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Elementary Faculty

Middle School Staff




Joseph Whitmore : Principal

Joseph Whitmore



Virginia Tech, B.S. Human Nutrition, Food, and Exercise
Virginia Tech, B.S. Psychology
University of Virginia, M.Ed. Administration and Supervision

As a product of Catholic education, Mr. Whitmore values the importance of spiritual, social, emotional, and physical formation of students. After graduating from Virginia Tech, Mr. Whitmore taught at Saint Pius X Catholic School in Norfolk, VA and Saint Bridget Catholic School in Richmond, VA. In 2015, he began his administrative journey as principal at Saint Joseph Catholic School in Petersburg, VA. In all of these experiences, he has enjoyed working with individuals who support and promote Catholic education. Outside of his role as principal, Mr. Whitmore enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons.

Jacob Dapolito : Dean of Students

Jacob Dapolito

Dean of Students


B.A. Social Studies- Ithaca College
M.S. in Education- Elmira College

Mr. Dapolito began teaching social studies at Saint Raphael in 2011 and was confirmed at Saint Raphael in 2014. He served as athletic director from 2012-2014 and has been the Dean of Students since 2015. Mr. Dapolito has coached lacrosse, basketball, and volleyball during his time at Saint Raphael and currently teaches 7th and 8th grade social studies.

Erin Boretti : Business Services Coordinator

Erin Boretti

Business Services Coordinator


B.S. - Clarion University

Mrs. Boretti worked in corporate accounting for 8 years with US Foodservice, one of the United States leading foodservice distributors. While taking time to raise her three girls, she volunteered at her children’s school and family parish, Saint Catherine of Siena (Reading, PA). and returned to the accounting field in 2013, working for The Berkshire Country Club. In June 2015, Mrs. Boretti and her family moved to Raleigh to support her husband’s work transfer. She and her family are currently parishioners at Saint Raphael Catholic Church.

Mary Morgan : Office of Recruitment and Marketing

Mary Morgan

Office of Recruitment and Marketing


B.F.A - Virginia Commonwealth University
Communication Arts & Design

Mrs. Morgan has worked in advertising and printing in both public and private industry. After six years as an SRCS kindergarten assistant, she returned to her field in 2013 in the marketing and recruitment office. She has been a parishioner at Saint Raphael since 1999 and has two children, Sarah (Class of 2013) and Wills (Class of 2017).

Regina Propes : Administrative Assistant

Regina Propes

Administrative Assistant


Mrs. Propes is originally from New York, where she was a secretary for Thomas J. Lipton and IBM. She has lived in North Carolina for 28 years, and she worked for the Wake County Public School System for seven years. Before that she worked from home doing medical transcription. She truly enjoys working here at Saint Raphael Catholic School!

Kara Rectenwald : Office Coordinator

Kara Rectenwald

Office Coordinator


B.A. - East Carolina University
English Literature
M.B.A. - East Carolina University

Mrs. Rectenwald worked in sales and logistics before becoming the Athletic Director and a Teaching Assistant at St. Raphael in 2015. She took over the role of registrar and office coordinator in 2019. She and her family have been parishioners of St. Raphael since 2007 and they have two daughters, Samantha (Class of 2017) and Julia (Class of 2019). Go Guardians!

Patricia Stevens : IT Administrator

Patricia Stevens

IT Administrator


Google Certified Educator
Google Certified Administrator
Middle Grades Math Certification - NC State University
B.S. - Fordham University
Computer Science

Mrs. Stevens began teaching for the Diocese of Raleigh in 2007 and started teaching Saint Raphael Catholic School in 2010. Prior to becoming a teacher, she worked for Xerox Corporation for 10 years in various technology and management positions and was also a software trainer for Gateway Corporation. Mrs. Stevens made the switch to education in 2005 when she took a job on the technology team with the Chappaqua School District in Chappaqua, NY. In 2006, her family moved to Raleigh where she taught for four years at Saint Catherine of Siena in Wake Forest before coming to SRCS.

Ann Lane : Director Before & After School Care

Ann Lane

Director Before & After School Care

(919) 889-8855

Mrs. Lane moved here from Chicago, Illinois eight years ago to be closer to her family. She has three children that are all now living in North Carolina. Mrs. Lane is a grandmother of four beautiful children between the ages of 1 to 5 years old. Mrs. Lane has worked at after school for eight years. She has learned that working with children is her calling in life and it is what she loves to do.

