School Leaders Academy: Find support for renewing your Catholic school

“If today’s Catholic educators are re-awakening to the true nature of what a Catholic school community should be,” notes Michael J. Van Hecke, founder of the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education (ICLE), “it is natural that we should turn our thoughts and attention to how we form, or re-form, our communities to align with the beautiful and high goals of this holy endeavor.”
The School Leaders Academy is a 10-month executive coaching program that supports Catholic school leaders who are in the process of renewing their schools. Participants in the cohort will benefit from the personal mentorship of two veteran Catholic educators with more than five decades (50 years) of combined experience with the Church’s vision of liberal arts education.
The course will focus on ICLE’s Five Pillars of School Leadership:
  1. Vision
  2. Pedagogy
  3. Curriculum
  4. Environment
  5. Management
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. 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.


What past participants say

  • I’m so glad this program exists. School leadership is such a difficult position, so there is so much value in finding solidarity with other school leaders. And having it led by such seasoned leaders as Rosemary and Mike makes the experience that much more fruitful.”
  • “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.”
  • “I feel like you’re pushing my leadership skills through the Catechism and the artwork you share. I’ve purchased several books you’ve recommended, and they’ve been awesome! I feel like I’m really building my resources, my CATHOLIC leadership skills, and my network of colleagues.”

Meet Your Mentors

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

School Leaders Academy: Find support for renewing your Catholic school

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, High School Leader Mentor and Contributing Commentator in Monthly Sessions

School Leaders Academy: Find support for renewing your Catholic schoolMichael 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.

To apply for the School Leaders Academy, click here


Leave a Reply