2021.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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
Dr. Andrew Seeley
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 seven grandchildren.
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. 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.
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. Kari Morris Carr
Educated in Catholic schools from grades 1-12, Kari Morris Carr is delighted to join the Institute in promoting the Catholic liberal arts. Kari began her career in Catholic education through the Inner-City Teaching Corps, which prepared new teachers to live and work in historically underserved parishes and Catholic schools in Chicago, IL. Though trained in modern methods, Kari found her way to the classical liberal arts approach in 2003 and worked at a classical Christian school as a teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, and later Director of Academic Development where she led professional development across three campuses. She also teaches at the university level and has incorporated classical pedagogy where possible in her instruction of new teachers. She has specialized in math instruction and logic but delights in all subjects, which point to the majesty of Christ. Kari homeschooled four of her five children in the Catholic liberal arts during the Covid pandemic. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies in 2014 from Indiana University, where she studied and worked with urban Catholic schools in Indianapolis. She and her family currently reside in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
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 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.