Administration, Faculty, & Staff


Joseph Whitmore : Principal


(919) 865-5760

  • 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 : Assistant Principal


Assistant Principal

  • Ithaca College, B.A. Social Studies
  • Elmira College, M.S. Education

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, taught 7th and 8th grade social studies, and was the Dean of Students from 2015-2019. Mr. Dapolito enjoys family time with his wife and daughter.

Erin Boretti : Business Services Coordinator


Business Services Coordinator
(919) 865-5753

  • Clarion University, B.S. Accounting

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 parishioners at Saint Raphael Catholic Church.

Mary Morgan : Office of Recruitment and Marketing


Enrollment and Advancement Director
(919) 865-5754

  • Virginia Commonwealth University, B.F.A. Communication Arts & Design

Ms. Morgan has worked in design, 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. In 2019, Ms. Morgan added the advancement director role, and enjoys all aspects of fundraising for SRCS. Her two children are graduates of SRCS, Sarah (Class of 2013) and Wills (Class of 2017).

Kara Rectenwald : Registrar


Registrar and Athletic Director
(919) 865-5757

  • East Carolina University, B.A. English Literature
  • East Carolina University, M.B.A.

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

Patricia Stevens : IT Administrator


IT Administrator
(919) 865-5763

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

Mrs. Stevens began teaching for the Diocese of Raleigh in 2007, and joined Saint Raphael Catholic School in 2010. Mrs. Stevens has taught middle school math, technology, and has been a technology coach for teachers. In 2019, Mrs. Stevens became the IT administrator. Prior to becoming a teacher, she worked for Xerox Corporation for 10 years in various technology and management positions, and was 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. After settling in, she taught for four years at Saint Catherine of Siena in Wake Forest.




(919) 865-5756

  • Capitol University, Philippines B.S. Nursing
  • Capitol University, Philippines M.A. Psychology with Thesis Writing

Mr. Emata was Jesuit educated from elementary school to college. He has three children: Therese, Ian, and Kate, two SRCS alumni, and one current Guardian. Mr. Emata is a member of the Knights of Columbus – Council 10982 and a certified NCHSAA soccer referee. Motto in Life: Trust God with all your Heart, Soul, and Strength.



(919) 865-5756

Mrs. Koenig began her career as a registered nurse in 1997. She has experience in medical/surgical nursing, and in acute care hemodialysis nursing at Wake Medical Center, Rex Hospital, and Duke Health Raleigh. Mrs. Koenig was the infection control nurse for her unit, providing education and prevention strategies to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. She is a parishioner at Saint Raphael Catholic Church and is the mother of 3 SRCS graduates, Tyler (Class of 2008), Matthew (Class of 2019), and Tommy (Class of 2020). Mrs. Koenig has spent countless hours volunteering her time over the years at SRCS in many different capacities and finds joy in serving others. She looks forward to partnering with families in caring for the health and wellness of our students.

ERIN LUTSKUS : School Counselor


School Counselor
(919) 865-5752

  • University of Delaware, B.A. Psychology
  • Georgian Court University, M.A. Counseling Psychology
  • Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC)

Mrs. Lutskus is originally from New Jersey and has been a licensed counselor for over 15 years. She has experience in a variety of settings: schools, private practice, in-patient hospitals, crisis/mobile response, juvenile detention, and in-home/community therapy. Mrs. Lutskus moved to North Carolina in 2017 with her husband and 2 children, Ian (class of 2023) and Camille (class of 2026). Mrs. Lutskus is also the product of a Catholic school education and understands the emphasis on academics, promoting Catholic values, fostering healthy social relationships, and creating a supportive environment for the students.

ANN LANE : After-School Care Coordinator


After-School Care Coordinator
(919) 889-8855

Mrs. Lane moved here from Chicago to be closer to family. Mrs. Lane is a grandmother of six beautiful children. She has learned that working with children is her calling in life, and enjoys her passion to its fullest.

TERI WOODS : After-School Care Assistant


After-School Care 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 the 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. Mrs. Woods and her family are parishioners at Saint Raphael Catholic Church, and her daughter, Kelsey, is an alumna, SRCS Class of 2016.

Elementary Faculty

JENNIFER LEVENDUSKI - Kindergarten Teacher


Kindergarten Teacher

  • University of Phoenix, B.S. Elementary Education

Mrs. Levenduski joined the SRCS faculty 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!