Teri Woods : Assistant to the Director Before & After School Care

Teri Woods

Assistant to the Director Before & After School Care


C.M.A - Coastal Training Institute
Certified Medical Assistant

Mrs. Woods has served as a teaching assistant in kindergarten at Saint Raphael Since 2012. She previously worked both at the Saint Raphael Preschool with the lunch bunch and the Saint Raphael After School program for 3 years responsible for K-3 age group. Prior to these official capacities, Mrs. Woods spent a significant amount of time volunteering at SRCS during her off time from managing a local children’s clothing store. She has spent most of her adult life working with children in one capacity or another. Mrs. Woods and her family are members at Saint Raphael Catholic Church and her daughter is an alumna, SRCS class of 2016.

Elementary Faculty

Jennifer Levenduski : Kindergarten Teacher

Jennifer Levenduski

Kindergarten Teacher


B.S. - University of Phoenix
Elementary Education

Mrs. Levenduski joined the SRCS faculty teaching first grade in 2013. She taught first grade for 4 years before becoming a kindergarten teacher. She is happy to be a part of the Saint Raphael family!

Jennifer Davis : Kindergarten Teacher

Jennifer Davis

Kindergarten Teacher


B.A. - Texas Tech University
M.S. - Troy University
Human Resources Management
Master of Education - Barton College

Mrs. Davis is originally from Buffalo, NY, but mostly grew up in Fort Worth, TX. After graduating from college, she enlisted in the US Navy to travel the world and to seek adventure. It is there that she met her husband, Greg, and together they now have four children. Mrs. Davis has taught both kindergarten and second grade, and her favorite subject is writing. She and her family are parishioners at Saint Catherine of Siena in Wake Forest, and they live in Youngsville, NC. In her spare time, Mrs. Davis enjoys reading, fishing, and playing boardgames with her family. She also likes to birdwatch and work in her flower garden.

Cara Stauffer : First Grade Teacher

Cara Stauffer

First Grade Teacher


B.A. - Meredith College
K-6 Teaching Certification

Ms. Watson is originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, and attended Catholic schools from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Ms. Watson started teaching at SRCS in 2002. She is happiest when working with her students and watching them succeed. Ms. Watson loves working with her first graders and is looking forward to another incredible year!

Mary-Haven von Lehmden : Second Grade Teacher

Mary-Haven von Lehmden

Second Grade Teacher


B.S. - North Carolina State University
Elementary Education

Ms. von Lehmden was born and raised in Greenville. She received a Catholic education from kindergarten through eighth grade, to which she attributes her love for education and her Catholic faith. Her faith continued to develop as she became an active member in the Saint Peter's Life Teen high school youth group. Upon graduating high school, she excitedly pursued her love for education at North Carolina State University. Her elementary education degree has a concentration in STEM and she enjoys using STEM concepts to excite her students through hands-on learning in the classroom. During her time at NCSU, Ms. von Lehmden studied abroad in Guatemala, where she lived in a poverty-stricken town around Lake Atitlan, and taught English in the local elementary school. She was eager to join the Saint Raphael family since her grandparents became parishioners in 1967 and she has two cousins who are SRCS graduates. Ms. von Lehmden has taught 2nd grade at SRCS since 2017.

Kelly Canning : Third Grade Teacher

Kelly Canning

Third Grade Teacher


B.S. - Eastern Illinois University
Elementary Education

Ms. Canning is originally from the northern suburbs of Chicago. She majored in Elementary Education at Eastern Illinois University and graduated in 2010. She spent several years working at a Franciscan soup kitchen in Philadelphia where her Catholic Faith was strengthened and she developed a passion for serving the poor - a love of service is something she hopes to pass on to her students. Ms. Canning began her teaching career at The Franciscan School in 2012 and is very excited to be a part of the Saint Raphael community!

Molly Dapolito : Third Grade Teacher

Molly Dapolito

Third Grade Teacher


B.S. - Ithaca College
Business Administration with a Marketing Concentration
M.S. - Ithaca College
Elementary Education

Mrs. Dapolito moved to Raleigh and began working for SRCS in 2011. Prior to her move, she worked for Ithaca City School District. She has also coached and served as an Irish dance teacher.

Taylor Weiss : Fourth Grade Teacher

Taylor Weiss

Fourth Grade Teacher


B.A. - North Park University
Elementary Education; endorsement in Special Education

Miss Peterson was born and raised in Chicago and began her career at Saint Emily Catholic School in Mount Prospect, Illinois, and at Prairie Elementary in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. Miss Peterson is excited to be a part of the Saint Raphael Catholic School family!

