Our Team

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His Eminence, the Most Reverend Saba Isper Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

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Scott Speier, M.D., Chairman — Dr. Speier attends St. Athanasius Church in Santa Barbara, CA.

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V. Rev. Jon Braun, Board Member — Fr. Jon is attached to St. Athanasius Church in Santa Barbara, CA.

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V. Rev. John David Finley, Vice Chairman — Fr. John is attached to St. Athanasius Church in Santa Barbara, CA and is the Chairman of the Antiochian Dept. of Missions & Evangelism.

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Dn. Tom Braun, Board Member — Dn. Tom is attached to St. Barnabas Church in Costa Mesa, CA.

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Fr. Adam Roberts, Board Member, Dean — Fr. Adam pastors St. Paul in Katy, TX and is the Content Creator of the Antiochian Dept. of Missions & Evangelism.

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V. Rev. Gregory Rogers, Board Member — Fr. Gregory is the pastor of St. Catherine Church in Aiken, SC.

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Fr. Matthew Snowden, Board Member, Principal — Fr. Matthew is the pastor of St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, Jackson, TN 

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Kh. Kelleylynn Barberg, Board Member, Administrator — Kh Kelleylynn attends St. George Antiochian Church in Niagara Falls, NY 

FACULTY

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Brian Ashland Brian is a member of St. Ignatius Orthodox Church in Madison, WI where he likes to help out with church school and drink coffee. He also went on a OCMC mission trip to Alaska in summer 2015 in a group led by Fr. John Chagnon. At St. Athanasius, Brian teaches Classical and Biblical  Greek with SAA, and has degrees from the University of Wisconsin and Gordon-Conwell Theology Seminary.

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Fr. Photius Avant Father is the pastor of St. Sava Orthodox Church (OCA) in Allen, TX. He and his wife, Mat. Carissa, have served their parish since 2011. Before entering full-time ministry in 2014, Fr. Photius was a secondary level (6-12) English Language Arts teacher for nine years. He loves spending time with his family and eating ice cream.  Fr. Photius joins SAA for the first time this year teaching New Testament and Bible Stories.  

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Kh. Kelleylynn Barberg, Administrator With a “degree of experience ” of 20 plus years (and counting) in homeschooling my crew and 27 years of marriage to Fr Raphael Barberg, Kh. Kelleylynn is ready to give back  to the Orthodox-community! Kh. Kelleylynn holds an Associates degree in Business Administration and has managed large corporations to small businesses; currently her personal business as a photographer.  You will also find her behind the scenes as the Public Relations Officer with the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America as well as the Administrator with SAA. For the 2022-2023 Fall term, you’ll find Khouria not behind the scenes, but in front of the screen–behind her lens, teaching a Photography class with St Athanasius Academy. 

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Fr. William Bennett – Fr. William Bennett serves as Rector of St. Nicholas of Myra Orthodox Church in Manhattan and Dean of the New York Deanery for the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese. He holds a Bachelor of Social Studies Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Theology from Christ the Saviour Seminary in Johnstown, PA. He and his Pani Ileana have three children and live in the city. He enjoys winemaking, baking, and playing with his children.  You’ll find Fr. William teaching many subjects from Bible Stories for 4th/5th graders, Elementary American History, and 5th grade Language Arts

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Adrienne Bowling. My name is Adrienne Bowling and I live in Alabama with my wonderful husband and six beautiful children. I have a Bachelor of Science in Education with a minor in Christian Counseling. I have been homeschooling for over 10 years and have been an Online ESL teacher for 3.5 years. Our family became Orthodox in 2016 and are attending St. Symeon’s Orthodox Parish in Birmingham, Alabama. We were blessed to be able to travel to Russia and Serbia to experience Orthodox life there. I look forward to seeing my students in class this year. May the Lord Bless you!   Mrs. Bowling brings her talents to SAA in teaching just about everything: 4th and 5th grade Science, 4th grade Language Arts, 4th grade Social Studies, and Social Studies level courses in Middle School.

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Gerald Bowling. Gerald is the husband of Adrienne Bowling, and together they raise and teach 6 children!  He’s recently retired from law enforcement with eighteen years of Law Enforcement experience. Five years work he worked as an Investigator which included working General Investigations and MajorTheft Units; two years working as a field training officer where he trained new officers how to work as police. Mr. Bowling will teach a new class offering elective on Criminal Justice. 

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Father Patrick Cardine Fr. Patrick is pastor of St. Patrick Orthodox Church in Bealeton, Virginia and administrator of The Orthodox West.  He offers his very own course creation: “Compelling Conversations” to the SAA High School community.