ELEANOR ESCALERA - Kindergarten Teaching Assistant


KA Assistant
Mrs. Escalera was born and raised in southern California, and received a Catholic education from first grade through 12th grade. She moved to North Carolina in 2017 with her husband and two children, Sophia (Class of 2023) and Steven Jr. (Class of 2027). Mrs. Escalera started as a substitute teacher at SRCS in 2019. She absolutely loves working with children and feels blessed to be the KA teacher assistant.

TARA-MARIE HANDS - Kindergarten Teacher


Kindergarten Teacher

  • Felician University, B.A. Elementary Education, B.A. English
  • NC K-6 Teaching Certification

Mrs. Hands was born and raised in New Jersey. In 2015, she moved to Raleigh with her husband Keith and four children; Dylan, Alayna, Angelica and Brody. She has taught second grade for 5 years and fourth/fifth grade ELA for one year. In her spare time she enjoys reading, shopping and spending time with her family. She is extremely excited to be teaching at SCRS to practice and share her Catholic faith.

ESTELA GIROUX - Kindergarten Teaching Assistant


Kindergarten Teaching Assistant

  • Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, campus Querétaro (México), B.S. Biochemical Engineering

Mrs. Giroux was born and raised in México City. She moved to North Carolina in 2004 to continue her professional career as a Biochemical Engineer in the meat industry. She is married, has 3 children, and is very grateful to share and live the love of Jesus with the kindergartners in the SRCS community.

VICTORIA JENNY - First Grade Teacher


First Grade Teacher

  • Milligan University, B.A. Early Education
  • K-6 Teaching Certification
  • Reading Specialist Certification
  • ESL Certification

Victoria Jenny has taught in North Carolina for over 16 years with 9 of those years in first grade. Victoria married her high school sweetheart and has 2 teenage boys, Kiefer and Colby.

OLIVIA SPANGENBERG - First Grade Teaching Assistant


First Grade Teaching Assistant

  • Barton College, B.S. Exercise Science
  • Maryville University, Communication Sciences and Language Disorders

Mrs. Spangenberg was born and raised in Raleigh. She graduated from SRCS in 2010, Cardinal Gibbons in 2014, and Barton College in 2018. Mrs. Spangenberg is currently on track to become a speech language pathologist. At Barton, Mrs. Spangenberg played on the women’s volleyball team winning two NCAA conference championships. Mrs. Spangenberg’s passion for working with children led her to work at SRCS’s after-school-care program throughout high school and college.

CARA STAUFFER - First Grade Teacher


First Grade Teacher

  • Meredith College, B.A. Psychology
  • K-6 Teaching Certification

Mrs. Stauffer is originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, and attended Catholic schools from kindergarten through twelfth grade. She started teaching at SRCS in 2002, and is happiest when working with her students and watching them succeed!

THERESA GASPER - First Grade Teaching Assistant


First Grade Teaching Assistant

  • Broome Community College, L.A.
  • College Misericordia, B.S. Elementary Education/Early Childhood

Mrs. Gasper started her teaching career in 1989 for the Diocese of Syracuse teaching first grade at Saint Thomas Aquinas in Binghamton, NY. After getting married, she moved to Raleigh and began teaching in the Diocese of Raleigh at Saint Raphael in 1997. She was the school librarian at SRCS for 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 role as assistant teacher. Mrs. Gasper has been a parishioner of Saint 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).

JENNIFER DAVIS - Kindergarten Teacher


Kindergarten Teacher

  • Texas Tech University, B.A. English/Literature
  • Troy University, M.S. Human Resources Management
  • Barton College, M.Ed.

Mrs. Davis is originally from Buffalo, NY, but grew-up in Fort Worth, TX. After graduating from college, she enlisted in the U.S. 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. In her spare time, Mrs. Davis enjoys reading, fishing, and playing board games with her family. She also likes to birdwatch and work in her flower garden.

DIANA ROVNAK - Second Grade Teaching Assistant


Second Grade Teaching Assistant

Mrs. Rovnak is originally from Williamsport, Ohio. She and her husband moved to North Carolina over 20 years ago for the beautiful weather, beaches, and mountains. They have 3 children attending college at UNC Charlotte and UNC Wilmington. She worked in the mortgage and credit industry before volunteering as a catechist for 10 years at Saint Catherine of Siena. She enjoys being a part of the Saint Raphael School team and continuing to help children in their journey of learning and faith.

JENNIFER TUCKER - Second Grade Teacher


Second Grade Teacher

  • Clemson University, B.A. Elementary Education

Mrs. Tucker has taught in elementary school for 12 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 second grade teacher.

