Mr. Jesse Nigro teaches Philosophy at St. Barnabas Classical Academy. Jesse began his philosophical journey as an autodidact, reading and learning at the feet of long dead masters and guides such as St. Thomas Aquinas, Etienne Gilson, and C. S. Lewis. Eventually, he decided to finally pursue academics in full and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy at Creighton University, where his prior grounding in traditional Catholic thought served him well. Jesse is currently pursuing a masters degree in theology by distance at Concordia University in Irvine.
Jesse is an Omaha native who lives with his wife Ashley and their two children in the Little Italy neighborhood. He has been interested in classical education for as long as he has had children of his own, and counts it an honor and privilege to instruct young minds in the pursuit and exercise of wisdom at St. Barnabas Classical Academy.
B.A. Philosophy, Creighton University, Phi Sigma Tau
M.A. (in progress), Theology, Concordia University Irvine
Book Recommendation: The Unity of Philosophical Experience, Etienne Gilson
Favorite Place Traveled: St. Paul’s Cathedral at Evensong, London
Mary Gronewold teaches Literature and Rhetoric at St. Barnabas Classical Academy. Mary taught 7th and 8th grade reading and language arts at Christ the King Catholic School from 2007 – 2015. At CTK, she enjoyed challenging her pupils in the sometimes-not-so-glamorous study of grammar, diagramming complex sentences, Latin roots, great books, public speaking, and essays. From 2015 – 2018, she enjoyed a few years as a stay-at-home mom. In 2017, a Well-Read Mom book club called her back to teaching and sparked her interest in the St. Barnabas Classical Academy.
Mary grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, but she has called Omaha home since 2006. She and her husband, Joe, have 5 terrific children – Gertie (10), Susie (9), Gus (7), Leo (5), and Beatrix (3). Her family enjoys raising backyard chickens, traveling to see grandparents, and Sunday rosary walks with friends.
B.A. English, Creighton University
M.Ed. Secondary Education, Creighton University
Favorite hobby: swing dancing at Jitterbugs’ Night Out
Dr. Daniel Page is Dean of Studies at Saint Barnabas Classical Academy, where he teaches Music and directs the Academy Singers. Dr. Page is also the Organist and Choirmaster of Saint Barnabas Church, having previously served parishes in Michigan, Oregon, Maryland, and Massachusetts. He has taught in a groundbreaking Catholic classical school in Grand Rapids, Michigan and as a founding faculty member in the First Year Program of the University of Baltimore. He also served as dean of freshmen and sophomores in Baltimore (having previously headed up academic advising in the creative arts), and as academic dean of the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has directed choral festivals and workshops and his choirs have sung at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. and National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Dr. Page has completed advanced training in the Ward Method of musical instruction. His scholarly work has focused on Latin church music in Tudor England, printing history, and architectural history.
Dr. Page enjoys living alone, which allows him the opportunity to read, listen to music, keep up with British police shows, and indulge his obsession with genealogy. He is considering acquiring a canine companion.
B.A. Music, Bates College, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Highest Honors in Music
MFA Interdisciplinary Humanities, Brandeis University/Mellon Foundation
Fulbright Scholar, British Library and Institution of Historical Research (University of London)
Ph.D. Music History and Analysis, Brandeis University
Mrs. Maria Edwards teaches Chemistry and Biology at St. Barnabas Classical Academy. Maria’s study of science, since her earliest years, has served to strengthen and enliven her faith. During her time at the University of Portland, she tutored students in Calculus and Chemistry, taught Physics as a T.A. She also served as a lab assistant and research assistant in Biology and Biochemistry, respectively. Our Lord has allowed her to apply her love of science and teaching in service to her students and their families.
Since answering her vocational call of Matrimony on May, 10, 2003, wedding Mr. Michael Edwards, Maria has spent the past 15 years beginning to raise and homeschool their six children. As a wife of an Air Force officer, she learned the beauty of the universal Catholic faith as she lived with her family in six different states, attending many different parishes. Although focused on her primary vocations of wife and mother, she has never lost her love for studying God’s creation. Maria is currently studying to become a Cooperative with the Pro Sanctity Movement, an international organization started by Bishop William Giaquinta, whose primary focus is to spread God’s Universal Call to Holiness.
