We are excited to welcome new teachers and staff for the 2023-2024 school year. Each of the new hires has gone through a rigorous interview process, are committed to be loyal to the Magisterium, and all are so excited to work with your student this year!
Mr. Dan Angel, Theology Department
Dan lives with his wife and two young children in St. Petersburg, FL. After studying Biology at the University of Central Florida and working at SeaWorld Orlando, he entered the seminary to discern the priesthood for a total of five years. Dan subsequently received a B.A. in Philosophy from St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami, and an M.A. in Theology from St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, FL. He has worked as a Director of Youth Ministry at a parish in St. Louis, MO, and worked in Campus Ministry and taught Theology at an all boys Catholic school in Tampa, FL. In his free time, Dan enjoys frequenting coffee shops, listening to folk music, reading, running, and enjoying quality time with his wife and family.
Dr. Jordan Matteoli, English & Literature, History Department
In addition to helping develop the curriculum, Jordan teaches history, literature, and English for Kolbe Academy. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Dallas. He and his wife Mara live in the redwood-forest region of northern California.
Mrs. Allison Ramirez, English & Literature Department
Allison Ramirez earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a Creative Writing emphasis from Seattle Pacific University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts degree in Theology from Holy Apostles College & Seminary. Allison also served as a Catholic freelance editor and is the author of over seventy articles published in church bulletins and other Catholic magazines, blogs, and journals. Allison lives among the beautiful evergreens of Washington State with her husband, Nathan, and their two Pug pups, Leo and Levi. For fun, she enjoys running and hiking, reading, and spending time with family and friends. She is looking forward to sharing the love of Christ and the written word with her Kolbe students this year.
Mrs. Olivia Chaney, History Department
Olivia earned a BA in History from Ave Maria University with minors in medieval studies and philosophy. As a student, Olivia worked at the National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City where she was born and raised. Olivia taught middle school history, literature, and English Grammar and writing for two years at a classical academy in Naples, FL. Olivia’s favorite author is C.S. Lewis, and she is particularly fond of his work Perelandra, the second book in the Space Trilogy. When not teaching or reading, Olivia enjoys baking, going on walks, knitting, and drinking coffee. Olivia now lives with her husband and family in North Carolina.
Mrs. Olivia Knuffke, History Department
Olivia Knuffke graduated in May 2021 from Dominican University of California with a Masters in Humanities with a Music Concentration. She previously obtained her undergraduate degree from Thomas Aquinas College, where she served as the principal cellist of the Thomas Aquinas College Orchestra. She is a trained Suzuki method cello teacher and maintains a private teaching studio in Irving, Texas. Some of her favorite composers are: Antonio Vivaldi, J.S. Bach, and Camille Saint-Saëns. When not teaching or performing, she enjoys spending time with her family, trying new recipes, and traveling.
Mrs. Margaret Malek, Math Department
Margaret is a wife to John and Kolbe mom to five busy boys. She holds a Master of Science in Applied Mathematics from the University of Washington, a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Gonzaga University. She has taught college level mathematics both in-person and online since 2010. She has been homeschooling her boys since 2013. She began teaching for Kolbe during the 2022-2023 school year. Margaret resides in Idaho with her beautiful family and horses. Riding her horses is her favorite hobby whenever she gets some "me" time.
Mrs. Katherine Peterson, Math Department
Katie graduated from Kansas State University with a BS in Secondary Education with a concentration in Mathematics. After teaching middle school math for for 10 years in the public school system and her parish school, she spent two years teaching math at a local Catholic high school. She and her husband are now expecting their first child in the fall and live near Kansas City, KS.
Mrs. Allie Usher, Science Department
Allie and her husband and children live in northeastern Washington state. She holds a bachelor's degree in Agricultural education from Washington State University and a masters in secondary science education from Western Governors University where she had a strong focus on chemistry. After graduating from WSU Allie spent 3 years in public education teaching 7th and 8th grade CTE science for one year and two years teaching agricultural science classes to 9th-12th graders. She is excited to continue her passion of educating the youth while working within the Catholic faith. In her leisure time, she enjoys spending time with her children, baking and cooking, gardening, spending time outdoors and working with her parish’s youth group.
Mrs. Christine Goss, Science Department
Christine Goss earned a B.S. in Biology from Boston College. She spent several years working in developmental, cell and molecular biology laboratories at Boston College, Washington University School of Medicine, and Florida International University. She also worked for two years as a college-level human biology laboratory instructor. In the midst of her scientific endeavors, Christine lived for a year in London, England, at St. Patrick’s Evangelization School where she spent her time in prayer, formation and outreach. She now lives in her hometown of St. Louis with her husband and three children. She is excited to return to Kolbe and to share her love of God’s creation with her students!
Mr. Christopher Hurlbert, Language Department
Chris was born and raised in Exeter, New Hampshire. After graduating from The American University, he entered the U.S. Army as an officer in the military intelligence corps. He served in New York and Maryland with deployments to Bosnia and Kosovo. At Mass in Bosnia, he met his French wife to be, Annie. Shortly after their marriage, Chris and Annie adopted their son from Bulgaria. Selected by the United States Military Academy to teach French, Chris then attended the University of Maine for an M.A. in French Literature followed by three highly rewarding years of teaching cadets. During his time at West Point, he was selected to join the Africa Foreign Area Officer program for diplomatic-military functions. Rwanda, Chad, and the Central African Republic colored close to six years of his time on the African continent. After 27 years, Chris retired in April 2022, from U.S. Africa Command, Stuttgart, Germany, as the Senior Africa Foreign Area Officer. He has since been studying theology with Holy Apostles College and Seminary.