Pam Reaume : Fourth Grade Teacher

Pam Reaume

Fourth Grade Teacher


B.S. in Elementary Education from Wayne State University
K-6 Elementary Teaching Certification, 6-9 Social Studies Certification

Mrs. Reaume began her career in education in 1998 at a small charter school in Michigan. She moved to North Carolina in 2001 and worked for Wake County Public Schools for 18 years. After having a long career teaching in a public school system, Mrs. Reaume wanted a change which led her to Saint Raphael. She is thrilled to be able to share her passion for teaching with her students and her love of the Catholic faith.

Monseratte Rubio : Fifth Grade Teacher

Monseratte Rubio

Fifth Grade Teacher


Mrs. Rubio is originally from Miami, FL and is really passionate about teaching. She is dedicated to developing a classroom environment that is stimulating, energetic and diverse to accommodate all learning styles. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exceptional Student Education (K-12) and holds endorsements in Reading and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) from Miami Dade College. Although she recently moved to North Carolina, Mrs. Rubio continues to be a loyal Miami Heat and Miami Dolphin fan!

Jennifer Stamatio : Fifth Grade Teacher

Jennifer Stamatio

Fifth Grade Teacher


B.A. Loyola Marymount University
Classics and English Literature

M.A. California State University Northridge
Education Administration

Mrs. Stamatio was born and raised in Los Angeles and recently moved to the Raleigh area with her husband and two sons. For the past five years, she has taught fifth grade at St. Anastasia Catholic School in Los Angeles. Prior to that, she taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 14 years. She is beyond excited to be a part of the St. Raphael parish and school community.

Karen Palmer : Resource Teacher

Karen Palmer

Resource Teacher


B.A. - University of Alabama
Early Childhood and Elementary Education
M.A. - University of West Georgia
Teaching Reading

Mrs. Palmer has taught elementary school for 14 years. After taking a break to raise her 3 children, Reeves (Class of 2018), Allie (Class of 2021) and Lilly (Class of 2021) she began working at SRCS in 2015.

Jennifer Tucker : Resource Teacher

Jennifer Tucker

Resource Teacher


BA Clemson University

Mrs. Tucker has taught in elementary school for 11 years. She has previous experience teaching first and fifth grade as well as K-5 Resource. She is excited to continue her Saint Raphael experience as a K-5 Resource Teacher.

Theresa Gasper : Teaching Assistant

Theresa Gasper

Teaching Assistant


LA- Broome Community College, Binghamton, NY
BS- College Misericordia, Dallas, PA
Elementary Ed/ Early Childhood

Mrs. Gasper started her teaching career in 1989 for the diocese of Syracuse teaching First Grade at St Thomas Aquinas in Binghamton, NY. After getting married she moved to Raleigh and began her teaching in the Diocese of Raleigh at St. Raphael in 1997. She was the school librarian at St. Raphael for a two years. After taking time off to start a family, she returned to teach at the preschool for a year and then began her time at the Elementary school in 2006 filling the roll as assistant teacher in first grade and has been in this roll since.
Mrs. Gasper has been a parishioner of St. Raphael since 1996 and is married to her husband, Greg. Their three children are, Meghan (class of 2012), Sarah (class of 2015) and Sam (class of 2016).

Jacqueline Lonnecker : Teacher Assistant

Jacqueline Lonnecker

Teacher Assistant


B.A. International Relations
University of San Diego

Mrs. Lonnecker worked as a substitute teacher after having taught her four children at home and in home school cooperatives for twenty years. She has taught nearly all grade levels in multiple subjects in group settings. She has lived in North Carolina for the past nine years with her husband, Greg. She is so excited to be working at St. Raphael Catholic School where she can practice her Catholic faith.

Susan Saillant : Teaching Assistant

Susan Saillant

Teaching Assistant


B.A. Stonehill College
M.B.A. Meredith College
NC Early Childhood Credential (NCECC)

Mrs. Saillant is originally from Massachusetts where she graduated from a Catholic high school and a Catholic college. Due to her love and respect for Catholic education, she sent her two sons to St. Catherine of Siena for pre-K through 8 th grade and then to Cardinal Gibbons High School. Mrs. Saillant began her teaching career at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School in Wake Forest where she was a preschool teaching assistant, a preschool teacher and a kindergarten teaching assistant. She feels blessed to be part of the St. Raphael Catholic School community.

