ACE logo

Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program

Seeking First the Kingdom: Curtis Kleisinger and Mother Teresa Middle School

Matt Rhodes on Wednesday, 05 October 2016.

Mother Teresa Middle School Seeking First the Kingdom

Since its founding, ACE has graduated nearly 2,000 teachers and leaders. These teachers and leaders have continued to support and transform Catholic education, both directly and indirectly, by living out a commitment to community, spirituality, and professionalism. In an era obsessed with measurement, it is both tempting and worthwhile to quantify the successes and contributions of our graduates. This post, one in a series of stories from our graduates, is an attempt to capture that which numbers sometimes fail to tell: the nuances and nitty gritty details of moments—sometimes small, sometimes large—through which the mission of ACE continues in the everyday lives of its graduates.


Remick Leader Provides Faith-Filled Example to Seattle School

Written by Rebecca Devine on Friday, 29 January 2016.

MattDeBoerMatt DeBoer, RLP 12, was the fifth principal St. Teresa Catholic School had seen in six years. Teachers, parents, and students alike were tired of “all the chaos,” DeBoer said. One day at the beginning of the school year, DeBoer commenced a staff meeting with a prayer of examen. Even though he had no experience as a principal, he felt the trust of his colleagues as he led them in prayer.

A Higher-Level Vision in Hawaii

on Sunday, 01 February 2015.

When it comes to Catholic education, Susan Hendricks values history.

She values her own winding path to Catholic schools. One of seven children, she was raised in the Catholic faith. Her parents' modeling, she says, "influences me daily with my devotion to the Church and Catholic education." Because her father's Army career required multiple moves, however, only two of the eight schools she attended were Catholic. Later the young activist became a teacher and worked for several years in San Francisco's Mission District. Then she re-located to Maui and, she says, "Divine intervention guided me to a hidden jewel—Sacred Hearts School of Lahaina—where I am honored to be principal."

The 150-yr-old school she now serves was founded by the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts and later run by the Sisters of St. Francis. And here Susan's appreciation for history truly shines: "Standing on the shoulders of these consecrated giants and all of the everyday heroes that have gone before us is a gift of grace. We accept the mantel of duty to continue the legacy of preparing ourselves and our school community for salvation."

Susan is devoted, "heart and mind to Catholic education." In her studies with the program, she has learned about the Church's strong foundation of support for Catholic schools. And, she says, "I am driven to share this history with my school community.""I have learned that we do nothing alone, and that the relationships built in community of like-minded souls is a conspiracy of love, truth and action. The academic rigor and spiritual support in the ACE program has lifted my vision of Catholic education to a higher level of personal gratitude and political/social acumen. I am proud to be an agent of change in the movement of improving Catholic education today."

Hendricks is in her 11th year as principal at the Sacred Hearts School. This story was first posted on June 19, 2012, during her participation in the Remick Leadership Program.

Mark Kirzeder Appointed Principal at Marian High School

on Friday, 23 May 2014.

Bishop Rhoades tabs another RLP grad to lead Mishawaka, IN High School

FOR RELEASE AT 3:00 p.m. on Thursday May 23,2014                                                May 21, 2014

Contact: Mr. Carl Loesch (574) 259-5257

Mr. Mark Kirzeder appointed principal of Marian High School

MISHAWAKA — Mr. Mark Kirzeder has been appointed by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades as the principal of Marian High School effective July 1. Kirzeder has been the assistant principal for academics of Marian High School since 2012 and a science and mathematics teacher at the Mishawaka high school since 2005. Kirzeder’s appointment will be announced at a school assembly on May 22nd at 2:30 p.m.Marian Logo

“It is a great honor to be asked by Bishop Rhoades to be the next principal at Marian High School,” Kirzeder said. “I am incredibly thankful to the members of the Marian community for their prayers during this time of transition for our school. I am also greatly honored to be able to follow in the footsteps of the great leaders before me, especially my predecessor, Mr. Carl Loesch.”

