Teri Dwyer: Principal (SRS), Director (SRNS)
Teri is the founding principal of St. Raphael School and has served as the director of St. Raphael Nursery School since 1990. She has a Master of Education from Marymount University, a Bachelor of Arts from Immaculata College, and she has taken post-graduate courses at Penn State, Trinity College, University of Virginia, and Loyola College of Maryland. Teri has taught grades 3, 4, 6, and 8 and has substituted in all grades from preschool through junior high. She is certified as a catechist for the Archdiocese of Washington and has conducted sacramental preparation classes in the dioceses of Washington, Arlington, and Philadelphia. Teri coordinates St. Raphael Parish's baptism program. She is part of the Archdiocesan Curriculum Committee, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and the National Catholic Educational Association. In 2018, she was selected as the Archdiocese of Washington Distinguished Principal of the Year and, in 2019, received the Learn, Lead, Proclaim Award from the National Catholic Educational Association. A Philadelphia native, Teri and her husband, Dick, have lived in the area for more than 30 years. They have three adult children, Maureen, Richie, and Meghan.
Faculty & Staff
Olayinka Alexander: Enrichment Teacher
Olayinka is from The Big Apple, NYC. She moved to Montgomery County Maryland, after she married. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Syracuse University and a Juris Doctorate from American University. Before joining the SRS staff in 2023, she practiced corporate immigration and employment law. Olayinka and her husband, Damien, have three children, all of which are St. Raphael School alumnae Kaitlyn (SRS' 17), Amara (SRS' 19), and Reagan (SRS' 22).
Chris Beall: 3's Teacher
Chris grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, outside of Cleveland. She attended Catholic schools from kindergarten through college, and also taught Religious Education classes while in high school. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and has taken courses towards her master’s degree in early childhood education at Hood College in Frederick. Chris and her husband Tom have been active members of the St. Raphael community for many years, and their two children Katy and Jack are proud alumni of both SRNS and SRS. Chris has been happily involved with SRNS/ SRS since her daughter Katy first attended preschool in 2003. She has served on numerous committees, worked lunch bunch, subbed in classrooms for both SRS and SRNS, served as President of the HSA, and co-chaired Girls Night Out since its inception in 2007. Chris joined the teaching staff at SRNS in 2006 and has taught in the 3’s , 4’s and Enrichment classes. In 2018, she helped create and coordinate the St. Raphael Stay and Play program. She is also the creator of the Mrs. Beall’s Bedtime Book Club, an online literary adventure for nursery school students.
Molly Bugge: Eighth Grade Teacher, HSPT Teacher
Molly was born and raised in Silver Spring, MD. She attended St. Bernadette School from K-8, St. John’s College High School, and graduated from University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science. Before starting at St. Raphael’s in 2021, Molly worked at St. Bernadette School for 5 years, 3 years as a 2nd grade teacher and 2 years as the Technology Coordinator and member of the Resource Team for grades K-8. During this time, she received her certification in Elementary Education from Notre Dame of Maryland University. She is a certified catechist and has been trained in Responsive Classroom. In her free time, Molly likes to watch/play sports, be on a beach, and spend time with her family!
Amy Burgaleta: Enrichment Teacher
Amy grew up in Damascus and received her Bachelor of Science in mathematics and education from Loyola College of Maryland. She and her husband, Rob, have been active members of the St. Raphael community for many years. Amy has been involved with SRNS since 2005, when her son first attended the preschool. She has worked as a substitute teacher for both SRNS and SRS, has helped with Lunch Bunch, and was part of the front desk staff. After her youngest graduated from SRNS, she continued to volunteer at St. Raphael by teaching Religious Education classes. Amy has been a member of St. Raphael Parish since 1996 and has volunteered with the Religious Education program as a catechist and co-catechist in first through sixth grade. Amy has also spent several years teaching software applications and writing user guides. She lives in Clarksburg with her husband and their two children, Matthew and Sara, both of whom are graduates of SRNS. Amy joined the staff of SRS in 2020.
