Faculty and Staff

Miss Ashley Ackerman 2103
Religion and Radio Teacher

  • M.A., Theology and Christian Ministry, Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • B.S., Health Care Systems Administration, A.A.S. Radiography, Ferris State University
  • 2 years teaching high school religion and serving as campus minister at a Catholic high school in Pennsylvania.
  • Experience recording and producing radio shows and videos, as well as monitoring and updating social media, for Dr. Mark Miravalle’s apostolates Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici (or Mother of All Peoples) and The Marian Times
  • Other related experience includes work for Dr. Scott Hahn’s St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, blogging for Jason and Crystalina Evert’s Chastity Project, and speaking on various retreats, especially Franciscan University’s Capture My Heart women’s retreat

In Her Own Words: “Venerable Fulton J. Sheen and St. John Paul II have both long been spiritual fathers for me; given the great influence these very holy men have had on my life, it seems fitting that God has called me to John Paul the Great to teach classes on both religion and media! It is truly humbling to be invited to join such an outstanding team, and I am excited to be a part of the mission of the school. St. John Paul II was spot on when he said “Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure.” It certainly is; Christ always surprises us with amazing things that are better than we ever could have imagined for ourselves.”
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Mr. Walter Addie
Social Studies Teacher

  • B.S., Education, Pennsylvania State University
  • 9 years teaching at Westfield High School, Chantilly, VA
  • College Board Advanced Placement US and Comparative Government course authorization for AP designation 2007 to present
  • Westfield High School Teacher of the Year 2005-2006

In His Own Words: “I feel incredibly blessed and fortunate to continue my lifelong work of teaching and coaching within such a wonderful and faith based community of students and educators. The chance to share and grow under the Lord’s presence and guidance while educating and learning with both students and faculty who share in the same mission and belief in Christ is a truly wonderful opportunity.”
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Mr. Victor Alcantara
Dean of Instruction, NHS Advisor, Religion & Bioethics Teacher

  • M.Ed., Education Administration, Marymount University
  • M.A., Theology, Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College
  • B.A., in Theology, Christendom College
  • Advanced Apostolic Catechetical Certificate, Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College
  • Teaching since 2005, middle school and high school, Religion grades 6-8, 6th grade Math, Language Arts, and Social Studies at St. Louis School in Alexandria, VA.

In His Own Words: “I believe in a Christ-centered education that fosters the formation of the whole person.  I am so grateful for the education and formation that I received in the Catholic school system, and so I am dedicated to helping the youth on their journey to encounter Christ at our school.  John Paul the Great Catholic High School provides this Christo-centric formation for its students on a daily basis. Ultimately, the mission of this school is to help our students to grow in the image of Christ, while addressing their moral, physical, emotional, and academic needs.  I am so thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the mission of our school and the Church.”
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Miss Clare Anderson  2099
Latin and Social Studies Teacher

  • B.A., Classics: Latin, University of Mary Washington
  • 2 years as a volunteer director for Youth Ministry summer drama at Saint Patrick Parish in Fredericksburg

In Her Own Words: “One of my favorite quotes comes from St. John Paul II, “Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are an Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” In a world that sometimes seems to be falling apart, John Paul the Great Catholic High School is a perfect place to be reminded that there is always great cause for joy. I am thrilled to be a part of a community that grasps so wholeheartedly to St. John Paul II’s words. Leonardo da Vinci tells us “to magnify God’s creation.” As a teacher of the Classics and history I am excited to share with students the works of the past that do this as well as inspire them to undertake this task of magnifying creation themselves in all aspects of their lives.”
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Sr. Terese Auer, O.P., Ph. D. 2000
Chair, Bioethics Department

  • M.A., Thomistic Philosophy, University of St. Thomas
  • Ph.D., Philosophy, Center for Thomistic Studies at the University of St. Thomas
  • 29 years of teaching experience at the high school level and 10 years at the college level

In Her Own Words: “Teenagers are at an age when they are looking for the answers to important questions, like: Who am I? Why am I here? What is life all about? How can I be truly happy? I love helping them find the answers — the Truth! I have found in my teaching experience that Saint John Paul’s understanding of human love has had life-changing effects on my students. His Theology of the Body is the answer to the sexual confusion of our day.”
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Mr. Matthew Barrick
Digital Arts Teacher

  • B.S., Art & Journalism, Radford University
  • 21 years Adjunct Professor, Department of Art, The Catholic University of America
  • 28 years working professional photographer
  • 4 books, 5 national awards, over 160 magazine covers
In His Own Words: Finding one’s way in life is never easy. Fortunately, we are not alone in our quest as we have God’s grace and companionship to guide us. As I started off my quest in life as an education major in college, I found that photography was my true passion and calling. However, as God guides me along, I am presented with gifts of opportunity. Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School is one of those rare gifts of grace introduced into my life. First as a parent of children who attend JP and now as a member of a truly wonderful faculty. The ability to combine both my life’s passions, teaching and photography, is a gift that I will work hard to pass forward.

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Mr. Joseph Bender  2108
Social Studies Teacher

  • B.A., Education and English Literature, Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Prior teaching experience in Ohio public school system and in Austria

In His Own Words: “‘Duc In Altum.’ Jesus called the fishermen, and each one of us, to cast into the deep — to plunge into what the infinite God has for us and to bring others to that same font. We are all called to step into the human experience, into the human heart, and guide people to the summit of love, to an intimate encounter with Christ. I have been brought here by what can only be described as the grace of God. It is an honor to be a member of this community and to have the opportunity to serve our Lord and each other with all of you.”
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Ms. Katie Bidinger  2097
Clayworks and Academic Support Teacher

  • M.A., Education and Special Education, Lesley University
  • B.A., Fine Arts, The College of William and Mary
  • Teaching experience special education, middle school math, elementary Spanish, and 5th grade
  • ESOL teacher for Hogar Immigrant Services, Manassas, VA

In her own words: “In his Letter to Artists, Saint John Paul the Great wrote, ‘Not all are called to be artists in the specific sense of the term. Yet, as Genesis has it, all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece.’  I am so excited to be working in a school that will provide each of its students and staff members with intellectual and spiritual foundation to craft his or her life into the masterpiece that God intended it to be, using the talents and gifts given to each by God.”
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Dr. Adam BigbeeBigbee
Assistant Principal for Academics

  • Ph.D, Education Leadership & Special Education, George Mason University
  • M.Ed., Special Education, George Mason University
  • B. A., Religion, University of Florida
  • 15 years experience working with students and adults with disabilities
  • Began teaching career in the Options program at Pope Paul VI High School

In His Own Words: “I have finally found my home, both professionally and spiritually. I am honored and humbled to work for and with each faculty member and student here. This school truly captures the spirit of our patron, Saint  John Paul the Great. Within these walls, we should never be afraid.”

