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. Click HERE
to view NCEA’s new bylaws that 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 George V. Murry, SJ
Bishop of Youngstown
MOST REVEREND GEORGE V. MURRY, SJ, became the Chair of the NCEA Board of Directors in 2015. Bishop Murry has served the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, as its bishop since 2007. This Camden, New Jersey, native entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1972. Since his ordination in 1979, his ministerial career has found him as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University as well as the president of Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, D.C. Appointed an Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago in 1995, Bishop Murry was appointed Bishop of St. Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands in 1999. His appointment as Youngstown’s fifth Bishop came from Pope Benedict XVI in 2007. The bishop’s commitment to Catholic education is also recognized by his presence on a number of schools boards, including Fairfield University (Connecticut) and Walsh University (Ohio). At the November 2015 meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Murry was elected chair of the Committee on Catholic Education. His term will begin in November, 2016. He is also a board member of The Butler Museum of American Art in Youngstown.
NCEA PRESIDENT/CEO (Ex Officio)
Thomas Burnford, D.Min.
National Catholic Educational Association
THOMAS BURNFORD, D.Min., was appointed President/CEO of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) in August 2016. Previously, Dr. Burnford served the Archdiocese of Washington as Secretary for Education where he managed the Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Director for Catechesis, and 22 professional staff members. He had oversight of Catholic education, including executive leadership, of a system of 94 Catholic schools and 139 parish religious education programs serving more than 50,000 students and 30,000 adults. Other highlights of Dr. Burnford’s two-decade career in the archdiocese include, developing and implementing policies for Catholic schools, including strengthening Catholic identity, establishing regional school agreements, and designing protocols for school viability planning; working with Cardinal Wuerl and pastors to increase tuition assistance to $6 million (from $800,000 in 2007) for students; lobbying and advocacy initiatives at the local, state and national levels, including support of the Opportunity Scholarship Program; restructuring urban Catholic schools resulting in the successful Consortium of Catholic Academies that now serves over 700 inner-city students; executive planning for major events within the archdiocese, including archdiocesan catechetical days, large-scale strategic planning events and two papal visits (Pope Benedict XVI in 2008 and Pope Francis in 2015); and transitioning the archdiocese from individual school accreditation to a comprehensive system accreditation through AdvancEd.
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, also 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."
Kevin Baxter, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Archdiocese of Los Angeles
KEVIN BAXTER, Ed.D., was appointed Senior Director and Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles by Archbishop Jose Gomez on July 1, 2015. Kevin is a part-time faculty member in the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University, where his courses include Private School Law and Ethics and Organizational Leadership, among other current topics. Kevin is the author of Changing the Ending (NCEA, 2011), which focuses on innovation and new approaches for Catholic schools so they can grow and thrive for future generations. He wrote a chapter in The Practitioner’s Guide to Catholic School Leadership (NCEA, 2012) titled “Financial Leadership in Catholic Schools” and has been published in Momentum magazine. His keen interests are leadership in Catholic education, dual language immersion, special-needs inclusion in Catholic education and the law and Catholic/private education.
Rev. John Belmonte, S.J., Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Diocese of Joliet – Blanchette Center
REV. JOHN BELMONTE, S.J., 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.
Thomas M. Buckley
Archdiocese of St. Louis
THOMAS M. BUCKLEY, ESQ., joined the NCEA Board of Directors as an at-large member in 2012. This Catholic-school-educated attorney has been a member of the Missouri Bar since 1989 and the Illinois Bar since 1990. He has served the Archdiocese of Saint Louis in civil litigation matters since 1990. He has chaired the Archdiocesan Parish Teacher Committee and has served as the President of the Archdiocesan Board of Education. He has also served as an adjunct professor of civil practice at Saint Louis University School of Law and currently serves as an adjunct professor of Catholic School Law at St. Louis University. In 2013, Tom became the General Counsel for the Archdiocese. In addition to his legal practice, Tom is very committed to the life of his home parish, Saint Ambrose, serving as a past member of the Saint Ambrose Athletic Association as well as Lay Director of Saint Ambrose Parish baseball.
