When Dr. Richard Belleville founded Holy Family Academy (HFA) in Manassas, Virginia, in 1993, he wanted to provide a grade and high school that gave students a classical education, immersing them in the greatest minds of Western Civilization, and teaching them the truths of the Faith. He and his wife, Jean, were very familiar with what a truly Catholic education was since they had entrusted their four children to Christendom College for their college educations, and were very pleased with the results.
Now, twenty-five years later, Holy Family Academy is fulfilling its mission, and it is utilizing the alumni of Christendom College to do so. Currently, more than half of the faculty at the school are Christendom alumni, while thirteen of its graduates are current students at Christendom.
Alumnus Mo Woltering, ’93, has been the headmaster at the school since 2016. Previously, he had been the academic dean there, before moving to Kentucky to serve as the headmaster at Covington Latin School. Since returning to HFA, he has been focused on recruiting the best faculty to provide the best educational experiences for the students in his care.
Woltering’s wife, Denise (Belleville), ’94, has likewise been involved with HFA for many years, first as one of the founding faculty, and now as its grade school curriculum director, helping to give students the best possible curriculum that she can.
Kerri (Sciscilo) Farrell, ‘11, wanted to be involved with teaching right after graduating from Christendom, and took roles at Aquinas Learning Center, St. Veronica School, and St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic School before arriving at HFA. Farrell earned her Master’s in elementary education and teaching from Marymount University, another asset to her teaching expertise in the 1st and 2ndgrade classrooms.
Recent graduate Bryn Burgess (’18) works with Farrell in the grade school, teaching 4th grade and working with the student athletes. As a Christendom student, Burgess was a varsity soccer and basketball player, and she is now using those talents to coach these sports at HFA.
Olivia Cerroni, ’18, joined the faculty this year as a teacher in the upper school. High school age is one of the most crucial to educate properly in our day and age, making it a heavy responsibility for any teacher. Cerroni, with her background at Evangelium Press, is ready for that task, as is Laura Beth Osterhage, ‘12. A lover of art history, Osterhage earned her M.A. in that field after graduation, and joined HFA in 2016 after stints at Covington Latin School and as a museum assistant at The Phillips Collection.
Carol Lynn Miller, ’16, works with Cerroni and Osterhage in the high school where she teaches philosophy.
Finally, leading the upper school is dean of students Patrick Storey, ’02, who has been a part of HFA since its founding. In addition to being the dean, he is also the homeroom for the high school boys and the athletic director.
There are fifteen members of the faculty at Holy Family. Of that number, eight earned degrees from Christendom College. The vision of forming young people to impact society for the better permeates in both places, as does a spirit of service and of adherence to the Magisterium.
Christendom’s education influences many alumni to become teachers after graduation, whether in colleges, high schools, or grade schools. Many teach at Holy Family Academy, and still many others teach in places across the nation, striving to make tomorrow’s generation better than the last.