Molly Cannon: 4's Assistant
Molly grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, attending local Catholic schools. Before having children, Molly worked as an attorney in Washington, D.C., and Maryland. Once her children arrived, Molly stopped practicing law to focus on parenting. Molly and her husband, Eddie, joined the St. Raphael's community in 2017 when their oldest began kindergarten. Her two daughters, Phoebe and Roxanne, currently attend St. Raphael School. Since 2020, Molly has worked as a "recess mom" for the elementary school and a substitute in the nursery school. Molly lives in Gaithersburg with her husband, Eddie, and their daughters.
Rosa Cevallos: Spanish Teacher (4–8)
Rosa was born in Portoviejo, Ecuador. She studied architecture at the Catholic University in Guayaquil and completed her bachelor’s degree at Central University in Quito. Rosi, as she is known by her friends, and her husband, Gustavo, moved to the area in 2002. Both a Spanish and religion teacher, she started teaching catechism at Mother Seton Parish in 2006. Before joining the staff of SRS in 2016, she taught Spanish to elementary school children for five years under Big Learning Foreign Language (FLES) at various Montgomery County schools. With the help of visual aids, educational songs, and active participation, the children learned extensive Spanish. Rosi also serves as a private Spanish tutor. She and her husband live in Germantown. Their three adult sons live in Spain, Ecuador, and Portland, Oregon.
Maura Chongpinitchai: Enrichment Teacher (Math), HSPT Teacher
Maura is from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where she attended Catholic grade school and high school. She graduated from Gettysburg College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in writing. At Gettysburg, Maura was a member of Psi Chi, the international honor society for psychology, and was also a varsity field hockey player and captain. Upon graduation, she enrolled at Saint Joseph’s University and earned a Master of Education. At Saint Joseph’s, she was a member of Alpha Epsilon Lambda, an honor society for graduate students. Maura is certified to teach all subjects from kindergarten through sixth grade, as well as math and science for seventh, eighth, and ninth grades. For two years, she taught fifth grade in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia before joining the St. Raphael's family in 2011. Maura coaches CYO basketball at St. Raphael’s and formerly coached varsity field hockey at the Connelly School of the Holy Child. She and her husband, Joe, live in Rockville with their sons, Leo, Anthony and Sebastian.
Natalie Coene: SRS Spanish K-3rd, SRNS Fiesta and Stay & Play Teacher
Natalie grew up in Twinbrook and is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in Spanish. She has a master’s in school counseling from Johns Hopkins University. For several years, Natalie worked with the developmentally disabled as a career counselor at the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute of Catholic Charities. Natalie and her husband, Michael (a graduate of SRNS) are longtime parishioners and got married at St. Raphael's. They have six children, all of whom are SRNS graduates and two of whom are current SRS students. Natalie has been active in the school community by teaching in the 3’s program for several years and helping to pioneer the Spanish Fiesta class when it launched in 2004. Natalie grew up speaking Spanish in her home and loves sharing the gift of learning a second language with her students.
Julie Cress: Assistant Principal
Julie grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and received a bachelor’s degree in organizational behavior and management from the University of Michigan. In 1997, she moved from Columbus, Ohio, to Maryland, where she joined St. Raphael Parish and her oldest child started in the 4's program at St. Raphael Nursery School. She was on the board of St. Raphael Nursery School from 1998 to 2000 and started working at the nursery school in 2000. Over the years, her role has expanded to include working in the classroom, SRNS licensing, and SRS/SRNS admissions. Julie wanted to expand her role in the classroom and participated in the ADW teacher cohort to receive her Maryland certification. She and her husband, Scott, have three children, Tom, Joey, and Annie, all of whom are alumni of St. Raphael Nursery School.
Terri de Raet: Kindergarten Assistant
Terri was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, and moved to Maryland after graduating from Texas A&M University with a bachelor's degree in marketing. She joined our staff in 2012 as a teaching assistant in the nursery school and transitioned to the kindergarten classroom in 2020. Terri enjoys travel, reading and walks on the canal.
Talullah Dropkin: Music Teacher
Talullah was born and raised in Talbot County, Maryland. She moved to Atlanta to receive her engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology. In Atlanta, she met her husband, and they began their family. In 2018, the family moved to Rockville and became part of the SRS community. Talullah’s two youngest children attended SRNS, and she worked as a Lunch Bunch volunteer and substitute teacher’s aide. Music has always been a part of Talullah’s life. She was a member of the All-Shore Chorus in high school, the concert and chamber choirs in college, and was a member of the award-winning Song of Atlanta show chorus. She has performed in musicals such as The Wiz and The Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. Talullah is the mom to three boys, Nicholas, Lucas (SRNS’ 19), and Christopher (SRNS’ 22).