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Deacon Michael Dehaven Deacon Michael has been teaching German since 2008. His fascination with languages started at an early age when he came across his dad’s German-English dictionary. During his teenage years he took classes in Spanish and German, dabbled in Biblical Hebrew, and taught himself Russian. Shortly after High School, he spent three and a half years in Germany, stationed in Frankfurt with the Air Force. While there, he and his wife traveled to different places in Europe, enjoying various cultures. Later, he earned a BA in German from Washburn University, then an MA and PhD in Germanic Languages and Literatures from the University of Kansas. The focus of his dissertation research was on applying Second Language Acquisition research to the teaching of German grammar. After several years of teaching and administering language programs at public universities, he decided to leave academia and seek opportunities to teach in an atmosphere that holds to a higher view of both education and students. Michael serves as a Deacon at Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Topeka, KS. He has been married to his wife Sandra since 1991 and has two grown daughters and a cat. In his spare time, he enjoys studying languages, trying to improve his woodworking skills, and volunteering with the Civil Air Patrol.

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Fr. Paul Girgis Fr. Paul is the pastor of St. Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Naples, FL. Born in Lebanon, he immigrated to the United States at a young age. Having been raised in the Pacific North West, where the Orthodox Christian faith continues to be embraced and grow with great zeal, an increasing realization that life without The Church would simply be dull and gray was cultivated. God led Fr. Paul and his family to Yonkers, NY where he earned a Master of Divinity (M.Div) at St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary.

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Katherine Grace, Middle School Vice Principal. Katherine has been teaching in some way or another for 22 years.  Her life’s path has been a bit of a meander through unrelated fields. She has studied music as an undergraduate and spent six months studying abroad in Saratov, Russia.  After completing her degree in 2007, Katherine spent a few years studying theoretical linguistics at the graduate level.  She has always loved learning, but even more than this, the love of teaching and seeing students come alive when they’re excited about something. Katherine has  taught a variety of subjects in multiple formats, from one-on-one tutoring in music and Russian to full classes of grammar and writing for ESL students, and even teaching colleagues the basic details of required testing for medical devices and pharmaceuticals. She is a mother of five children ranging in age from 9 months to 13 years, and has been homeschooling her oldest two sons for  the last five years. Katherine is also the choir director for Sts. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Salt Lake City, UT.  

“I tend to find everything fascinating, and I am constantly seeking to learn that which is new to me or to improve on what I already know.”  Some of the things she enjoys most include music, languages, plants (especially carnivorous ones), insects, spiders, bookbinding, knitting, cooking, baking, old books, collecting more books than she can possibly read, and restoring vintage fountain pens.  Katherine loves reading and trying to read widely.  More than anything, she enjoys spending time with her children and sharing their interests as much as possible.  Katherine brings her plethora of knowledge for her first year with SAA in teaching English 9/10 and Marine Biology.

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Deacon John R. Gresham, Jr.

Fr. Deacon John is a native of King William County, Virginia where he grew up in the African-American Baptist denomination. He is a graduate of Virginia State University and studied Religion at Virginia Union University. After serving as a Baptist Pastor for over 15 years, he converted to Orthodox Christianity and earned the St. Stephen’s Certificate in Applied Orthodox Theology at the Antiochian House of Studies in 2018. That same year, he was ordained to the Holy Diaconate at the Saint Basil the Great Orthodox Church in Hampton, Virginia by His Grace Bishop Thomas. Fr. Deacon & Shamassy Brenda have been married for over 30 years and reside in West Point. He is the author of “Become All Flame: Lent with African Saints” published by Park End Books.

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Gabi Hamblin

Gabi Hamblin attends Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Lynchburg, VA. She has been teaching math and science since 2016. In her spare time, she likes to crochet, garden, bicycle, and play Minecraft with her husband Andrew.

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Fr. Michael Heningham

Fr Michael currently lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife, Khouria Miriam (Carrie), and is the father of five children, plus a French Bulldog named Brigid.  He serves the Antiochian Orthodox Church as the pastor of St Stephen Orthodox Church, Ludlow, MA, and also a Pastoral Counselor providing services to the community at large.  He is a graduate of Richard Stockton University earning a B.A. in Medieval History under the tutelage of Fr. Demetrios Constantelos, of blessed memory.  He completed his Master’s program at Liberty Theological Seminary including a dual major in both Divinity and Pastoral Counseling.  A graduate from the St Stephen’s Program of the Antiochian House of Studies, also earning a Master’s Degree in Applied Orthodox Theology from Balamond University authoring a thesis featuring the Eastern Orthodox influences on monasticism and Church identity in the West.  Most recently attended St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, focusing on the study of Liturgical Theology with a concentration on the Orthodox Western Rite.  Classroom experiences include teaching in Massachusetts at the Jr. High and High School levels, the Gaelic College in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and an upcoming third-year at St Athanasius Orthodox Academy teaching Theology and American History.  