JACQUELINE LONNECKER - Second Grade Teacher Assistant


Second Grade Teacher Assistant

  • University of San Diego, B.A. International Relations

Mrs. Lonnecker worked as a substitute teacher after having taught her four children at home and in homeschool cooperatives for twenty years. She has taught nearly all grade levels in multiple subjects in group settings. She has lived in North Carolina since 2010 with her husband, Greg. She is so excited to be working at Saint Raphael Catholic School where she can practice her Catholic faith.

DIANA BRICTSON - Third Grade Teacher


Third Grade Teacher

  • University of San Diego, B.A. Diversified Liberal Arts
  • University of San Diego, M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction

Mrs. Brictson is a native of Denver, Colorado, and a product of Catholic education from preschool through graduate school. She previously taught in Charlotte and Leawood, Kansas, before spending many years at home with her children, Ford (SRCS 2015, CGHS 2019) and Will and Katherine (SRCS 2020, CGHS 2024). She has taught fifth grade and third grade at Saint Raphael and enjoys sharing her faith and love for Catholic education!

KELLY CANNING - Third Grade Teacher


Third Grade Teacher

  • Eastern Illinois University, B.A. Elementary Education

Ms. Canning is originally from the northern suburbs of Chicago. 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 onto 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!

new - Kindergarten Teacher


Fourth Grade Teacher

  • Texas Tech University, B.A. English/Literature


new - Kindergarten Teacher


4th Grade Teacher

  • Texas Tech University, B.A. English/Literature


MARY-HAVEN MONAHAN - Fifth & Sixth Grade Science Teacher, and 4th Grade STEM Teacher


Fifth Grade Teacher

  • North Carolina State University, B.S. Elementary Education

Mrs. Monahan received a K-8 Catholic education, to which she attributes her love for education and her Catholic faith. She excitedly pursued her love for education at NC 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. She was eager to join the Saint Raphael family since her grandparents became parishioners in 1967, and she has two cousins who are SRCS alumni.

JENNIFER STAMATIO - Fifth Grade Teacher


Fifth Grade Teacher

  • Loyola Marymount University, B.A. Classics and English Literature
  • California State University Northridge, M.A. Education Administration

Mrs. Stamatio was born and raised in Los Angeles and moved to the Raleigh area with her husband and two sons. She taught in Catholic and public schools in Los Angeles for 19 years. Mrs. Stamatio loves being a part of the Saint Raphael parish and school community.


K-5 Resource Teacher

  • NC State UNIVERSITY, Master Reading Education

Mrs. Bocarro was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she received a Catholic education from Kindergarten through 12th grade. After graduating from Louisiana State University, she began teaching in 2000 as a 1st grade teacher in Wilmington, DE. She moved to Raleigh with her husband, Jason, an NC State professor, in 2005. She received her Master’s in Reading Education from NC State in 2009. From there, she transitioned to working as a reading specialist in both public and private schools. She absolutely loves working with children and is very excited to join SRCS with her 2 children, Mia (Class of 2024) and Liam (Class of 2027).

KAREN PALMER - K-4 Resource Teacher


K-5 Resource Teacher

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

Mrs. Palmer 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.

DEBBIE HAMRICK - Resource Teacher


Resource Teacher

  • Radford University, B.S. Early Childhood Education

Mrs. Hamrick has taught at Saint Raphael since 1998, and has watched the school grow from a K-3 school to a school that offers so many opportunities to all children. Mrs. Hamrick began her teaching career at a Catholic school in Greensboro where she taught kindergarten for seven years. After retiring from SRCS in 2020, she returned to be a resource teacher for our younger grades.

Middle School Faculty

NICOLE ADKINS - Language Arts Teacher


Language Arts Teacher

  • Appalachian State University, B.A. English
  • North Carolina State University, M.Ed.
  • 2019 Lewis Award Finalist

Mrs. Adkins is originally from Coral Gables, FL where she taught English language arts (grades 5-8) at 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 girls’ 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.

SARAH AJAZI - Fifth Grade Teacher


Fifth Grade Teacher

  • UNC Charlotte, B.A. Middle Grades Math and English

Mrs. Ajazi is originally from Statesville, NC, where she spent grades 1-12 in Seton Catholic Home School. She has a strong background in tutoring both college-level math and K-12 math and reading. She is excited to share her passion for education alongside her Catholic faith.

