AHA Leadership

AHA Leadership

AHA Leadership

Tom Shipley, President

Phone: 612-798-2602  Email: tshipley@ahastars.org

Tom Shipley assumed the role as AHA President on August 1, 2011. Shipley has more than 29 years experience in education, in both the public and private Catholic sectors.

He earned his bachelor of science degree in education from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  He has a master’s degree in education administration from Northern Illinois University, and he has also has completed significant coursework at Loyola University of Chicago’s post-graduate/Ed.D program.

Shipley began his teaching career in Libertyville, Illinois. From there he grew his responsibilities and experience, assuming the roles of assistant principal and then principal at Libertyville Public Schools.
After 13 years in public schools, Shipley returned to his hometown of Madison, Wisconsin, to take over the reins as principal—and later as president—of Edgewood High School, a Catholic High School sponsored by the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters.  He was the first lay administrative person to assume leadership in the school’s 128-year history.
During his 14 years at Edgewood, Shipley made significant accomplishments: creating the school’s first lay governance board, initiating an extensive and comprehensive strategic plan, doubling enrollment, increasing annual giving, updating both the general and religious curriculum, enhancing co-curricular programs, and completing a $14 million capital campaign that revamped the Madison campus.  For his work he was named “One of Madison’s Most Influential Leaders” by Madison Magazine, received the Diocese of Madison’s Visionary Leadership Award, and was honored by Edgewood with the Samuel Mazzuchelli Award for Service to Christian Education.
In 2006, Shipley made a professional change to pursue senior management and leadership positions in the business arena.  He was a co-founder and part of an investment group that purchased Greenwoods State Bank, a Lake Mills, Wisconsin, community bank. During that time period, Shipley served as director and senior executive vice president with commercial lending and management responsibilities.

Heidi J. Foley, M.Ed., Principal

Phone: 612-798-2682 Email: hfoley@ahastars.org

Heidi Foley is principal and corporate vice president of the Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield, Minnesota. This Catholic, co-educational high school serves more than 700 students in grades 9–12. Foley leads, guides, and develops professional development opportunities in the areas of curriculum and assessments for AHA educators that continually improve student achievement.

Since becoming principal of this nationally recognized college-preparatory school in 1999, Foley has increased the number of advanced placement courses from two to 17, increased participation in the AP program from 48 to 230 students in 2015, which is 81% of the senior class and 72% of the junior class.  The average ACT rose score from 23.2 to 26.5 in 2015. She also led the faculty in a project to align curriculum in all courses, utilize common assessments, and form professional learning teams to ensure continuous improvement in teaching and learning.

Prior to joining AHA, Foley served as a Spanish teacher for 12 years in Orono Public Schools in Orono, Minnesota. She was selected as the district’s first curriculum director and also served as an interim principal. Prior to her years in Orono, she taught Spanish at Worthington Middle School in Worthington, Minnesota.

Foley’s memberships include the Association for Curriculum and Development, National and Minnesota Associations of Secondary School Principals, and Pi Lambda Theta (Epsilon Chapter membership chair). She is a trained North Central Association Accreditation team leader and Malcolm Baldrige examiner. Foley has presented workshops on assessment and high school professional learning communities with Solution Tree Professional Development and for the School of Education at Loyola University.

Foley's knowledge of curriculum alignment and effective assessments, combined with her experience as a teacher and administrator, result in presentations that speak to all educators who strive to improve their schools and districts. Foley says, “An aligned curriculum with clearly stated student outcomes helps students and teachers attain and measure learning.”

Mark H. Melhorn, M.A., Assistant Principal/Activities Director

Phone: 612-798-2641 Email: mmelhorn@ahastars.org

Mark Melhorn is responsible for maintaining a safe, comfortable environment for the students and staff of the Holy Angels community. Working with the Dean of Student Life, counselors, the Attendance Office and other support staff, Melhorn assists students in dealing with problems and situations that arise inside and outside of school. He is also responsible for Student Government and commencement exercises.

Melhorn earned his bachelor’s degree in Education, and his master’s degree in Secondary Administration. He began his career at Holy Angels as a social studies teacher.

David Devine, Chief Financial Officer

Phone 612-798-2655 Email: ddevine@ahastars.org

David joined Academy of Holy Angels in the fall of 2019. David comes to Holy Angels with over 17 years of experience in finance and accounting, including time spent with the Chicago Public Schools as a Capital Budget Manager and the Minneapolis Public Schools as an Accountant Supervisor.  

He began his finance career with Marquette Partners in Chicago as a Senior Financial Futures Trader.  Most recently, David has served as the Senior Finance Director of the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ), an organization dedicated to permanently closing the achievement gap and end generational poverty in North Minneapolis.  

David is a product of Catholic Education.  He is a graduate of Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul and received his B.A. Degree from the University of St. Thomas in Finance and Economics.  He obtained a Master of Business Administration Degree from DePaul University in Chicago.  

Immediately out of college, he spent two years as an AmeriCorps Volunteer, teaching math, history and coaching basketball at Cathedral College Preparatory High School in Los Angeles, CA.  During college, David was a member of the UST Basketball team, where he was a three-year letter winner and served as co-captain his senior year.  

David and wife live in St. Paul with their five children.  


Carolyn Arnebeck, Athletic Director

Phone: 612-798-2635 Email: carnebeck@ahastars.org

Arnebeck brings a wealth of professional experience to the role and is the school's first female athletic director. She began her career at Academy Holy Angels in April 2015 as the assistant athletic director. In 2019, she earned the AHA Community Association Staff Service and Dedication Award, an award that is voted on by parents and given to a staff member who encompasses living out the AHA Way in their daily role.

Carolyn attended Anoka Ramsey Community College for two years, where she played both softball and basketball. Her basketball team won a National Title in 1994. She continued her playing basketball at Bemidji State University, graduating with a communications degree in 1997, and then went on to earn a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of St. Thomas in 2002.

Carolyn and her husband, Dave, own and run Warrior's Cove martial arts schools with multiple locations in the metro area, where she teaches kickboxing and yoga. Their daughter Aliva attends and plays basketball at the University of Wisconsin - Lacrosse. Outside of work, Carolyn and her family love to exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and especially enjoy spending time at their cabin.


Jim Decker, Director of Admissions

Phone: 612-798-0764     Email: jdecker@ahastars.org

Jim Decker joined the AHA leadership team in August 2022. Mr. Decker brings over 25 years of experience in education marketing, admissions, and campus operations to the position. Jim earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Saint Thomas.

Prior to joining AHA, Jim worked for over 16 years with North American Training Centers Corp, as Director of Marketing and Admissions. After leaving NATC, Jim held leadership positions with other national education providers such as National American University.

Jim developed a new compliance and ethics focused training course specifically designed for admissions and marketing personnel. In addition, Jim led a team that developed and implemented a new enrollment engagement system that flipped the emphasis on gross enrollments as the main component for compensating admissions representatives, to a student retention and graduation rate model.

As Campus Director for Globe University's Graduate Division, Mr. Decker's campus won approval to offer a Doctor of Business Administration degree, which at the time, was the first doctoral level program in the nation to be approved by ACICS, a trade and technical college accrediting body.

Jim brings a strong focus on ethics and compliance to his management of admissions/marketing departments.

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