Biographies - Veritas Preparatory Academy


Veritas Preparatory Academy

Faculty and Administration Biographies


Christina Andaloro Life Science; Biology

Bachelor of Science, (Biology with Spanish Concentration), University of Dallas

Two years of research in Microbiology and Physiology/Cell Tissue Research at University of Dallas

Biology Department, she also worked as Head Spanish Tutor.

Michael Austin Assistant Headmaster, Academics; Geometry

• PhD (cand.) (Philosophy), University of Dallas

Master of Arts (Philosophy), University of Dallas

Bachelor of Arts (Liberal Arts), Thomas Aquinas College

Adjunct Instructor in Philosophy at the University of Dallas; taught college level writing and high school

Math, sciences and advanced placement courses; LSAT and SAT instructor for the Princeton Review. He has taught at Veritas Preparatory Academy for five years.

Rachel Barton Assistant ESS Coordinator

Certification in Therapeutic Recreation, National Center for Therapeutic Recreation Center

Bachelor of Science (Therapeutic Recreation), Arizona State University

Direct support specialist, AZ Child and Family Support Services; elementary and junior high education experience; member, Arizona State Therapeutic Recreation Association; coach, fifth and sixth Grade volleyball.

Simran Bassi Art

Secondary Teacher Certification, Art

Master of Fine Arts (Painting), State University of Illinois

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting), State University of New York College at Fredonia

More than ten years of experience teaching in high school art programs. Her art work has been displayed in many exhibitions, galleries and venues; recipient of many awards and scholarships in recognition of her talent. She has been with Veritas Preparatory Academy for five years.

Cameron Blaauw

Paul Boyer


Master of Arts (Classics), University of Kentucky

Master of Studies (Classical, Christian Studies), New Saint Andrews College

• Bachelor of Arts (Spanish), Hillsdale College

Experience in secondary and college level instruction; experienced dancer and tennis player.

Humane Letters

Master of Arts (Communication Studies), Arizona State University

Bachelor of Arts (English), Arizona State University – Barrett Honors College, Magna Cum Laude

Vice-Chair of Health Committee and member of Appropriations, Education and Joint Legislative Audit committees in the Arizona State Legislature; associate faculty teaching Mass Communication, Media

Influences on American culture, Public Speaking, U.S. Constitution at the University of Phoenix; policy advisor/communications specialist at Arizona House of Representatives; Supervisor of District

Communication; former legislative liaison at Arizona Department of Corrections; widely published on a number of education-related topics.

Nicholas Brancaccio


Bachelor of Arts (Classics), Reed College, Oregon

Fluent in Latin; experienced Latin tutor with an internship at American College in Rome, Italy.

Adriana Burton

Front Desk Receptionist

Bachelor of Arts (Business Administration), UCLA

Fluent in Spanish; extensive experience with administration, oral translation, and customer service;

Veritas Prep parent.

Rita Calvert Spanish

• Master of Arts (Spanish), Arizona State University

• Bachelor of Arts (Spanish), State University of New York, Binghamton

Taught Spanish at the college level for three years; has been teaching Latin, Spanish, and Earth Science at Veritas Prep since 2005. Formerly coached girls’ basketball on the middle-school and varsity levels, and cross-country.

Kary Cawley


Master of Arts (French Studies), Middlebury College, Vermont and Paris

Diplôme d’université (Française), Université de Droit, d’Economie et de Sciences, Aix-Marseille

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Theatre), The College of Santa Fe

Bachelor of Arts (Journalism, Public Relations), Fairmount College

Experience teaching French, tutoring English to French students, and professional acting in New York and Los Angeles.

Anthony Cerbo Assistant Athletic Director

• Bachelor of Arts (Business), Seton Hall University

Extensive athletic experience, including scholastic involvement with baseball and football. Founder of baseball league; recruitment, fundraising, scheduling, designing uniforms experience.

Robert Colgan Geometry, Calculus

Master of Arts (Mathematics), Bowling Green State University

Bachelor of Arts (Mathematics), Hillsdale College

Experience as graduate teaching assistant in Business and Math Departments at Bowling Green State

University as well as with a CNC programmer.

