Our leadership team collectively brings decades of experience in education—from the classroom to administration offices—along with fields like publishing, youth ministry, diocesan leadership, writing, editing, and graphic design.
The richness of our backgrounds nourishes our ability to create accurate, engaging, and faithful textbooks like nothing else you’ll find on the market. Read on to learn more about us!
MICHAEL VAN HECKE, M.ED.
Founder and President
A graduate of Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California, Michael taught history in a Catholic high school and later became headmaster of St. Augustine Academy in Ventura, California. With his friend, the late Dr. Rollin Lasseter, Michael started Catholic Textbook Project in the year 2000. Michael is also a founder of the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education, of which Catholic Textbook Project is the publishing division.
MATT SUMERS, M.A.
Beginning more than 40 years ago as a youth minister, Matt moved into education. He taught junior high religion in a Catholic school and served as a parish and diocesan director of faith formation. Matt then worked successfully in sales and marketing for religious education materials before joining Catholic Textbook Project in 2015. Since his arrival, he has overhauled the marketing arm and helped the company reach twice as many schools.
CHRISTOPHER ZEHNDER, M.A.
A graduate of Thomas Aquinas College, Christopher has worked as a graphic artist, printer, journalist, school headmaster, and teacher of history, English, literature, Latin, theology, and mathematics. Affiliated with Catholic Textbook Project since its founding in 2000, he filled various roles before becoming General Editor. Christopher has written several of our textbooks, edited and contributed chapters to others, and made art selections for many.
Louise is the Customer Service Manager for Catholic Textbook Project and is glad to answer your questions or help you place an order. Louise is also a board member of St. Augustine Academy in Ventura, California.
Dr. Rollin Lasseter
An acclaimed and award-winning professor, Rollin co-founded Catholic Textbook Project with Michael Van Hecke in 2000 and served as the first General Editor of the history series. He was a member of the English faculty of the University of Dallas until his retirement. Rollin died in 2008.
As our book designers, Hespenheide holds their work to the same standards of excellence to which we hold our research and writing. They have a wealth of experience designing books for Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, Reader’s Digest, Sunset Books, The Entertainment Industry Foundation, and more.
We thank the countless historians, professors, teachers and students who have contributed, reviewed, and provided ongoing feedback to this project.