B.S. Biochemistry, University of Portland, magna cum laude
Book Recommendation: Catechism of the Catholic Church
Favorite Place Traveled: St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice, Italy
Rev. Mr. Ron Reno teaches Fine Arts and Art History at St. Barnabas Classical Academy. After graduating from the University of Kansas, Ron intended to be a graphic designer for a corporation, a publishing house or a print shop. Instead, Ron worked for several years for Safeway Stores, Inc. and became a store director for Safeway. He has worked for other companies over the years but he always felt beckoned to do art again. For the last 15 years Ron has donated his paintings and prints to any sound and Godly organization that requested. Most of his art was sold at auction for the glory of God. Through those donations and Fr. Scheibelhofer, he became introduced to St. Barnabas, where he has taught since 2016. Ron loves teaching and opening God’s possibilities through art to his students.
Ron serves as a Deacon at Saint Stephen the Martyr Anglican Church in Sioux City, Iowa. He has been married to his bride Louise for 47 years now and together raised two children, Philip and Anne.
B.A. in Fine Arts/Studio and General Studies, Kansas State Teachers College
B.F.A. in Graphic Design, University of Kansas
Book Recommendation: Early Christian Doctrines by J.N.D. Kelly.
Favorite Place Traveled: England and Scotland
Mr. Jack DeLong teaches Physics and coaches the Drone Team at Saint Barnabas Classical Academy. He is also the instructor of Electronics and Photonics at Iowa Western Community College and coaches the MathCounts team for the Catholic Homeschool Association of Omaha. Jack served in the Army, with deployments to Iraq, Qatar and Croatia specializing in fiber optic and satellite communications. Between deployments, Jack taught Physics as well as Lasers & Optics at the United States Military Academy. He has earned the Bronze Star Medal and the U.S. Parachutist’s Badge.
Jack is continuously inspired, supported, and driven by the love of his life, Angela. Together they have five incredible blessings, Audriauana, Therese, Thea, Simeon, and Kentenich. They have traveled to over 21 countries together, with Jack continuing to an additional six with the Army. When choosing a direction to travel, they always looked first for Eucharistic Miracles, Incorrupt Saints, Marian Apparitions, shrines, basilicas, and relics. When not traveling, Jack enjoys cooking and card games.
B.S. Electrical Engineering, United States Military Academy
M.S. Optics, University of Rochester
Graduate Certificate, Nuclear Weapons Effects, Policy, and Proliferation, Air Force Institute of Technology
Favorite Place Traveled: Bled, Slovenia; Fjords of Norway; Anyplace in Germany; Lisieux, France
Book Recommendation: The Feynman Lectures on Physics
Mr. Luke DeWeese teaches Latin and History at St. Barnabas Classical Academy. Luke began the study of Latin in the fall of 1998, always with an eye to the serious engagement of philosophical and theological texts. He was the first classical languages and early Christian literature major to graduate from Ave Maria University after AMU’s refounding as a university in Florida. He then completed a master’s degree in classical languages at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, where he was required to speak Latin as much as possible and to sharpen his skills in Latin prose composition. During this academic coursework, for three summers he also studied in Rome with Reginald Foster, the greatest Latinist of our own time and chief Latinist to four popes. After completing his Master’s, Luke returned to formal academic study and did a year of coursework in classical languages at Fordham University in New York. After fifteen years of serious study in the humanities, Luke is now eager to pass on what he has received by teaching. His preferred method of instruction in Latin is to follow Reginald Foster’s example as much as possible by promoting the active uses of Latin. These include speaking and written exercises, as well as reading a wide array of authors from all periods of Latin literature, ancient, medieval, renaissance, and modern.
