Healey Awards $2.5M and Knowledge Assets to Boston College for PreK-12 Catholic School Board Training Program

July 11, 2023

The Healey Education Foundation has awarded $2.5M to the Roche Center for Catholic Education at Boston College along with learning tools, resources and know-how to establish a PreK-12 Catholic school board training program. The grant will further the Foundation’s mission to Build a Better Board Every Day: For the Future of Catholic Schools. The Roche Center will use grant funds for training initiatives to develop school leaders’ executive management skills and build the capacity of Catholic school board members.

Christine L. Healey and her father, the late Robert T. Healey Sr, at the Foundation’s Mount Laurel, NJ, office in 2017. They had established the Foundation in 2004 to bring sound business principles to the challenges of revitalizing Catholic Schools. Since then, the Foundation’s proven board building process has grown in reach and measurable results at more than 200 schools and 10 dioceses across the US. The Healey team helped launch 112 boards, conducted 135 market assessments and established 114 school advancement offices.

The program will offer the direct 1:1 board coaching and peer mentoring that the Foundation has successfully executed across 10 dioceses. It will also employ a new online learning system to jumpstart the training of Catholic school board members. The system will provide access to both self-paced coursework and real-time conversations with today’s most successful working boards that have both responsibility and authority. These boards are mission-driven, data-informed and equipped to take charge of their schools’ futures. 

“Any Catholic diocese or school in the country that is ready to launch a best-in-class board or strengthen its current board can now look to the online Executive Leadership training program at the Roche Center for Catholic Education,” said Christine L. Healey, President, Healey Education Foundation. “The Roche Center is dedicated to developing leaders of the future and equipping them for excellence. This aligns perfectly with the Healey Education Foundation’s mission of expanding that leadership to the lay community that serves Catholic schools as board members.”

In addition to providing funding for the executive leadership and board training to be implemented by the Roche Center, the Foundation will gift all the developed tools and resources needed for board training. Future programs will be based on the Healey Education Foundation vision for school board training (PDF).

“Effective governance leads to stronger, sustainable Catholic schools. Given the depth of work our Roche Center team has done to strengthen leaders, this generous gift from the Healey Education Foundation expands our ability to further advance our shared vision of transforming Catholic schools. With great enthusiasm, we will be able to continue making a difference on the ground rapidly in keeping with the Healey tradition of  ‘walking with’ those addressing the challenges facing our Catholic schools at the local level.” ― Melodie Wyttenbach, PhD, Executive Director, Roche Center for Catholic Education, Boston College

Dr. Wyttenbach is the Executive Director of the Roche Center for Catholic Education and faculty member for the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College. Her current research and scholarship focuses on urban Catholic education, system-level leadership, effective governance practices, character formation across networks of schools and the intersection of immigration and education. Her published work includes Seven Steps to Strategic Planning for Catholic School Leaders (2020) and reflects a strong commitment to the dynamics of a well-governed school.

The organizations have developed a transition plan to enable successful transfer of the knowledge assets for a full buildout of the online learning system and an extensive resource library for schools and boards. This includes the hiring of two full-time staff members at the Roche Center, supported by the Foundation’s grant, to implement the program and work directly with school leaders, board members and diocesan superintendents. Boston College plans to launch a pilot to an initial cohort of Catholic school and board leaders in Fall 2023.

Through this program, school and board leaders and board members will be better positioned to:

  • Affirm and advance the Catholic school’s mission and deliver on its unique value proposition
  • Ensure financial sustainability, sound business practices, transparency and accountability
  • Broaden the school’s base of support through development and increased engagement
  • Drive toward strategic planning and succession planning

The signing of the grant agreement with Boston College coincides with Healey’s transition from an operating to a grant-making foundation. Since 2008, the Foundation has also contributed to Catholic Partnership Schools (Camden, NJ) via Christine Healey’s service as founding Board Chair and financial investments such as its recent $700k gift. Moving forward, Healey will continue to support CPS and will offer other grant funding by invitation.

“I am so grateful for our team, our alumni school colleagues and our philanthropic partners who have shared this beautiful journey as we’ve together helped realize my dad’s vision,” Healey said. “Of course he loved Catholic schools. He also advocated for both urgency and legacy in this work and talked often about building structures if you want anything to last. Our collaboration with Boston College is just that: an essential framework to continuously evolve board building into the future, beyond our lifetimes.”


Students of Healey alumni school Community of Saints Regional Catholic (West St. Paul, MN). A key guiding principle of the Foundation’s work has been: We serve children, first and foremost. Not directly, as teachers do. But every day, when solving problems and recommending solutions, we ask ourselves: What will best serve Catholic school students?



For More Details See FAQs: Healey Transition & Roche Center Board Training Launch  (PDF)