Rev. Cory A. Mayer, Ph.B, S.T.L, S.T.Dc

Pastor of Ave Maria

Fr. Cory A. Mayer began his philosophy studies in Rome, Italy in 2001. After his philosophical formation, he went on to complete his Licentiate in Dogmatic Theology and is currently completing a doctorate at the Pontifical Regina Apostolorum in Rome, Italy. After serving at the cathedral of the Diocese of Venice, he was appointed administrator then pastor of Ave Maria Parish by Bishop Frank Dewane. Since 2013, Fr. Mayer has enjoyed watching the children here at Donahue Academy grow in their academic and spiritual life.

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Dr. Dan Guernsey, Ed. D.

Principal

Dr. Guernsey holds a B.A. in English  from University of San Francisco; a M.A. in English from University of California Berkeley; a M.Ed. in Administration & Supervision from California State University, and an Ed.D. in Education from Eastern Michigan University.  He has worked with various entities associated with Tom Monaghan’s Ave Maria projects for more than 17 years as a consultant, and college level associate professor, department chair, dean, and President. He is the founding principal of the Donahue Academy, and an experienced principal and high school teacher. He also serves as Director of the Cardinal Newman Society’s K-12 Programs and is a Board Member of the National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools.

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Mark Jahnke, M.A.

Vice Principal/ Latin I, Latin II

Mr. Jahnke graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a B.A. in Philosophy and in Catholic Studies as well as an M.A. in Catholic Studies.  He has taught humanities, Latin, algebra and held various administrative positions over the past several years both in Minneapolis and here at Donahue Catholic. He is grateful for the blessing of leading such an excellent school where students joyfully pursue Truth, Beauty and Goodness through Catholic classical education.  Mr. Jahnke, his wife and six children reside in Ave Maria and are blessed to send the eldest four to Donahue Catholic.

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Matthew Byrne, J.D.

Math 6; Humanities 7; Logic 9; Economics 10-11

Mr. Byrne graduated from Manhattan College with a B.A. in Government and Politics and from Pace University Law School where he earned his J.D. Mr. Byrne has had a 20 plus year career as an attorney in private practice and as a senior attorney in county government. He was the elected Judge in New York for 16 years, and completed his public service an elected Village Trustee. For more than 16 years, Mr. Byrne was an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Manhattan College, Iona College and Dominican College of Blauvelt where he taught courses in American Government, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Criminal Justice and Business Law, among others. He and his wife Maribet and their sons, Matt and Jack have relocated to Ave Maria from New York and are thrilled to be a part of the Donahue Academy family.

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Angelica Chaparro, M.B.A.

Information Technology Director

Mrs. Chaparro graduated with a Bachelors degree in Engineering Computer Science and Telecommunications and subsequently a Masters in Business Administration.  Her broad working experience for over 20 years includes a variety of industries. She and her family have been part of the Donahue Catholic family since 2007, when she moved to Ave Maria with her husband Alex and their three children:  the oldest one graduated from Donahue Academy, and the other two are current Donahue Academy students.  She sees her job at the Academy as an opportunity to contribute to evangelize the youth.

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Mary Claire Dant, M.L.S.

Media Specialist

Mrs. Dant has lived in Florida since she was two years old.  She has her B.A. degree from Barry University and her M.L.S. from the University of South Florida.  She thought she would retire after 25 years with the Collier County School system, but then decided she loved children too much to stay away.  So she is now at the Donahue Academy on a part-time basis as Media Specialist.  She is the mother of three and grandmother of 5.

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Melody Curtis, M.ED.

3rd Grade

Mrs. Curtis recently moved from the Midwest to Ave Maria in June, 2016 with her husband, Michael.  She holds a Masters of Education in Curriculum & Instruction and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Childhood Education from Lourdes University.  Teaching, leading and serving is her passion, as previous experiences and accomplishments in Catholic school administration and teacher-leadership roles have been fueled by witness to the faith and a firm belief in the power of Catholic education for almost 20 years.

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Janet DeLiso, B.A.

Athletics Director and PE K-1

Mrs. DeLiso earned a Bachelor of Arts from Governor’s State University in the Chicago area where she grew up. Mrs. DeLiso was a Technical Sergeant in the Illinois Air National Guard for nine years working as an electronics mechanic. She is very involved in 4-H and the Collier County Fair. She and her husband Vito have lived in Naples since 1994 and have four children.

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Kathy Dittus, B.A.

Music K-4

Mrs. Dittus graduated from the College of New Rochelle with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Secondary Education. Following graduation, she worked as an actuarial assistant in Insurance Services Office in New York City. She taught music at Pinecrest Academy in Georgia during the 1993-1994 school year.  Mrs. Dittus homeschooled her 6 children for 18 years and has been with Donahue Academy since 2008.She is currently certified in Florida for grades 5-9 in Mathematics. Teaching at Donahue and singing with the children in class and for liturgies has brought her much joy. Whether teaching music or math, she hopes to lead her students to see the beauty and wonder of learning.  She has participated in many liturgical groups in parishes and has led children’s choirs and contemporary groups in several parishes. She has enjoyed sharing her love for children and music in Vacation Bible Schools and Children’s Liturgy of the Word.  She enjoys singing, playing guitar and composing music. Her song “Come to Me” is featured on a CD of the Messages of Medjugorje produced by the Mary our Mother Foundation.

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Lacey Fairchild B.S.

Receptionist

Mrs. Fairchild graduated with a B.S. in Marketing from the Florida State University College of Business.  After college, she worked in the sales industry as a pharmaceutical sales representative.  A native Floridian, she grew up in Fort Myers and has lived in Florida her entire life.  She moved to Ave Maria in 2016 with her husband, Quentin, and their 4 children so that her children could attend Donahue. She is so excited to be a part of Donahue Academy!

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