Team members of the Roche Center for Catholic Education desire to share their gifts, experience and expertise in service of Catholic education and its sacred mission to create excellent K-12 schools that serve and minister to all students in the name of Christ. We look forward to connecting and collaborating with you!
Core Team Members
Melodie was named executive director of the Roche Center for Catholic Education and faculty member for the Lynch School of Education and Human Development in 2019. Prior to coming to Boston College, Melodie served as an assistant professor and academic director of the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program for the Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame. She also has served as president of Nativity Jesuit Academy and director of mission effectiveness for the NativityMiguel Network of Schools in Washington, DC. Melodie presents nationally on topics such as Catholic School Governance and Effective Board Management, Strategic Planning, Development and Enrollment Management Strategies, and Making Schools Culturally Competent for New and Existing Latino Families. Her published work includes Seven Steps to Strategic Planning for Catholic School Leaders (2020) and Responding to the Call for Educational Justice: Transformative Catholic-Led Initiatives in Urban Education (2018). Melodie has a doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and master's degrees in educational administration from Marquette University and education from Mount Mary College.
Prior to joining the Roche Center in 2018 as a fiscal and operations administrator, Ana served as a fiscal and events specialist for Boston College's Center for Centers, where she coordinated events and managed the financial aspects of the department. Ana earned a master's degree in leadership and administration from the Woods College of Advancing Studies at Boston College in 2017.
Liz is a passionate advocate for Catholic schools. Having received a Catholic education from kindergarten through a master's degree, Liz enjoys giving back to the institutions that formed her. She has taught at the elementary, middle, high school and graduate levels. Currently, she serves on the Catholic Schools Foundation’s Allocations Committee, and is a board member of the Sacred Heart STEM School. She also is an active member of the Boston College Alumni Association. Liz has undergraduate degrees in psychology and theology from Boston College, and a master's degree in education from the University of Notre Dame through the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program.
Molly has served as a teacher-leader and principal in both Catholic and public schools, respectively. Most recently, she served as principal for nine years in the Chelmsford, Massachusetts district, where she was instrumental in facilitating Social Emotional Learning (SEL) effectively in all schools as approved Tier 3 SEL sites. Molly completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership at Boston College, where she also served as a clinical supervisor of student teachers while completing her degree and an administrative internship in the Boston Public Schools.
Denise is a graduate of the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College, where she explored the intersection of faith, justice and education, and served as a graduate assistant for both the Roche Center and the Director of Initiatives for Formative Education. For her thesis, she designed and facilitated the course "Immigration and the Catholic Educator's Response," which is offered through the Roche Center. Before coming to Boston, Denise ministered as a teacher for 14 years in urban Catholic and public schools in Kansas City, Kan. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a master’s degree in Education.
Prior to joining the Roche Center, John served as executive director of Operational Vitality for the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), where he oversaw the organization's programs related to communications, marketing, budgeting and finance, technology management, and digital learning and discipleship. He also served as the assistant superintendent for academic excellence and budget supervision for the 32 Catholic schools in the state of South Carolina. John has a doctorate in Organizational Change and Leadership from the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California.
Elena comes to Boston College from Eastern Connecticut University, where she was an assistant professor and director of their online bilingual education program. Throughout her 20-year career as an educator, Elena has served as supervisor of ESL, World Languages, and Dual Language Programs in New Rochelle, NY, and West Hartford, CT; as a board member for Upper-West Success Academy in NYC; and as a board member of New York's Brilla Prep Schools, a charter schools network with a Catholic approach. Sada has a master’s degree in Supervision and Administration of Schools and Districts from Hunter College, CUNY; a master’s degree in Theological Studies from the University of Dallas; and a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Bilingual and Multicultural Education from the University of Connecticut.
Louis is Superintendent of Schools and Secretary of Education for the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Del. Before assuming this role in 2012, he served as assistant superintendent in the diocese, and also as director of curriculum PreK-12 and professional development for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He also has served as principal and teacher for several Catholic schools in Pennsylvania and as a professor at Neumann University and Chestnut Hill College. In every role, Louis sees his ministry in Catholic education as both an invitation and gift as he journeys with others and encounters Jesus Christ. Louis has a doctorate in educational leadership from Immaculata University.
Cristina's professional experiences range from big four public accounting audit services to private equity, financial consulting, and national advancement team leadership of the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education partner school network. One constant across industries has been Cristina's focus on business turnaround efforts with empathy and support for leaders. Cristina has a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Notre Dame and an M.B.A. with a marketing concentration from Loyola University Chicago.
William (Bill) Patrick Ford is the founding principal of Cristo Rey New York High School, where he served in that role for 15 years until 2019. Motivated by persistent educational inequity, Bill led the team that studied the social, economic and educational need for the school, and ultimately garnered support of community-based organizations and secured corporate employers and a school site. Now Assistant to the President and COVID-19 Response Coordinator for Xavier High School in New York, Bill continues to mentor principals and teachers from the Cristo Rey Network in the areas of curriculum and assessment. Bill earned an Ed.M. in educational administration from Columbia University, where he was a Klingenstein Fellow.
