Faculty & Administration

Faculty and Administration

Head of School

Anthony Biese

B.A., Theology and Philosophy, Franciscan University of Steubenville; M.A., Theology and Christian Ministry, Franciscan University of Steubenville 

Why STMA?

In His mysterious way, God called me here. I believe He intends to use St. Thomas More Academy, and other schools like it, to help remake and renew Catholic education in America. Our culture has become increasingly hostile and antithetical to the joy, healing, and truth of the gospel, and so it is time to rediscover the lost treasures of Catholic education to equip our children against it. As one of the strongest centers of Catholic intellectual life in the United States, South Bend is a perfect location to build a school that does just this in a way that is at once joyfully rigorous and completely faithful to the teachings of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

STMA’s embrace of a classical liberal arts mode of education is really a return to the ancient, time-tested method of teaching that has formed countless saints over the past two thousand years. It is a form of education that fully embraces Jesus Christ and His Church and makes that faith the heart of the school. Seeking to please God above all things, it strives for excellence in every way. It prepares its graduates to bring Christ’s truth and love to each person they encounter and to fully engage the world as joyful soldiers for Christ and His Church. Rather than being swallowed up by our secular, aimless, and dissipated culture, STMA students will be equipped to re-evangelize our broken world and bring Christ’s healing touch to many.

Contact: [email protected]

Teacher, K/1st Grade

Christen Marie Havard

B.S., Elementary Education, Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis; Dual Licensure in Special Education

Why STMA?

I couldn’t be more delighted to have the honor of teaching at a school that seeks to bring together both the beauty, truth, and goodness of classical and Catholic education. It is a gift to be part of a school that aims to treasure the beauty found within the world, keep close to the Truth and reality of relationship, and rest within the deep communion and goodness of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There are so few schools that truly live out this mission. In a time within our world where so many are desperate to know Divine Love, I know STMA is a light shining in the darkness. Come and be part of it!

Contact: [email protected]

Teacher, 2nd/3rd Grades

Noah Furneri

B.A., Theology and Arabic, University of Notre Dame

Why STMA?

I will be teaching at STMA because STMA is committed to helping young people seek holiness and pursue excellence in their human endeavors. St. Thomas More gave his life for the truth, and I hope we can all deepen our conviction to do the same during our time in this school.

Contact: [email protected]

Lead Teacher, 4th/5th Grades

Peter McAuliff

B.A., Psychology, Ave Maria University

Why STMA?

I am choosing STMA because I want to form students in the richness and beauty of both the Catholic faith and the classical liberal arts. Students and faculty will encounter God in everything we do at STMA: academics, relationships, lunch, recess, and all aspects of the school community. I am excited to be a part of something far greater than myself, and have the privilege of giving young minds the tools to think well and love God in their ordinary lives.

Contact: [email protected]

 Teacher, Art and Drama

Teresa Cramer

B.A., Art Education, Concordia University

Why STMA?

I am choosing to teach at St. Thomas More Academy because STMA recognizes that the fine arts are imperative for the development of the whole person. STMA’s Art and Drama curriculum, which I am helping to create, will give students an understanding of the fine arts as skills to be cultivated, rather than innate talents.  I also believe that all people, especially children, are in great need of good stories and images of beauty. Children today are bombarded by messages and stories that show a world marked by despair and insanity in which they have no agency. It is my mission to deliver a message of hope in my classroom by showing that the created world is beautiful, and that my students are called to be co-creators with the Divine Creator.

Contact: [email protected] 

Teacher, Music

Jerome Cole

B.A., Ave Maria University; M.M., Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music

Why STMA?

Having been instructed in the classical tradition myself, I am excited to be teaching at STMA, where students will be taught “the best which has been thought and said” in the western and Catholic traditions, including music, which philosophers beginning with Plato have recognized as an integral element in the formation of children. My educational approach is rooted in several ideas: that all children can learn music; that fundamentals must be mastered first; that fundamental to all true musicianship is “audiation” (see Music Learning Theory, Edwin Gordon); that the music children are exposed to is of the utmost importance both for their future music aptitude and the formation of their affections; that children should be exposed to music that brings about an inner harmony and  ordering of the loves of the soul that leads to the contemplation of beauty, that beauty which is God himself. To this end, I am very excited that STMA will be offering Mass everyday, for it is in the context of the Mass that the best art of the church, including music, has been created, and it is primarily the chant, polyphony and hymnody of the church which I intend to share with the students of STMA.

School Secretary

Katie Otteson

B.A., Political Science, University of Notre Dame

Contact: [email protected]

Why STMA?

I think that helping STMA is a great way to put my talents to use for a wonderful school!

K/1st Aide

Leah Stroik

B.A., Theology & Communications, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Why STMA?

Children are the future of our Church and the world, and I believe a Catholic, classical education is the best education we can offer them. I am honored to be able to help the teachers at STMA form children in mind, body and soul.

2nd-5th Aide

Amie Kulick

B.B.A., Accounting & Health Care Management, Belmont University; M.Acc., Belmont University

Why STMA?

Answered prayers sometimes come accompanied with a call. For several years, as a part of our family prayers, we ask the Lord to surround us with good Christian, Catholic people who live and love the faith.  St. Thomas More Academy is just that. As a parent volunteer who aids the amazing educators of STMA I can readily see the solid foundation and continued formation provided by STMA for our Catholic families. 

Curriculum Consultant

Diana Philpott

B.S., University of Notre Dame; Ph.D., Harvard University

Why STMA?

I have served as a Catholic classical education consultant to over a dozen elementary schools. My contributions have included setting the vision, training teachers and principals, and advising on curricula in all subjects. Each piece of my seemingly eclectic educational background is now coming into play in my work in Catholic classical education, which shows that God has a plan. I am thrilled that God is involving me in passing on the Faith to the next generation in these ways. I am delighted that Saint Thomas More Academy has been founded in South Bend and grateful that my youngest child will be among the first class of students.

Curriculum Consultant

Lisa Kearns

B.A., Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, Levels I & II certification; Virginia Catholic Education Association teacher certification 

Why STMA?

I am excited to share my passion for the renewal of Catholic liberal arts education with the STMA community. Over the past 10 years, I have helped schools with all aspects of shifting to Catholic classical education, including guiding pastors, school boards, and principals, providing training for teachers, running workshops on writing instruction based on classical rhetoric, and aiding in curriculum integration and development.  Along with Diana Philpott, I am the co-developer of the Saint Patrick Curriculum for grades K-8, which STMA will be using, and I am eager to help train STMA’s teachers in preparation for the school’s inaugural year.