Sandra Correa Spanish

• Doctor of Philosophy (Spanish Literature), Arizona State University

Master of Arts (Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies), Iowa State University

Bachelor of Arts (Spanish Communication), University of the Sacred Heart, Puerto Rico

Experience teaching secondary and college level Spanish; published scholar and participated in numerous conferences exploring issues related to Latin America and Mexico.

David Coste Music

• Bachelor of Arts (Music Composition and Theory), University of California, Los Angeles

Over twenty years of experience as musician and instructor; fluent in classical and jazz/pop musical styles, and has experience in multimedia musical applications.

Cynthia Coughlon

Dean of Girls; Literature and Composition

Bachelor of Arts (Religious Studies), University of Iowa

Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment certified in Elementary Education; more than six years of experience teaching Literature and Composition; Speech and Debate; home educator for ten years;

former President of Veritas Parent Organization. She has been with Veritas Preparatory Academy for five years. Veritas Prep parent.

Jeffrey Dick Art

Master of Fine Arts, Illinois State University

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Arizona State University

Teaching experience in fine arts for more than ten years at the high school and college levels; visiting artist and lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Painting Program); numerous solo and group exhibitions of his work in the greater Phoenix area as well as in Chicago, Atlanta, England and

Ireland; extensively published; art featured in numerous public collections in the United States and

Europe. He has taught at Veritas Preparatory Academy for 12 years.

Ben Dickerson

Benny Dominguez

Humane Letters

Master of Arts (Religious Studies), Arizona State University

Bachelor of Arts (History and Philosophy), Arizona State University

Experience includes tutoring in Philosophy and Religion; ten years of experience with Veritas teaching

Human Letters and World History. He has taught at Veritas Preparatory Academy for eleven years.


• Bachelor of Music Education (Secondary Education), Northern Arizona University

• Secondary Teaching Certificate (Music Endorsement K-12), Arizona

Specialized study in choral and orchestral music; experience as undergraduate teaching assistant and teaching middle and high school.

Catherine Esser

Michael Fink

Front Desk Receptionist

• Bachelor of Science (Elementary Education), University of Wisconsin

Six years of experience teaching elementary education in Scottsdale Unified School District; parent of

12 th

and 7 th


Humane Letters

• Master of Arts (Political Science), Boston College

• Bachelor of Arts (Liberal Arts), Thomas Aquinas College

Nine years of experience teaching Humane Letters; English instructor in Padua, Italy. Senior Trip and

Homework Club coordinator.

David Flick Exceptional Student Services (ESS) Coordinator

Master of Arts (Special Education - In Process) University of Kansas

Bachelor of Arts (Social Studies), University of Kansas

Kansas NCLB Highly Qualified in SPED Math, History, Government, and Social Studies

MANDT System Certification

Interrelated behavior case manager experience; more than 10 years high school teaching experience; more than 12 years coaching (varsity) experience in baseball, basketball, rugby and volleyball.

Joseph Giles U.S. History; Ancient History

Master of Science (Management), Northern Arizona University

Bachelor of Science (Economics), Arizona State University

Former Media Relations manager and legal fellowship mentor for Alliance Defense Fund, Recreational

Leader for the City of Scottsdale, and Instructional Facilitator in the Scottsdale Unified School District. He has been with Veritas Preparatory Academy for five years.

Marshall Glass

Drama; Poetry

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Art History), Arizona State University

Extensive experience teaching, acting, and directing with Southwest Shakespeare Co., Phoenix Theater, and Theater Outback.

Debra Goodman-Herman Exceptional Student Services (ESS) Coordinator

Master of Science (Community Health), Long Island University

Bachelor of Arts (Speech and Hearing), Queens College

Cross Categorical Special Education License (K-12), Arizona

Extensive experience as a special education instructor and developing programs to adapt curriculum to foster student learning; training in nonviolent crisis intervention, anxiety disorders, motivational techniques, positive behavioral interventions, and special education law.

