>Our conviction is that the work of the school is nothing other than the shaping of souls—the souls of infinitely precious children created in the image and likeness of God.
Informed by the best of our Catholic educational tradition, our faculty and staff work tirelessly at this great task.
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+ Pastor – Rev. Daniel P. O’Mullane
Father Daniel O’Mullane, STL, EdS, was graduated from Boston College in 2003 with a BA in Economics and Theology. After three years as a Coordinator of Youth Ministry and Associate Director of Religious Education, Fr. O’Mullane began studies for the priesthood at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. Having earned his STB at the Gregorian University in the Eternal City, he completed specialized studies in Moral Theology, his STL, at the Alphonsian Academy. Since returning home to New Jersey, he has served as Parochial Vicar in Rockaway and Montville, as Chaplain and Theology Teacher at Pope John XXIII High School in Sparta, as Adjunct Professor of Theology at Seton Hall University, and as Censor Librorum for the Diocese of Paterson.
Of particular personal and professional interest to Fr. O’Mullane is the historicity of the Incarnation of Christ and the Resurrection, which shapes and informs his understanding of moral theology. For Fr. O’Mullane, understanding Jesus in his historical context makes the Gospel come alive.
Though his playing days are behind him, Fr. O’Mullane remains a fan of the Beautiful Game, especially when Liverpool is playing. He coached the seminary team in Rome for a couple of years and led the Clericus Cup in scoring one year. During his time there, the team made it to the finals two years in a row, losing 1-0 each time—the record shows, however, that the team won the tournament twice in the two years after he left…
+ Headmaster – Douglas C. Minson
Douglas Minson brings more than two decades of experience in teaching, program management and development, and executive leadership to Our Lady of Mount Carmel. He and his family are relocating from Phoenix, Arizona, where he had been the headmaster of Veritas Preparatory Academy, the founding school in the Great Hearts Academies network of public charter schools. His direction of the school at Our Lady of Mount Carmel weds his passion for formative education with his dedication to his Catholic faith.
Mr. Minson completed his undergraduate education at the College of William and Mary and his graduate studies in Philosophy at the Catholic University of America. In past positions, he has served the John Jay Institute in Philadelphia as vice president of academic affairs, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute as executive director of national educational programs, and worked with Charles W. Colson as speechwriter and editor for his columns and radio broadcast.
Mr. Minson traces his familial forebears on these shores to the Colonial Era and the red clay of the Old Dominion, where he grew up. The other side of his family came to the New World fleeing the horrors of Soviet communism. Fittingly, Mr. Minson nurtures a love for both the American South and Poland, and is deeply gratified to have discovered conspicuous points of convergence between the two, both historically and culturally. He delights in meal preparation and applies himself enthusiastically to food and wine pairing, especially when blessed with the opportunity to entertain guests. His love for literature is avaricious, and he delights in every medium of narrative storytelling. His “Walter Mitty” fantasies include conducting a symphony orchestra, coaching in the Final Four basketball tournament, and working as a chef in a Paris bistro.
Middle School Teaching Faculty
+ English, 6th Grade Religion – Arlene DeSimone Zagarino
This year, Arlene Zagarino embarks on her 8th year teaching at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, teaching English to the middle school. In addition, she is teaching Religion to the 6th grade.
Mrs. Zagarino, a native of the Bronx, NY, brings to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, more than thirty years of experience teaching in the Catholic tradition. A graduate of Saint Catherine’s Academy High School and Manhattan College, Mrs. Zagarino holds a degree in Education. Her first teaching experience was at Monsignor Scanlan High School in the Bronx, where she taught Foreign Languages. She began teaching at the elementary school level when she joined the faculty of Saint Lucy’s Elementary School, also in the Bronx.
She remained with Saint Lucy’s until 1994 when she and her family moved to Rockaway, New Jersey. With the move, Mrs. Zagarino began her career with the Diocese of Paterson, first at Saint Virgil’s School in Morris Plains, and then at Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Dover. She joined the faculty of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 2009. A committed Catholic educator, Mrs. Zagarino is a past recipient of the Knights of Columbus, Bishop McLaughlin Council 3495 Teacher of the Year Award, (2000 – 2001), and the Star-Ledger Star Teacher Award in 2006 – 2007.