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Mr. Pablo Boteyo
Spanish Teacher

  • B.A., English with a concentration in Western and World Literature, Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Mission work at a Carmelite School in Douglas, AZ, and also in the Bronx, NY

In His Own Words:  “’¡Siempre Adelante!’ These words from St. Junípero Serra have inspired me since I encountered them. Junípero, among other Saints, continuously inspire me, and invite to walk with them to the heavenly kingdom amidst a struggling world. They invite me to have that encounter with Jesus Christ in the human person, and push me to help others encounter Christ himself through me as his representative. This is what life is about for me, the encounter with Christ not only for myself, but for all of those around me.”
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Mrs. Karen Bow
Concessions Manager

  • B.B.A., Austin Peay State University
  • Eleven years owner of KBow Designs, LLC, a custom home furnishing design company
  • Ten years government service in accounting and contract auditing
  • Three years as assistant to the Youth Minister, Our Lady of Angels Parish

In Her Own Words: “St. John Bosco reminds us that if we want to do a good deed, perform a holy act, or do a holy thing we should teach the young!  Not all teaching happens in the classroom, and at Saint John Paul the Great, it is easy to see that the faculty and staff strive to keep Christ the center of all we do for the students.  It’s also been said that “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”  Every day I get to spend time with our amazing students, dedicated staff, and generous parent volunteers.  What could be better?”
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Miss Emma Boyle2037
Director of Mission and the New Evangelization

  • B.A., History, Christendom College; 2008 Study Abroad in Rome, Italy
  • College Board certified in AP Human Geography
  • 2013-2014 Fellow, Leonine Forum, Catholic Information Center
  • Teaching since 2009; Former Social Studies department chair at Saint John Paul the Great

In Her Own Words: “We are so blessed that John Paul the Great is a place with strong academics, a vibrant community life, and a unified mission.  In pursuing holiness and happiness, we look to the leadership of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia and the example of our beloved patron.  Saint John Paul the Great, the traveling pope, traveled all around the world to meet the youth he loved so much.  Here, at the school that bears his name, we encourage young and old alike to follow in his footsteps and carry Christ to the world.”
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Mr. Eustaquio Castro-Mendoza
Science Teacher

  • M.A., National Security and Strategic Studies, US Naval War College
  • M.S., Biology, Angelo State University
  • B.S., Biology, Angelo State University
  • Teaching Assistant, Virginia Tech
  • Navy Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, New York, NY
  • Recently retired as a Captain in the United States Navy after thirty years of service as a Naval Intelligence Officer
  • Career highlights include various operational staff assignments and deployments to the Pacific and Indian Oceans, the Mediterranean Sea, the Arabian Gulf, and ashore in Afghanistan

In His Own Words:  “It is a blessing to return to the roots of my passion: teaching and developing tomorrow’s leaders.  My love of science and teaching has now come full circle, and it is a privilege and an honor to be entrusted with educating the young people at Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School.  I feel truly blessed to have this opportunity.”
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Mrs. Maria-Elena Chellis Chellis staff photo
Receptionist

  • Executive Secretary and Public Relations, Lima, Peru
  • Paralegal Certificate, Graduate School, USDA
  • Immigration Law for Paralegals, Georgetown University
  • Administrative Assistant and Contract Specialist
  • Fluent in Spanish and English

In Her Own Words: “Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said:  ‘Each of us is the result of a thought of God.  Each of us is willed.  Each of us is loved. Each of us is necessary.’  In concurrence with these thoughts of the Pope, it is a rewarding experience to be a part of the office team and community in assisting the Dominican mission of faith at Saint John Paul the Great High school . Each of us in the JP family works together to help the students and their families in school life and faith.”
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Ms. Becky Clement  2101
English Teacher

  • B.S., Literature and Philosophy, United States Military Academy, West Point
  • Currently pursuing a M.A.T. in Secondary Education, Liberty University
  • 6 years of military service in the U.S. Army
  • 9 years of teaching experience in the Diocese of Arlington

In Her Own Words: “Saint Pope John Paul II once said, “Remember that you are never alone; Christ is with you on your journey every day of your lives.”  This is evident here at Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School every day though a truly Christ-centered education.  I feel very fortunate to be here in such a spiritual environment where all acts great and small are done for the glory of God.”
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Ms. Jennifer ColeCole
Communications Specialist 

  • B.A., Communications, California State University Northridge
  • First-ever director of Admissions and Marketing (later revised to Director of Enrollment Management and Communications), Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School, January 2008 – August 2017
  • Director of Communications and Public Relations, Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School
  • Served U.S. Catholic Bishops for 9 years in a national pro-life public policy and communications role.
  • Professional experience includes directorships and public policy roles with the National Council For Adoption and The Pew Charitable Trusts focusing on foster care and adoption reform issues.
  • Religious Education Teacher and Campus Minister, Rome, Italy

In Her Own Words: “To have served at John Paul the Great since before we opened in 2008 is a tremendous privilege. Building the admissions program from the ground up while also telling our unfolding story has allowed me to meet amazing people and work along-side faithful and dedicated colleagues.  John Paul the Great is a very special place. My heart is filled with gratitude for this God-given opportunity to love and serve. I am blessed!”

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Mr. David Collins  1115
Social Studies Teacher

  • B.A., Political Science, Dickinson College
  • 2015 Study Abroad program in Bologna, Italy

In His Own Words: “I am beyond grateful to be a part of the Saint John Paul the Great community! Catholic education has played such a pivotal role in my life, and I look forward to living its values in the classroom and on the field. In the words of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, ‘No one in the world can change Truth. What we can do and should do is to seek truth and to serve it when we have found it.'” 
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Fr. Keith Cummings
Chaplain

  • Ordained a priest for the Diocese of Arlington, June 9, 2012
  • 5 years Parochial Vicar, St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Fredericksburg, Va.
  • M.Div., St. John XXIII National Seminary
  • M.S., Finance, University of Denver
  • B.S., Mathematics & Computer Science, Virginia Commonwealth University
In His Own Words: “I never would have imagined the path that the Lord has opened for me. After many years in the private sector, He first called me to the priesthood. Now, I find myself blessed to be serving the faith needs of this incredible school community. I am humbled by the honor that I have been given to be the third Chaplain of this Great Catholic High School.”

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Mr. Robert Czekaj, CAA2052
Math Teacher, Head Baseball Coach

  • M. Ed., Administration and Supervision, Shenandoah University 
  • B.S., Accounting, minor in Business Administration, Frostburg State University
  • 7 years math teaching experience and 5 years as Director of Athletics
  • 26 years Coaching Experience in football, basketball and baseball

In His Own Words: “I am very excited about the opportunity to teach and coach at Saint John Paul the Great. It is a pleasure to work at a high school that is so focused on the students, academically, spiritually and athletically.  I am extremely fortunate to be in a school that fosters an educational environment that allows teenagers to be successful as students and as contributors to the greater good.  Long ago when I first began coaching, I witnessed the joy of young people who began to have success at something they previously could not do.  These moments inspired me to become a teacher and I am thankful that I now witness these events in the classroom as well as during athletic competition.”
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Mrs. Stephanie DeRaymond
Math Teacher

  • B.S., Mathematics/Secondary Education, Bethany College
  • Professional teaching experience spans over twenty years of teaching in public and private school covering the levels of kindergarten, middle school, high school and college
  • Named “Middle School Mathematics Teacher of the Year” by the Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics (2014); Super Spartan Teacher of the Year (1990), Saunders Middle School Dale City Outstanding Teacher Nominee Spring (1991); Nominated for Who’s Who Among American Teachers

In Her Own Words: “As much as you want to plan your life, it has a way of surprising you with the unexpected things that will make you happier than you originally planned.  That is what you call God’s Will.  It was definitely God’s Will to finally make my dream of teaching at Saint John Paul the Great become a reality.  I am honored and blessed to be warmly welcomed into such a dynamic community of individuals.”
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Ms. Kelly EverettkellyEv
English Teacher

  • Ed.S., Teacher Leadership, Walden University
  • M.A., Teaching, James Madison University
  • B.A., English, James Madison University
  • Professional experience includes 3 years at James Monroe High School as English teacher, and faculty coordinator of their literary magazine

