Our Administrative Team
Christopher has been part of the renewal of classical education around the US for over 20 years, serving first as the head of a classical school, then as a consultant and publisher. Christopher is responsible for teacher hiring and training.
Jolie is a veteran classical educator, the author of several award-winning logic texts, and a mentor and trainer of classical teachers. As principal, she provides academic leadership and supervises the development and operations of Scholé Academy.
Academic Director and Mentor Teacher
Adam is an experienced classical educator whose specialties include humanities and philosophy. He has completed his master’s degree in Philosophy at the University of Memphis. He is the former owner of St. Raphael School. Currently, he serves as the Academic Director to St. Raphael School and is a lead Humanities teacher for Scholé Academy.
Assistant to the Principal
David works with our teachers, parents, and students to ensure a smooth experience from enrollment to course completion. Please feel free to email David with your questions: email@example.com
Fr. Noah is an archpriest and father who is grateful for the success of St. Raphael School and Scholé Academy, excited to share his love for God and the Church with students, and looking forward to stretching his teaching skills into cyberspace.
Matushka Photini is the wife of Deacon Spyridon and the homeschooling mother of their 5 children. She began helping administratively at St. Raphael School in November of 2013 after enrolling her two oldest children. She is available to assist you with any enrollment questions or technical difficulties you may have: firstname.lastname@example.org
InstructorsSt. Raphael School instructors are independent contractors who instruct, mentor, and shepherd students in online courses offered by the school. We are thrilled to have found so many fine educators to host our Orthodox courses. Our instructors bring with them a wealth of experience, knowledge and passion for their courses. You can read more about them below.
Adam Lockridge, Academic Director and Mentor Teacher, is an experienced classical educator who was raised in Olathe, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. It was there that he met his wife, Rachel, who continues to be his greatest blessing and encouragement. They met in high school and were married as students at the University of Kansas, where Adam studied philosophy and Rachel studied art education. In addition to studying together at KU, Rachel and Adam spent their second year of marriage as Fellows at the Trinity Forum Academy in Maryland. He later taught upper-school humanities at a classical school in Tennessee for seven years. At KU, Adam was first exposed to many of the writers who would later inspire his teaching—especially Plato and the other Greek philosophers. He went on to complete his master’s degree in philosophy at the University of Memphis.
Father Noah Bushelli is grateful to be married to a living saint, Khouria Elizabeth, who homeschools their seven marvelous children. He is an archpriest in the Antiochian Archdiocese and was received into the Orthodox Church in 1994. He met his wife at a vespers service in Alaska and still remembers the joyous and awkward moment. After graduating from University of Alaska Anchorage with a BEd in 2000, they moved to St. Vladimir’s Seminary. He graduated with an MDiv in 2004, with his thesis exploring St. John Chrysostom’s notion of the Church as a spiritual hospital. After serving St. Nicholas in Bridgeport, CT, for three years, he moved to St. Philip in Souderton, PA, in 2006. He is grateful to raise his family in this warm, generous, faithful, and vibrant community and is working very hard to meet the demands of parish life as well as to focus on “the one thing needful.” He spends his downtime taking walks, reading theology, changing diapers, telling stories to his children, and playing a little guitar. He is grateful for the success of St. Raphael School and Scholé Academy, excited to share his love for God and the Church with students, and looking forward to stretching his teaching skills into cyberspace. He thanks you for your prayers for him, his family, parishioners, and students!
Matushka Photini Roegner is the wife of Deacon Spyridon and the homeschooling mother of their 5 children. She and her family attend St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Pella, IA. Mat. Photini began helping administratively at St. Raphael School in November of 2013 after enrolling her two oldest children in the online courses offered that first fall semester. She is available to assist you with any enrollment questions or technical difficulties you may have
Deacon Aaron Taylor completed his BA in religion and Russian at Oklahoma City University, followed by graduate studies in moral theology at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Throughout his career, he has taught Latin, Greek, logic, New Testament, and Late Antique, Medieval, Renaissance, and Modern Great Books for the last 8 years at the Academy of Classical Christian Studies in Oklahoma City, OK. Deacon Aaron was ordained in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in 2012 and serves at Saint Benedict Orthodox Church in Oklahoma City. His wife, Brighid Allison Taylor, is a musician and choir teacher, and he has three children—Elisabeth, Nicholas, and Benjamin.
