Fr. Benedict Armitage

At a Glance

Father Benedict Armitage brings the complete package as headmaster to Christ the Savior Academy – a vision for classical education, an administrative acumen, and a love for the Christian faith.

Education

Father Benedict Armitage graduated summa cum laude with a degree in classical studies and comparative ancient civilizations from the University of California, Riverside. After his undergraduate studies, he pursued and received a Master of Divinity at St. Tikhon’s Theological Seminary.

Background

Father Benedict has taught Latin and studied Greek, and has worked as a youth director and tutor. Most recently, he has served as the administrative assistant to His Grace Bishop BASIL, and, nationally, to the Assembly of Bishops.

Vision

When it comes to a child’s education, Father Benedict says he can’t imagine a better setting than an Orthodox classical school. “Human beings alone, of all the animal world, are able both to think and to make moral choices – they alone care about Truth and Virtue. A classical education is one that is concerned, first and foremost, with these two faculties that define man; it helps the student learn to think and to make virtuous choices. Given such a mission, a school can find no better setting than within the Orthodox Christian faith, for there the student learns to encounter Jesus Christ, Who is Himself the Source of Truth and of every Good.”

Elena Somerhalder

At a Glance

A former teacher, board member and one of the original steering committee members, Mrs. Elena Somerhalder has served Christ the Savior Academy in nearly every capacity. It is this perspective that makes her perfect for her role as Director of Enrollment at the Academy.

Experience

As Director of Enrollment, Mrs. Somerhalder wants to guide you through the enrollment process – from the time you step into the school for your first tour to the point where you are ushering your children into their classroom on the first day of school. Her job is to make the process seamless and to serve you – the parent and customer – in anyway she possibly can. If you have any questions at all about the school, the process for enrollment, or you just simply lost one of the forms, call Mrs. Somerhalder.

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“It is a joy to work in a school where our students are learning the importance of faith and God in their lives, and, at the same time,  the curriculum provides enriching educational classroom experiences which create a foundation for a lifelong love of learning,” Mrs. Somerhalder says.

Laura Bair

At a Glance

Mrs. Bair’s classroom is joyful and filled with meaningful literature selections and toys that help build their fine motor skills and capture their imaginations.

Experience

“I’m pretty sure I have the best job in the whole world,” Mrs. Laura Bair will tell you if you walk into her classroom. Mrs. Bair comes to Christ the Savior Academy with more than 20 years experience working with children. She has spent the last 10 years at the junior kindergarten level.

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I love working with four and five-year-olds because their reactions to everything are so pure and honest.” Seeing them “get” something for the first time never gets old. I honestly believe that I get way more from them than they can ever receive from me and I am so grateful to get to be a part of their first school experiences,” Mrs. Bair said.

Lauren Jabara

At a Glance

Lauren Jabara comes to Christ the Savior Academy from Three Hierarchs Eastern Orthodox School in Pennsylvania where she was the kindergarten teacher.

Experience

Mrs. Jabara is a trained reading specialist and has worked closely with the first grade teacher to prepare her students for the next grade level. Mrs. Jabara has also served as counselor, head counselor and administrative staff member at two regional Orthodox camps for the last several years. She loves to read and discuss classical literature, and she enjoys experiencing other cultures through travel.

Background

“Lauren knows her subjects well and conveys the information to her students in an exemplary way,” Yvonne Doncic, first grade teacher at Three Hierarchs. “She maintains an excellent relationship with parents, keeping them updated on the progress of each student, which is so important at these grade levels. She gives extra effort everyday and always has her students well-prepared.”

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Mrs. Jabara loves being able to connect with students on a spiritual level, counting prayer with her students as one of her greatest privileges.

“I feel a closeness and connection with each of my students and their families,” Mrs. Jabara says. “When I see our children cross themselves, use kind words with their friends or reverence an icon, I am filled with such joy. I love seeing the faith reflected in the daily lives of my students.”

Nicole Boyle

At a Glance

The love and wonder kindergarten children have for even the simplest of things is what Mrs. Nicole Boyle enjoys the most about teaching this age. Mrs. Boyle relishes the chance to help shape children to be fully human in their joy, faith, and love for one another.