In Her Own Words: “I feel blessed to have the opportunity to become one of a team committed to providing an enriching academic and spiritual education. As each year passes, I find I have a deeper understanding and love of my faith and of learning. I pray I will be fortunate enough to pass along these two loves to the students of Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School.”
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Miss Anna Foster
English and Speech/Debate Teacher

  • M.Ed., Secondary Education, George Mason University, in progress
  • B.A., Communication Studies with English Literature minor, George Mason University
  • Two years experience as a substitute teacher for Prince William County Schools

In Her Own Words: “I am so happy to be part of the faculty at Saint John Paul the Great.   It is a blessing to have the opportunity to teach in a community that fosters the intellectual, spiritual and ethical growth of its students.  One of the most beautiful aspects of literature is its potential to bring empathy and understanding into our lives.  As an English teacher, I value the opportunities to use literature to inspire students to explore how they can use their gifts to lead lives of faith, service and integrity. ‘Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.’ – William Butler Yeats”
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Mrs. Diana Foster1106
Assistant Athletic Director 

  • M.S.B.A., San Diego State University
  • B.S., Political Science, United States Naval Academy
  • 11 years as a United States Navy Supply Corps Officer
  • 2 years as Assistant Volleyball Coach, United States Naval Academy and as staff member in the NCAA Compliance Office

In her own words: “I feel so fortunate to be part of a school that professes such an important mission and truly carries out the mission every day.  To contribute to the ethical and spiritual development of young people is an important responsibility and a true blessing.  I am overjoyed to be part of Saint John Paul the Great.”
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Ms. Annemarie Francis
Athletic TrainerFrancis

  • M.S., Sports Medicine, Georgia State University
  • B.S., Sports Medicine, All University Honors, High Point University
  • National certification as an athletic trainer, and Virginia Board of Medicine licensure as an athletic trainer, plus a health and physical education teaching license in Virginia
  • More than 15 years professional experience across various levels of sport competition, with just over half being at the high school level
  • Served as a medical volunteer at the 1996 Centennial Olympics, and as a Medical Operations intern with the 1996 Paralympic Games, and other local running/walking events in the D.C. metro area
  • Member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, and currently on the governmental affairs committee for the Virginia Athletic Trainers Association

In Her Own Words: “As a product of a Catholic high school education, I live out the values and lessons learned back then, balancing academics and sports within the Catholic faith which supports the development of the whole person. I am excited to be sharing those ideals with our students. It was an honor to attend the Papal Mass at Nationals Stadium in April 2008, witnessing the blessing of our school’s tabernacle. It was one sign on His path for me to follow.”
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Mrs. Lisa Fred
Librarian

  • M.S., Library and Information Science, School Library Media, University of South Carolina
  • A.A.S., Horticulture, Northern Virginia Community College
  • B.A., History, St. John Fisher College
  • Three years as the librarian at Holy Family Catholic School, Dale City, VA.
  • Library degree practicums and volunteer service at All Saints Catholic School, Saint John Paul the Great High School, and St. Thomas Aquinas Regional School
  • Other professional experience includes positions in the fields of museums, law, and landscape design

In Her Own Words: “’Seek God’s will in all that you do and he will direct your path.’ Proverbs 3:6. I was first introduced to St. John Paul the Great High School when Mrs. Cynthia Trax agreed to mentor me as part of my library degree practicum. At the time I was extremely impressed by the quality of education, and the life experiences that each faculty and staff member possessed. When I became a parent of a student at JP, I was further impressed by their care and concern for their students and subjects. I found that every time I would walk through the front doors of the school, I was filled with joy. I hope to share my joy of learning with the amazing students and staff at this wonderful school. ‘When we pray we speak to God, but when we read, God speaks to us.’ St. Jerome, Patron Saint of Libraries and Librarians.”
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Mrs. Mary Gildersleeve
Director of Enrollment Management

  • M.B.A, Marketing Research concentration, College of William and Mary
  • B.A., Print Journalism, (English and Business minors), Gonzaga University
  • Director, Library Services, Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School
  • Strategic planning analyst, re-engineering the corporation cross-department team member, and flight control senior analyst, Delta Air Lines
  • Event planner, researcher and speech-writer for high-tech international trade group, Washington, D.C.
  • Computer teacher, K-8 parochial students Atlanta, GA and Raleigh, NC

In Her Own Words: “I have worked at this amazing school for the past three years, and have been involved in one way or another (wife, parent, coach) since the school opened in 2008.  I am blessed to now be able to help spread our mission through my new role. At Saint John Paul the Great we have accepted and answered our Patron’s challenge to all Catholic educators: ‘The greatest challenge to Catholic education in the United States today, and the greatest contribution that authentically Catholic education can make to American culture, is to restore to that culture the conviction that human beings can grasp the truth of things, and in grasping that truth can know their duties to God, to themselves, and their neighbors.’   I am very excited to play a role in helping students and their families to grasp and embrace the ‘truth of things,’ and to make our world a better place in the process.”
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Dr. Richard Gildersleeve2008
Bioethics Teacher

  • Ph.D., Animal Science, Louisiana State University
  • M.T.S, International Theological Institute for Studies of Marriage and Family
  • B.S., Zoology, Louisiana State University
  • Researcher for NIH; teacher of graduate and undergraduate courses at LSU and NCSU
  • Vice President of Embrex, Inc., a global agricultural biotechnology company
  • Catholic Teacher since 1996; directly involved in starting or growing several Catholic middle and high schools.

In His Own Words: “It is a joy and a privilege to teach at Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School and it is a gift to work closely with the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in the formation of our youth. The charism of the Dominican Sisters advances a continuous renewal of Catholic education in Christ. At Saint John Paul the Great we live and work in personal loving communion with Our Lord and with each other. Together in communion with Bishop Loverde and Pope Francis we live veritas – truth in the Gospel of Life and in the New Evangelization envisioned and taught by our great patron Saint John Paul II.”
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Mrs. Marianela Giraldez – Hernandez
Spanish Teacher

  • M.S. Ed, Bilingual Education, Fordham University
  • Post-graduate Studies in Technology & Education Columbia University, Teacher’s College
  • Bachelor’s degree (Licenciatura) in Education – Universidad Catolica Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • More than 15 years of combined teaching experience from Kindergarten through high school, teaching second language learners in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and the United States
  • 5 years as an English as a Second Language Specialist and program coordinator for an Elementary school in Fairfax County

In Her Own Words: “It is a blessing to finally combine my love of teaching with my faith. I am a firm believer in Catholic Education. I attended Catholic schools from elementary all the way through college and am raising my children with the same opportunity. I am overjoyed to be part of the JP family and look forward to being part of this wonderful community for many years to come.  Recently I read the following excerpt from Philosophy for Catholic Schools: ‘The Goal of Catholic School education is to ensure that students are educated in the basic truths of the Catholic faith and to ensure that Gospel values permeate all subjects and are practiced by the entire school community.’ This philosophy hits close to home and is what I believe I have found at JP.”
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Mr. Tom Giska 1103
Director of Guidance & Counseling

  • Post-graduate work at American University and The University of Virginia
  • M.Ed., Guidance & Counseling, George Mason University
  • B.S., Biology, Minor in Chemistry and Education, The University of Rio Grande, Ohio