Middle School Faculty

Nicole Adkins : Language Arts Teacher

Nicole Adkins

Language Arts Teacher


B.A. English, Appalachian State Univeristy
M. Ed Education, North Carolina State University

Mrs. Adkins is originally from Coral Gables, FL where she taught English Language Arts (grades 5-8) at both Gulliver Academy and Saint Andrew's Academy. In 2009, she moved to Raleigh and started teaching middle school language arts at Saint Raphael. In addition to teaching, she also coaches the girl's volleyball team. She is a member of NCTE, Raleigh/ Wake Reading Association and the International Literacy Association. Mrs. Adkins is a certified reading specialist (K-12) and is certified to teach language arts in grades 6-12 through the state of North Carolina.

Vanessa Bianchi : Middle School Religion Teacher

Vanessa Bianchi

Middle School Religion Teacher


Vanessa Bianchi joins us this year as the 7th and 8th grade religion teacher. She received her masters degree in Catholic theology from the Augustine Institute in Denver, Colorado. For the past 8 years Vanessa has worked in the Diocese of Raleigh as a middle school religion teacher, catechists, youth group leader, retreat planner, and with NC Catholic magazine. Known for her inspiring words and wisdom, and genuine coolness, Ms. Bianchi is ready to help her students understand the mystery and beauty of the Catholic Church!

Kathleen Brenton : Math Teacher

Kathleen Brenton

Math Teacher


B.S. - Mathematics/Secondary Education
Southern Illinois University

Mrs. Brenton grew up in Edwardsville, Illinois, where she attended Saint Mary’s Catholic School. Her experience at Saint Mary’s is what drove her to pursue a degree in education. After graduation, she moved to Raleigh to be closer to family. Prior to becoming the 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Brenton worked at SRCS as a substitute and teacher’s assistant for 3rd through 5th grade.

Carolyn Henderson : Middle School Spanish Teacher

Carolyn Henderson

Middle School Spanish Teacher


BA - Foreign Language Education, Spanish concentration, English a Second Language certification
BA - Developmental Psychology
North Carolina Sate University
M.Ed-Early Childhood Intervention and Family Support, Inclusion and Diversity Specialty
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Sra. Henderson has been a Spanish teacher at SRCS since 2015, serving grades K-5 until 2019. She will teach Spanish in grades 6-8 starting in the 2019-20 academic year. Sra Henderson was born in Raleigh, but raised in Greenville, attending St. Peters Catholic School K-8. She credits SPS for her early Spanish language acquisition and loves that she gets to "pay in forward" at her own kids' Catholic school. In addition to working at St. Raphael's, Sra. Henderson is a Developmental Therapist with the NC Infant/Toddler Early Intervention program. Sra. Henderson lives in Raleigh with her husband James, daughter Hazel (class of 2022), and son JJ (class of 2025). Go Guardians!.

Winifred Reilly : Language Arts & Math Teacher

Winifred Reilly

Language Arts & Math Teacher


B.S. - Villanova University
Business Administration
M. A. T. - The College of New Jersey

Mrs. Reilly teaches seventh and eighth grade language arts as well as 8.0 math. Mrs. Reilly originally joined the Saint Raphael staff in 2003 and taught here for 4 years. After moving back to Pennsylvania, where she taught middle school, she happily returned to Raleigh and Saint Raphael as a teacher and parishioner in 2012. Professionally, she is a member of The International Reading Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, and NC Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Michael Appollonio : Middle School Social Studies Teacher

Michael Appollonio

Middle School Social Studies Teacher


B.A. Social Sciences, Kent State University
Middle School Education, Mount Union College

Michael Appollonio is originally from Canton, OH and has over 10 yrs of experience as a Middle School Social Studies teacher. He attended Kent State University for his Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences and competed his Middle School Teaching Certification at Mount Union College. In 2008, he moved to Greenville, N.C. and started teaching Social Studies in the public school system. In 2015 he joined St. Patrick Catholic School in Fayetteville, N.C as a Social Studies/Religion teacher. In addition to teaching, he has advised the yearbook club, coordinated the Geography Bee and advised the N.C. Tar Heel Junior Historian Association. He is a member of NCTE, National Council for the Social Studies and a member of the Knights of Columbus. Mr. Appollonio is certified to teach Social Studies in grades 6-12 in the state of North Carolina. Mr. Appollonio enjoys spending his free time in the outdoors with activities such as golfing, attending football/baseball games and hiking with his dogs.

