Dr. Marco Clark, HCI Executive Director

Marco J. Clark, Ed.D

Executive Director, The Holy Cross Institute

Assistant Professor of Education, St. Edward's University

Dr. Marco Clark has worked as a Catholic educator since 1989. A 1985 graduate of
Bishop McNamara High School, a Holy Cross Brothers’ school in the Archdiocese of
Washington DC, Marco matriculated to the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA
where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and English. He also holds a
Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from Bowie State University and a
Doctorate in Education in Interdisciplinary Leadership from Creighton University.

Marco began his career in Catholic education working as a teacher, guidance counselor
club moderator and coach. Throughout his early career he also held various other roles
including directors level positions in admissions, guidance, and curriculum
development. In 1997 he was appointed principal of his high school alma mater, Bishop
McNamara High School, and in 2010 was named the President/CEO.

In the summer of 2020, the Board of Governors of the Holy Cross Institute at St. Edward’s University and
university president Dr. George Martin named Marco as the first lay Executive Director
in the Institute’s history. The Holy Cross Institute provides research, resources and
leadership development for twenty K-12 schools in the U.S., eight colleges and
universities, and Holy Cross educational ministries in sixteen countries.

Throughout his career in education Marco has served on a variety of advisory and
governing boards, commissions, and task forces. With an expertise in leadership
development and succession planning, Dr. Clark was invited to serve on the National
Catholic Educational Association Leadership Advisory Board in 2016. In 2019 Dr. Clark
was invited by Fr. Robert Epping, Superior General of the Congregation of Holy Cross,
to serve on their International Education Commission representing North American
schools sponsored by the Congregation. Dr. Clark has also published numerous articles
and is frequently invited to speak on a variety of topics related to Catholic school
leadership and governance.

In 2012 Marco was awarded the Secondary Schools’ Administrator of the Year Award
from the National Catholic Educational Association.

Marco is married to Peggy Clark, also a Catholic school teacher. They have three adult
children and five grandchildren. Marco and his wife Peggy reside in Austin TX and are
parishioners of St. Ignatius Martyr Catholic Church.


AJ Valverde, HCI Communications Manager

AJ Valverde

Communications Manager, The Holy Cross Institute 

AJ Valverde graduated from St. Edward’s University in December 2020 with his B.A. in Communication with a focus in advertising and public relations. During his undergrad, he was involved in Campus Ministry - serving in many ways. One of his more impactful moments was the service break experience during spring break 2019, he volunteered at St. Malachy Catholic School in Chicago, IL. He spent a year abroad in Angers, France, a 30-minute train ride west of Le Mans, France (the birthplace of Holy Cross). During his last semester, he did an independent study on the effects of Holy Cross on campus back home in Austin, TX. His research included reading various Holy Cross texts, interviews with students that came from Holy Cross high schools, and a trip to Sanctuaire du Bienheureux Basile Moreau Eglise Notre-Dame de Sainte-Croix where he interviewed Fr. Paul Elie, C.S.C. 

He was introduced to Holy Cross by Br. Larry Atkinson C.S.C. who served as a mentor ever since he first stepped foot on campus freshman year. During his studies, he took a course with Br. Richard Daly C.S.C. titled Catholic Social Teaching, the course was pivotal, leading him to join various social justice-driven organizations. During his last semester of college, he served as Executive Director of Hilltoppers for Hilltoppers. H4H is a student philanthropy council that raises awareness for students gifting their time, talent, and treasure. 

His love for The Congregation of Holy Cross runs deep. In his first couple months with our office, he has launched a new social media channel, developed email campaigns, helped organize Convocation 2021, and more. AJ hopes to bring the Holy Cross Institute brand to an elevated level. His experience with social media, creative writing, and project management will set up the HCI for further success. 

In his free time, AJ enjoys traveling, playing tennis, camping, and time around friends and family. 


Holy Cross Institute Board of Governors

Richard Bautch, Ph.D. (Chair)

Associate Dean of Humanities, 
St. Edward's University, Austin, TX

Dennis Golden, Ed.D.

President Emeritus, Fontbonne University

Board Member, Holy Cross High School, Flushing, NY

Heather A. Gossart (Vice-Chair)

Senior Consultant; 
Director, Executive Mentoring & Coaching, 
National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA);

Former President / CEO, 
Bishop McNamara High School, 
Forestville, MD

Brother Robert E. Lavelle, C.S.C. (Secretary)

Assistant Provincial,
C.S.C. Midwest Province;

Headmaster Emeritus,
Gilmour Academy, Gates Mills, OH

Mr. Terry Lee

Moreau Catholic High School
Hayward, CA

Brother Bob Livernois, C.S.C

Interim Director
Spiritual Care and Mission Integration
Holy Cross Village, Notre Dame, IN

Mr. Deepak A. Patel


Trustee Chair Emeritus, 
Holy Trinity High School, Chicago, IL

J. Andrew Prall, Ph.D.

St. Edward's University
Austin, TX