Luke is finishing his doctorate in Medieval and Byzantine studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., has lived in eight states and four countries to pursue divine Wisdom in an academic context. Along the way, he has befriended Philology, Philosophy and Theology, and Music (mainly Gregorian Chant).
B.A. Classical Languages, Ave Maria University
M.A. Classical Languages, University of Kentucky
Post-grad coursework, Classical Languages, Fordham University
Ph.D. (in progress), Medieval and Byzantine Studies, Catholic University of America
Book Recommendation: Salt: A World History, Mark Kurlansky
Favorite Place Traveled: Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, England
Mrs. Molly Gaston teaches Earth Science and Math at St. Barnabas Classical Academy. Molly attended UNL from 2013 to 2016, and pursued course work in geology and music, as well as extracurricular course work through the Newman Center. During her time at UNL, she was a member of the show choir Big Red Singers for two years. She also became a member of the Catholic sorority, Pi Alpha Chi. Molly worked for three years as a research assistant in the field of chemical education, studying how students learn chemistry/STEM. She is very excited to pass on her love of science and math to her students.
Molly is a regular cantor/musician at her parish, St. Charles Borromeo, a continuation of her musical endeavors since serving as Director of Music at the Newman Center at UNL, where her strong interest in Gregorian chant and other traditional church music began to bloom. In her free time, Molly enjoys quilting, singing for weddings and being a vocalist for her band, and spending time outdoors exploring God’s creation. Molly is married to her wonderful husband, who she met in college.
B.S. in Geology, University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Book Recommendation: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Favorite Place Visited: Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.
Fr. John Rickert, FSSP, is pastor at Immaculate Conception Church in Omaha. After receiving his B.A. in Mathematics and Classics from the Univ. of Dallas and his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Vanderbilt Univ., he taught at the college level for a few years and then worked in the business world for six. He was ordained for the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter in 2010.
Mr. Conor Bopp teaches History, Theology, and Algebra II/Trigonometry at Saint Barnabas Classical Academy. Born in Wichita, Kansas, Conor has lived in Omaha since he was 4 years old and attended Saint Cecilia’s Elementary School and Creighton Prep high school. After obtaining a degree in Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California, he taught as an apprentice teacher for Archway Classical Academy in the Great Hearts charter school system of Phoenix, Arizona. Conor moved back to Omaha in 2013 to enter the program of seminary formation for the Archdiocese of Omaha. From 2013 to 2017, he attended Kenrick School of Theology in Saint Louis, Missouri, where he pursued a Master of Arts in Theology before leaving to discern a different vocation. Conor returned to Omaha and joined Saint Barnabas in the Fall of 2017, teaching the Philosophy, Mathematics, and Natural Science courses. Conor attends St. Peter Parish in downtown Omaha, where he teaches Confirmation as a volunteer catechist.
B.A. in Liberal Arts, Thomas Aquinas College
Book recommendations: Kristin Lavransdatter, Sigrid Undset. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
Favorite place traveled: Custer State Park, South Dakota.
Leo rings for St. Barnabas Parish and Classical Academy. Cast in 1923 by the Meneely Bell Company in Troy, New York, he was given as a memorial of James and Virginia Van Nostrand to St. Barnabas under the rectorship of Fr. Holsapple. On May 27, 2018, the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, Leo was consecrated by Archbishop Emeritus Most Reverend Elden Francis Curtiss and given his Christian name after St. Leo the Great.
Known as something of a stickler, Leo chimes so that parishioners and students may come to church on time. Once in a while, he also tolls to speed the parting soul. In his spare time, Leo enjoys the Angelus, weddings, and waking up neighbors.
Book Recommendation: For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
Favorite Place Traveled: Troy, New York
Fr. Jason Catania
Carter Lowman, Esq.
Dean of Studies
Dr. Daniel Page
Fr. Jason Catania
Mrs. Maris Bentley
David Nich Jr., Esq.
Fr. Patrick McManus
Dr. Lloyd Pierre, Jr.
Mr. Paul Scofield
Mrs. Jennifer Sheridan