Faculty Staff Members
Mrs. Cathy Starke (Kindergarten) Mrs. Starke has her Masters of Arts Degree in Human Development and Family Life as well as an Early Childhood Special Education Teaching Certificate from KU. She has 25 years of teaching experience teaching the Classical Curriculum in a homeschool, co-op setting and Padre Pio Academy, as well as teaching Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Her love for this age group, education and experience is a great gift to this classroom. Mrs. Starke's love for our Lord and our Blessed Mother is so ingrained in her that she readiates joy daily to her students.
Mrs. Ann Marie Alvey (Grade 1) Mrs. Alvey has her Masters of Arts Degree in Family and Child Counseling from St. Mary's College and is a Spiritual Mentor with the Apostles of the Interior Life. She has 26 years of teaching experience in the Classical Curriculum in a homeshool, co-op setting and Padre Pio Academy, as well as teaching Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Mrs. Alvey brings the experience of a mother and teacher to the classroom and greatly enjoys teaching these young students a love for learning and their faith.
Miss Annie Kalis (Grades 2) Miss Kalis has earned a Bachelor in Arts Degree in Education through Benedictine College. She has taught our 3/4th grade classroom and has joyfully accepted the needed 2nd grade position. She is trained in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and weaves the beauty of this program throughout her teaching to prepare her students for the sacrament of First Holy Communion. She has a love for the Lord that radiates when you talk with her which permeates throughout her classroom.
Ms. Carol Charismas (Grades 3 and 4) Ms. Charismas has a Masters of Arts Degree in English and Education. She came to us after 20 years as a real estate professional and 16 years as an English and Literature teacher. She is a professional writer and recently completed a manuscript of 120 + poems. Ms. Charismas professes, “If a student experiences the reality of God’s love from a teacher, that student’s heart opens. Once a heart opens, a mind is easily met; then, learning occurs with incredible simplicity.”
Mrs. Karen Hernandez (Grades 5 and 6) Mrs. Hernandez is a native of the Kansas City Metro. Her background includes supervisory and leadership roles in several industries. Padre Pio Academy is blessed that she turned to education as a way to help others achieve. She has thirteen years experience teaching in the Classical Education environment at Padre Pio Academy. As the mother of a Padre Pio Academy graduate, she is particularly attuned to the needs of both students and their parents.
Mrs. Mary Gentry (Grades 7 and 8, Art) Mrs. Gentry has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics through Kansas State University and has earned her Graduate Certification in Education through Avila University, where she serves on their advisory board. She has 6 years teaching middle school students in a Catholic school environment. She has served as a para and a volunteer for 20 years in the classroom and children's organizations. Padre Pio Academy is blessed to have Mary on our staff.
Mr. Anthony Shoulta (Latin, 7th/8th Science, 5th-8th Grammar, 3rd/4th grade History) Mr. Shoulta has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy through the University of Dallas graduating Cum Laude. He has a strong desire to serve the church and loves kids. He prepares our 7th and 8th graders for the Kansas City Science Fair each year. His enthusism for teaching is very apparent to his students, as our 6th graders say, "Watching Mr. Shoulta teach Roman History is like watching a child in a candy store."
Ms. Darlene Summerour (Music) Mrs. Summerour earned a Masters Degree in Fine Arts and Choral Conducting from UMKC's Conservatory of Music which has given Mrs. Summerour all the tools to be a fabulous music instructor. To top it off, her 35 years of teaching experience prior to Padre Pio Academy has greatly enriched the music program at the school. "I love music!" is what we heard recently from one our students.
Mrs. Frances Occhiogrosso (Latin III) Mrs. Occhiogrosso was a Computer Science teacher for K-8th grade and a teacher's assistant for 1st & 2nd grade prior to homeschooling her own children. She has also taught School of Religion for 15 years. She was introduced to the Latin curriculum that we use during her homeschooling years. Our students love her energy and enthusiasm for Latin!
Mrs. Jenny Wallace (Dean of Students, Administrative Assistant) Mrs. Wallace has her Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism from the University of Kansas. She has owned and managed her own business and also done website development. She has 11 years of teaching experience in the Classical Curriculum in a homeshool and co-op setting. Her experience with children of all ages has prepared her for the Dean of Students position. Additionally, her love for the faith and God-given talents are such an inspiration to all the students.
Miss Courtney Dunn (President, 7th/8th grade History and Latin) Miss Dunn earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts through Thomas Aquinas College. Her background includes expertise in eye-related health technology and three years experience tutoring for an organization serving mostly underprivileged children in the Washington DC area. She has nine years experience teaching in the Classical Education environment at Padre Pio Academy. She is a wonderful role model for our students.
Mrs. Joanne Hanson (Chairman of the Board) Mrs. Hanson is a Padre Pio Academy co-founder and chairman of the board, Mrs. Hanson is a lifelong resident of Kansas with deep family roots in northwestern Johnson County. She has a nursing educator background and career experience as a Registered Nurse. She gets her inspiration from the Holy Spirit as He guides this school in the path Our Lord has chosen for it.