In His Own Words: “At a time in our world’s history where so many things seem to be in turmoil, it is an honor and privilege to become part of Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School. To help our younger generation to learn the sense of goodness and service as taught by Jesus and to love God and his word is both gratifying and an awesome responsibility. It is with great excitement that I look forward to carrying on the teachings of Jesus and the word of God through our Catholic tradition within the atmosphere of the entire JP community.”
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Mr. Michael Gotta
Science Teacher, Head Cross Country Coach

  • B.S., Biology, Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Worked as a missionary teacher, school administrator, and youth activity facilitator with the Salesians of Don Bosco in Juba, South Sudan

In His Own Words: “We are all on a journey, and the first trick is realizing what the purpose of this journey is.  Once you realize it is to glorify the Lord with your life, everything you do, especially all the hardships in life, become so much easier. Christ doesn’t ask us to seek out hardships, but to bear the ones we have been given joyfully. I strive every day to take on the challenges faced in teaching, coaching and in all parts of my daily life, hoping to sanctify it by being His hands and feet. Saint John Paul the Great has been the most blessed work environment and community I could have ever asked for, and I love growing in it and helping our students to grow into the people they are called to be each and every day!”
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Dr. Leanne Hanson2071
Chair, Science Department

  • Ph.D, Cellular and Microbial Biology, The Catholic University of America
  • BLS, Biochemistry, University of Mary Washington
  • Five years experience teaching at the undergraduate level

In Her Own Words: “In a 1988 letter to the director of the Vatican Observatory, Saint John Paul II stated, ‘Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.  Each can draw the other into a wider world, a world in which both can flourish.’  The intricacy and beauty of God’s design for nature, and in particular the function of our cells, leaves me awestruck.  I hope to share this excitement for science with my students at JP the Great High School.  I am thrilled to have the opportunity to teach in an environment which embraces the study of science within the framework of our faith.”
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Mr. Andrew Hawley1100
Director of Finance

  • M.A., Accounting, University of North Carolina Charlotte
  • B.A., Theology, Christendom College
  • 3 Years as Director of Finance at Family Service, Inc.
  • 6 Years experience as a franchise restaurant owner/operator
In His Own Words: “I consider it a great honor and privilege to be a part of the St. John Paul the Great High School community and do my part for an organization that is dedicated to the admirable goal of properly educating and forming the next generation of Catholics.”
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Mrs. Teri Hruska  2055
Math Teacher, Head Volleyball Coach

  • M.Ed. Administration and Supervision, Strayer University
  • Mathematics Teaching Certification, University of Southwestern Louisiana
  • B.S. Petroleum Engineering, Texas A&M University
  • 4 years as a drilling and reservoir engineer in the Gulf of Mexico
  • 28 years teaching experience

In Her Own Words: “The first time I visited Saint John Paul the Great, I knew I wanted to be a part of this school.  I believe I am one of the luckiest educators; not only do I get to spend my days surrounded by dedicated teacher and students; I have the opportunity each day to take another step in my personal faith journey.  My goal is that my students will improve their ability to think logically and to realize that sometimes in life the process is more important that the result.”
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Mr. Jay Jesse
Dean of Students
jesse

  • B.S., Public Administration, George Mason University
  • Administrative Assistant with Youth Apostles, McLean, VA
  • Directed student service programs at The Center for Service and Leadership, George Mason University
  • Year of volunteer service spent in parish youth ministry, and with at-risk youth programs

In His Own Words: “That they are young is enough for me to love them.’ With that simple statement, St. John Bosco summed up the reason for his entire life’s work serving the disadvantaged youth of Turin, Italy. Inspired by Christ’s love for our young people, I find it to be a privilege and a joy to support and encourage our students on their spiritual and academic journey as well as act as a conduit to their parents during their time at JP. The ‘Young Church’ as our late Holy Father so often referred to it, needs good stewards and I see that in our faculty and staff who are so dedicated to Christ and His mission. I feel blessed to work alongside them.”
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Mr. Stephen Keane2024
Drama Teacher

  • Post-Master’s Certificate in Educational Leadership and Administration, George Washington University
  • M.A., Communication, Culture, and Technology, Georgetown University
  • B.A., Media Studies, The Catholic University of America
  • Taught two years with Teach for America at a high school in Texas and two years at St. Mary, Star of the Sea School in Indian Head, Maryland

In His Own Words: “I am so thankful to be a part of the special and unique community that has become Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School. I look forward to the experience of growing in my faith as I learn from my students.”
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Sister Mary Veronica Keller, O.P. 1113
Principal

  • B.A., English, James Madison University
  • M.S., Educational Leadership, Christian Brothers University
  • M.A., Biblical Studies, Providence College
  • 15  years of teaching experience
  • 5 years previous experience as principal

In Her Own Words:    I am so grateful to God to serve at this amazing school in which the John Paul II’s vision of Catholic education unites and animates all we do.  As he explained this vision: “Catholic education aims not only to communicate facts but also to transmit a coherent, comprehensive vision of life, in the conviction that the truths contained in that vision liberate students in the most profound meaning of human freedom.”  Because our curriculum and school culture are focused on the dignity of the human person created in the image of God, students grow and thrive as persons: academically, spiritually, and socially.  I am so inspired by how the Holy Spirit works through our faculty, staff, and students to build up this culture of truth and love. With these beautiful young people to lead the way, our future is bright!
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Mr. Frank Kingett2067
Social Studies Teacher, Head Wrestling Coach

  • M.A., National Security and Strategic Studies, US Naval War College
  • B.S., Marine Science, US Coast Guard Academy
  • Two years as an Assistant Professor, US National War College teaching core curriculum for Master of Science degree program in National Strategy and elective program on Homeland Security
  • Retired Captain, US Coast Guard, 28 years of service
  • Career highlights include command of two cutters, two assignments as Executive Officer, as well as senior staff assignments managing the Coast Guard’s budget

In His Own Words: “God has called me to a second vocation as a teacher and coach, and I am blessed to be able to answer that call at John Paul the Great Catholic High School.”
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Mrs. Kelly K. Kingett2056
Band and Choir Director

  • M.A., Theology, Catholic Distance University
  • Bachelors of Music in Music Education, Westminster Choir College
  • Served as the Director of Liturgy and Music, Holy Family Catholic Church
  • More than 30 years experience teaching music in public, private, and parochial schools
  • Named Teacher of the Year in 2003 & 2005 by the Virginia Governor’s School for the Performing Arts

In Her Own Words: “I am both honored and humbled to be able to teach in such a wonderful school, with such a dedicated and highly qualified staff. From the moment that I walked through the doors, I felt like I had come home. I feel very blessed to be here.”
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Mr. Jacob Kingett  2098
Physical Education Teacher

  • B.S., Physical Education, Concentration Exercise Science, Old Dominion University
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA
  • Certified Exercise Physiologist through the ACSM
  • Former Division 1 Wrestler and current Coach for Wrestling, Weight Training, and Speed/Agility

In His Own Words: “It is with great pleasure that after substitute teaching and assistant coaching at John Paul last year I am privileged to join this wonderful faculty in the PE department.  I look forward to helping develop the minds, bodies, and spirits of the students, and to continue to grow in my faith as they grow in theirs.”
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Miss Madison Kramer
English and Media Teacher

  • B.A., Communications/Journalism, Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Assistant Director of Admissions, Saint John Paul the Great Catholic H.S.
  • Editorial intern and freelance writer at several lifestyle magazines and newspapers
  • Coordinator of youth ministry in the Diocese of Arlington

In Her Own Words: “I am so excited to work at Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School, a place where everyone is joyfully living the faith and seeking the Truth. With our school’s beautiful mission in mind, I am humbled to have the opportunity to serve our students on their paths to Heaven.”
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Mrs. Laurie Krauss2011
Math Teacher

  • B.A., Mathematics and Elementary Education, cum laude, Saint Mary’s College
  • Professional experience spanning more than 20 years includes teaching at private college preparatory and Catholic schools in Indiana, Delaware and Virginia. Subjects include pre-algebra, algebra I, pre-calculus, and statistics, as well as tutoring geometry, algebra II, trigonometry and calculus.

