Faculty Biographies

Mr. Brad Diamond is our Principal. This is his fourth year at our school and third as Principal. He is a graduate of Geneva College with a Bachelor Degree in Mathematics and from Youngstown State University with a Masters in Education Administration.

He spent 8 years teaching high school mathematics and 7 years as an Administrator at Beaver Falls Senior High School. Last year he taught 5th grade as well as upper elementary math at our school. He is certified in Mathematics for grades 7-12, Educational Administration for K-12, and has his Pennsylvania Principal License for grades K-12.

Mr. Diamond and his wife Tracy are parishioners’ of Saint Monica Parish and reside in White Township. Tracy is a 1985 alumnus of Saint Mary School. The Diamonds have four daughters who all attended our school. Courtney is a 2004 graduate of Divine Mercy Academy, Sydney a 2011 graduate of Divine Mercy Academy, and Addy is a 2014 graduate of Divine Mercy Academy. Their youngest daughter Bailey is currently in the 7th grade and will be a member of the SMCA class of 2017.

Mrs. Rosanne Fairley is our preschool coordinator. This is her fifteenth year at Saint Monica Catholic Academy.

She is a graduate of Saint Mary School, Beaver Falls High School and received her Bachelor’s degree from Allegheny College. She is a state certified Early Childhood educator. She has received the National Catholic Education Association Distinguished Graduate Award and the Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence.

Mrs. Fairley has been married for 34 years and is the mother of six children and grandmother of two. In addition to teaching preschool, she and her husband are coordinators of the Saint Monica Parish Perpetual Adoration Chapel. Mrs. Fairley serves as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist and facilitates the parish email prayer chain.

Mrs. Fairley along with her husband have also received the Diocese of Pittsburgh Manifesting the Kingdom Award which is given to religious and lay men and women who demonstrate the presence of Jesus in their lives and have participated in an exceptional service to the Church reflected in so many different ways in the lives, ministry and work of those who receive it.

Mrs. Fairley feels blessed to be in the position to welcome children to the world of formal education and strives to develop them spiritually, socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually.

Mrs. Victoria Ludwig is the Kindergarten teacher at Saint Monica Catholic Academy. She is a graduate of Slippery Rock University where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in elementary education with an emphasis in early childhood. She has since earned her Pennsylvania Permanent Certification. She also holds Pittsburgh Diocese Religious Accreditation.

She began her career at SMCA in 1995, by starting the pre-school program and taught the 3 and 4 year old students for 7 years. She then “graduated” to Kindergarten where she has taught ever since. She was nominated for the Golden Apple Award for Teacher Excellence in 2012 and for the Jumet Charitable Foundation “Teacher of the Year” in 2013.

Kindergarten is such a wonderful time in a child’s life. It is a time of enormous growth and discovery. Mrs. Ludwig feels that it is a privilege and a pleasure to be a part of their lives because the children are open to learning anything and everything and have such big hearts and show love so easily.

Mrs. Ludwig is an active member of Holy Family Parish in New Brighton where she has taught 5th grade CCD for 15 years. She has three grown children and resides in New Brighton with her husband John.

Mrs. Heather Mineard has been our first grade teacher since 1998. She received her Bachelor of Science from Geneva College in December 1996 with a major in Education and a minor in Psychology.

She has received her PA Instructional II Certification and received the Pittsburgh Diocese Religious Accreditation. Thirteen years ago she started coaching students in grades 5-8 Academic Games in the game of Equations. Currently, she coaches our 5th-8th grade students in the Academic Games of Equations, Propaganda, Linguistics, and Presidents. This year she began coaching the 4th grade students in the games of Propaganda and Equations. Over the last two years, 6 students have qualified to continue to the National Academic Games Tournament.

Mrs. Mineard believes teaching first grade is such a rewarding job because the children love learning and grow so much from the beginning to the end of the school year.  She also feels every child can learn and grow when given the right opportunities.

Mrs. Mineard says the best thing about being able to teach at Saint Monica’s is that Jesus is the center of everything. Having her own children attend Saint Monica’s, she can truly say this is a wonderful place for a child to learn and grow in knowledge and faith.

Ms. Debbie Nye is our second grade teacher. She has been a teacher at our school for twenty seven years.

She is a graduate of Slippery Rock University with a B.S. in Elementary Education  and her Instructional II certification. Prior to moving to second grade, she taught the fifth grade for many years. Ms. Nye has her Advance Religious Certification from the Diocese of Pittsburgh as well as being trained in the Student Assistance Program. She also holds certifications in D.A.S.H. Science for grades 1-6 from the University of Hawaii and Math Cubed through the University of Pittsburgh. She has Drug Intervention training from Penn State University and is listed in Who’s Who in American Teachers.

Ms. Nye instituted our school’s Hats for the Homeless program in 1995 and is proud of the fact that all of the winter clothing donated by our students and families benefits local children and families. She has served as a cub scout leader with Pack 729 and coached New Brighton recreational girls softball.

Her teaching philosophy is: Raise the floor, don’t lower the ceiling and the students will live up to your expectations.

Mrs. Jerri Walter is our third grade teacher. She is a 1972 graduate of Saint Joseph Catholic School in New Brighton and a 1976 graduate of New Brighton High School.

She graduated from the Community College of Beaver County in 1978 with an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts and from Clarion State College with a Bachelors in Education. Mrs. Walter has continued her education to earn all necessary hours for Instruction Level II PA Certification as well as Act 48 credits for certificate renewal. She is trained in Student Assistance and Math and Science specific programs.