Phil is coordinator of Latino Outreach in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. In this position, he works with a select group of Catholic schools to increase Latino student enrollment by developing enrollment management plans that identify and engage new pools of prospective families, create targeted marketing collateral and recruitment events, and empower parent ambassadors to engage in the marketing and recruitment process. Phil has presented his work, titled “Culturally Competent Recruitment of Latino Families,” at the national NCEA Conference.
Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools (TWIN-CS) Programming
Laura is a postdoctoral research associate with the BUENO Center for Multicultural Education and the Department of Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity (EECD) in the School of Education at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She also is part-time faculty with the English as a New Language (ENL) program within the Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame. Laura has a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with concentrations in bilingual education and English as a Second Language (ESL) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Having served as a bilingual classroom teacher, reading specialist, consultant and educational researcher, Gloria has extensive experience in developing dual language curriculum. She has her own consulting firm, which provides professional development workshops to school teams and helps districts develop their literacy and dual language programs. Gloria earned a doctorate from the University of Southern California and holds a master's of education degree in language and literacy from Harvard University with a reading specialist credential focused on second language acquisition.
Roche Center Fellows
Jeremy has lived in the Boston area for the last 18 years and has been a teacher and department head at a Christian prep school just north of the city. Having studied theology and philosophy (with a master's degree in philosophy from Boston College), Jeremy is researching the ways in which schools, as institutions, shape the lives and identities of students, particularly around issues of democracy and equality. Along with this, he is also interested in the ways actions within school life, particularly religious school life, can be viewed through the lens of ritual or as a kind of practice.
Fr. Gilbert is a Catholic priest from Nigeria. Before his studies in the United States, he served as a teacher, principal, and member of the Nsukka Catholic Education Commission in his native country. His research interests include educational change and policy, Catholic education, the tutorial relationship model, and formative / meaning-making education. In partnership with the Roche Center, Fr. Gilbert organized the Catholic Educators’ Conference in Nigeria and investigated the practice of the tutorial relationship model in Mexico and Chile with the Womenhoven grant. He has masters' degrees in Educational Leadership and Curriculum and Instruction from Boston College and a bachelor's degree in Philosophy and Theology from Pontifical Urban University, Rome.
A native of Dublin, Ireland, Carly-Anne taught middle school religion and high school theology in Corpus Christi, Texas, before moving to full-time ministry in higher education as the Catholic chaplain at Stony Brook University. Wishing to return to studies, she earned a master's degree in religious education at Fordham University while serving as the director of religious education at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, New York City. Carly-Anne has a master's degree in ecumenics from the University of Dublin and a master's degree in education from the University of Notre Dame with the Alliance for Catholic Education.
Kevin is writing his dissertation on the application of Rasch-Guttman scenario scales to examine teacher candidate perspectives on their student teaching supervision experience. During his time in MESA, Kevin has worked in the Office of Field Placement & Partnership Outreach, providing guidance in assessment and statistical analysis, and playing a major role in the Lynch School’s state and national accreditation. Kevin has also worked for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) at the Center for Instructional Support and Educator Preparation team, providing psychometric support for survey analyses and authoring a report on the current state of diversity of Massachusetts’ educator workforce.
Originally from Veracruz, Mexico, Luis moved to the United States five years ago as he continued to seek his vocation. Prior to his work with the Roche Center, Luis worked as a graduate assistant for the School of Theology and Ministry in Continuing Education, where he discovered his passion for “unending learning." Luis has worked in several pastoral settings, which have deepened his appreciation for diversity. This has motivated him to become part of the Roche Center, where he is honing the tools and strategies for better connections between faith and reason in the classroom.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Penn., Kayla obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame. Prior to joining the Roche Center, Kayla was involved in several organizations that work with incarcerated individuals, at-risk youth, and adolescents. At the Roche Center, Kayla assists in research examining pathways to increase the presence and influence of Hispanic teachers and leaders in Catholic schools. In the future, Kayla hopes to work at the intersection of mental health, education and Catholicism.
Katie served for two years as a fourth grade teacher at St. John Paul II Catholic School in Minneapolis, Minnesota, while earning a master's degree in education from the University of Notre Dame through the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) Teaching Fellows program. Her research focuses on the intersection of faith, culture, and schooling, and she has worked with Native American Catholic schools in the areas of culturally-sustaining pedagogy and truth, reconciliation, and healing. Originally from Vienna, Virginia, Katie earned a bachelor's degree in Spanish and music from the University of Notre Dame.
Michael is an award-winning theatrical producer and music director, has held senior positions at the Charlotte Symphony, Davidson College, and Habitat for Humanity, and earned an MFA in theater from the University of Texas at Austin. His most formative work has come along the frontiers, in Europe and especially in Central America, where he has a long association as guest artist with Teatro la Fragua, the Jesuit theater in Honduras. He hopes his work at Boston College allows him to explore more fully the lessons he has learned from folks in Honduras: about poverty, courage, art, laughter, and faith.