Most Reverend Frank Caggiano
Bishop of Bridgeport
Chancery: The Catholic Center
THE MOST REVEREND FRANK J. CAGGIANO was installed as Fifth Bishop of Bridgeport, Connecticut on September 19, 2013 at St. Theresa Church in Trumbull. On February 22, 2014, he formally convoked the 4th Synod of the Diocese of Bridgeport, the first in 32 years, as an opportunity for renewal and pastoral planning for the future of the local Church. After a series of listening sessions, Bishop Caggiano announced the diocesan themes of empowering youth, building up the community of faith, fostering evangelical outreach and promoting works of charity and justice. On September 19, 2015, more than 8,000 faithful throughout the diocese turned out at the Webster Bank Arena in downtown Bridgeport for the Synod Celebration Mass to formally launch diocesan renewal. Born and raised in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn, he was ordained to the priesthood on May 16, 1987 in the chapel of the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston, Queens, NY. A noted catechist, Bishop Caggiano was invited by Pope Benedict XVI to deliver World Youth Day talks in Sydney in 2008 and Madrid in 2011, and by Pope Francis to serve as a catechist at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, 2013. In November 2013, he was appointed to a three-year term as episcopal advisor of The National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry. Bishop Caggiano presently serves on four committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB): Committee on Doctrine, Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, Committee on Orthodox Union Catholic Dialogue and Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.
Margaret O. Casey, Esq.
MARGARET (PEG) CASEY joined the NCEA Board in 2013. Peg is an attorney in private practice with more than 30 years of experience in corporate transactions and land use. She also is co-owner of Casey Communications, LLC, a full-service communications firm that includes 40 Shades Media, (video production), and Student TV Central, an Internet company that provides video hubs for school websites. Committed to Catholic education, the company provides Student TV Central video hub services at no charge to inner-city Catholic schools in the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Prior to joining the Board, Peg served on the Board of Directors for Chaminade College Preparatory in West Hills, California for six years, where she chaired the Policy and Planning Committee.
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 the current 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.
Sister John Mary Fleming, O.P.
Secretariat of Catholic Education
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
SISTER JOHN MARY FLEMING, O.P., joined the NCEA Board of Directors in 2012, upon her appointment as the Executive Director of the USCCB’s Secretariat of Catholic Education. A member of the St. Cecelia Congregation of Dominicans, Sister’s educational training includes a B.S. in Elementary Education, a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Supervision, an M.A. in Theology and a J.C.L. in Canon Law. She has, during her ministerial years, provided leadership to schools and colleges, as well as to her own religious congregation. Sister has provided inspirational seminars and workshop presentations to a host of diocesan schools and school departments.
Michael Galligan-Stierle, Ph.D.
Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities
MICHAEL GALLIGAN-STIERLE, PH.D., became a member of NCEA’s Board of Directors in 2010, upon his appointment as the new President and CEO of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU). Prior to this appointment, Michael served as USCCB’s Assistant Secretary for Catholic Higher Education and Campus Ministry. He came to this role after years in college-level directorships of campus ministry, including Wheeling Jesuit University and the Archdiocese of Miami. His ministerial career also includes parish-level adult education and faith formation.
Sister Mary Agnes Greiffendorf, O.P.
Saint Cecelia Congregation
SISTER MARY AGNES GREIFFENDORF, O.P., 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 (St. Gertrude School in Cincinnati, Ohio, St. Pius V School in Providence, Rhode Island and St. Cecilia Academy in Nashville, Tennessee) and served as Principal of St. Pius V School from 2008-2011. Sister Mary Agnes is currently Director of Education for her religious community, supporting the sisters in their work as teachers and principals in nearly 50 schools in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Teacher Education from Aquinas College (Nashville), a master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s degree in Religious Studies from Providence College, and is currently a doctoral student in Catholic Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at The Catholic University of America.
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 Assistant Professor of Hispanic Ministry and Religious Education at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. His research work focuses on the dialogue between faith and culture, with particular attention to 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. Dr. Ospino 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.
St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic School
TIMOTHY REILLY, Principal of Saint Ignatius of Loyola Catholic School in Cincinnati, Ohio, joined the NCEA Board of Directors in 2013. Beginning his leadership career at St. Ignatius in 2008, Tim leads a highly regarded and respected school in the Cincinnati area. He takes great pride in leading a school that successfully engages a wide range of exceptional learners. His school aggressively and intentionally embraces the whole child. Under his leadership, the joy-filled climate and Catholic Identity of St. Ignatius is clear to all who interact with the students and staff. Tim leads a very committed faculty, who are consistently engaged in ongoing professional development. 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 USCC’s 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.