Dona Dulski: Resource Teacher
Dona Dulski grew up in the Rockville area attending St. Mary’s School and Georgetown Visitation. Dona earned her undergraduate degree from Boston College in Early Childhood Education and her graduate degree in Special Education K-8 from Johns Hopkins University. Before joining SRS, Dona was a special education classroom teacher for 25 years. She and her husband, Mike, are long-time parishioners at St. Elizabeth’s in Rockville. In her free time, Dona enjoys reading and spending time outside gardening and camping with her husband and their dog.
Maureen Everling: Second Grade Assistant
A native of Potomac, Maureen attended Our Lady of Mercy School and Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Saint Mary’s College in Indiana. She worked at Georgetown Prep Day Camps prior to her career in public relations. Two of her three children attended St. Raphael Nursery School, where Maureen enjoyed working as a Lunch Bunch supervisor and substitute teacher before joining SRS as the second-grade assistant in 2016. Her son, Declan, currently attends SRS, and her daughter Lauren graduated from SRS in 2020. She is an active volunteer with both of her daughters' Girl Scout troops. Maureen and her husband, Larry, reside in the Potomac Woods neighborhood.
Shannon Grant: Administrative Assistant
Shannon grew up in Darnestown, MD and attended Connelly School of the Holy Child from seventh grade through high school. She graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. Before joining the staff in 2023, Shannon worked for 16 years as a regulatory analyst and manager at FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), a government-authorized not-for-profit organization that oversees U.S. broker-dealers. Shannon lives in Rockville with her husband, Kevin. They have three children, Caroline (SRS’ 28) and twin boys Tommy and Patrick (SRS’ 31).
Megan Heitzmann: Fifth Grade Teacher
Megan was born and raised in State College, PA. She graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a dual major in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. After graduation, she and her husband moved to Michigan. She earned a Master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University in Educational Media and Technology. She taught 4th and 5th grade in both Michigan and in Montgomery County. Megan then chose to stay home full time with her 3 daughters. In 2010, her oldest daughter started preschool at St. Raphael Nursery School. She served on the SRNS Board for several years while her 3 daughters attended SRNS. She has also worked with enrichment groups at SRS. Megan lives in Rockville with her husband, Colin, and their 3 daughters Madison, Lily, & Caitlyn who currently attends SRS.
Lindsay Howley: First Grade Assistant
Lindsay grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, where she attended Catholic school and graduated from Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School. After earning her Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing from Loyola College of Maryland, Lindsay worked in advertising in Baltimore, then relocated to Bethesda and worked as a legal assistant for a large Washington, D.C., law firm. Before joining the SRS staff in 2018, Lindsay worked at SRNS, where she served as an assistant for 10 years. She and her husband, Patrick, live in Potomac Woods with their three children, twins Morgan and Patrick, and Caroline. All three children graduated from St. Raphael Nursery School.
Rachel James: 4’s Assistant
Rachel grew up in Potomac and attended local public schools. She and her husband, Brian, have been involved in the St. Raphael’s community since their oldest came to the nursery school in 2006. They live in Potomac with their three children, Mary, Michael, and Thomas, all of whom loved their time at SRNS. After their youngest graduated from the 4-Plus Program, Rachel continued volunteering at St. Raphael’s, where she helped out with Lunch Bunch and substituted in the classroom. Rachel joined the SRNS staff in 2017.
Melissa Kelly: Sixth Grade Homeroom and Science Teacher
Melissa is a native of Montgomery County. She lived in Towson for 17 years and returned to the area in 2002. She has a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from Towson University and after graduation conducted research at Johns Hopkins University. Before joining the SRS staff in 2009, she taught biology at Towson Catholic High School. Melissa and her husband, Jim, have six children, including St. Raphael School alumni Tess (SRS '16) and Conor (SRS '18).
