NCEA Board of Directors
The NCEA Board of Directors brings valuable experience and expertise from leaders in Catholic education, including clergy, superintendents, lawyers, educators, accountants, CEOs and university professors. NCEA's bylaws
have been adopted to reflect the new board structure which aligns with the organization’s mission to lead, learn and proclaim the good news of Catholic school education.
Most Reverend Gerald F. Kicanas, D.D., Ph.D.
Diocese of Tucson
MOST REVEREND GERALD F. KICANAS, D.D., Ph.D., was appointed chair of the NCEA Board of Directors in 2018. Bishop Kicanas served the Diocese of Tucson since 2003 and became Bishop Emeritus in 2017. Before his assignment in Tucson, Bishop Kicanas was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago on January 24, 1995 and served as Episcopal Vicar of Vicariate I of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He was ordained a bishop on March 20, 1995. Ordained a priest on April 27, 1967, Bishop Kicanas currently serves on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Catholic Education Committee, chair of the Subcommittee on Accreditation, consultant to the Subcommittee on the Church in Africa and is a member and consultant to the USCCB Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs. He has chaired and served on several other USCCB committees. He served as the secretary and vice president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He is a board member of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, known as CLINIC. He also is the former chairman of the board of directors of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the U.S. bishops' overseas relief and development agency. He continues his involvement with CRS as a member of its Foundation Board. He is vice-chancellor of the Catholic Extension Society serving mission dioceses throughout the United States. Bishop Kicanas completed post-graduate work in several areas and earned a Ph.D. in educational psychology, a M.Ed. in guidance and counseling from Loyola University and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois.
Kathy P. Mears
NCEA Interim President/CEO (Ex Officio)
National Catholic Educational Association
Kathy P. Mears is the interim president/CEO of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA). Before joining NCEA in 2019, Mrs. Mears served the Archdiocese of Boston as superintendent from 2014 - 2019. She oversaw 112 schools and instituted numerous new initiatives including new faith formation, math and language arts standards, the Museum of Science's Engineering is Elementary program, a kindergarten robotics project in partnership with Tufts University, and the adoption of an online student assessment system. Prior to her role as superintendent, Mrs. Mears was the executive director for elementary schools at NCEA.
Mrs. Mears has a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Elmhurst College, Illinois, and a Master of Arts in elementary education from Butler University, Indiana.
RICH BARTLETT is the founder of CD2 Learning, a software technology platform for talent development and extended enterprise training. Using this software, Rich and his wife, Dena, together cofounded MyCatholicFaithDelivered.com (MCFD), which provides online catechist management and Catholic faith formation for adults, youth and students. MCFD is used in a number of dioceses, including Washington and Chicago, and partners for content with publishers and nationally known Catholic organizations. Rich and Dena have strong feelings of gratitude for all the gifts with which God has blessed them and wish to give back their time, talent and resources to pass on "our beautiful Catholic faith to future generations."
Rev. John Belmonte, S.J., Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Diocese of Joliet – Blanchette Center
REV. JOHN BELMONTE, SJ, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois, joined the NCEA Board of Directors in 2013. Upon graduation from Marquette University, Father Belmonte entered the Society of Jesus in St. Paul, Minnesota, and pronounced vows in 1987. After years of study at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy, he was ordained to the priesthood on June 14, 1996, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1997, he completed a Licentiate in Sacred Theology with a concentration in Sacred Scripture at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Father Belmonte completed a doctoral program in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Loyola University Chicago in 2006. He has served as Director of Pastoral Ministry, has taught theology and social studies at the high school level and has served as principal of the Jesuit college prep high school in Milwaukee at Marquette University High School.
David L. Dennis
DAVID DENNIS, a recently retired partner with KPMG LLP, joined the NCEA Board of Directors in 2012 and has been a significant member of the Board’s Finance Committee. A magna cum laude
graduate of Indiana University and a licensed CPA in the state of Florida, David was appointed to the Florida Board of Accountancy by Governor Rick Scott. He is active on the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and is a past chair of the Florida Board of Accountancy and a past president of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
ANGELA DINGER serves as general counsel for William H. Sadlier, Inc. Sadlier Publishing has been a longtime corporate partner with NCEA and a prolific publisher of catechetical programs, Pre-K through adult. Angela attended Georgetown University for undergraduate work as well as her Juris Doctorate. For five years, Angela worked for Chadbourne & Parke LLP, before taking her position at Sadlier 13 years ago. In addition to her work, Angela is on the Georgetown University Library Board and serves on the Advisory Committee for Cristo Rey New York High School. Along with the Sadlier family, Angela has a proven track record of commitment and support of Catholic education.