Celeste Gregor is the product of classical and literature-based home education, from kindergarten through high school. During high school she found a passion for textiles, which eventually led to a year of study abroad at an arts folk school in Sweden. There she fell in love with making the practical and mundane things in life beautiful, bringing nature into the home and daily life, and using the beauty that can be found around us to bring joy, depth, and learning into family life. Celeste now lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York with her husband, David, their 3-year-old daughter, Dulcy Lucia, their newest addition Willa Irene, and her two stepdaughters, Meredith and Samantha. The family attends Saint John the Baptist church in Rochester. In addition to supplementing the older girls’ public school experience with home-based learning, Celeste is enjoying planting the seeds of a lifelong love of learning, and building a foundation for future homeschooling with Dulcy
Elizabeth Crispina Johnson draws from her experiential background as well as her academic. Having started homeschooling the first of her three children in 1983, she continues homeschooling with three of her eight grandchildren. As time allows, Elizabeth also writes children’s books, four of which have been published by Ancient Faith Publishing. She holds a master’s degree in intercultural training, a bachelor degree in Bible and theology, an associate degree in early childhood education, and also attended a one-year missiology program at Fuller Theological Seminary. Elizabeth lives in western New York and attends St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Rochester
Gabriel Cremeens and his wife, Elaine, are the proud new parents of Panagiotis Nektarios, their first child. Gabriel holds two degrees from Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA: a bachelor’s in theology (as valedictorian of the class of 2014), and a certificate in Byzantine music (with a grade of “perfect”). In addition to his studies at Holy Cross, Gabriel also spent a year and a half in Athens, Greece, where he took private lessons in Byzantine chant performance, musicology, and composition from masters of the art.
In addition to teaching for the St. Raphael School, Gabriel works full-time as the music director and pastoral assistant at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Albuquerque, NM. He also works by commission for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, AGES Initiatives, and several other church music organizations, while collaborating with other chanters on various projects to teach, spread, and promote Byzantine chant in English. He has taught at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology as a lecturer in Byzantine music, and also at the Metropolis of Boston “St. John of Damascus” School of Byzantine Music. He is currently in the process of founding a Byzantine music school in Albuquerque, NM.
While he loves all aspects of Byzantine music, his passion is the composition of Byzantine melodies in the English language—a field in which he has been working, experimenting, and perfecting his craft for around 7 years. His compositions can be found at http://www.englishmenaion.com/.
Kristin Edwards-Kubrina had her first exposure to the Russian language as a curious university student. A last-minute decision to study Russian as an elective fortuitously set the stage for Kristin’s long journey to Orthodoxy that consisted in years of traveling to Russia, supportive family and friends, meaningful encounters with the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky and Pavel Florensky, art history courses on Byzantium, the magnetism of the saints and their icons for her daughter, Eliana, and marriage to her faithful (Russian) husband, Egor. The family currently attends St. Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Church in Madison, Wisconsin.
Kristin has an M.A. in Slavic Languages and Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently writing a dissertation on the Lives of the Saints and twentieth-century Russian literature. She comes to St. Raphael School with four years of experience teaching at the university level, as well as having known twenty years of being a language-learner herself. Her immersive Russian course draws upon its cultural context, with special attention to moments of interconnectedness between language and the Orthodox Christian tradition. It is a great joy and a special privilege for Kristin to teach. She hopes that both the rigor and beauty of learning Russian will enrich the minds, hearts, and everyday lives of her students.
Fr. Porphyrios (Dr. James Stephen Taylor) was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in Columbia, Missouri, where he attended the public schools and the University of Missouri. He received his bachelor’s degree in humanities and his master’s degree in English from Southern Illinois University. The University of Kansas, Lawrence, was the setting for his doctorate in philosophy of education, and was where he attended courses in the famous Integrated Humanities Program with Professors John Senior and Dennis Quinn. At KU he taught freshmen and sophomore English and literature, and undergraduate and graduate courses in the philosophy of education. Upon graduation Taylor taught in a variety of middle and high school schools, parochial schools, and preparatory academies, including St. Mary’s Academy (Kansas), Wichita Collegiate School, and Topeka Collegiate School. For five years he was assistant, then associate professor of the education department at Hillsdale College, Michigan. Two of those years he served as department chair. He held regular classes using the Good and Great Books as part of the teacher preparation program. His last collegiate position was at the University of Tulsa, also in the department of education, where his specialties were philosophy of education in the graduate school, and children’s literature classes for elementary and middle school future teachers. Dr. Taylor is also the author of Poetic Knowledge, a book often used and cited in the renewal of classical Christian education.
Dr. Taylor’s father, a newspaperman and writer for the Associated Press, became editor of the Missouri Alumnus magazine and a popular speaker. His mother was a fourth grade teacher and librarian for Columbia public schools. James Taylor was raised in the Methodist church. His journey to Orthodoxy may have well begun there while, during a lengthy sermon, he gazed at the engraving on the wooden pulpit: “The Truth Shall Make You Free.” He was pleasantly surprised years later to learn that John Wesley, founder of Methodism, was an Anglican minister deeply read in the Fathers of the Church. Later, he began a tour through the various expressions of Roman Catholicism, particularly traditional Benedictine monasticism, then spent several years with a Byzantine Rite, and finally arriving, somewhat broken but not beyond repair, at peace in the Orthodox Church.
After a five year odyessy, Taylor has now been tonsured monk as Fr. Porphyrios, and resides in a monastery in northwest Missouri.
Mallory Stripling is a second-generation homeschooler who discovered both Orthodoxy and Ancient Greek at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. After four years of studying and discussing great works from the ancient Greeks to the moderns, she turned to teaching Orthodox students in the same liberal arts tradition, informed and inspired by the life of the church. For St. Raphael School, she has focused on creating a biblical Greek program that combines the riches of Orthodox hymnography with the discipline of deductive language study, allowing students to integrate their pursuit of Greek with the prayer life of their families. For Orthodox Christians of any heritage, there’s no need for biblical Greek to be a “dead” language!