Cecilia Kent: 4's Teacher
Ana “Cecilia” was born and raised in Lima, Peru. She earned a bachelor’s degree in social communications at the Sacred Heart University in Lima and began her career working with the American Chamber of Commerce in Lima. Work brought her to San Francisco and ultimately to Washington, D.C., in 2001. She has been a member of St. Raphael Parish since moving to the area. Cecilia joined the St. Raphael Nursery School staff in 2009 and also works in the After-Care Program for SRS and SRNS. Cecilia and her husband, John, reside in Rockville and have three daughters Natalie (SRS '17), Cristina (SRS '21) and Sarah who currently attends SRS.
Judy Kettl: School Nurse
Judy was raised in Fort Washington. She graduated from Towson State University with a Bachelor of Science in nursing and worked at Georgetown University Hospital from 1981 to 1996. She and her husband, Dave—members of St. Raphael Parish since 1995—live in North Potomac and have three grown daughters, Caroline, Lauren, and Sarah. All three attended St. Raphael Nursery School, where Judy was an active board member. She worked for Montgomery County Public Schools as a special-education paraeducator for four years and completed a nursing refresher course through Montgomery College. Judy has worked as a school nurse here at St. Raphael's and at the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville.
Kelly Kimmel: Third Grade Teacher
Kelly grew up in Montgomery County and moved back to the area after earning her undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech. She has been part of the St. Raphael Parish and school community since 2010. Kelly worked as an assistant at SRNS before joining SRS as an assistant teacher in 2021, and then becoming the 3rd grade teacher in the Fall of 2022. She lives in North Potomac with her husband and four children, Peyton (SRS ‘21), Riley (SRS ‘23), Peter (SRS ‘24)and Jack (SRS ‘27).
Stephanie Klinger: Media Specialist
Stephanie is originally from New Mexico and spent her childhood years in Houston before moving with her family to Frederick. She graduated from New Mexico State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in business computer systems. After graduation, Stephanie was a software engineer with AOL and MapQuest in Dulles, Virginia. She now resides in Montgomery County with her husband and son, who currently attends SRS. Before joining the staff of SRS in 2021, Stephanie spent 3 years as a SRNS 4s teacher. She enjoys her time volunteering on various committees for St. Raphael School and is a past president of the Home & School Association.
Julie Kolasinski: 4's Teacher
Julie was born and raised just outside Cleveland, Ohio. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Accounting with a minor in Criminal Justice from Xavier University. Following graduation, she remained in Cincinnati where she earned her Certified Public Accountant designation and worked in public accounting for four years before having her children. Her family relocated to Maryland from Virginia Beach in 2018 when her husband was stationed at Walter Reed with the U.S. Air Force. Julie began working at Lunch Bunch in the nursery school in fall 2018 and was a Lunch Bunch Supervisor the following two years. Loving her time around the preschoolers and as part of the SRNS/SRS family, Julie decided to professionally pivot from accounting to early childhood education and joined the SRNS staff in 2021. Julie lives in North Potomac with her husband, Nate, and their three children: Ella and Asher, who attend SRS, and Colette (SRNS).
Kristina Korotka: 3's Assistant
Kristina is from Germantown, MD. She attended Catholic grade school and high school before pursuing a degree in Family Sciences at The University of Maryland, College Park. During her career, Kristina was the lead teacher at The Goddard School in Rockville, MD before moving to DC where she worked at a law firm in the marketing and recruiting department. Once Kristina started having children, she moved back to Germantown to focus on parenthood. When her oldest daughter started preschool at SRNS, Kristina participated in the Lunch Bunch program, eventually becoming a supervisor. She also worked in the classroom as a substitute teacher over several years and was a member of the SRNS Board. Kristina resides in Potomac with her husband, Tom. They have four daughters, Kelsey (SRS' 30), Lindsey (SRS' 32), and twins Kaylee and Lexi ('35).
Francine Krivka: Kindergarten Teacher
Francine grew up in Beltsville, where she attended St. Joseph's Catholic School and High Point High School. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor's degree in education. Francine worked for five years for Montgomery County Public Schools as a third- and fifth-grade teacher and as a math assistant before having her children. She volunteered at both St. Raphael Nursery School and St. Raphael School for several years before joining the SRNS staff in 2012. She lives in Gaithersburg with her husband, Mike, and sons Mak (SRS '17) and Jak (SRS '21). Both of her sons are alumni of St. Raphael Nursery School.