Mrs. Walter has been a part of our school since 1980, when she joined the staff as the second grade teacher. Since then she has taught Kindergarten, second, third, fourth and fifth grades. Her teaching duties have included Music, Library, Art, and Computer Classes at various grade levels, with first grade Social Studies and seventh grade English included for good measure!

Mrs. Walter was the 2008 recipient of the Golden Apple Teacher of the Year Award for Teaching Excellence. Outside her teaching duties, she has served on various school committees and has served on and been chairman of our schools Middle States Accreditation Team.

A member of Saint Monica Parish, she serves as both a Eucharistic Minister and a Lector. Mrs. Walter has been active in the community having participated in Kiwanis International Club, Boy Scouts of America, and the Beaver County Reading Council for which she served as president.

Ms. Anne Romano is our fourth grade teacher and is in her third year at Saint Monica Catholic Academy.

After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 1988, Ms. Romano started her career at St. Paul Cathedral School in Oakland. She taught first grade and Health and Physical Education to grades K-8 for eight years. The next five years were spent at home raising her son, Nicholas, until he began Kindergarten at Saint John the Baptist School in Monaca where she was hired as the Kindergarten teacher for two years. Ms. Romano then began teaching sixth grade and Health and Physical Education to grades K-8, a position that she loved until the school closed eight years later.

Ms. Romano grew up in a strong Catholic home, where faith was modeled by her parents and grandmother. She attended Saint Bonaventure School and Shaler Area High School in the North Hills. Ms. Romano enjoys watching and playing sports and attending her son’s activities at Quigley Catholic High School. She is an avid baker and likes to cook, a skill she learned from her grandmother.

Mrs. Janet McCann is our fifth grade teacher and is in her first year at Saint Monica Catholic Academy.

She is a 2012 graduate of the University of Phoenix with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and completed her student teaching experience with Mrs. Walter at the Academy.

She and her husband Chris reside in South Beaver Township with their daughters Morgan and Courtney.  They have been members of our parish since moving to Beaver County in 1995.  She enjoys her work teaching and is excited to be a part of the exceptional faculty, staff, and students at Saint Monica Catholic Academy.

Mrs. Christine Franchi McCullough is our seventh grade teacher and has been at Saint Mary School, Divine Mercy Academy, and now Saint Monica Catholic Academy teaching grades 5-8 since 1978.

A lifelong Beaver Falls resident, she graduated from Saint Mary School in 1965 and Beaver Falls High School in 1969. She earned her BS in Secondary English from Clarion University in 1973 and permanent PA State Certification in 1994. She later attended Carlow College earning Elementary Certification in 2006 and Middle School Science Certification in 2008 as well as holding advanced Religious Certification from the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

She is a 2001 Golden Apple Award recipient for Excellence in Teaching and a two time awardee of Beaver County Educational Trust Grants, one for a project entitled “Strategic Thinking though Chess” and another to purchase a “Grow Chart” currently used in our STEM lab.  She was awarded a MAC Grant in 2003 used to fund a school wide health fair.

Mrs. McCullough is also active outside the classroom having chaired and participated in school fundraisers and coordinating Scholastic Book Fairs as well as the after school extended day program. She assists the principal with administrative duties such as Terra Nova Testing, Special Needs Program, and text book ordering.

Mrs. Jennifer Villa is our eighth grade teacher at Saint Monica Catholic Academy and is in her third year after 20 years at Saint John the Baptist School in Monaca.

She is a 1985 graduate of Saint Mary School and a 1989 graduate of Blackhawk High School. She earned her BS in Elementary Education from Geneva College in 1993 has also attained her Middle School Certification in Social Studies.

Mrs. Villa enjoys reading, playing the piano and watching NASCAR racing in her free time. She currently resides in North Fayette Township with her husband and is a member of Saint Margaret Mary Parish in Moon Township.

Mrs. Jennifer Olszewski is our science teacher for students in grades 3 through 8 as well as our sixth grade homeroom teacher. She is a graduate of Duquesne University and this year marks her twelfth year teaching in our school.

Mrs. Olszewski began her career at her alma mater, Saint Mary of the Mount Elementary School high atop Mount Washington in Pittsburgh where she spent nine years. There she was awarded the National Catholic Education Association Distinguished Graduate Award and was nominated for the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. After a brief hiatus as a stay at home mom and occasional substitute teacher at Saint Malachy in Kennedy Township, she began to teach at Divine Mercy Academy.

In 2013, she was the recipient of a Diocesan sponsored scholarship to attend the National Science Teacher Association Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Upon returning, she established Saint Monica Catholic Academy’s STEM lab and began to teach our science curriculum exclusively. In her approach to teaching, she takes every opportunity to provide hands-on, discovery learning for her students.

Mrs. Olszewski resides in Darlington Township with her husband and two daughters and in her free time enjoys spending time with her family and taking motorcycle rides with her husband. She and her family are all certified in SCUBA and love to dive together any time they have the chance.

Miss Gabriella Copcutt is our new art teacher and will teach students from Kindergarten to Grade 8.

She is a 2014 graduate of Beaver High School and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Temple University majoring in Metals/Jewelry/Computer Aided Design.

Miss Copcutt is inspired in her work by her mixed race background blended with an appreciation of nature, the relationships other cultures have with their roots, and the natural world.  She is interested in the power of adornment that jewelry offers and what it represents in different cultures.

In her free time, she can be found working in her small studio on her jewelry line Ruca Jewelry using her jeweler’s bench and torch.  She loves being creative, being with her family, hanging with her German Shepherd Chaco, and is a total plant fanatic!

She hopes to bring out the natural talent of our students, inspire their creativity, and share her love for art with them.