Mallory teaches from a farm in Maryland, where she and her husband, Matthew, are “prehomeschooling” their two little ones. When she’s not teaching or studying Greek, she measures out her life in drinking coffee, baking bread, folding laundry, knitting, singing with her family, watching the seasons change, painting and drawing icons, and reading. Mallory and her family attend Holy Cross Antiochian Orthodox Church in Linthicum, Maryland.
Presbytera Maria Koulianos has been an educator for over 20 years, loving every minute, with vast experience in both public and private schools as a classroom teacher, in developing and implementing learning programs for students, and as an area administrator. She earned her bachelor of science in education from Indiana University with certifications in elementary education, 7/8 nondepartmental, language arts 1–9, and computer education K–12. She holds a master of divinity and a master of theology from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA, where she wrote her thesis, “The Annunciation of the Theotokos from a Liturgical Perspective.” Presbytera Maria and her husband, Father Dionysios, live in the greater Boston area, where he is the priest of Saint Catherine Greek Orthodox Church in Braintree, MA. She hopes to inspire her students to love literature and become lifelong learners.
Fr. Nikolai Meyers is a native of Southern California. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Cross-Cultural Ministry from Manhattan Christian College, Manhattan KS. He earned his Masters of Divinity from St. Tikhon Orthodox Theological Seminary, in South Cannon, PA. He was ordained Deacon in September of 2007 by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of the Antiochain Archdiocese at St. Tikhon Monastery in South Cannon, PA, and to the holy Priesthood in July of 2008 by His Eminence at St. Andrew Orthodox Church in Riverside, CA. He served 6 years as Assistant Pastor of St. John Orthodox Church in Memphis TN and concurrently was the priest in charge of the St. Paul Orthodox Mission in Tupelo, MS. From October of 2014 to July of 2019 he was the Pastor of St. George Orthodox Church in New Hartford, NY. where he also currently was the Spiritual Adviser for Teen SOYO in the Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Up-State New York. He now serves as the Pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Topeka, KS. He is married and has 5 children.
Randi Maria Sider-Rose began painting icons over 20 years ago, when she received a grant to travel to different teachers and studios to learn. Since then, she has married Michael Sider-Rose, completed an MDiv, and begun homeschooling her four children. Though she spends most of her studio time on commissions for churches and individuals, Mrs. Sider-Rose also has a real passion for teaching iconography to all ages and loves to walk with students on the journey of learning to see better and more intentionally, using this “prayer of the hands” to grow in holiness, with God’s grace. Mrs. Sider-Rose and her family attend St. Moses the Black Orthodox Mission Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she has been blessed by His Grace Bishop Thomas to serve in the ministry of iconography.
For more information about Mrs. Sider-Rose’s process, please visit her website at www.immanuelicons.org.
Samuel Herron began studying Byzantine music under Leonidas Kotsiris in 2002. In 2006, he spent three months studying under Lycourgos Angelopoulos, Archon Protopsaltis of the Archdiocese of Constantinople, Protopsaltis of Hagia Eirini in Athens, and director of the Greek Byzantine Choir, which Samuel performed with as an isokrates while living in Athens. From 2015 to 2017, he studied under Fr. Romanos Karanos while attending Hellenic College.
Samuel has served as the Lampadarios of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Nashville, TN, from 2007 to 2009; as Protopsaltis of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Chattanooga, TN, from 2010 to 2015; as Protopsaltis of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the New England Metropolis in Boston until May 2017; as Leropsaltis for Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Phoenix, AZ, until September 2018; and currently serves as Protopsaltis of Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Scottsdale, AZ. Samuel received his certificate in Byzantine music with a grade of excellent in 2015 from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He has performed with the choir of Protopsaltis George Theodoridis, the Psaltikon Ensemble directed by Dr. Spyridon Antonopoulos, the Archdiocesan Byzantine Choir directed by Demetrios Kehagias, Capella Romana directed by John Michael Boyer, and the Holy Cross St. Romanos the Melodist Byzantine Choir directed by Fr. Romanos Karanos. In July 2018, Samuel founded both the English Hyphos Project and the Dynamis Byzantine Ensemble—an initiative and accompanying ensemble working to produce high-quality English language translations, musical settings, and recordings of Byzantine chant. Their first project, The Hymns of St. George and Bright Monday, was released during the Christmas season of 2018.
Father Timothy Hojnicki was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. A 2002 graduate from the University of Delaware, Fr. Timothy received his MDiv from St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in May of 2005. In June of 2005 he was assigned to Holy Apostles Mission in Mechanicsburg, PA, where he currently serves as pastor. Fr. Timothy has taught liturgics and homiletics at St. Tikhon’s Seminary, and given many retreats and talks over the years. Fr. Timothy and his wife, Anastasia, have four children: Nicholas, Kyra, Elijah, and Joachim. He is excited for this opportunity and looks forward to the challenge of teaching for St. Raphael School