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Meet the Faculty & Staff of Mount Royal Academy
Mr. Derek Tremblay, Headmaster
Mr. Tremblay started teaching, ministering, and coaching at Mount Royal in the 2009-2010 school year. He graduated from Saint Thomas Aquinas in Dover (04’), one of our brethren Catholic Schools in New Hampshire. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Political Science (08’), as well as a Masters of Theological Studies (09’) from Providence College. Mr. Tremblay is currently working towards an M.Ed at New England College in Henniker, NH.
Mr. Tremblay previously served as the Liturgical Life Director, Admissions Director, and Athletic Director at MRA. He continues to teach theology to high school students. His tenure as Headmaster began in November of 2014. He also serves as a Teacher Advisor at the Sophia Institute for Teachers. His contribution (The Beatitudes and Moral Choices) was recently published by the Sophia Institute Press in a collection of 13 lesson plans based on the title "The Beatitudes: Living the Life of Christ."
Mr. Tremblay is a parishioner of Saint Patrick’s in Newport, where he previously coordinated the Youth Ministry program. He also catechized candidates preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation for 5 years. Other involvement with the youth included serving as Camp Minister at Camp Fatima during the summer of 2010. He is an active member of the Knights of Columbus. Mr. Tremblay resides in Goshen, NH with his wife and two children.
Mr. McMenaman began teaching at Mount Royal in 2014. He has a BA in Business Marketing as well as an MBA from Franciscan University of Steubenville. After co-owning and operating his family’s construction supply business in New Jersey for 17 years, he and his wife decided to fulfill a long time dream to be a part of Mount Royal Academy. Mr. McMenaman has taught the Catholic faith through various parish religious programs for many years. He and his wife have been active in several Catholic apostolates. Mr. McMenaman is a certified presenter of The Joy-Filled Marriage program, a comprehensive marriage preparation program rooted in St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body. He also has co-instructed Pre-Cana weekend retreats and the Creighton Model FertilityCare NFP system.
Mr. McMenaman resides in New London, NH with his wife and 8 children. Their family enjoys homesteading on 10 acres with their Jersey milk cows, chickens, ducks, pigs, and bees.
Mr. Andrew Mihaly, Athletic Director & Teacher
Junior High/High School History
Mr. Mihaly graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2013 with and Bachelor of Arts in History and a Bachelor of Science in Adolescent/Young Adult Education. He is a certified Secondary Education Social Studies Teacher with experience in several school districts in the Ohio region prior to graduation. He has also worked for the Upward Bound program at Keene State College for the summers of 2012, 2013, and 2015, teaching and mentoring high school students in the Southwestern New Hampshire region. Mr. Mihaly has been a devoted parishioner of St. Patrick and St. Joachim parish for the past fifteen years since moving to the area from Maryland. He currently resides in Newport, NH.
Mrs. Kathleen McDonald, Office Manager/Registrar
Mrs. McDonald has worked at Mount Royal Academy for twelve years, the first year as a substitute teacher, and subsequent years as Office Manager and Registrar. Mrs. McDonald holds a degree in business from Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, MA. She resides in Enfield, NH with her husband.
Mrs. Elizabeth Heath, Teacher
Mrs. Heath graduated cum laude from the University of Dallas with a B.A. in Philosophy, and subsequently received training and experience in the Montessori Method for 3-6 year olds. Mrs. Heath has taught children in pre-k through 2nd grade for 19 years, 17 of which have been at Mount Royal. Mrs. Heath’s goal in the classroom is to provide her students with a strong foundation for future learning through solid reading instruction, a lively introduction to the Faith, and the inspiration to pursue inquiry.
Mrs. Heath is a parishioner of St. Theresa’s Church in Henniker, and resides in Warner, NH with her husband and young daughter.
Mrs. Karen Walsh, Teacher
Mrs. Walsh received her Master's Degree in Education from Lesley University in 2001. Her undergrad studies were completed in North Adams, Massachusetts at North Adams State College where she earned a B.S. in Education and a B.A. in Sociology in 1997. She has over 10 years of teaching experience while working with children grades Pre-K through 5th grade in both general education and special education classrooms.
She is an active parishioner at St. Patrick's in Newport and has volunteered in their senior youth group program. Mrs. Walsh lives in Grantham, NH with her husband and three children.