Natalie Gubler Life Science; Biology

Bachelor of Science (Molecular Biology), Brigham Young University

Bachelor of Arts (French), Brigham Young University

Laboratory Assistant (Bio-Chemistry); nine years of teaching experience (Biology, Chemistry, Physics,

Math, and French); fluent in French.

Aaron Harris Ancient History; Medieval History

• Bachelor of Arts (History), Hillsdale College

Studies focused on medieval intellectual history and philosophy; experience in publishing historical essays.

Michelle Huntley

College Counseling; Special Event Coordinator

Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), George Washington University

Organized hundreds of events, established student groups, and worked with scores of university faculty across the country at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute; database management; communications consultant and newsletter manager; recruited and managed hundreds of volunteers.

Nathaniel Jeffries

Latin; Poetry

Bachelor of Arts, Honors (Classics), Brown University

Four years Latin instruction at the Wheeler School; host of Poetry Night at Brown University.

Alexander Julian

Dean, Middle School; Humane Letters; Medieval History

Bachelor of Arts (History), Arizona State University

Experience teaching U.S. History, Lit/Comp, Medieval History, and Humane Letters; founded Great

Hearts, Great Hands community service club; recipient of Excellence in Teaching Award from Xavier

College Preparatory. He has been with Veritas Preparatory Academy for five years.

Adam Kear Latin

Bachelor of Arts (Classics and Philosophy, minor in Religious Studies), University of Pittsburgh

NEH Seminar Dante’s Commedia, in Siena, Italy, State University of New York

Six years of experience teaching Latin language and culture at the secondary level; significant study abroad; studied, taught and wrote about ancient and medieval authors; professional activities include

Medieval Latin and Medieval English reading groups, the Schola Cantorum of the Pittsburgh Oratory, the

American Classical League.

Alexandria Lane

U.S. History; Dean of Special Projects

Bachelor of Arts (PPE), The King’s College

Archway Veritas Assistant Teacher (2012-13); Fellow, John Jay Institute; Debate coach, Mars Hill Debate

Society. Dean of Special Projects at Veritas Prep.

Kaura Lavery

Geometry; Math Fundamentals

Bachelor of Arts (Liberal Arts), St. John’s College

Experience as Assistant Teacher to Lead Teacher at Archway Veritas; trained in first aid and CPR.

Amie Lyon

Assistant Director of Academy Giving

Bachelor of Science (Advertising and Public Relations), Texas Christian University

Experience as marketing director for a Texas chamber of commerce and for the American Stroke

Association; grant writer for Veritas Preparatory Academy; experience in land development and realtor.

Alec MacIsaac

Literature and Composition

Bachelor of Arts (Liberal Arts), Thomas Aquinas College

Swimming instructor; drama instructor; high-school Sunday School instructor; boys’ club organizer.

Robynne Madigan Geometry; Pre-Algebra

• Bachelor of Science (Mathematics), Biola University, Dean’s List

Experience as a private tutor in Mathematics, Science, English and Geography; member of the Torrey

Honors Institute.

Sean Madigan Biology; The Nature of Science

Doctor of Philosophy (Psychology), University of Pennsylvania

Master of Arts (Psychology), University of Pennsylvania

Bachelor of Science (Psychology), Arizona State University

• Bachelor of Arts (Religious Studies), Arizona State University

Teaching experience in college-level Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychology, Perception, Visual

Neuroscience; writing tutor to science students. Master Teacher in Science at Veritas Prep.

Sarah Marbach Director of Academy Giving

Master of Arts (Education), Northern Arizona University

Master of Arts (Educational Counseling), Northern Arizona University

Bachelor of Arts (Education), Arizona State University

Fourteen years of experience as a Teacher and Assistant Principle, middle school; has served in the

Development office of Veritas Preparatory Academy since 2013; was a grant writer for the Creighton

School District. Veritas Prep parent.

Malcolm Martindale Librarian

Jesuit Novitiate (Philosophy), Westminster Diocesan Seminary

Diploma (Theology), Edinburgh Diocesan Seminary

• Secondary education at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, United Kingdom

Commissioned into Royal Artillery (TA); worked in sales positions to U.S. military; started import company for sale to U.S. Forces; co-owned import business and served as European Representative for business shipping to U.S. Military Commissaries Europe; became a U.S. Citizen in 2002. He has been with

Veritas Preparatory Academy for five years.