Mrs. Zagarino enjoys using precious personal time to pursue swimming and sewing lessons. She and her husband are faithful parishioners of Sacred Heart of Jesus in Rockaway.
+ Latin, 8th Grade Science – Craig W. Davis
Craig Davis is teaching middle-school Latin as well as 8th-grade science at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maine (high distinction), with a double major in Geology and German. Persistent questions concerning the scientific method and the basis for scientific knowledge led him to pursue a Master of Arts degree in philosophy from Boston College, which in turn entailed a study of Greek and Latin.
Mr. Davis is a practicing attorney, having received his Juris Doctor from Seton Hall Law School (summa cum laude), whereupon he accepted a judicial clerkship with the Supreme Court of New Jersey. He represents corporate clients in complex commercial disputes. He has also obtained political asylum for many pro bono clients who escaped political and ethnic persecution in their home countries.
Mr. Davis is also on the faculty of Morris Catholic High School and Assumption College for Sisters, both in Denville, where he teaches German and Philosophy. He enjoys relaxing in his backyard in Towaco, where he lives with his family, cooking large holiday feasts, and is an avid baseball (Yankees) fan. He enjoys reading history, philosophy, science fiction, and everything by J.R.R. Tolkien and G.K Chesterton, as well as hiking about the New Jersey Highlands exploring the local geology.
+ History – Catherine Birri
Catherine Birri teaches history in the middle school and also serves Our Lady of Mount Carmel School as Chief Communications Officer. As a teacher, Ms. Birri aims to imbue her students with a love for learning in the classical tradition. Her own appreciation for our Western intellectual heritage was nurtured at her alma mater, Thomas Aquinas College, where she enjoyed a four-year journey through the rigors of a classical liberal arts education. At TAC, she became intimately acquainted with some of the great minds who shaped Western Civilization itself, such as Newton, Aristotle, Plato, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Euclid, to name just a few.
A native of New Jersey, Ms. Birri sees Our Lady of Mount Carmel School as a beacon of light. She is grateful to be a part of a school that encourages students to pursue and love wisdom, rather than merely memorize facts. The young minds sitting with her in class inspire her every day. Her aspiration in history class is to awaken the students’ sense of wonder and to direct it toward the pursuit of an understanding of the world around them.
+ Math, Writing – Brendan Reim
Brendan Reim joins the faculty of Our Lady of Mount Carmel School teaching mathematics to the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. He is also leading a weekly writing tutorial in the middle school.
Before joining Our Lady of Mount Carmel here in Boonton, Mr. Reim graduated from Bucknell University resolved to continue his education. He did not set off immediately to teach, but his experiences in college inspired him to take on the weighty responsibility of educating young minds.
After graduation, he attended a writer’s workshop at Yale University and completed two internships with Morgan Stanley, a finance company. While interning, he realized that a career in the world of finance was not for him. He decided to follow his natural inclination towards intellectual pursuits, particularly as they related to literary fiction and writing. Through teaching, he finds a way to harmonize his creative and intellectual interests.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel offered Mr. Reim the rare opportunity to stimulate wonder in students in the pursuit of truth. Mr. Reim delights in creating an atmosphere of conversation where the whole class together arrives at new and deeper understanding–something not typical of a math class, but something we strive for in every class at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. In that way, every student contributes in his or her own distinct way to the common pursuit. After all, as Mr. Reim aptly observes, neither students nor teachers are cookie cutters, and every class finds its own recipe for success.
+ 6th & 7th Grade Science – Ann Marie Cicala
Ann Marie Cicala’s path to teaching was a winding road. She graduated from New Jersey Institute of Technology with a degree in Industrial Engineering and her first career was as an engineer, working in a number of manufacturing environments (such as sealants, vending machines, and artificial implants). As an engineer, she volunteered for educational programs to train factory employees in math, measurement devices, and blueprint reading. Mrs. Cicala found herself looking forward to these classes and discovered an aptitude for teaching.