Danielle Laws: Administrative Assistant
Danielle, a Maryland native, has over ten years of experience in administrative work and customer service. Her previous roles include guest services director at a pet resort and working front desk at a busy dental office. Now residing in Montgomery County with her husband, Danielle enjoys spending her free time hiking, roller skating, and learning new cooking recipes.
Rosa Lombardo: Receptionist
Rosa was born in Italy and moved to the United States when she was 8 years old. She worked as a secretary in the Special Education Department for Montgomery County Public Schools. In 1974, Rosa and her husband, Vito, founded their family business, Associated Tile & Marble. They have three grown children, and some of their grandchildren attended St. Raphael Nursery School. When she is not multi-tasking at the receptionist’s desk, Rosa enjoys cooking and going to the beach.
Laura Magafan: Director of Marketing & Communications
Laura was born and raised in Orange County, California, and moved to Maryland with her husband in 2011. She attended Cal Poly Pomona and received a BS in Apparel Merchandising and Management. Laura has worked for small boutiques as a buyer and more recently helped bring Core Power Yoga Studios and their merchandise department to the DMV area. Laura currently lives in Bethesda with her husband Aris and three sons, AJ, (little) Aris and Cameron.
Julie Mahon: 4's Teacher
Julie was born and raised in Long Island, New York. She has been a member of St. Raphael Parish since 1998 and volunteered with the Religious Education program for six years. She worked as a substitute teacher in the nursery school before joining the staff in 2014. Julie received her undergraduate degree in elementary education from Loyola University Maryland and her master’s degree in special education from Johns Hopkins University. She was a classroom and special-education resource teacher for Baltimore County Public Schools before leaving to raise her family. Julie currently resides in Gaithersburg with her husband, Patrick, and their three children, Shannon, Ryan, and Grace, all graduates of St. Raphael Nursery School.
Cleofe “Fely” Martínez: 4's Assistant M/W/F and 3's Assistant Tu/Th
Cleofe was born and raised in Cuzco, Peru. She completed her early education and then earned her sewing certification from the prestigious high-fashion Selene Institute in Lima. Fely, as she is known by everyone, has been a member of St. Raphael Parish since 2004 and has volunteered with the Religious Education program. She has been active in the Lunch Bunch program for several years, previously as a volunteer and now as a supervisor, and also works in Before and After Care. Fely lives in Rockville with her husband, Ernesto, a U.S. Amy retiree with 23 years of service now working with the Department of Homeland Security, along with their daughters, Emily (SRS '20) and Brianna (SRS '23).
Tim May: Enrichment Teacher (Language Arts), HSPT Teacher
Tim grew up in Kensington, where he attended Holy Redeemer Catholic School. He graduated from St. Anselm’s Abbey School in Washington, D.C., and received his Bachelor of Arts in history from The Catholic University. Tim and his family are parishioners at St. Bernadette’s Parish in Silver Spring, where he has taught Religious Education for several years. He has also volunteered for the Literacy Council of Montgomery County, teaching adults to read and write English. He has had an extensive career as a marketing associate for Sysco Baltimore, consulting clients in the hospitality industry. With a lifelong interest in education, he made a career change to pursue his passion to teach, and he joined the staff of SRS in 2020. Tim and his wife, Alison, are dedicated to Catholic education; their children, Megan and Peter, are graduates of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School.
John McCutcheon: Math Teacher, HSPT Teacher
John studied mathematics and physics at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science, he began a career in the insurance industry and became a credentialed actuary. He spent nearly 30 years using mathematics to solve insurance and business-related problems. Interested in making a career change to teaching, John completed a Master of Education from University of Maryland University College in 2017. He is certified to teach mathematics and business education, and he taught algebra, geometry, and pre-calculus at the high school level before joining the SRS staff in 2018. John is a native of Montgomery County and lives in Germantown with his wife and three children.
Catalina Morris: 3's Assistant
Catalina holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering. She has worked in advertising and digital marketing for telecom companies. She is certified in Early Childhood Development and has worked as a substitute teacher in preschool. She was part of the lunch staff for SRS and SRNS last year. Catalina and her husband live in Silver Spring with their two boys. The family has been members of St. Raphael Parish for several years.