Bishop Rhoades announced in February that Carl Loesch, the current Marian High School principal, was appointed the Secretary of Catholic Education at the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend effective July 1. Loesch will oversee the Catholic Schools Office and the Office of Catechesis. In February, a search committee was formed to find a new principal for Marian High School.

Kirzeder has a Bachelor of Science degree in science and math education from the University of Notre Dame, a Master of Education degree through the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) at the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Arts degree in educational leadership through the University of Notre Dame.

Msgr. Michael Heintz, rector of St. Matthew Cathedral and director of the Master of Divinity Program at the University of Notre Dame, remarked, “I was privileged to serve as the chair of a search committee, appointed by Bishop Rhoades, which was comprised of a number of very gifted and talented individuals.”

“We were most impressed by Mark's deep commitment to Catholic education, his commitment to the students and his devotion to Marian,” said Msgr. Heintz, who is also a Marian High School graduate.

Answering the Call to Lead

on Friday, 23 May 2014.

Matt DeBoer reflects on his path to RLP

As I was finishing up my undergraduate studies, I felt God calling me to do something “more” with my life and newly acquired skills and experiences. After much discernment and prayer, I eventually applied to the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and was accepted and placed in the New Orleans community. I had grown to love the city through my post-Katrina volunteer efforts, and I knew that if I was placed in New Orleans, it was because God wanted me to be there. In August 2008, I began my journey as a Jesuit Volunteer at the Good Shepherd School (GSS), and I never would have imagined that I would still be there six years later.  Least of all, did I expect to find myself serving in the leadership position that I now hold - but if I have learned anything in my time here, it is that God works in mysterious ways!MattDeBoer

My first year at GSS was a wild ride, as I started as a teacher’s assistant and was teaching middle school religion full-time within only two weeks. By the end of the year, I had not only taught religion, but also middle school math and science, as well as kindergarten science. I was all over the place, but something in me loved every bit of it! The school went through a tumultuous change in administration and more than half the staff left at year’s end. On the principal’s last day of work, she pulled me aside and said. “Matt, I’m not sure if you’ve ever thought about it, but I think you’d make a great principal someday.”

As I began my second year of work, I found myself as a school leader that was and respected by elder colleagues and students alike. The new principal asked me to be a member of the administrative team and I have never looked back. After five years of teaching and various ventures into administration, I truly felt God was calling me into Catholic school leadership. I decided to apply to the Remick Leadership Program (RLP) after hearing about it from various participants and graduates working at Nativity Miguel model schools. Now having completed one summer of the program, I feel comfortable in my role as a school leader because RLP has complimented my experience at GSS by providing me with the skills, resources, and confidence to lead.  It has also provided me with an amazing network of Catholic school educators that I can reach out to or lean on at any given moment.

After finishing my first summer at Notre Dame in RLP, I came back to New Orleans with one week to prepare for the school year. Enrollment had greatly increased and half of the student body would be new students, while only two faculty members had more than a year of experience at the school. On top of these challenges, during the first week of school I was left as the veteran teacher and aspiring administrator, when our principal received the devastating news that her mother had passed away. While the stresses were great and the challenges were many, I embraced the challenge head on, and we made it through in one piece.

I am not sure I would have been able to handle all of the issues that arose with students, parents, and staff members without the first summer of preparation in RLP. Knowing that my classmates from RLP were going through similar struggles brought me strength that I in turn shared with my colleagues. The faith-centered community that we formed over the summer was a strong support then, and it became a strong spiritual support when I began work a few weeks after returning. In fact, my colleagues, students, and I have all embraced the oft quoted scripture that I learned to love through RLP last summer as our motto for this school year: “I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

Right now, at both GSS and in RLP, I feel that I am exactly where God is calling me to be at this stage in my vocational journey as a Catholic school educator and administrator.