Mrs. Jackie Diebold, Teacher
Mrs. Diebold earned an Honors Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Windsor and Lakehead University, Canada, in 1991 and 1993 respectively. She has taught children grades Kindergarten to Sixth over the past seventeen years, and her primary focus has been Reading and Mathematics. To engage her students in Mathematics, she connects Math to a variety of subjects and combines traditional instruction with hands-on activities. Mrs. Diebold is also a Teacher Advisor at the Sophia Institute for Teachers.
Mrs. Diebold resides with her husband and daughter in Grantham, NH.
Dr. Mitchell Kalpakgian, Teacher
High School Humanities
Dr. Mitchell Kalpakgian earned an B.A. in English from Bowdoin College, a M.A. in English from the University of Kansas, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa. He has taught at Simpson College in Iowa, Christendom College, Wyoming Catholic College, and Northeast Catholic College. He taught at Mount Royal Academy from 2001-2007 and resumed teaching in 2010. He has taught all levels of high school English and Latin. He has written several books: The Mysteries of Life in Children's Literature, The Lost Arts of Modern Civilization, The Virtues We Need Again, An Armenian Family Reunion, and The Virtues That Build Our Lives.
Dr. Kalpakgian is a regular contributor to the Seton Magazine. He regularly incoporates instruction in the classroom at MRA into insightful and enlightening articles.
Mrs. Kelley Ouellette, Teacher
Jr. High/High School Math
Mrs. Ouellette has been teaching junior high and high school math and science at MRA for six years. She has a degree in Chemistry and Mathematics from Eastern Michigan University. Before coming to MRA as a long-term sub in 2010, Mrs. Ouellette worked as a chemical engineer, using extensive math skills every day! She loves to share her joy and the challenge of learning math with the students of Mount Royal. While math can be difficult for many students, Mrs. Ouellette seeks to break down the complexity in order to reach all students. Mrs. Ouellette converted to Catholicism 15 years ago, and enjoys learning and sharing her faith with others every day. She lives in Newbury, NH with her husband, Allen, and 6 children.
Dr. Bonnie Akerman, Teacher
High School Science
Dr. Bonnie Akerman received her Doctorate in Molecular, Cellular and Systems Physiology from Dartmouth Medical School and her Bachelors of Science in Biology from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. Dr. Akerman has been actively involved in many aspects of mentoring and teaching students from the grades of preschool through college and graduate/medical school. She taught 4th and 8th Grade science classes to the students of Thetford Academy in affiliation with the Montshire Museum of Science; mentored Boston high school students through the Biomedical Science Career Program of Harvard Medical School; taught physiology conferences to 1st year Dartmouth Medic al School students; and taught medical research techniques to several Dartmouth undergraduate students. Currently, Dr. Akerman is an adjunct faculty member at River Valley Community College teaching Fundamentals of Chemistry. She has worked in the field of medical research for over 11 years at Dartmouth College/Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center with an emphasis in Renal Endocrinology and more recently Neuroendocrine oncology, specifically breast and ovarian cancer. Dr. Akerman lives in Newport New Hampshire with James Sr., her loving husband of 12 years, their son, James Jr., and daughter, Hailey Lynne.
Mr. Dowsett, his wife, Sarah, and their five children live in Sunapee, NH.
Dr. Ridgway received a B.S. at the University of Wales in Marine Biology in 2001. In 2005, he graduated with a doctorate of philosophy from Glasgow University, Scotland, investigating the capture and post-capture treatment of the Norway lobster.
Following his PhD, he moved to New Zealand and worked in the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry with Biosecurity New Zealand advising on the pest and disease risks associated with non-native animals. Returning to academia, he investigated the stress physiology of marine invertebrates and worked on the mechanisms underlying the exceptional longevity of clams. Although based in the UK he worked on a transatlantic research project and undertook research in the US; notably at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the University of Maine, Orono, and at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA. In 2013, Dr. Ridgway worked for a year at a Max Planck Institute in Germany, investigating demographic changes connected to longevity, before eventually moving to the USA in 2014.
After moving to the USA, Dr. Ridgway worked as an Adjunct Professor at Rowan University, as a Head Coach of Cross Country at Penn State Brandywine, and taught at the high school level for 2 years in southern New Jersey.