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Deacon Vasily Hinkle

Dn. Basil served 10 years in the Washington House of Representatives 6 years of which as the Minority Whip, resigning at the end of 2012. Before entering the House he served as a County Commissioner for 6 years. He currently is an administrative appeals judge for the Growth Management Hearings Board in Washington State. 

Deacon Basil serves at Prophet Elijah Mission in Ellensburg, WA and  has a Masters in Applied Theology.

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Fr. John Hogg

Fr. John Hogg is the priest in charge at Holy Cross Antiochian Orthodox Church in Grand Rapids, MI.  He and his wife are raising five glorious children.  In 2012, Fr. John graduated with a Master’s in Divinity from St. Tikon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. When he isn’t busy with church life and raising littles, Fr. John offers his expertise in managing finances teaching Personal Finance in the Fall and Spring semesters. 

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Sh Shell Keim, Keim Time Learning 

Sh. Shell Keim is the wife of Protodeacon David Keim of All Saints Orthodox Church in Raleigh, NC. She is the mother of 6 children all of which she homeschooled through 6th grade. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gardner-Webb University and is a graduate of the CIRCE Institute’s three-year, intensive, classical teaching apprenticeship. 

Sh. Shell was director of Education at All Saints Orthodox Church for 15 years and produced their Sunday School Curriculum. She was approached by the Coptic Church in Chapel Hill, NC to assist in creating a school. When she began, there were 4 students and after five years of teaching Kindergarten and being acting Principal, there were 72 students K-7th grade.

Sh. Shell loves teaching children and spent 10 years teaching the middle school Sunday School class at All Saints. Her true home is often in the preschool Sunday School room where she enjoys hands-on learning of all things in the Orthodox Church. There is no child that we can’t learn something from! 

Sh. Shell’s vision of an Orthodox elementary curriculum (Keim Time Learning) that introduces reading, writing, and speaking to Orthodox Homeschool parents and children has been her total focus in her “retirement”. 

Sh. Shell spends a lot of time mentoring young homeschool families and encouraging them to embrace the wonder of learning with their children. When not helping everyone homeschool, she enjoys working in her yard, hanging out with her adult children over good food and amazing conversation. Her son in law calls her the “Julia Child of elementary school teachers”, that does not offend her. Mistakes happen, you succeed, you fail, you laugh, you cry. Children don’t mind seeing you learn, they enjoy the opportunity to join the journey, let them.

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Fr. Andrew Kishler

Fr. Andrew lives in Chicago, where he is the pastor of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church. He has a B.A. in Bible and Theology from Malone College (now University) in Canton, Ohio, and a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Fr. also earned a certificate in youth ministry from the Antiochian House of Studies and spent two semesters at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological School in South Canaan, Pennsylvania. 

Fr. Andrew and his wife, Khouria Patty, have six children, four of whom are currently enrolled in the St. Athanasius Academy.  Fr. Andrew is teaching 4th/5th Bible Stories and his second year teaching “Old Testament: Of Whom the World is Not Worthy”

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Isabella Lash

Isabella’s love for performing first began after stepping onstage at the age of 8 and she is passionate about creating the same opportunity for students of all ages. She is a graduate of The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts and is a DC-based actress. A trained soprano, she has played roles in over 40 productions in Virginia, DC, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and New York City. Isabella has worked as an instructor with Drama Kids International and Middleburg Academy, and directs summer theater camps for teens. Isabella is regularly involved with community theaters in the NOVA area as a director and acting coach, and maintains her own private acting studio, teaching in-person and online.

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Presba. Suzanne Lichtenstein

Presbytera Suzanne  holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, where she studied Music and Foreign Affairs. Post-college, she spent eleven years in the Suzuki Piano Basics training program for North American teachers, under the tutelage of master teachers from Dr. Suzuki’s Talent Education Institute of Matsumoto, Japan. She has studied performance technique and interpretation, and voice technique and pedagogy. Additionally, she studied Byzantine Chant under Dr. Jessica Suchy-Pilalis and Gabriel Cremeens, and spent many years singing Russian Orthodox and Antiochian Orthodox church music in choirs in those jurisdictions. In addition to teaching for SAAOT, Presba. Suzanne teaches private students in piano, singing, and songwriting in the Suzanne Lichtenstein Music School, which operates both in-person and online. Presba. Suzanne and her husband, Fr. Mark Lichtenstein, homeschooled their four children for twenty-five years. They live in central Texas, where they serve at Assumption of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. Presba. Suzanne is experienced in online teaching, and focuses on group engagement and hands-on activities in her classes.

