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
Simran Bassi
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
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.
Paul Boyer
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Benny Dominguez
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
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
12th and 7th grader.
Michael Fink
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
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
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
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
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.
Karen Mercado
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
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
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.
Oladeji Odumosu
Bachelor of Arts (Mathematics), Arizona State University
ACSI certified math teacher
Experience teaching math to 7-12th 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
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
Jenny Rathsburg
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
Registrar; Office Manager Assistant
Associate Degree, Drakes Business School
Over 30 years of administrative experience in business, legal, and school settings.
Nicole Rizkallah
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
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
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.
Michael Sullivan,
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
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
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
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.
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