Molly Nagel: Resource Teacher
Molly grew up in Potomac and attended Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School. She received her undergraduate degree with certifications in both special and elementary education from Saint Joseph's University. She is trained in Orton-Gillingham Plus, a scientifically based teaching program that can prevent or effectively limit the severity of reading and writing challenges for students, including those with dyslexia. Before joining the staff in 2015, Molly worked as a classroom and special-education resource teacher for Montgomery County Public Schools. She and her husband, Chris, have been members of the St. Raphael Parish and school community for several years. They have three children, Emma (SRS '22), William, and Lilly.
Kim O'Connor: Kindergarten Teacher
Kim is a native Washingtonian who grew up not too far from St. Raphael Parish. She attended Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda from kindergarten through high school. She graduated from Fairfield University in Connecticut with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and education. She spent time in the classroom at Little Acorns Early Learning Center and Geneva Day School, both in Potomac, before staying home with her four children, Grace (SRS '15), Katie (SRS '17), Timmy (SRS '19), and Patrick (SRS '21). After subbing in the preschool and working as the supervisor of the Lunch Bunch program for two years, Kim joined the staff of St. Raphael Nursery School in 2012 as a lead teacher in our 3-year-old program. In 2017, she transitioned to St. Raphael School as an assistant in the kindergarten class.
Natalie Pardo: 3rd Grade Assistant
Natalie was born in Fairfax, Virginia. She grew up in Montgomery County, where she met her husband, Roger. After high school, Natalie attended Montgomery College and the University of Maryland University College to pursue her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Natalie has been an active St. Raphael School community member since 2016. She was part of our lunch and recess staff and is an active member of our Home School Association. Natalie recently obtained her Early Childhood Education Certifícate and continues taking Elementary Education courses. Natalie and her husband reside in Germantown with their two children, Christian and Isabella, who attend SRS.
Andrew Price: P.E. Teacher
Andrew was born and raised in Syracuse, New York. He graduated from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, with a degree in elementary education. While at Canisius, he was on the men’s soccer team. He earned a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction from Trinity Washington University. Andrew taught third grade at Our Lady of Victory in Washington, D.C., for 11 years before joining the staff of SRS in 2019. He and his family have been parishioners at St. Andrew Apostle since 2009. Andrew lives in the Silver Spring/Wheaton area with his wife, Jackie, and son, Lincoln.
Yolanda Prinsloo: Art Teacher
Yolanda studied art at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, where she is originally from. She has taught art for more than 20 years at both the elementary and high school levels and has also taught at her studio in Gaithersburg. The world of art has brought Yolanda much happiness and has allowed her to have wonderful experiences, including meeting and painting a portrait of former South African President Nelson Mandela in 1998. Yolanda illustrated the book “Christmas Rose,” by Dalton Delan, which published in 2012. In 2011, she began teaching a popular extracurricular art class at St. Raphael School. The following year, Yolanda officially joined the staff as the art teacher for all grades, where she is passing along her love of art to her students.
Thomas Pullano: Seventh Grade Teacher
Thomas grew up in Darnestown and has been a St. Raphael parishioner his entire life. He is a SRNS alumnus and later went on to attend nearby St. Elizabeth's and then Gonzaga High School in Washington, D.C. Thomas studied broadcast journalism at the University of Maryland and spent his first two years out of school, working in sports radio at SiriusXM. Seeking a job with more purpose, he made a career change and taught 3rd grade at Our Lady of Victory in D.C. Thomas enjoys working at St. Raphael in a community that has already had such a great impact on his life.
Lara Roach: Office Manager
Lara is a native of the Washington, D.C., area. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. She started at St. Raphael as an evening receptionist and after a few years began working as an administrative assistant. Now as an Office Manager, her duties include overseeing and supporting the day to day office operations, creating tuition agreements, processing payments and vendor invoices, bi-weekly payroll and editing weekly communications sent to staff and parents via the Wednesday Weekly and Friday Flyer. She also participates in monthly HSA meetings. Lara and her husband, Joe, have four children, Amelia, Joey, Antonia, and Angela, all of whom attended St. Raphael Nursery School.