Jessica McCaleb Dean, Middle School; Poetry; Humane Letters

Master of Arts (Humanities), University of Dallas Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Bachelor of Arts (English), Hillsdale College

Class of 2007 Summa Cum Laude, Veritas Preparatory Academy; taught Latin at Hillsdale Academy, faculty member of The St. Timothy School teaching Latin II for Seventh through Tenth Graders, also taught Algebra to students in Seventh and Eighth Grades; Kindergarten Phonics Aide; research for

Alliance Defense Fund in Phoenix; languages include Latin, moderate German, and ancient Greek.

Thomas McDonald

Karen Mercado

Humane Letters; Literature and Composition

Master of Divinity, St. John Vianney Seminary

Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy, Classics), Pontifical College Josephenum

Arizona State University football (2003-2004); ranked sixth nationally in wrestling; male athlete of the year, Seton Catholic High School; extensive coaching experience (football, wrestling); four years of teaching experience.

Dean of Academics; 504 Coordinator; Spanish

• Master of Arts (Spanish Applied Linguistics), Arizona State University

• Bachelor of Arts (Music and Modern Languages), Knox College

Curriculum Consultant in Modern Languages for Great Hearts Academies since 2005; Coordinator,

Summer Language Emersion Program in Cuernavaca, Mexico; Master Teacher of Modern Languages and

Dean of Academics, and taught Honors Spanish and Ninth and Tenth Grade Music Theory and Choir

Performance at Tempe Preparatory Academy; Board Member, Veritas Preparatory Academy. Veritas

Prep parent.

Douglas Minson


Doctor of Philosophy, Coursework and Comprehensive Exams complete (Philosophy), The

Catholic University of America

Master of Arts (Philosophy), The Catholic University of America

Hanns Seidel Foundation Research Fellow (Medieval Scholasticism), Thomas-Institut der

Universität zu Köln, Germany

• Bachelor of Arts (Political Theory), College of William and Mary

Former Vice President for Academic Affairs and Programs at the John Jay Institute in Philadelphia,

Pennsylvania; currently serves the John Jay Institute as Senior Fellow for Culture and Education;

Executive Director of Academic Programs at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) and Executive

Director of the Collegiate Network from 2008-2011; designed and oversaw hundreds of academic events and journalism programs, including conferences, lectures, debates, colloquia, and seminars at universities across the country.

Serves on Board of Directors for Mars Hill Audio Journal and on the Editorial Advisory Board at The

Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society; has lectured extensively and taught seminars on political, religious, cultural, and educational themes, including Liberal Arts Education, American Identity, Thomas

Aquinas, William Wilberforce, Sophocles' Antigone, and Alexis de Tocqueville.

Elizabeth Moore

Literature and Composition; Medieval History

Bachelor of Arts (Liberal Arts), Thomas Aquinas College

Extensive journalism and writing experience (San Diego Post-Tribune, Intercollegiate Review); drama instruction.

Blake Myers

Humane Letters; The Nature of Science

Bachelor of Arts (Liberal Arts), St. John’s College

Experience in teaching at Veritas Prep for the last four years.

Valerie Nicoulaud Physics; Chemistry

Master of Science (Material Science), Institut National Polytechnique, Toulous, France

Bachelor of Science (Chemistry), Ecole Nationale Superieure de Chimie, Toulouse, France

University (Associates) Degree (Chemistry and Computer Science), Aix-Marseille Saint-Jerome

University, France

University (Associates) Degree (Chemistry), Institut Universitaire Techynologique de Chimie,

Orleans, France

Professional membership in American Chemical Society; member of GCC Green Efforts sustainability organization; native French speaker; former Adjunct Faculty for Maricopa Community Colleges teaching

Chemistry lecture and lab; experience with grant writing/review; former research scientist in Ontario,

Canada, and analytical chemist in Lyon, France.