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Fr. Alex Mackoul

Fr Alex Mackoul lives in Myrtle Beach, SC and serves at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church. He has spent many summers on staff at the Antiochian Village and now serves as the Camp Director of Camp St Thekla in Cleveland, SC.

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Dr. Anne McClintic

Dr. Anne is a full-time music educator and vocalist based in Southern California, where she maintains a private studio of 20 piano and voice students. She held the position of choir director at St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral in Los Angeles for six years, and continues to sing and direct for them on occasion. Anne received a BM in Vocal Music Education from Chapman University, and an MA and PhD in Historical Musicology from Claremont Graduate University. Her dissertation focused on Orthodox Church Music in North America.

While at Chapman she had the opportunity to study with choral great Dr. William Hall, and sang in numerous choral tours to the Pacific Northwest, Colorado, Miami, and Italy. She was the recipient of the prestigious director-chosen “Choral Award” at the annual Scholund Scholarship Concert held at Chapman. She also performed with the Pomona College Choir and the Pomona College Glee Club, with whom she toured Poland, London, and Germany.

Anne currently performs regularly with the Pacific Chorale and the Meistersingers, both based in Orange County, California. Recent works include Mozart’s Requiem, Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil, Handel’s Messiah and Vaughn Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem. She can also be heard on the Grammy Award-winning recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel.

Dr. Anne brings her extraordinary talents to the academy teaching Music Literacy and Music Appreciation for the Middle and High school levels.

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Rachel Miltner

Rachel Miltner has a BA in Spanish, lived in Spain for a year, and has been teaching and tutoring Spanish for many years. While learning Spanish, Rachel took classes at the Universidad de Cadiz. She is excited to teach Spanish here at SAA!

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Nicholas Newman 

Since completing his Ph.D. in Classics at the University of Zurich, Nicholas Newman has been teaching Greek, Latin, literature, and history to anyone who will listen, from elementary age to college students. Currently, he is the headmaster at Veritas Classical Academy in Marietta, Ohio. 

The Church has always been an important part of his life, and he is currently working on completing an M.Div. through the Antiochian House of Studies, in the eventual hope of ordination. 

He is blessed with three wonderful children, and an incredible wife, who is tolerant of his book buying habit. 

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Matushka Monica Olsen

Mat. Monica Olsen has been teaching for over 20 years. She started by coaching a high school Speech, Debate, and Drama team: helping them write and perform thousands of speeches, as well as write and produce their own full-length play: Dickins vs Disney. Her students also have written and performed numerous smaller skits and bigger projects, like adaptations of Antigone and The Tempest. In her English classes, she has taken particular pleasure in sharing great literature aloud with her students. 

In addition to writing fiction for her own children, she writes for the St. Nicholas Navigator and for her blog, Orthodox Mothers Digest. Matushka Monica has been collaborating with clergy and other mothers since 2007 to create and teach curriculum for Sunday School, a Diocesan Parish Life Conference Program, and Vacation Church School. Despite her love of teaching, her favorite place to be during VCS is tucked away behind the scenes in the kitchen with a few fellow mothers, making treats for the children.

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Michael Kenneth Pagani, Acupuncture Physician

Michael received his B.S. from The Citadel in 1978 and his Master in Eastern Medicine in 2004. He has practiced Internal, Sports and Fertility Medicine for the past 18 years, In 2020 he received his Master’s in Applied Theology fromthe Antiochian House of Studies and serves as a Sub-deacon at St. Mary’s Basilica in Livonia Michigan. He now lives in Birmingham Michigan with his wife and two children and runs his Medical Apothecary in Royal Oaks on the days he does not teach for St. Athanasius Academy.

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Sadie Paniagua

Sadie has a Bachelor of Arts in Natural Sciences and Mathematics from Thomas Edison State University of New Jersey. She focused her studies on biological sciences while enjoying the range of learning in many branches of science. She found her favorite courses to be parasitology, organic chemistry, physical geology, and calculus. Rather it’s examining rocks on a local hike or developing the ecosystem of her own backyard, Sadie enjoys every opportunity to engage with the local natural wonders of her home state of California through science and its applications. As a big-picture enthusiast, she especially likes to study ecology and the areas of intersect between various natural sciences – such as her capstone research project studying how micro-climates affect the distribution of insect populations. She also studied teaching at California State University of Bakersfield, has many years of tutoring experience, and taught in a variety of public classrooms for three years. A homeschool graduate herself, Sadie loves working to help homeschooling families enjoy practical, rigorous, and creative learning especially in areas of Science and Mathematics. A lifelong learner, Sadie is currently studying to grow her knowledge of herbalism and is eagerly exploring ideas for her next research project.