Michelle Roche: Fourth Grade Teacher
Michelle is a native Washingtonian. She worked for 15 years in Family Court Social Services for the District of Columbia Courts System and has a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences from Salisbury University. While employed at the court, Michelle earned a Master of Arts in nonprofit organizational management from the University of Maryland. Upon the birth of her twins, she stayed home to raise her three daughters, and afterward, she went back to school to receive her elementary education certification. She is trained in Orton-Gillingham Plus, a teaching approach designed to help struggling readers, including those with dyslexia. Before joining the staff of SRS in 2015, she taught in the Montgomery County Public Schools system as well as at St. Augustine Catholic School and Mary of Nazareth School. Michelle lives with her family in Poolesville.
Sonia Ramirez Rueda: 3's Teacher
Sonia was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia where she earned her Business Administration degree from La Sabana University. She has also completed studies in early Child Development and Preschool Methods and Materials. For awhile, Sonia held positions in finance for Wella and managing international logistics for a cargo company and a multinational company. She married Daniel in 2002 and moved to Charlottesville, Virginia where they started their family. There she volunteered at the UVA Hospital Children’s Health Museum, worked as a Spanish/English translator, and worked in the aftercare program at the Charlottesville Catholic School. In 2006, Sonia moved with her family to Maryland and taught Spanish at Clarksburg Goddard while working in the aftercare program. Sonia and her husband, Daniel, belong to the St. Raphael Parish along with their four children. She loves spending time outdoors with her family, biking and jogging.
Camila Ortega Samper: 3's Teacher
Camila was born in Bogotá, Colombia, where she studied hotel and tourism management and co-owned a restaurant. After moving to the area in 1985, she worked for the Foreign Language in Elementary Schools program for five years. Camila has been teaching Spanish at SRS since the school opened. She has been on the staff of our preschool since 1999 and taught Spanish Fiesta, the preschool's Spanish program, for 20 years. Camila also has managed our Before-Care and After-Care Program. She and her husband, Rudy, live in Rockville. Their three grown children, Mateo, Lina, and Cami, all attended St. Raphael Nursery School.
Jennifer Smith: 4's Teacher
Jenny grew up in Gaithersburg, where she attended Catholic schools in the area. She graduated from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, with a Bachelor of Arts in graphic design. After college, Jenny worked as a graphic designer at public-relations firms and for printing companies. As a full-time mother, she has always worked with children, including volunteering in her daughters' classrooms and serving as a teacher’s assistant for preschoolers for two years in the Olney area. A staff member of SRNS since 2020, Jenny lives in Brookeville with her husband, Kevin, and daughters Lexi (SRNS) and Katelyn.
Patty Timm: 4-Plus Assistant
Born and raised in Rockville, Patty attended Richard Montgomery High School and Montgomery College. She has served as a teacher’s aide at Montgomery Blair High School, St. Raphael Nursery School, and St. Elizabeth School. In 2019, Patty returned to the staff of SRNS and excitedly reunited with Susan Wooten, whom she had worked with for five years earlier in her career. Patty brings a wealth of experience working with preschool children. Her enthusiasm and caring nature enhance the classroom environment and ensure each child is surrounded by love every school day. Outside the classroom, Patty enjoys spending time with her granddaughter, swimming, reading, and visiting the beach. She and her husband, Joe, have three grown children and live in Rockville.
Kasey Trees: Second Grade Teacher
Kasey grew up in Bethesda. She earned her degree in elementary education from Mount St. Mary's College. Before joining the staff of SRS in 2010, Kasey taught at St. Jane de Chantal, St. Patrick’s, and St. Raphael Nursery School. In 2020, she won the prestigious Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching from the Archdiocese of Washington. She is a certified catechist as well as a Responsive Classroom instructor. Kasey’s three adult children are former students of the St. Raphael Nursery School program, and her two daughters are also elementary school teachers. Kasey resides in Kensington with her husband, Jeff.
Laurie Trees: 3's Assistant
Laurie grew up in Big Flats, NY — a small town outside Corning. She earned a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in History from Geneseo State University. During her college years, Laurie developed a passion for public health, serving as a peer health educator on campus. Following graduation, she moved to Maryland in 2006 to pursue a Master of Public Health at the University of Maryland, College Park, and she remained on campus as a health educator in the UMD Health Promotion Department. After several years working in the public health field, Laurie started a family with her husband Ryan (son of Kasey Trees and an SRNS alum!) and decided to leave the workforce to raise their two children, Nora and Kate. Once her children began attending SRNS, she became more involved at St. Raphael by volunteering for the Lunch Bunch program and eventually joining the SRNS staff in the Fall of 2023. She is excited to jump back into the education field and teach the youngest members of SRNS!