In Her Own Words: “I have lived in Prince William County since 1989 and have long awaited the opening of this diocesan Catholic high school. I am excited and honored to have a hand in shaping Saint John Paul the Great’s reputation as a premiere college preparatory Catholic high school. –Life, however, isn’t all about mathematical pursuits! I am a happy, busy mother of five and active member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Triangle.”
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Mr. Andrew Kubick
Religion Teacher

  • Ph.D. candidate, Bioethics, Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum
  • M.A. and Post Master’s Certificate in Theology (Concentrating in Bioethics), Holy Apostles College & Seminary
  • B.S. Education (Concentrating in Mathematics), Kutztown University
  • Certificates in Catholic Healthcare, Teaching Research and Design, Online Teaching and Learning, and Advanced Catechesis
  • Writings published in the National Catholic Bioethics Center’s Ethics & Medics and Quarterly journal

In His Own Words: “I began my professional career in public education nearly ten years ago. While I greatly enjoyed my time in the classroom, I deeply felt in my heart that something was missing. That something was, in fact, someone- Jesus Christ. I welcome this upcoming school year with anticipation and hope because I can finally offer my students a complete education founded in the Way, the Truth and the Life.  Saint John Paul the Great- Pray for Us!”
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Mrs. Tricia Laguilles1019
School Counselor

  • M.A., Counseling, Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • B.A., College of William and Mary
  • Professional experience includes providing substance abuse treatment to adolescents, counseling pregnant and parenting adolescent females, and serving U.S. mission dioceses through the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Previous short and long-term mission experiences in Honduras, Florida, and Appalachia

In Her Own Words: “Since I first heard about Saint John Paul the Great High School, I was struck by its unique mission to nurture the dignity, formation and special gifts of each student. I am reminded of a quote by St. Irenaeus: “The glory of God is man fully alive.” I believe our mission is just that – to glorify God by helping our students discover and become the best versions of themselves.”
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Mrs. Kathleen K. MacDonald  2095
Assistant Music Teacher, Piano Accompanist

  • B.S., Early Childhood Education, James Madison University
  • A.A., Music, Northern Virginia Community College
  • Several years of teaching private piano lessons to students of all ages, and classroom music to grades K-8
  • Piano accompanist for various churches, as well as choirs, soloists and ensembles. Highlights include Handel’s “The Messiah”, “The Mikado” and “The Sound of Music.”

In Her Own Words: “This is a beautiful place to work, to teach and to learn. Before I was hired here I never pictured myself working in a Catholic high school, but now that I’m here I can’t imagine working anywhere else. My life outside of school centers around my family and friends. I am especially blessed to be the mom of four wonderful sons, who challenge and amuse me every day.”
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Dr. Marianne Madiedo 2093
Chemistry Teacher

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Miami Medical School
  • M.D., Tulane Medical School
  • B.S. in Chemistry, University of Miami
  • Ten years of teaching medical students, residents, fellows and patients in Miami, Florida

In Her Own Words: “I am looking forward to starting a new career in teaching the basic sciences to high school students. My goal is to instill in them a love of science and the unknown, so that no matter what path they take in life they will always be looking ahead to see what new things they can discover. I believe what one hears over and over, that you learn more from your students than what you teach. I welcome the opportunity for a new learning experience in all aspects of my life. The enthusiasm and spirituality at John Paul the Great High School are palpable.”
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Sister Ann Dominic Mahowald, O.P. 
Chair, Religion Department, and Director of the House System2090

  • B.A., French & Secondary Education, The Catholic University of America
  • Advanced Certification in Catechesis, Aquinas College, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Previous work experience includes Middle School Religion grades 7 and 8 as well as two years experience at John Paul the Great prior to entering the convent.
  • Volunteer Catechist for Sacramental Preparation in the Diocese of Nashville

In Her Own Words: “Wherever there is Christ there is joy.  I was first drawn to this school in because of its joyful Dominican charism and that initial pull prepared me to respond to God’s call to enter religious life.  Now as one consecrated to the Lord it is a true joy to return to this community.  The Lord will not be outdone in generosity.  He gives everything and takes nothing.  Perhaps that is why our patron, Saint John Paul the Great, was so fond of telling the world, ‘Be not afraid.’”
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Mr. Richard Malebranche
School Counselor

  • M.Ed, School Counseling, Lamar University
  • M.A., Human Services Counseling, Concentration in Christian Ministries, Liberty University
  • B.S., Information Technology, George Mason University
  • Admissions Counselor at George Mason University for four years

In His Own Words: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus,” -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. I try to live life with a genuine smile on my face and gratitude toward God in my heart. In turn I hope to be able to pass His joy and peace to others, especially the young people of the Church.I am a product of the Diocese of Arlington. I have lived in the Woodbridge area my whole life and grew up going to many youth ministry events with Holy Family and Our Lady of Angels. I attribute my strong faith to my wonderful parents and older sister and brother. I love youth ministry and helping young people become the best version of themselves. Outside of that I am a large fan of soccer; but something my resume would not tell you, I love being on stage and entertaining a crowd. In my perfect world I would be a singer, dancer, actor, and comedian, but in God’s perfect world I am a school counselor. Not quite the same money, but I’m sure I’ll have just as many critics.”

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Mrs. Kimberly McHugh
Options Teacher

  • B.S., Special Education, George Washington University
  • Learning Disabilities Teacher, Fairfax County Public Schools
  • Learning Disabilities Teacher K-3, Prince William County Schools

In Her Own Words: “I am truly blessed to be a part of Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School and community.  I am excited to teach in the Options Program to promote respect for human life by helping everyone realize the value and gifts inherent in each of God’s children.”

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Dr. Janine McIlheran2057
Chair, English Department

  • Ph.D., Urban Education-Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • M.A. English, DePaul University
  • B.A., English Education, St. Mary’s University
  • Ten years Catholic high school teaching experience
  • Five years college experience in teacher education

In Her Own Words: “What a gift it is to teach in a truly authentic, Catholic environment where Faith is the center of our work.  During a time when Catholic religious beliefs are challenged by societal norms, the mission of Saint John Paul the Great High School grows in importance.  I feel blessed that my children and I are part of this excellent, faith-based learning community.”
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Dr. Daniel McInerny
English and Drama Teacher

  • Ph.D. and M.A, Philosophy, The Catholic University of America
  • B.A., English, University of Notre Dame
  • 16-year career in academia at the University of St. Thomas/Center for Thomistic Studies (Houston); the University of Notre Dame; Baylor University
  • Trinity School (Minneapolis) Teacher of the Year 1990-91
  • Author of fiction for both children and adults

In His Own Words: “As a young man, Saint John Paul II was a passionate student both of literature and of acting, and his love for these arts extended throughout his entire life. In approaching my work both as a teacher of English and of acting here at Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School, I call upon Saint John Paul for inspiration and intercession as I seek to help our students find the path of Truth through Beauty and to re-evangelize our culture through the arts. It is my honor, privilege, and delight to serve this institution and my students in this capacity.”
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Mr. Shawn McNulty
Assistant Principal for Student Lifemcnulty