Her second career is ongoing, and she is blessed to be raising four children. As a mom, she spends time with her children reading, doing arts and crafts, gardening, and playing outdoors. Mrs. Cicala’s children attended OLMC where she spent time on the HSA Board and helping out wherever needed. Mrs. Cicala believes her seventeen-year tenure as a class mother may have been one of her more notable contributions to the school.
The winding road brought Mrs. Cicala to her third career, teaching. As her children enrolled in school, she took on substitute teaching responsibilities at OLMC as well as The Craig School. She enjoyed her time in the classroom and pursued an alternate-route teaching certificate. Over the past five years, she has taught fifth through eighth grade science, high school science, and has coordinated a STEM class for Boonton Recreation.
For Mrs. Cicala, teaching feels like the end to a very logical progression of careers. It is her desire to spark her students’ interests so that they continue to study the sciences throughout high school and college.
+ 7th & 8th Grade Religion – Rev. Daniel P. O’Mullane
In addition to his pastoral and administrative duties, Father Daniel teaches the religion classes to the elder students at the school.
+ Music – Carl Patrick Bolleia
Director of Music for Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church and School, Carl Patrick Bolleia began his career as a liturgical musician at the age of thirteen as a choral conductor, organist, and pianist. He has served as a liturgical musician at a number of institutions, from monasteries in rural Illinois to cathedrals and churches in Italy and Barbados. For the past twelve years, he served as Director of Sacred Music in the Archdiocese of Newark.
Mr. Bolleia has performed as soloist, conductor, and collaborative pianist at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, Merkin Hall at The Kaufmann Center, Vienna ConcertoFest in Austria, Vianden International Music Festival in Luxembourg, Brevard Music Center, Northwestern University New Music Conference, The Intersection of Jazz and Classical Music Piano Conference at West Virginia University, South Oxford Space Brooklyn, and numerous engagements on the New Music Series at William Paterson University. His performances have been recorded on MSR Classics, Composers Concordance, and Naxos labels.
Committed to education, Mr. Bolleia is an adjunct professor of piano and collaborative piano at William Paterson University and lecturer in piano and collaborative piano at Rutgers University. He has lectured at Caldwell University and has recorded and performed at Connecticut College and St. Peter’s University. He has assisted music programs in more than thirty school districts and is a NJ Certified Music Teacher K-12. He is scheduled to complete a Doctor of Musical Arts degree this Fall of 2016 at Rutgers University, where he performs with HELIX! (Contemporary Ensemble and harpsichord with the Rutgers Baroque Players.) Mr. Bolleia’s doctoral thesis focuses on the role of soloist as conductor in keyboard concerti. His principal piano studies have been with five-time Grammy Award Nominee Ursula Oppens, Min Kwon, and Gary Kirkpatrick. He has taken musical master classes with the likes of five-time Grammy Award Nominee Alan Feinberg, Nicolas Hodges and eight-time Grammy Award Nominee and Jazz Pianist, Fred Hersch. A professional musician and lifelong learner, Mr. Bolleia currently studies organ with Renée Anne Louprette.
Lower School Teaching Faculty
+ Pre-Kindergarten – Ann Saadat
Ann Saadat has been a teacher at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School for eighteen years. Herself an alumna of Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, she graduated from Morris Catholic High School, and then Marymount College.
Mrs. Saadat loves to play and watch sports, spending time with her family, reading, and listening to music. Most of all she loves to teach Early Childhood Class. Watching young children grow in their love for God, their religion, and their early education is for her extremely rewarding. Above all, her greatest desire as a teacher is to give each student a love for learning. She approaches education as a journey, not a race.
Married for twenty-nine years to her husband Kam, Mrs. Saadat is mother to two adult children, Anahita and Arman. Both of her children graduated from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School.
+ Kindergarten – Shirley Miho
Shirley Miho has been a teacher for twenty-nine years and has been here with Our Lady of Mount Carmel School for the past six years. This year, Ms. Miho is teaching kindergarten; she has significant teaching experience with students from three to six years old. Trained in the Montessori educational tradition, she is certified in New York City and has a master’s degree in elementary education.