Silvia Urdanivia: 4's Assistant
Silvia grew up in Lima, Peru, where she attended Catholic school and completed her studies in international business administration. After working for several years in administration, including jobs for international corporations, Silvia decided to move to the United States in 2000. She has lived exclusively in Maryland. Silvia attended Montgomery College to improve her English. As a full-time mother, she has always worked with children, including serving as a teacher’s assistant for four years in the Silver Spring area. Silvia and her husband, José, live in Brookeville, just outside of Olney, with their three girls, Tamara (SRS '18), Camila (SRS '23) and Natalia.
Katie Vedete: Student Counseling Support
Katie arrived in the Washington, D.C. area with her family via the Navy in 1992. She attended St. Elizabeth School and then The Academy of the Holy Cross. After graduating from AHC, she attended Loyola University in Baltimore where she studied Psychology and Spanish. Katie spent a year working in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps with children and families experiencing domestic violence. She worked at St. Jane de Chantal School as a fifth grade teacher for two years. While working at St. John College High School in their Benilde Program, she earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Catholic University. After 8 years at SJC, Katie decided to stay home and raise her children. Katie, her husband, and their two children Nico (6) and Claire (SRNS student) live in Silver Spring. Katie joined the SRS staff in the Fall of 2022.
Nan Waffen: Receptionist
A self-proclaimed “Navy brat,” Nan was born in Newport, Rhode Island, and moved to Potomac when she was 12. Her parish growing up was Our Lady of Mercy and where she and her husband Les were married 33 years ago. Since then, she has been an actively involved parishioner and volunteer at St. Raphael in many parish activities, such as the ADW Lenten Food Drive, the Parish Office, and the Fr. Bill Finch Memorial Golf Tournament. She was also a part-time receptionist at St. Raphael. In her professional life, Nan was an award-winning television and video producer with 25+ years of experience, including projects on a wide range of national news topics, current events, and social issues. She and Les live in Rockville and have two grown sons and four grandchildren.
Catherine Williams: First Grade Teacher
Catherine was born and raised in Rockville. She graduated from West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a certification in early-childhood education. Catherine earned her master’s degree in elementary education at Loyola College in Maryland. She is trained in Orton-Gillingham Plus, a teaching approach designed to help struggling readers, including those with dyslexia. Before staying at home with her children, Catherine worked in Montgomery County Public Schools as an elementary classroom teacher. Catherine joined the staff of SRNS in 2015 as a lead teacher in the 4-year-olds program, and she transitioned to SRS as the first-grade teacher in 2018. Catherine and her husband, Jeff, have four children, Hannah (SRS ’17), Hayden (SRS '19), Caitlyn (SRS '22) and Brandon.
Stacey Woodward: Director of Development
Stacey was raised in Bronxville, New York, but relocated to Darnestown from Darien, Connecticut, with her husband and daughter in 2011. She holds a master’s degree in history and a Bachelor of Arts in secondary education and history from Boston College. Stacey also obtained an Advanced Business Certificate in finance from the University of Connecticut and worked for 11 years in the financial industry at UBS and Morgan Stanley. In addition, Stacey worked for nine years in education, including as History Department chair at the School of the Holy Child in Rye, New York, and as a teacher at Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School in New York City as well as at Seneca Academy in Darnestown. Stacey leverages her professional background in business management and education in her development position at St. Raphael School, which she joined in 2016. Stacey’s daughter, Caitlin, is an alumna of St. Raphael School (SRS '21).
Susan Wooten: 4-Plus Teacher
Susan was born in San Antonio and raised in a Catholic military family. She spent a large portion of her childhood in Germany, where she fondly remembers traveling and camping throughout Europe with her family of six. Susan earned a bachelor’s degree in art education (K-12) from High Point College in North Carolina. After graduating, she moved to California, where she was the secretary to the director of billeting at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base outside of San Diego. Susan has lived in Montgomery County since 1986. She began teaching the 4-Plus program in 1993, and in 2018, she was honored by the Archdiocese of Washington for her 25 years in Catholic education. Susan has two grown sons—one in Brooklyn, New York, and one in Washington, D.C.—both of whom are graduates of SRNS.