David Nydegger

Oladeji Odumosu

Humane Letters

Master of Arts (Religion), Baylor University, Presidential Scholar

Master of Arts, Magna Cum Laude (Theological Studies), Duke University Divinity School

• Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude (Humanities and English), Milligan College

Former Adjunct Instructor of Humanities at the college level and teaching fellow in Religion.


Bachelor of Arts (Mathematics), Arizona State University

ACSI certified math teacher

Experience teaching math to 7-12 th

graders with a focus in Algebra and Calculus. Former apprentice math tutor at Archway Trivium Classical Academy.

Judi Paffenbarger Director of College Counseling

• Bachelor of Arts (Psychology, Sociology, Economics), Simmons College, Cum Laude

Varied experience working as a Social Worker with Marriott Corporation, and as the College Counselor at Arcadia High School before joining Veritas in 2013 as the Director of College Counseling; community service and involvement in local art events at the Desert Botanical Gardens and Berridge Nursery; formerly served on the Advisory Board of Scottsdale Community College as the High School Liaison; member of the University of Arizona High School Counselor Board and the Honors College Board.

J. Sebastian Pagani Greek; Latin

Bachelor of Arts (Classics), University of Cincinnati, Louise Taft Semple Scholar

Bachelor of Arts (Liberal Arts), St. John’s College

Former student in PhD program, Department of Classics (Classical Philology), University of Toronto; former Teacher of Classical Languages (Latin) at Scottsdale Preparatory Academy. He has been with

Veritas Preparatory Academy for five years.

Shane Pulliam Chemistry

Bachelor of Science (Science Education), University of Arizona

Bachelor of Science (Chemistry), University of Arizona

Arizona State Secondary Education Certification (Chemistry, General Sciences)

Experience teaching earth science, chemistry, and physical science; experience coaching boys and girls soccer.

Jenny Rathsburg Music

Master of Arts (Choral Music Education), Arizona State University

Bachelor of Arts (Music Education), DePauw University

More than fifteen years of choir directing experience with both children and adults; six years of experience teaching general and choral music to students in first through twelfth Grades before joining

Veritas, where she has taught for three years.

Denise Reimann

Nicole Rizkallah

Registrar; Office Manager Assistant

• Associate Degree, Drakes Business School

Over 30 years of administrative experience in business, legal, and school settings.

Assistant Headmaster, Operations

Master of Arts (Liberal Arts), St. John’s College

Bachelor of Science (Finance), California Lutheran University

Former Director of College Counseling at Great Hearts Academies, experience in college counseling and student cultural initiatives at Glendale Prep and Scottsdale Prep; Intercollegiate Studies Institute

Director of Campus Events (organized hundreds of campus events, conferences, seminars at colleges and universities across the country); Witherspoon Fellow and Tertio Millenio Fellow at Dominican Priory,

Krakow, Poland.

Joshua Rognstad Economics

• Bachelor of Science (Economics), Arizona State University

Experience teaching economics at public charter schools in Arizona; former teacher of English and

American culture to Somali students.

Denise Semerdjian Office Manager

• Secretarial and Office Studies Certificates, Monkwearmouth College of F.E.

Nine years of experience as Office Manager at Arizona public charter secondary schools; notary public.

Anthony Sifert

Dean, High School; Humane Letters

Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy), Thomas More College of Liberal Arts

Middle School History instruction; ESS Assistant teaching; former researcher for Alliance Defense Fund.

Marilyn Clark Silva

Michael Sullivan,


Doctor of Music (Percussion Performance), University of Minnesota

Master of Music (Percussion Performance), Arizona State University

• Bachelor of Music (Percussion Performance), CSU Sacramento

Experience in instruction of percussion and ensemble performance; director of steel band.

Humane Letters

Juris Doctor, William Mitchell College of Law

Graduate work (History and Latin), University of Minnesota

• Bachelor of Arts (History and Latin), Arizona State University

Attorney for more than 20 years in private practice and for the University of Minnesota’s Student Legal

Service; extensive teaching experience in various legal issues as well as high school Math, Business, Art

History, Latin, Greek, Italian, Mythology, Medieval and Ancient History, and computers. A member of several professional classical associations; reads Latin, Spanish and Ancient Greek; fluency in Italian,

French and German; served in the United States Army Intelligence corps as a translator and interpreter.