  • M.A., Catholic Leadership, Marymount University
  • 23 years professional experience at St. Thomas Aquinas Regional School serving as athletic director, coach, and educator
  • Recently served as Co-Chair for the Design For Excellence self-study team for Aquinas

In His Own Words: “It is an awesome responsibility and privilege to help form our youth. This is why I love Catholic education, because God is not separated from our schools. It is only through His Grace that we can truly succeed at this task.”
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Mrs. Milagros Mendez
Spanish Teacher

  • M.A., Foreign Languages – Spanish, George Mason University (Summa Cum Laude)
  • B.B.A., Marketing and Human Resources, Universidad de Puerto Rico
  • More than seventeen years of experience teaching Spanish at the high school and college level
  • Certified instructor from Virginia Catholic Education Association, AP Spanish Language and Culture and AP Spanish Literature

In Her Own Words:  “God has truly blessed me by calling me back to teach at Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School. This is such a great joy for me.  God works in marvelous ways!  JP the Great always has been a very special school for me because I have a great admiration and love for St. John Paul II.  As Pope, he said, ‘Only in Christ do we find real love, and the fullness of life. And so I invite you today to look to Christ.’ It is a blessing for the students and I to come to a school building where we encounter Christ every day because He is at the center of the school. And we are reminded daily of God’s glory through all the saints throughout the school building.  They found real love and fullness through Christ and they remind us that only through Jesus can we find our purpose in life.”
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Mrs. Jean Miller  1101
Advancement Administrative Assistant

  • B.A., English, Ladycliff College
  • Certified Pharmacy Technician at The Medical Center of Aurora
  • Certified Neuromuscular Massage Therapist, Englewood Physical Therapy
  • Technical Writer in the banking and telecommunications industries
  • Administrative Assistant in both the parish and school settings of the Catholic Church

In Her Own Words:”It is both a joy and a privilege to work at Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School.  I began my experience here as a parent, often wishing I could have attended this school as a young person!  My children learned the truth here, and now they are out in the world sharing and teaching others about natural law, about the truth of our human dignity. This school is a treasure! My children were blessed to attend here and I am equally blessed to work here.  What I contribute here is so small compared with the magnitude of what I receive every day.  I am so grateful to God to work in a place where ALL the employees are committed to loving, serving, and fulfilling the mission of the school.  May God be praised! We serve an awesome God!”
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Mr. David Morales1002
Director of Technology, Yearbook Advisor

  • B.S., Information Systems, New York University
  • 2 years, IT Project Manager,Catholic Diocese of Arlington
  • 6 years, Malcolm Pirnie, IT Department Head and Project Manager

In His Own Words: “It is very exciting to be a part of John Paul the Great and helping to build a culture where our teens can learn Truth. With a family of nine children, two here at John Paul, this is very important to my wife Cheri and I as we raise them in an ever more challenging world.”
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Mr. Mark Moran2058
Science Teacher

  • M.S., Educational Administration, Franciscan University
  • B.A., Chemistry and Philosophy, Franciscan University
  • 18 years of experience in Catholic schools in various teaching and administrative positions including 11 years teaching science
  • Principal, Queen of Apostles Catholic School in Alexandria, two years

In His Own Words: “I am thrilled to be working at a school dedicated to John Paul II. In a culture that marginalizes the weak, John Paul was a consistent voice of the beauty, dignity, and value of each and every person. Growing up during his pontificate, his life of witness is inspiration to me, and I pray that his teachings may live in my work at John Paul the Great High School.”
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Mr. Stephen Murphy
Religion TeacherMurphy

  • M.A., Theology, concentration in Systematic Theology, Notre Dame Graduate School
  • B.A., History, minor in Theology, Mount St. Mary’s University
  • 3 years formation, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary
  • Instituted the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Quo Vadis Days Program for high school young men, St. Charles Seminary, PA

In His Own Words: “The charism of John Paul the Great High School is that, in an academic and social setting, students and teachers alike continue to seek the Truth found in all things, from the science classroom to the religion and bioethics classrooms. As diverse as our curriculum is, one must remember that the curriculum is cohesive and collaborative, since in every class the student is focused on the pursuit of Truth (Veritas), which is found on the school’s coat of arms. To pursue Truth and to discover this Truth is the greatest blessing a person can encounter in this life, and this is the mission of the school: that students develop a deep and personal relationship with Christ, who is Truth. It is humbling to be a part of such a great mission.”
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Mrs. Letsea Nollernoller
History and Spanish Teacher

  • M.A., Education from George Mason University
  • B.A., History from Marymount University
  • Fourteen years teaching experience, including levels I through V and Advanced Placement (AP) and Cambridge Programs International (IGCSE)
  • United States Supreme Court – Washington, DC: Internship – Curator’s Office, 2001

In Her Own Words: “I am so happy to be at John Paul the Great, where we are allowed and encouraged to live our Catholic faith more fully. It is very exciting to return to teaching high school, especially in a community with such a fast-growing reputation for academic excellence. I am energized, eager and delighted to be part of a great team. I am looking forward to teaching at John Paul the Great and becoming part of this great community. My prediction is that this is going to be a great school year!”
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Mr. Bill O’Connor2012
Chair, Art Department

  • M.A., Multidisciplinary Studies (Mathematics, Education, English), University of the Incarnate Word
  • B.B.A., James Madison University
  • Fulbright exchange teacher to Krakow, Poland
  • Nine years teaching math and coaching swimming at Incarnate Word High School in San Antonio, Texas, followed by six years teaching at Catholic schools in Santiago, Chile

In His Own Words: “A colleague abroad has pointed out that Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School is opening its doors at a time when many Catholic schools across the nation are consolidating or closing. Even the school architecture speaks of God, inviting contemplation. What a privilege to be among educators and students whose work will help others encounter Christ, bringing life to the new building and in time, light to the nation.”
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Mrs. Mara Pawlenok
Health and Physical Education Teacher

  • M.Ed., Education, King’s College
  • B.S., Health and Physical Education, East Stroudsburg University
  • ARC, Certified Instructor CPR/AED/First Aid
  • Teaching for 39 years, the last 34 in Catholic Education teaching Health, Physical Education, and Sports Medicine
  • Retired from a 37 year high school and United States Swimming coaching career
  • Coach of the Year 20 times, amassing a career high school record of 460-46-1

In Her Own Words:  “The Lord does work in mysterious ways!  After 37 years in education in Pennsylvania, I found what I can only describe as a “gem of a school” and was very fortunate and honored to be able to continue my career at St. John Paul the Great Catholic School.  The level of academic excellence, the support of outstanding administration, the camaraderie of the faculty, a faith filled mission, and the mutual respect witnessed among the faculty, staff, parents and students have all made for an exceptional experience and I look forward to continuing to work and contribute in such an atmosphere.” 
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Mr. Stephen Phillips  2100
Social Studies Teacher

  • M.A., History, George Mason University
  • B.S., Communication Arts, James Madison University
  • Certified in Social Sciences and Health & P.E.
  • More than twenty years teaching Social Studies in both Maryland and Virginia public schools.