Jill Scanlin : Math Teacher

Jill Scanlin

Math Teacher


Mrs. Scanlin began teaching middle school math at Saint Raphael Catholic School in 2009. Her class schedule includes pre-algebra (7.1), math 1 (7.2/8.1) and math 2 (8.2). Prior to joining the SRCS staff, Mrs. Scanlin had experience in 5th through 8th grade in Texas, Panama, Virginia and North Carolina. She graduated from Texas A&M with a BS in education with a specialization in math.

Specials Faculty

Carrie Griffith : Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Teacher

Carrie Griffith

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Teacher


University of Chicago
MST (Master in the Science of Teaching), B.A. (Psychology)
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, Level I (ages 3-6) and Level II (ages 6-9) Certificates

Carrie Griffith began her career as a counselor in a residential treatment center for children with emotional/behavioral disorders. Once her own children came along, she began working in school settings with primary-aged children, as both a teacher and as a program director. Moving to North Carolina, she spent 25 happy years as a teacher and then Director of St. Raphael Preschool. She was instrumental in bringing the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program to the Preschool; upon retirement from the directorship, she has been committed to expanding this rich faith formation program to the primary grades at Saint Raphael Catholic School.

Joeseph Higley : Physical Education Teacher

Joeseph Higley

Physical Education Teacher


BA - Kean University
Physical Education and Health

Mr. Higley grew up in New Jersey and has lived in North Carolina since 2016. Joeseph taught PE and Health K through 8 in a Catholic school setting since 2010, officiated high school track and field, middle school basketball and soccer, and helped to develop lessons and activities for the 21st Century Community Learning Center after school program. Mr. Higley also coached middle school soccer, volleyball, and basketball and will be coaching our boys' soccer team this fall. Joeseph brings a wealth of expertise and enthusiasm to SRCS, both in his classes and on the field.

Cindi Messina : Art Teacher

Cindi Messina

Art Teacher


BFA - William Paterson University
Art Education and Graphic Design

Mrs. Messina initiated the art program at SRCS in 2001. She has also taught advertising design at the Montclair Art Museum and New York University School of Continuing Education. Mrs. Messina has ten years’ experience in advertising as a Senior Art Director in New York City where she won a John Caples Award and Direct Marketing Creative Guild Awards for her design in advertising. Many art projects at SRCS reflect her design experience and love of art history. Mrs. Messina teaches art clubs after school. She and her husband, Michael, have three children. Mrs. Messina was the 2015 recipient of the Diocese of Raleigh Lewis Award which recognizes excellence in teaching. She is a member of the National Art Educators Association.

Kelleigh Russo : Physical Education Teacher

Kelleigh Russo

Physical Education Teacher


BS - Kennesaw State University
Health, Physical Education, Recreation

Mrs. Russo started her career teaching at St. John Neumann in Lilburn, GA, married and moved to Raleigh. After having three children, she returned to teaching at Saint Raphael and has been here since 2004. Mrs. Russo's hobbies are tennis, cycling, golf, working out, and spending time with her family. She coached SRCS basketball for 3 years and has coached high school volleyball and ultimate Frisbee.

Angela Santucci :  K-5 Music Teacher, Drama Teacher

Angela Santucci

K-5 Music Teacher, Drama Teacher


BA in Music - Northern Arizona University
MA in Global Studies - University of North Carolina Greensboro

Angela Santucci has taught drama and music at Saint Raphael since 2015. She performs regularly with the North Carolina Master Chorale, North Carolina Symphony and North Carolina Opera and has also appeared on stage with the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, City Ballet, and Burning Coal Theatre. She has served on the boards of directors for Burning Coal Theatre and the North Carolina Master Chorale. Ms. Santucci maintains a private voice and piano studio and also conducts musicals and directs shows for local schools and theatre companies.

Phyllis Zagrobelny : Librarian

Phyllis Zagrobelny



B.S. - University of Virginia
Applied Math and Computer Science Engineering
M.L.S - North Carolina Central
Library Science, specialization School Media Centers

Mrs. Zagrobelny is the school librarian. She has been managing the school library program since 2008, where she combines technology skills with her love of reading. She holds a North Carolina teaching license specialization for School Media Centers. She is a member of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a member of the NC School Library Media Association (NCSLMA), and a member of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

As a founding school family, Mrs. Zagrobelny feels privileged to give back to our school through serving the students of SRCS.