As a child, Ms. Miho felt God’s voice speaking to her through good books. She came to appreciate education at a very young age as a way to open doors, both to change her thinking and in creating real-life opportunities. In both Grammar School and as an undergraduate at the Notre Dame College of Education, under the umbrella of Liverpool University, she developed an interest in ancient Greece and Rome–fitting for someone from Manchester, England, the ancient Roman city (‘Mancunium’). As a relic of antiquity, her exploration of the city with her father remains a wonderful memory for her to this day.
As an educator, Ms. Miho’s desire is to light that fire of inquisitiveness within each child. She starts by looking to see “what is really happening.” Observing each child with the heart as well as the eyes, she aspires to create a learning environment rooted in the desire of “wanting to be together.” That shared experience is the foundation of the love of learning and exploring that will propel her students into a future of lifelong inquiry.
+ 1st Grade – Kim Marion
This school year marks Kim Marion’s fifth year educating young minds at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School. Mrs. Marion received a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education with a minor in mathematics from William Paterson University, and in addition to 1st grade has taught kindergarten and third-grade for a combined total of twenty-nine years in the Diocese of Paterson. This year, she looks forward to helping the first-grade students develop a thirst for learning.
Mrs. Marion is married with two adult children. When she is home Mrs. Marion likes to devote her green thumb to the cultivation of her family garden.
+ 2nd Grade – Nicole Usinowicz
Nicole Usinowicz is excited to begin her first year at Our Lady of Mount Carmel and eager to be a part of such a team of teachers. Ms. Usinowicz earned her BA from West Chester University, where she graduated cum laude in Early Grades Preparation (Preschool through Third Grade). She began her teaching career as a Preschool teacher, and has since taught both kindergarten and second grade.
Ms. Usinowicz’s aspiration for this year is to instill a passion for reading in her students. She believes that through such a passion, children grow into lifelong learners. When Ms. Usinowicz was in grade school, she had a teacher who passed along her love of literature, and it was that experience that set Ms. Usinowicz on the path of lifelong learning. She now feels it her duty to do the same for her students. She believes it is vital for students to develop a curiosity about all of God’s creation, and to be prepared and encouraged to investigate everything they find. Through a passion for literature children can grow into young adults who actively seek to further themselves and their education even outside the classroom.
+ 3rd Grade – Heather Robinson
Heather Robinson joins the faculty at Our Lady Of Mount Carmel School teaching third grade. She graduated from Seton Hall University with degrees in Elementary Special Education and English, and is currently finishing her Master’s degree in English, also at Seton Hall University.
Ms. Robinson’s view of teaching may be summarized as follows: “It is not what is poured into a student that matters, but what is planted.” This sensibility has not only shaped how she teaches, but has influenced her own journey as a lifelong learner. As a fan of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, Ms. Robinson believes that the wonder of God can be found anywhere. Whether she is teaching, writing, reading, sewing, gardening, hiking, or playing flute and ukulele, she is continuously planting seeds of wonder in herself and in those she is teaching.
She is currently writing her Master’s thesis on the work of Alexander Pope and English landscape gardening, which combines many of her interests into one harmonious outlet of wonder. Ms. Robinson believes that learning as an experience is like creating a cherished memory, one so powerful that you want to share it with the world. That is the kind of awe that she aspires to stimulate in her students.
+ 4th & 5th Grade Humanities – Susan Walukiewicz
Susan Walukiewicz has been teaching for twenty-three years and has been on the faculty of Our Lady of Mount Carmel School since 2001. Her experience here includes positions as Head Teacher, Assistant Principal, and a number of teaching assignments. Mrs. Walukiewicz earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Montclair University while working days and attending classes at night. She received her Master’s Degree in Education from the College of St. Elizabeth and is also a certified Elementary and Special Education teacher.
Mrs. Walukiewicz’s academic pursuit has been a lifelong journey. The thirst and excitement for knowledge is an enduring constant in her life. Finding inspiration in others’ stories has always been a source of encouragement for her. She also has a lifelong love of the outdoors; for her, God’s creation has always been a source of peace. She also enjoys gardening, listening to music, biking, and walking. Mrs. Walukiewicz has hiked parts of the Appalachian Trail for a number of years and her goal is to walk the trail throughout the beautiful Northeast.
