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Meet The Team

Maria Murray

Director,

Teacher (Christian Studies, Latin, English)

As a homeschooling mother of four, Maria was one of the co-founders of the Cottage School in 2017 with the vision of community-based Orthodox Christian education. She has a Master's degree in Applied Orthodox Theology and has especially enjoyed helping children discover the beauty of the natural world, languages, and the depth of our faith.

Karen Ward

Kristin Milligan

Teacher (Classical Studies, Christian Studies)

With years of homeschooling experience and a degree in Classics, Kristin shares her knowledge and enthusiasm with the students in a caring, engaging manner.

Meet Our Teachers

Maria Murray

School Principal,

Teacher (Christian Studies, Latin, English)

After earning a Master's degree in Applied Orthodox Theology, serving various church ministries and translating liturgical texts, Maria became a homeschooler and one of the co-founders of the Cottage School in 2017, with the vision of community-based Orthodox Christian education. Maria has especially enjoyed helping children discover the beauty of the natural world, languages, and the richness of our faith.

Karen Ward

Director of Instruction,

Teacher (Art, Science, Math)

Karen has taught Art and Iconography since 2004. Veteran of many homeschool movements and curriculums, Karen volunteers as Director of Instruction at St. Nicholas Cottage School to use her experience to help teachers and students with advice on learning styles and teaching strategies. She teaches math, science and art. Karen has her certificate in Applied Theology from Antiochian House of Studies, is finishing her graduate studies in Sacred Art at Pontifex University, and has been accepted as an Iconology student of George Kordis in his three-year program.

Kristin Milligan

Teacher (Classical Studies, Christian Studies)

With years of homeschooling experience and a degree in Classical Studies, Kristin shares her knowledge and enthusiasm with the students in a caring, engaging manner.

Ted Kirkpatrick

Teacher (Social Studies)

Ted received a BA in Geography from the University of Minnesota and an MA in Soviet Area Studies from Indiana University.  After serving in the Army from 1977 to 1999 and extensive travel throughout Europe and the Soviet Union/Russian Federation, he has been a financial advisor in Manassas since 2000. Ted has always had a great love for maps and hopes to transmit that love as well as a love for acquiring knowledge about the world we live in to the children.

Jennifer Davis

Teacher (Literature)

She has experience as a homeschooling mother of 7 children. She has worked within various co-op programs and has knowledge of working within many different curriculums. Most recently, she’s had training as a teacher with Memoria Press. Mrs. Davis has a great love of literature based on truth, beauty and goodness.

Svitlana Koch

Teacher (Elementary Math and Science)

Svitlana began her career in Ukraine and then worked as an Early Childhood Development Specialist in the U.S. Her teaching degree is from Kherson State Pedagogical University. Having taught for 15 years, she inspires students with a sparkling sense of humor and her radiant personality.

Larry Campbell

Teacher (Science and Math)

Larry holds a MS in Computer Science from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. He has taught undergraduate Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence courses as an Associate Professor for the U.S. Military Academy – West Point, as well as professional level Engineering Management courses as a Professor at the Defense Acquisition University. Larry has been involved with the Boy Scouts in leadership positions including Scout Master in Belgium, Italy, and France. He is an avid scuba diver and is fascinated by marine ecosystems. Recently retired, he is taking photography courses and aspires to support coral reef restoration as a citizen scientist/underwater photographer.

Oksana Sukhachevska

Teacher (Music)

Oksana has successfully taught piano for 17 years. She earned her Masters in Music from The National Tchaikovsky Music Academy of Ukraine, Kyiv.

Anna Campbell

Teacher's Aide(Math, Science, Art)

Anna is a wife, mother and Navy veteran. She earned a Master of Social Work degree from The Catholic University of America, in Washington DC. She has volunteered for the Red Cross, the Cub Scouts, in homeless shelters and in soup kitchens in Europe and America. She has previously taught Sunday School. Anna is currently a student and is working toward an AAS degree in Photography and Media, and an AFA degree in Visual Art from Northern Virginia Community College. Anna also intends to pursue a Graduate Certificate in Art Education or a Certificate in Early Childhood Development.

The Advisory Board

Spiritual Advisors

Fr. Daniel Vaskalis 


Pani Svetlana Birthisel


Shannon Ballinger

His Eminence Metropolitan Gregory of Nyssa
Omophorion

We are under the canonical protection of His Grace Bishop Gregory of Nyssa of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of America.

Diocesan Administration Office
312 Garfield Street
Johnstown, PA 15906

Fr. Daniel Vaskalis
Nativity of Our Lord Orthodox Church (703) 335-8752