Mary Pat Donoghue
Executive Director of the Secretariat of Catholic Education
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
MARY PAT DONOGHUE is executive director of the Secretariat of Catholic Education for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Over her 29 years of service to Catholic education, Ms. Donoghue is perhaps best known for her tenure as principal of St. Jerome Academy in Hyattsville, Maryland, where she led the effort to move the parish school from near failure to a now thriving and growing institution. Before then, she served as a vice principal and as a teacher in the classroom; since then, she has consulted nationwide with superintendents, pastors, and principals, sharing her experience in teacher formation and supervision, curriculum implementation, and financial stability, in conjunction with the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education.
Sister Mary Agnes Greiffendorf, O.P.
Associate Director of Faith Formation
St. James Catholic Church, Elizabethtown, Kentucky
SISTER MARY AGNES GREIFFENDORF, OP, is a Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia Congregation from Nashville, Tennessee, a community that has engaged in the apostolate of Catholic education for over 150 years. Sister Mary Agnes has been a member of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia since 1997. She has taught at both the elementary and the secondary school levels, and served in numerous administrative positions including elementary school principal, President of Aquinas College in Nashville, Tennessee, and Director of Bethany Retreat House in Dickson, Tennessee, as well as Director of Education and Coordinator of New Evangelization Initiatives for her religious congregation. She is currently serving as Associate Director for Faith Formation at St. James Catholic Church in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, where she exercises particular responsibility for the initial and ongoing formation of catechists teaching in all faith formation ministries serving children in pre-K through grade 8. She holds a bachelor’s degree in teacher education from Aquinas College, a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s degree in theology from Providence College and is currently a doctoral candidate in Catholic educational leadership and policy studies at The Catholic University of America.
Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer
Diocese of Savannah
BISHOP GREGORY J. HARTMAYER, OFM Conv., is the fourteenth Bishop of the Diocese of Savannah, appointed by Pope Benedict XVI on July 19, 2011 and consecrated and installed on October 18, 2011. He joined the Order of Friars Minor Conventual, commonly known as the Conventual Franciscans, and took his simple vows in 1970 at the St. Joseph Cupertino Friary in Ellicott City, Maryland, before making his solemn profession in 1973. He received a Master of Education in Secondary Catholic School Administration from Boston College in 1992. Bishop Hartmayer also has been a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Administrative Committee and the Committee on Priorities and Plans, and currently serves on the Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe.
The Reverend Dennis H. Holtschneider, CM
Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities
FATHER DENNIS H. HOLTSCHNEIDER, CM, is the newly appointed president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), as of July 2019. He is a Vincentian priest and has spent his life working in Catholic higher education and Catholic healthcare. Fr. Holtschneider was president of DePaul University, the nation’s largest Catholic university from 2004-2017, having served in various administrative and faculty roles at Niagara University and St. John’s University (NY) from 1989-2004. He chaired the board of Ascension, the Church’s largest Catholic health system from 2008-2017, and from 2017-2019, served fulltime as its executive vice president and chief operations officer. A Detroit native, Fr. Holtschneider earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Niagara University in 1985 and studied for the priesthood at Mary Immaculate Seminary. He received a doctorate in administration, planning and social policy in 1997 from Harvard University. Currently, he is a faculty member for several higher education leadership programs at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, as well as the Boston College Institute for Administrators in Catholic Higher Education.
Richard N. Kappler II
Chief Executive Officer
RICK KAPPLER serves as the CEO of a family office based in Wilmington, Delaware, where he manages investments, finances/taxes, charitable giving and employees. The family office serves over 40 family members, including spouses and children. Rick is also on the board, including on its investment and executive committees, for another family office based in Chicago. Prior to these roles, Rick worked at the Carlyle Group in Washington, D.C. While there, Rick served in a number of progressive roles for global and multi-asset class investment portfolios. Rick obtained an MBA from Duke University. He is also a CPA and graduated from James Madison University with a degree in accounting, a concentration in accounting information systems, and a minor in history. Rick has been active in the community through his involvement in non-profit, educational and religious organizations. Rick served as a board member of Archbishop Carroll High School from 2012-2015 and as a board member of the Capital Area Food Bank, including as chair of the Mission Effectiveness Committee from 2011-2014, both of which are based in Washington, D.C. Rick participated on the Strategic Planning Committees of the Diocese of Arlington (VA) Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Campaign for Human Development from 2008-2013. From 2002-2009, Rick was a varsity basketball assistant coach for Thomas Jefferson High School in Annandale, Virginia. Rick currently resides in Wilmington, Delaware, with his wife and three sons, who attend St. Cornelius Catholic School in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.