+ 4th & 5th Grade Science, Mathematics, and Religion – Brenda Santana
Brenda Santana teaches science, mathematics, and religion to the 4th and 5th grades. She attended the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in the disciplines of History, Women’s Studies, Latin American Studies, and Pre-Law. She has also obtained her FINRA financial advisor license and for ten years worked as a Portfolio Specialist and public speaker for a New Jersey-based mutual fund company.
In 2008, Mrs. Santana participated in a parent ad hoc committee that previewed the Common Core curriculum for the Jersey City Board of Education. In 2012, after much consideration, she heeded St. Pope John Paul II’s call to parents, “Parents are the first and most important educators of their own children” and embraced the vocation of an inner-city homeschooling family. As a homeschooler, she collaborated with the Liberty Science Center to create a homeschool science lab program curriculum. Mrs. Santana has also served as the Director of Religious Education for Holy Rosary Church in Jersey City, NJ, implementing a catechetical program and serving children and adults alike.
As an instructor at the Little Way Homeschool Cooperative School, she worked with students in multiple grades and developed the “Making Music, Praying Twice” curriculum. Mrs. Santana also opened and directed the first Catholic classical education homeschool center, Aquinas Learning, in Parsippany, NJ.
Finding at Our Lady of Mount Carmel an opportunity to align her concern for Catholic culture and classical education, she accepted the invitation to join the faculty and enrolled all five of her children in the school. Mrs. Santana enjoys personal reading as well as lively reading aloud. She appreciates the great outdoors, visiting museums, and is an aficionado of both classical and salsa music.
+ Music – Alicia Greey
Alicia Greey began studying classical piano at the age of four. Throughout her childhood, Ms. Greey studied with professional piano teachers in the New Jersey area. In 2009 and 2010, she performed in Carnegie Hall as one of the selected winners in the Piano Teachers Society of America Music and Arts Competition. Continuing with her musical career, Ms. Greey attended Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts. She soon discovered a great love for singing and pursued a BM in Music Education with a vocal concentration. She studied under the direction of Judith Nicosia, and graduated cum laude.
During college and since, Ms. Greey has sought to pass on both a passion for music and a desire to find one’s own “voice” within the world. As a professional singer/songwriter, she began writing music in high-school where she found a deep love for writing songs expressing her personal faith and prayer. She is currently recording her first album, set to release in late fall of 2016. In addition to teaching at Our Lady of Mount Carmel and recording, Ms. Greey teaches at RMC Studios in Garwood, NJ, instructing students in piano, voice, guitar and songwriting. She also recently became a board member for a non-profit organization called IMPACT – International Musicians Performing Arts Cultural Troupe.
+ Physical Education – Cortney Christopher Butler
Cortney Christopher Butler teaches Physical Education here at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School. She received her B.A. from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and a Master’s degree from the University of New Haven. Mrs. Christopher also attended the National Personal Training Institute and received a degree in Personal Training and Nutrition.
She truly enjoys learning new things, particularly running, hiking, playing softball, and sitting by the ocean. She believes that living life with an open heart and mind allows someone to experience true joy, that a positive attitude can take you anywhere, and that a willingness to learn will keep you humble.
+ Gardening and Food Preparation – Lori Testa
This will be Lori Testa’s sixth year of contributing her expertise in Gardening and Food Preparation to Our Lady of Mount Carmel School. She has a BS in Accounting from William Paterson University, and a BS in Nutrition/Dietetics from Kaplan University.
Food Preparation is one of Mrs. Testa’s favorite activities, and this school year she is very excited that all her cooking lessons will be tied directly to the students’ classroom lessons. She is also helping with the development of a school garden that will likewise reinforce the lessons of the classroom. An avid gardener who is currently applying to the Master Gardener Program, Mrs. Testa is looking forward to bringing beauty to the school through plants and flowers.
Mrs. Testa and her family make their home here in Boonton and are parishioners of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Her son started at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the PreK program and is now going into the 5th grade.