Mrs. Samantha Pascale, Language Department
Samantha holds a B.A. in Spanish, Italian and Translation from Montclair State University and an M.A. from National University. She grew up bilingual in Italian and always knew her calling was to teach foreign languages. Her love of connecting with people of other cultures inspired her to study abroad at the Universidad de las Américas in Puebla, Mexico and to spend a year living in Italy. However, she then ended up staying there for many years and still spends time there. She expanded her teaching experience there teaching Spanish, Italian and English as a foreign language. She has taught children, teens and college students, from four different continents, both in person and online, in various private online schools, Italian public schools, at Ashford University and at the University of Venice Ca’ Foscari. In her free time, she likes to pray while hiking or while walking along the beach, travel, read and watch classical movies. She and her husband are blessed with one daughter who still fills them with awe and great joy.
Mrs. Ashley Hoffman, Preschool
Ashley Hoffman graduated with a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Houston Victoria in 2012. Ashley lives in Texas with her husband and 5 children. She enjoys family game nights, time spent with family and friends, prayer, attending Mass, and being a part of her parish’s rich community. Her family’s chosen motto is a quote from St. Clare of Assisi that says, "Love God, Serve God, Everything is in that.” Being a part of Kolbe Academy allows her family to fulfill their motto even more fully! She feels incredibly blessed to be at Kolbe Academy where she gets to help young Catholics grow in the truth, beauty, and goodness of the Church.
Mrs. Mara Matteoli, 5th Grade Teacher
Mara Matteoli graduated from the University of Dallas with a B.A. in English and concentrations in Spanish and Drama. She went on to pursue a Master’s degree in Humanities with a concentration in Classical Education from the University of Dallas and has been working in classical schools for several years. In her free time she enjoys running, reading, writing poetry, and playing the violin. Mara lives in northern California with her husband and family.
Mrs. Rebecca Razuri, Resource Teacher
Rebecca Razuri graduated from a Catholic online high school in 2010 before earning a BS in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics from The University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. She worked in Oil and Gas companies as an Engineering Technician for three years before discovering her love of teaching. After completing her alternative teachers certification, she taught high school Geometry for 6 years at a charter school in Houston, the last two of those years also writing curriculum and tests for the district. She left in-person teaching after giving birth to her first child and joined Kolbe soon after. She still resides in Houston with her husband and son, and in her free time loves working on all sorts of crafting projects, but especially loves to crochet and cross stitch.
Mrs. Emmanuelle Wilhelm, Resource Teacher
Emmanuelle was raised in Oklahoma. She is happily married to Todd, and they are currently raising five children in Florida. She received her BS in Education from the University of Oklahoma. She spent several years in the public schools teaching as a resource room teacher in Texas, Oklahoma, and Washington state. She has provided tutoring support outside of the classroom and has spent the last 7 years homeschooling her own children. She is excited about joining the Kolbe community as a teacher and is looking forward to helping support students in the classroom.
Mrs. Kristi Cramer, Resource Teacher
Kristi received a B.A. in Early Childhood Special Education and Early Childhood Education from Lindenwood University and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Capella University. She has worked both in the classroom and online with students ranging from preschool to 7th grade. She resides in Missouri with her husband and three boys. Kristi currently homeschools her own children and is very excited for what the future might bring. She is happy to be a part of Kolbe academy and to help students reach for the stars.
Mrs. Diana Lemmons, Resource Department
Diana is a retired teacher from Alabama and has taught in Special Education in Alabama public schools for 25 years. She received her Bachelor's degree in English Literature from Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana and her Masters in Special Education from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. She currently is living in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband, Russ, and has been married for 38 years. She converted to Catholicism in 2007 and is so excited about working for Kolbe Academy.
Ellen Glasser, Language Department
Ellen received her BA from Eckerd College International Relations & Global Affairs and Spanish, and her MA in teaching from Belmont University. She studied Spanish in Peru and Spain during and after college. She is the mother of two boys, and with her husband, the family loves to go camping and find beautiful swimming holes in their free time. She also loves to learn about different liturgical traditions of Spanish speaking countries. She has previously taught Spanish virtually and also in person in Nashville TN, where she lives.
Heather Griffin, English Department
Heather holds a BA in English from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and completed her teacher education in Secondary English at Middle Tennessee State University. Her teaching experience spans 10 years in a variety of environments, including one-on-one tutoring in reading and ACT prep, middle school language arts both virtually and in-person, learning support classrooms, and most recently, homeschooling. Additionally, Heather brings her experience as a professional writer and copy editor to her role at Kolbe. She is happily married to her wonderful husband Nate, and together they have a son named Ollie. One of the things Heather loves about homeschooling is the ability to tailor her son's learning to his specific interests and skill level.
Michelle Jones, History Department
Michelle earned her BS in Integrated Social Studies with endorsement for grades 7-12 from the University of Dayton and her Masters Degree in Education with a Reading Endorsement for grades K-12 from Notre Dame College. Michelle has taught 8th grade US History and religion at a Catholic school in Charlotte, North Carolina and 7th and 8th grade ELA, reading, and religion at a Catholic school in Cleveland, Ohio. Michelle lives in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio with her husband and their three young daughters. She loves photography, baking, gardening, and spending time with her family.