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Fr. Adam Roberts, Dean

Fr. Adam is the Assistant Dean of St. Athanasius  Academy & College. He is also the full-time Content Creator for the Antiochian Dept. of Missions and Evangelism. In 2017, Fr. Adam graduated from the Antiochian House of Studies with the St. Stephen’s Certificate. In 2020, Fr. Adam received his Masters of Theology in Pastoral Counseling. He has also been the host of several live shows and podcasts, the author of several books, the director of several documentaries, and the founding director of Camp St. Thekla. Fr. Adam currently resides just outside Houston, TX with his wife and children and is attached to St. Paul’s Antiochian Orthodox Church in Katy, TX.

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Fr. Peter Runyon 

Fr. Peter and his wife have three children and reside in sunny Sonora, California where he is the rector of St. Susanna Orthodox Mission and also navigates a chaplaincy position at a local hospital. In 2021, he graduated with a Masters in Divinity from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.  With his many years of Technology and Database Engineer experience, we welcome Fr. Peter to our SAA community as our new Computer Science teacher.  

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Dr. Suzie Schumaker, High School Vice Principal 

Hello, I’m Dr. Suzie Schumaker. I earned my PhD in curriculum and instruction in 2018 from Northcentral University. I am located in the Phoenix, Arizona area. I have 2 young daughters who are very active and we love to cook together. I will be teaching: Math 7-6, Trigonometry, Pre-Alegbra and Anatomy and Physiology. Most recently,  I am one of three Vice Principals within St Athanasius Academy, and will be focusing in High School curriculum and teacher assignments. 
 

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Dallas Shipp

Dallas Shipp is a teacher of natural philosophy and history, and lives in the Deep South. He collects Penguin Classics, explores battlefields, and bakes cakes. He is an ordained reader and has two girls with five names apiece. 

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Fr. Matthew Snowden, Principal 

Fr. Matthew Snowden is the Principal of St. Athanasius Academy. He has a degree in Art from Murray State University, and a Master of Divinity from St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. He was ordained in 2011, served as assistant pastor at St. George Orthodox Cathedral, Wichita, KS., and has been the pastor of St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, Jackson, TN., a mission parish of the AOCA, since 2015. Fr. Matthew was homeschooled from third grade through high school. He and his wife, Khouria Hannah, currently homeschool their four children, and Khouria is the Executive Director of Madison County CASA and has spent all her professional career in the non-profit world. Fr. Matthew has spent many summers as camp priest at both Camp St. Raphael and Camp St. Thekla. He was ordained to the holy deaconate during camp session at Antiochian Village. Before his conversion to the Orthodox Church, he served as youth director at a Lutheran church.

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Kh. Corey Telschow

I am an Air Force Intelligence officer (10 years) turned mom and teacher. Graduate of Texas A&M University (BA), George Washington University (MA), Leicester University (MA) and soon will graduate from the Antiochian House of Studies with MA in Applied Orthodox Theology. I am married to Fr. Mark Telschow and currently live in West Texas. I am the mother of three amazing grown-ups (all Aggies), and I am active in Civil Air Patrol and BSA. I teach FTC robotics and many other classes at Midland Classical Academy (since 2006), and I love to take student groups to Rome and Athens whenever possible. I love to read (especially Tolkien), be outdoors, build and program robots, and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE SCHOOL and being a life-long learner. I cannot wait for the 21-22 school year! 

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Nicholas Thorp

Nicholas Thorp graduated from the Great Books program at St. John’s College Annapolis in 2020, reading everything from the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle to Leibniz’s works inventing calculus and Einstein’s writings on relativity. He taught for two years at a Classical Christian school run out of a Coptic church. During that time, he also studied classical painting and drawing technique under internationally recognized portrait artists Louis Carr and Alex Venezia. When he’s not teaching or painting, he enjoys playing croquet, studying Ancient Greek, playing the banjo, and reading books on whatever subject he’s interested in that month. He and his wife live in his home state of North Carolina.

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Nymphodora Ward

Dora has a bachelor’s in mathematics education from California State University, Chico with a personal focus on Universal Design for Learning and Project or Problem based learning. She also has a great love and experience with several forms of art including sewing. She entered the Orthodox Church in 2015 and is the mother of two young daughters.