Hosffman Ospino, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Theology and Education
Director of Graduate Programs in Hispanic Ministry
Boston College, School of Theology and Ministry
HOSFFMAN OSPINO, Ph.D., is associate professor of theology and religious education at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. His research work focuses on the dialogue between faith and culture, and how such dialogue shapes Catholic education, catechesis and evangelization. His research looks closely at the U.S. Hispanic Catholic experience. He has authored and edited several books, including Hispanic Ministry in the 21st Century: Present and Future and the works resulting from two groundbreaking national studies for which he served as the principal investigator: Hispanic Ministry in Catholic Parishes and Catholic Schools in an Increasingly Hispanic Church. Hosffman worked for the National Confederation of Catholic Education of his native Colombia. He and his wife Guadalupe are actively involved in Hispanic ministry in the Archdiocese of Boston.
Karen Rauenhorst, RN, MPH
Mark and Karen Rauenhorst Foundation
KAREN RAUENHORST, RN, MPH, serves the Catholic Relief Services Foundation as vice chair, and is the former chair of St. Catherine University’s governing board, serving a four year term. Mrs. Rauenhorst was acting president of St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, from June 2016- August 2016 and is a trustee for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in addition to serving on several other boards and foundations. After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Creighton University, Mrs. Rauenhorst then received a Master in Public Health from the University of Minnesota.
Saint Xavier High School
TIMOTHY REILLY, president of the highly regarded Saint Xavier High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, joined the NCEA Board of Directors in 2013. Beginning his leadership career at St. Catharine Catholic School in 1990, Tim is the first lay president of St. Xavier. He takes great pride in leading a school whose graduates live out being men for others. His school aggressively and intentionally forms boys into men who are intellectually competent, religious, committed to justice, open to growth and loving. Tim works with Catholic schools across the country to build mission-driven, joy-filled communities. Tim has shared his gifts and talents with NCEA by chairing the Board’s Institutional Advancement Committee, as well as chairing an Awards Selection Committee for the NCEA president.
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of Louisville
LEISA SCHULZ currently serves the Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky, as superintendent of schools. This experienced educator has significant NCEA involvement. Additionally, she has worked with USCCB Federal Assistance Advisory Commission (FAAC). Leisa is currently working to increase Latino enrollment in the archdiocesan schools, where she says the biggest challenges to Catholic education are financial and demographic shifts. She remains committed to enhancing and improving academic and faith-formation programs, identifying governance structures and providing ongoing training for board members and cultivating future leaders of Catholic schools.
Matthew Shank, Ph.D.
MATTHEW D. SHANK, Ph.D., is the president of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges. Matt had previously served as the sixth president of Marymount University assuming the position in July 2011. With a strong commitment to Catholic higher education and an understanding of Marymount’s diverse, inclusive learning environment, he began his first year by initiating a visioning process to clarify the university’s identity and the way forward. Input from the Marymount community contributed to the resulting vision, which states in part that “Marymount University will distinguish itself through a culture of engagement that fosters intellectual curiosity, service to others and a global perspective.” Before coming to Marymount, Matthew served for three years as dean of the School of Business Administration and professor of marketing at the University of Dayton. Prior to joining the University of Dayton, he was a faculty member at Northern Kentucky University and chaired the Department of Management and Marketing.
Carolyn Woo, M.S.I.A., Ph.D.
Former President and Chief Executive Officer
Catholic Relief Services
CAROLYN Y. WOO, M.S.I.A., Ph.D., joined the NCEA Board of Directors in July 2017. She is the former president and CEO at Catholic Relief Services (CRS), where she also served on the Board of Directors. Prior to her role at CRS, she was dean at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. Carolyn also was associate executive vice president for Academic Affairs at Purdue University and was the first female dean to chair the accreditation body for business schools (AACSB: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) and directed its initiative for Peace through Commerce. Carolyn has served on numerous boards, including: Catholic Charities USA; Aileron Foundation; the Board of Regents, University of Portland; the Board of Governors, University of Notre Dame Australia; Archdiocese of Baltimore Independent Child Abuse Review Board and USCCB’s Migration & Refugee Services and the International Policy Committee. Dr. Woo attended Purdue University, where she received her B.S. in Economics, M.S.I.A. and Ph.D. degrees.
Board Members Emeritus