JANEL GROSSHEIM - Middle School Religion


Middle School Religion

  • Northern Illinois University, B.A. English Education
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte, M.A. School Counseling
  • Master Catechist, Diocese of Raleigh
  • Certification Student at the Theology of the Body Institute

Originally from a suburb of Chicago, Illinois, Mrs. Grossheim has lived in the south for 30 years and proudly calls North Carolina home. A “cradle Catholic”, she credits her parents for instilling in her a strong foundation of faith and especially their inspirational witness in the Sacrament of Marriage. She was educated in Catholic schools and has made service in Catholic education her mission in her professional life. She has been married to her husband, John, for 25 years, and together they have three wonderful sons: Patrick, Peter, and Conor. Mrs. Grossheim loves hiking, especially in the mountains, swimming, reading, studying the faith, the Chicago Cubs, the Green Bay Packers, and is presently training her golden retriever Scout to be a therapy dog.



Spanish Teacher

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

Sra. Henderson was born in Raleigh, but raised in Greenville, attending Saint Peter’s Catholic School. She credits SPS for her early Spanish language acquisition, and loves that she gets to “pay it forward” at her own kids’ Catholic school. In addition to working at SRCS, 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!

Ariel Reece - Middle School Science


Middle School Science

  • UNC-Chapel Hill, B.A. Education: Child Development and Family Studies, Hispanic Studies (Birth-5th grade)
  • University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, M.A. Teaching, Secondary Life Science (grad. Dec 2021, 5th-12th grade)

Ms. Reece is originally from southern California, grew-up in Boston and Philadelphia, and has lived in North Carolina since high school. She graduated from Wakefield High School and then attended UNC to complete her undergrad in education. After graduation, Ms. Reece taught kindergarten in Durham and prepared at-risk preschoolers over the summer for kindergarten. Once she started her family, Ms. Reece went on to work at Saint Catherine of Siena Church and then the Diocese of Raleigh in the Offices of the Bishop and Vocations. Ms. Reece then started graduate school to become a secondary science teacher and is super excited to be at Saint Raphael, teaching in the Ignatian Way!

WINIFRED REILLY - Dean of Middle School


Dean of Middle School

Language Arts & Math Teacher

  • Villanova University, B.S. Business Administration
  • The College of New Jersey, M.A. Teaching

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.

JILL SCANLIN - Math Teacher


Math Teacher

  • Texas A&M University, B.S. Education, Specialization in Math

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 taught 5th through 8th grade in Texas, Panama, Virginia, and North Carolina.

TROY SCHULER - Latin Teacher


Latin Teacher

  • University of California, Santa Barbara, B.A. Classical Language and Literature
  • George Mason University, M.Ed. with an emphasis on Foreign Language Instruction

Mr. Schuler is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. He met his future wife in college and converted to the Catholic faith. Following his graduation, he moved to Virginia to be with his wife’s family and attend George Mason University for graduate school. While pursuing his degree, he taught Latin at the middle and high school levels and worked as a substitute teacher. Mr. Schuler enjoys bringing the Latin language to life for his students and instilling in them values of the Catholic faith.

Taylor Weiss - Sixth Grade Science & ELA


Sixth Grade Science & ELA”

  • North Park University, B.A. Elementary Education (K-8), Special Education Endorsement

Mrs. Weiss is originally from Chicago, Illinois where she began her teaching career at St. Emily Catholic School in 2016. In 2018, she moved to Raleigh with her husband and taught 4th grade at SRCS for three years. She took the past year off to spend time with her baby boy, Easton. Mrs. Weiss is so excited to be back with her SRCS family!!

Specials Faculty




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

Mrs. Zagrobelny has managed 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.

JOE HIGLEY - Physical Education Teacher


Physical Education Teacher

  • Kean University, B.A. Physical Education and Health

Mr. Higley grew up in New Jersey and has lived in North Carolina since 2016. He taught P.E. and Health, kindergarten through grade 8, in a Catholic school setting since 2010; officiated high school track and field, middle school basketball and soccer, and helped 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 coaches our boys’ soccer team at SRCS. He brings a wealth of expertise and enthusiasm to SRCS, both in his classes and on the field.

KELLEIGH RUSSO - Physical Education


Physical Education Teacher

  • Kennesaw State University, B.S. Health, Physical Education, Recreation

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



Art Teacher

  • William Paterson University, B.F.A. Art Education and Graphic Design

Mrs. Messina initiated the art program at SRCS in 2001. She 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. 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. She and her husband, Michael, have three children.