In His Own Words: “To be able to live AND work in an environment of faith has been a goal of mine for years. Saint John Paul the Great’s reputation for keeping the Catholic faith front and center allows me to achieve that goal at last. If I am able to help students grow their intellect and their faith I will consider myself extremely fortunate and blessed.  I’m proud to be a part of this community and I will be relentless in my efforts to earn the respect of its members.” 
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Ms. Catherine Prahm
Chair, Physical Education Department

  • B.S., Kinesiology and Exercise Science, Longwood University
  • Strength and conditioning intern, Longwood University
  • Strength and conditioning intern for Olympic Sports at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville
  • Head swim coach at Daventry Recreational Association in the NVSL
  • Certified High School Strength and Conditioning Coach, International Youth Conditioning Association

In Her Own Words: “I’m from Falls Church and attended Catholic school until I graduated from Bishop O’Connell High School. I was a member of the swim team and crew team. I spent summers coaching swimming and found I enjoyed working with kids of all ages and abilities. I loved learning about exercise, health and fitness in college and look forward to sharing my passion with the students at John Paul the Great.”
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Mrs. Lisa Rampino1Q11009
Chair, World Language Department, French Teacher

  • M.S., Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University
  • B.A., French, George Mason University
  • B.S., Secondary Education, English/Math, Auburn University at Montgomery

In Her Own Words: “As a child of a career Air Force member, as an Air Force officer myself, and as a wife of a career Air Force officer, I have lived in many places and tried to make them my home. But through the years I have come to realize and to profoundly appreciate that the place where I truly feel at home is in front of the Blessed Sacrament which is always the same no matter what my address is. I have that same sense of home at Saint John Paul the Great, no doubt due to the Presence of our Lord front and center in the school but also present in the community, in my colleagues, and in the students. The Lord has led me down many roads, and I am thankful that this path led me to Saint John Paul the Great High School. It is my singular honor and pleasure to have the opportunity to teach the young men and women of our school.”
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Sister Malia Grace Reed, O.P. 
Bioethics and Biology Teacher2092

  • M.A., Teaching (Secondary Education) from Aquinas College
  • B.S., Biology, University of Louisiana, Lafayette
  • 7 years science teaching experience, grades 5-12
  • 2 years teaching Bioethics

In Her Own Words: “In the Encyclical Fides et Ratio, Pope John Paul the Great said: ‘Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth- in a word, to know himself- so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.’  My privileged place as a Catholic educator is to seek to make present to the students the unity between faith and reason that they may ultimately know Christ more intimately.  I consider it a great gift to participate in that mission here at John Paul the Great.”
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Miss Mae Salitsky
Religion and English Teacher

  • B.A., British & American Literature with Human Life Studies minor, Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • 2012 Study Abroad program in Gaming, Austria

In her own words: “Saint John Paul II said, “It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.” It is a tremendous gift to teach in a school that not only calls its members on to greatness, but also provides the means to achieve that greatness by proclaiming Jesus Christ.  I am excited to embark on this journey with my students as we follow Christ in the example of St. John Paul the Great!”

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Ms. Mary Sample
Religion Teacher

  • M.A., Theology and Christian Ministry (concentration in Catechetics), Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • B.A., English Studies, Ball State University
  • 1 year teaching high school religion, Connelly School of the Holy Child, Potomac, MD
  • 3 years Director of Youth Ministry, Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Alexandria, VA
  • Freelance writing for LifeTeen, Inc. and the Catholic Diocese of Arlington Office of Youth Ministry

In Her Own Words: “From the first time I walked through the doors of Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School, I wanted to teach here. It is an amazing blessing for me to be working with such incredible teachers, wonderful students, and the Dominican Sisters who I love and admire so much! St. John Paul II played a huge part in my faith awakening and I consider it an absolute honor to be teaching at his namesake school. I look forward to teaching all my students and working with their parents in passing on the beautiful faith that has been entrusted to us. Viva Cristo Rey!”

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Mr. Jerry Sarchet2047
History Teacher, Head Football Coach

  • Candidate Ed.S, Educational Leadership (May 2018), Liberty University 
  • M.Ed, Social Studies, Campbell University
  • B.A., History, Capital University
  • Member Phi Alpha Theta (National History Honor Society)
  • 4 Years military service, United States Army; additional 3 years in the Army Reserves
  • 4 Years public school teaching experience and a teacher in Catholic schools since 2007

In His Own Words: “When the opportunity arose to work at Saint John Paul the Great, I knew I had found a new home. I feel very blessed and honored to be a part of community and school that has drawn me closer to Christ in my life’s journey. It is a school that I want my children to attend.”
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Miss Krystyn Schmerbeck2073
Latin Teacher

  • M.A., Public Policy, George Washington University
  • B.A., Classical Languages and Philosophy, Hamilton College
  • Two years teaching experience at a small Classical Catholic academy

In Her Own Words: “I am truly humbled at the opportunity to teach and share my love for Christ at John Paul the Great High School.  St. Catherine of Siena said, ‘Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.’ In my vocation as an educator, I aspire to instill this desire in my students: that they discover and embrace the beauty and talents endowed to them by their Creator and that, by engaging the world with these gifts, they might discover the joy of the Christian life and set the world ablaze with the love of Christ. So let us set out into the deep! Duc in altum!”
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Mrs. Connie Spadafore  2105
Options Teacher

  • B.S., Education, Regular Education NK-8, Special Education K-12, Duquesne University
  • M. Ed, Guidance and Development, George Mason University
  • Endorsement in Autism, James Madison University
  • Certified Irlen Syndrome Senior Screener since 2004
  • Learning Disabilities Teacher 9-12, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS)
  • Learning Disabilities Teacher K-3, FCPS
  • Resource Teacher , Saint Thomas Aquinas Regional School, K-8
  • 10 years Private Tutor
  • Homebound Teacher, FCPS

In Her Own Words, “I am truly blessed to be a part of Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School and community.  After many years of raising five children, I am excited to return to my profession full-time and share my passion for education.  It is my goal to help the students at Saint John Paul the Great grow academically and spiritually, and develop to their fullest potential.”
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Mrs. Laurie Stio
Math and Dance Teacher

  • B.A., Youth Ministry and Theology, Eastern University
  • 5 years experience as a math teacher in the Diocese of Arlington; Latin teacher, Ad Fontes Academy
  • 4 years as an accountant
  • Former Division III Cheerleader and team captain at Eastern University
  • 10 years dance experience; 8 years gymnastics experience, as well as recreational team coach

In Her Own Words: “‘I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen; not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.’ -C.S. Lewis. It is an honor to teach at Saint John Paul the Great High School, where academics are illuminated by the fullness of Truth. It is my greatest desire that my students not just learn a subject well, but that through their studies they increase in virtue and are brought closer to Christ. Ora et labora!”
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Mrs. Donna Stoessel1104
Finance Office

  • B.S., Accounting, Roger Williams University
  • Passed Certified Public Accounting Exam
  • Professional work experience in the areas of accounting, leadership development and course facilitation
  • Completed numerous personal development and leadership courses, including Franklin Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” Signature Program

In Her Own Words: “I feel extremely blessed that Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School is an essential part of my life and the lives of my family. Serving as my foundation, my Catholic faith has instilled in me a true appreciation for the importance of a strong Catholic education. It’s truly wonderful to be a part of Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School and witness firsthand the formation of our future generations.”
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Ms. Lori Strickland1016
Registrar

  • B.S., Health Information Management, Bowling Green State University
  • Eight years of hospital management experience including Inova Fairfax, Georgetown and University Hospitals of Cleveland