 

Experience

Mrs. Boyle comes to CSA with a Master’s degree in Theology from Concordia Theology Seminary and a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Spanish from University of Michigan. She has taught Spanish language classes at both the grade school and high school levels, as well as courses in English as a Second Language for the last nine years. Mrs. Boyle has also run a Mom’s Day Out program for preschoolers and kindergartners at the church, where her husband serves as a pastor, and has taught preschoolers Sunday School for many years.

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“I love the focus that CSA has on forming the mind and soul, while instilling a foundation of faith,” Mrs.Boyle says. “I love the accomplishment that the kids feel with the memorization of beautiful texts. The fact that classical education recognizes that history is essential, and still teaches us today what is important for our kids and our culture, impresses me greatly.”

Nyleen Lenk

At a Glance

“I love teaching children because of their sense of wonderment and delight in God’s creation,” Mrs. Lenk says. For the last fifteen years, Mrs. Lenk has worked to preserve that wonderment through her creative lesson plans.

Experience

Throughout her teaching career, Mrs. Lenk has taught a wide-range of ages: Middle school math and science, Kindergarten and first grade reading, second grade and a gifted program. She also drafted the science curriculum at one of the schools.

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“I want to create a rigorous learning environment, but it should also be a joyous place,” Lenk says. “I want to instill in the children a love of God, love of learning and a love of virtue.”

Keri Jacobs

At a Glance

Mrs. Keri Jacobs is an architect, but molding and shaping the mind, body and souls of her students is now her focus at Christ the Savior Academy.

Experience

Mrs. Jacobs has her Bachelors of Architecture degree from the University of Kansas, and she completed two semesters of Law School there before she left school to focus on the education of her own children. Mrs. Jacobs classically homeschooled her five children for 14 years and taught Geometry at a private high school before joining CSA.

 

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“I believe that a classical education benefits all children. A classical education helps us teach children to value things with enduring quality: truth, beauty, and goodness. I am grateful to teach at Christ the Savior Academy and to be able to bring two of my children here as well,” Mrs. Jacobs said.

Katherine Earles

At a Glance

Mrs. Katherine Earles spent years teaching college students how to teach math to elementary students. Now she has the joy of teaching the elementary students herself!

Experience

Mrs. Earles holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree from Idaho State University and a Master of Science in Mathematics from Wichita State University. She has more than 10 years of teaching experience.

Mrs. Earles brings a unique sense of wonder to her classroom with hands-on activities and projects, memory work through songs, and fun games that help students memorize their Botany lessons. In her students’ eyes she is most beloved for her unique ability to say all of the states in alphabetical order in under a minute.

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“I am thrilled to have a role in leading our children through the treasure-house of Western Culture, and I am blessed to participate daily with them in the life and tradition of Christ’s church.”

Lori Oller

At a Glance

Mrs. Lori Oller, a self-described history buff, loves to make history come alive for her students through an integration of many subjects. As her class studies the middle ages, she plans to paint a picture of what it was like by introducing music, art, geography and even the weather they faced as they marched into battle.

Experience

She is uniquely able to bring diverse topics together because of her educational background. Mrs. Oller holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance from Washburn University and a Master’s degree in Music Education from Wichita State University.

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“I am so glad to be able to teach at a classical school where the curriculum makes it convenient to integrate multiple subjects,” Mrs. Oller said. With this synergy I hope to lead students to a love of the true, good, and beautiful.”

 

Vasiliki Oldziey

At a Glance

Iconographer, children’s magazine author, DOWAMA Coordinator. Those are some of the titles that Ms. Oldziey has worn for the last 25 years, but her favorite is “teacher.”

Experience

“I love to teach because children have a natural affinity to God, and I learn so much from them.” Ms. Oldziey has served for eight years as the diocesan coordinator for Orthodox Christian Education, developing curriculum, creating lesson plans and providing children the opportunity to express their faith through creative mediums.

Background

Ms. Oldziey grew up in the Orthodox Church, attended Greek School and learned the Divine Liturgy in Greek. For the past 12 years, Ms. Oldziey has studied iconography with a master iconographer. Her background allows her to bring a uniquely Orthodox understanding of teaching and art to the classroom.

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“It has always been my goal to create a classroom in which students embrace the opportunity to learn, to grow in their faith and to recognize the gifts God has given them to reach their full potential.”