Teacher of Classical Languages and Humane Letters at Veritas for 12 years.

Thomas Thoits Literature and Composition

Master of Arts (English Literature), Louisiana State University

Bachelor of Arts (English Literature), University of Dallas, Cum Laude

Veteran Teacher of Poetry, Literature and Composition, and Humane Letters since 2005; experience as

Assistant Headmaster and Master Teacher in Lit/Comp and Poetry; experienced at mentoring and providing curricular support to new faculty. He has been with Veritas Preparatory Academy for ten years.

Benjamin VanHolland Math Fundamentals; Algebra

Master of Arts (Educational Leadership), Northern Arizona University

Bachelor of Arts (Liberal Studies), Azusa Pacific University

Teaching Certificate (7-12 Math), Arizona

Principal Certificate (K-12), Arizona

SEI Certificate (7-12 Full Endorsement), Arizona

Experience teaching middle-school math; former Scottsdale Prep math teacher.

David Wagner

Humane Letters

Juris Doctor, George Mason University School of Law

Master of Arts (Medieval Studies), Yale University

Bachelor of Arts (History), Yale University

Professor, Regent University School of Law (16 years); extensive publications in constitutional law, public policy, opera; speechwriter, U.S. Department of Justice; fluent in French; conversational/reading knowledge of German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and Latin.

Jeremy Wagner Latin

• Bachelor of Science (Classics, Materials Engineering), Brown University

Completed some coursework for a PhD in Applied Physics from Harvard University. Experience teaching at college level and in engineering industry with both Boeing Company and Raytheon Company; gifted musically and learned in Latin and Ancient Greek.

Brian Warczinsky Calculus; Greek

Bachelor of Arts (Liberal Arts), St. John’s College

Summer Greek Intensive, University of Michigan

Mathematics and German coursework, Michigan State University

Experience tutoring in Mathematics, History, and Music at college and high school levels; reading knowledge of German, French, and Ancient Greek.

James Ward

Earth Science

Bachelor of Science (Physics), Portland State University

Eight years of teaching experience in Earth and Physical Sciences in Paradise Valley School District and

Diocese of Phoenix, Pope John XXIII Catholic School; led youth science camps; his students have received awards at Intel’s Central Arizona Region Science and Engineering Fair; experienced in business management and business development. He has taught at Veritas Preparatory Academy for eight years.

Jeremy Williams Algebra; Physics

Doctor of Philosophy (Physics), University of Illinois

Masters of Science (Physics), University of Illinois

• Bachelor of Science (Physics), The Ohio State University

Over eleven years of experience in teaching science and math at both the collegiate and secondary school level; developed curriculum; experience in coaching and leading many co-curricular activities.

Trudi Wimberley Assistant Athletic Director

Master of Science (Human Nutrition), University of Bridgeport

Bachelor of Science (Physical Education), Auburn University

Extensive experience as a physical education instructor and director of programs for community service work; former English and middle-school instructor in Japan; girls cross country coach at Veritas Prep.

Kristan Youn Algebra

Bachelor of Arts (Education), Arizona State University

Postgraduate study in Arizona Constitution and Structured English Immersion

Many years of experience teaching upper school Mathematics in a classical liberal arts private school setting (including Pre-Algebra, Algebra I and II, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Pre-Calculus); experience as musician, vocalist, piano instructor and accompanist; certified in Standard Secondary Education,

Mathematics 7-12 and Structured English Immersion Endorsement, K-12.

Keith Zaborski Athletic Director

Masters of Education (Higher and Adult Education), Arizona State University

Bachelor of Business Administration (Marketing), Davenport University

Ten years of experience in business development and operations management of a nationwide health and fitness program, and an entertainment, sports and promotions company; former Sports Director of a local YMCA; former Program Director of the Phoenix Suns; volunteer coach and official for local YMCA, and Sports Official for the Arizona Interscholastic Association and the Charter Athletic Association.