As an athlete Dr. Ridgway has played Varsity soccer at the University of Wales Bangor and continued to play at a high level in the UK post-collegiately. Running slowly dominated and he eventually went on to represent Great Britain and Wales, most notably winning Gold and Bronze team medals at the 2013 and 2015 IAU World Trail Running Championships, respectively, finishing 4th at the IAU World Trail Running Championships in 2013.
Dr. Ridgway lives in Grantham with his wife, Gwen, a medical resident at the DHMC and their daughter, Meredith.
Andrew D’Amico has taught seventeen years in New York and in New Hampshire. He completed ten years of Catholic education in Brooklyn and Queens, NY before his family moved to Long Island where he completed high school.
Mr. D’Amico received a Bachelor’s degree in U.S. History with a minor in education from Hofstra University. In 1980, he entered the industry at the beginning of the computer technology age and has worked primarily for software companies for twenty-two years culminating with a company that invented processes that supports business network technology. While working for industry, he authored several technical manuals on network enterprise management using SPECTRUM technology – an industry management standard.
Applying the knowledge of hardware and software technology, he became certified to teach technology in New Hampshire. In addition, he is also certified by Project Lead the Way (PLTW) to teach Gateway to Technology (a middle school engineering curriculum), Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering and Computer Integrated Manufacturing (high school curricular).
In 1993 he graduated from the Computer Learning and Information Processing Program at Dartmouth College. Additional certifications earned by Mr. D’Amico include: Introduction to C++ from Boston University; and a certification as a SPECTRUM Engineer for Administration (network management) through the industry. He holds certifications by the state of New Hampshire and by Project Lead the Way to teach engineering, and is the founding board member of the PLTW Partnership Team for the John Stark Regional School District.
He is also a member of the 100 Year Starship initiative which is a program inspired and supported by NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). This initiative seeks to build the world's first interstellar starship within 100 years funded by private funds. Much research in material science, biology, human interaction, plus a myriad of other issues, still have to be identified.
His community service includes serving as a member of the Kearsarge School Board from 1985-1995 representing Springfield, and service on both the Zoning and Planning Boards from 2000 to 2009. He and his wife Elizabeth have lived in the same house (now 223 years old) for 42 years. Their daughter, husband and grandchild live in Connecticut.
Previously, Mrs.Girald taught in Old Saybrook, CT, and later was the coordinator of world languages in Madicon, CT, until 2013. During her tenure in Madison, she spearheaded the curriculum revision of world languages K-12, published a white paper concerning student proficiency levels in world languages in Connecticut, and participated at the state level in COFLIC and nationally in NADSFL, a branch of ACTFL [American Council of Teacher of Foreign Languages]. From 2006-2011, she worked with American Councils for International Education [Teachers of Critical Languages Program], serving as a mentor, reader, team member of visiting administrators to China and lastly, in Beijing as interview team member of candidates to teach Mandarin in the US.
Mrs. Katherine Yost, Teacher
Fine Arts and Sacred Music
Mrs. Yost has a B.A cum laude from Duke University in Music and Literature, and coursework towards an M.A. from Middlebury College's Breadloaf School of English. She teaches Art and Choir classes at Mount Royal and Northeast Catholic College, and is soprano section leader at St. Denis, Hanover. She was Organist/Choir Director of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Sherman, TX, and sang with the Chancel Choir of the Church of the Incarnation, Dallas and the Choir of the Church of the Advent, Boston. She has been a soloist at many churches in the Dallas and Boston areas. Mrs. Yost designed and taught courses in High School Drawing and Sacred Music at Our Lady of Fatima High School Coop in Irving, Texas. Her artwork has been sold in gift shops in Dallas and Boston. She studied organ and voice with Fenner Douglass, Peter Williams, William Porter and Ellen Hargis; sang with Convivium Musicum; and founded Saxa, an a capella sacred music choir, while working at the Harvard Institute for International Development in the 90s. She homeschools her children using the Mother of Divine Grace curriculum, edits doctoral theses for Top Notch Editing Service, and is a 5-star-rated Wyzant.com tutor. As a Catholic convert, she has a particular passion for bringing the best in Music and Art to the practice of our Faith.