In Her Own Words: “Saint John Paul said ‘do not separate your faith from your daily life and your daily life from your faith.’ It is truly a blessing to work in an environment where I can practice my faith and see young people grow in theirs. It is a privilege to be a part of this Catholic high school community and to assist the students who will be the future of the Church. 
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Mrs. Amy Thomason
Director of Advancement

  • M.H.A, Indiana University
  • B.S., University of Notre Dame
  • Prior Director of Development, Saint Jude Catholic Church and School, Fort Wayne, IN
  • Vice President of the National Spina Bifida Association of the National Capital Area responsible for advancement and fundraising activities since 2005
  • Current Religious Education Teacher, Saint Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church, Springfield, VA

In Her Own Words:  “I am blessed to be able to work at Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School.  I am amazed every day at the caliber of the faculty and staff, the quality of the academics, the excellent students, and the faithfulness of each and every person within this building.  Christ is visibly the center of life at John Paul and the Holy Spirit is felt the moment you enter the building.”
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Ms. Rachel Thompson
English Teacher

  • M.A., in English, Northern Arizona University
  • B.A., English, Rockhurst University 
  • English composition and literature instructor at Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason University

In Her Own Words: I look forward to joining this community, established in the spirit of St. John Paul the Great, with like-minded individuals as we offer support and guide these precious teenagers through this important time in their lives. Along with emphasizing the importance of ethical and responsible research and reporting, I look forward to assisting the students advance their academics while strengthening their relationship with Jesus Christ.”
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Mrs. Diana Tillotson1003
Assistant to the Principal, Financial Aid Officer

  • B.A., Computer Information Systems, Georgia State University
  • B.A., Finance, Hofstra University
  • Professional experience in auditing, consulting, and chief of staff of over 20 years in banking and professional services industry including Ernst & Young LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

In Her Own Words: “I feel very blessed and privileged to continue to be a part of the Saint John Paul the Great community.  I was fortunate to be involved with the school at its inception and see the school and community grow into such a vibrant and faith filled community.  I continue to be astounded at the blessings my family has received and in the deepness and richness our faith and family life has grown since being involved with this amazing community.  “Jesus, I Trust in You“.”
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Mrs. Neneth Tsimi  2104
Science Teacher

  • M.Ed., Professional Studies, Marymount University Arlington (in progress)
  • Bachelor of Secondary Education, Science, Bataan Peninsula State University
  • 8+ years of teaching Science at both High School and Undergraduate levels

In Her Own Words: “My 8+ years as a science teacher has inspired me to love the teaching profession; through influencing students in their scholastic and spiritual growth. For me teaching is a noble and priceless profession. And I am very fortunate and happy to be a part of the Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School community as a Physics teacher. I am excited to impart my knowledge and fulfill my role to continue being an educator of the youth with the guidance and blessings from our Creator.”
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Mr. Don Turner1012
Director of Facilities

  • 10 years, telecommunication specialist
  • 8 years, IT specialist
  • 8 years, facilities infrastructure management
  • 4 years, building safety & security management

In His Own Words: “People often spend a lifetime searching for community, experiences, and opportunities that makes sense in their life. Accepting the Facilities Director position at Saint John Paul the Great and becoming part of this community made complete sense to me. Every day I am drawn closer to God and my Catholic community.”
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Miss Christina Valentine
Assistant to the Assistant Principal for Student Lifevalentine

  • B.S., Mental Health and Human Services, Franciscan University of Steubenville; minors in Theology and Human Life Studies
  • Legislative Correspondent for Senator Sam Brownback
  • Assistant to the Political Director, Brownback for President campaign

In Her Own Words: “I feel very blessed to be able to work at Saint John Paul the Great High School. I strive to serve the student body to the best of my ability and help them to know the dignity and worth that their lives, as well as those around them, have in the eyes of God.”

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Mr. Chris Vander Woude 
Athletic Director

  • B.A., History, Christendom College
  • Competed in high school and college sports including baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis and volleyball.
  • 7 Years Athletic Director managing and developing varsity and intramural sports programs.
  • 13 years coaching experience including high school and college basketball, soccer, and baseball.
  • 5 years youth ministry at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Winchester, VA.

In His Own Words: “My wife Katy and I feel so blessed to be able to join the JP community. I am excited to be involved in the athletic program at such a wonderful place that is committed to the formation, development and education of the whole person. Being from the Saint John Paul the Great era, his papacy has greatly influenced my life, especially his love of the outdoors and connection between sports, competition, character, and the Christian Life. I look forward to serving the students at JP especially the student-athletes as we continue to build an athletic program that seeks to form character through growing in virtue that comes with competition and the pursuit of excellence.”

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Miss Sharon Vay
Administrative Assistant for AcademicsVay

  • B.A., English Language and Literature, Christendom College
  • Secretary of Our Lady of Angels Respect Life Council

In Her Own Words: “I am truly thrilled to be part of the Saint John Paul the Great family. As a recipient of Catholic education from kindergarten through college, I recognize and appreciate the value of an education which nourishes not only the brain, but the soul as well.”

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Gina Votovich, BSN, RN
School Nurse

  • BS, Nursing, Waynesburg University, Waynesburg, PA
  • Licensed as a Registered Nurse with 20 plus years of experience in various locations to including U.S. Army Health Clinic, Vicenza, Italy; West Virginia University Ruby Memorial Hospital; University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Alaska Native Medical Center; and, Madigan Army Medical Center.  Areas of nursing experience include labor and delivery, maternal child, infectious disease, public health, and medical management.  Most recently established and implemented the School Health Aide position for Damien Memorial School in Honolulu Hawaii.

 In Her Own Words:  “I am beyond thankful to be a part of this very special place, I feel that Saint John Paul the Great is the gold standard for Catholic schools.  I am truly looking forward to all of the wonderful things that will happen here not only as a member of the staff but as a parent as well!  ‘Have no fear of moving into the unknown.  Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well.  Do this in complete faith and confidence.’  Pope John Paul II

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Mrs. Kristina Walk 1Q11049
After School Supervisor

  • BA, Communications, Slippery Rock University
  • Upon graduation, received Commission in the United States Air Force serving in various positions including Western Space & Missile Center Section Commander & 30th Space Wing Protocol Officer.

In Her Own Words: “I read recently that God’s gift to us is Jesus and our gift to God is the way we live our life here on earth and I have taken that succinct statement to heart.  God has Blessed me with the opportunity to work with this special family of administrators, faculty, staff & wonderful students at Saint John Paul the Great and I pray every day that I may be an example of His love.”
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Mr. Chris Wode2070
Chair, Math Department

  • M.S., Ed, Old Dominion University (in progress)
  • M.B.A, Regis University
  • Naval War College
  • Federal Executive Fellow, The Brookings Institution
  • Certificate in Financial Planning, Georgetown University
  • B.S. (Mechanical Engineering), U.S. Naval Academy
  • 29 Year Naval Career including two commands at sea and national and international staff assignments.
  • 8 years teaching experience.

In His Own Words: “Saint John Paul II once said that ‘The future starts today, not tomorrow.’  I am humbled to have the opportunity to help forge the future of our next generation.  One of the many attributes of this school is that it seeks to inspire spiritual, moral, and physical growth in addition to preparing students academically for wherever their life’s path leads them.”
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Bios and photos coming soon for the following valued members of our faculty and staff:

      • Mrs. Angela Beacher: Attendance Officer
      • Mrs. Caroline Brundage: Math
      • Miss Tesia McNulty: Administrative Assistant, Admissions
      • Mrs. Mary Turner: Security

Employment at Saint John Paul the Great