Faculty & Staff

Classroom Teachers

Mrs. Danielle Harris

Preschool Teacher

Contact: dharris@stmatthew-school.org

Education: B.S. in Elementary Education, Penn State University 

Experience: Saint Matthew Catholic School – 23 years of Preschool and Reading/Spelling for Grades 3-6 

Diocesan Mentor Teacher: 2 years 

Master Catechist 

Favorite Quote: “Take pride in how far you’ve come.  Have faith in how far you can go. But don’t forget to enjoy the journey.” 

Favorite Bible Verse: “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord your God, is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9 

Ms. Taylor Curry

Kindergarten Teacher

Contact: tcurry@stmatthew-school.org

Education

B.S. in Early Childhood & Elementary Education, Penn State University 

Minor in Special Education 

Experience:  

Kindergarten Teacher, Saint Matthew School (1 year) 

Substitute Teacher/Summer Academy Teacher, Bellwood Antis School District 

Favorite Quote: “Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.” ~Maria Montessori 

Favorite Bible Verse:“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” 

Mrs. Jennifer Casanave

1st Grade Teacher

Contact: jcasanave@stmatthew-school.org

Education:
B.S. in Elementary Education, Penn State University
Masters coursework completed in Language and Literacy, Penn State University

Experience:
Saint Matthew School (23 years)
1st Grade (21 years)
3rd/4th Grade (2 years)

Substitute Teacher, Altoona/Hollidaysburg/Bellwood School Districts (4 years)
Diocesan Mentor Teacher (3 years)
Master Catechist

Favorite Quote: “The more that you read, the more that you’ll know; the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go!” ~Dr. Seuss

Favorite Bible Verse: “Be still and know that I am always with you.

Ms. Abby Zeek

2nd Grade Teacher

Educational Background:
B.S in Early Childhood Education, Elizabethtown College

Experience:
Hollidaysburg and Tyrone Area School Districts

Favorite Quote:Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” Dr. Seuss

Favorite Bible Verse:Do justice, and love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

Mrs. Deborah Hewitt

3rd/4th Grade Teacher

Contact: dhewitt@stmatthew-school.org

Education:  

B.A. in Human Development Youth and Family Study 

Minor in Psychology 

PA Certificate Early Education Nursery/Kindergarten.  

Experience:  

Garment Factory 9 years, School bus driver 10 years, Therapeutic Staff Support 1 1/2 year, Head Start/Home Visitor Teacher 10 years, Case Manager for halfway house re-entrants from prison 8 years, present career path Saint Matthew School 3rd and 6th grade Teacher. 

Favorite Verse: “No one can choose your mountain or tell you when to climb… It’s yours alone to challenge at your own pace and time.” – Patricia J. Hacker-Harber 

Favorite Bible Verse: O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.  

-Psalm 30:12 

Patty Fabinyi

Music Teacher

Educational Background:

B.S. in Music Education from PSU, with a vocal emphasis

Experience:

Music Teacher at St. Patrick and at St. Matthew Schools

Kindermusik Instructor

Blair Concert Chorale Children’s Choir Director

Organist, First Church of the Brethren

Favorite Quote:There’s music in every child, and it’s my job to find and nurture it!

Mary Jane Rudakewich

Librarian

Educational Background:

S. in Library Science ,Clarion State College

Experience:

Elementary librarian for Tyrone Area School District for 38 years

Volunteer and former part time staff member at the Tyrone Snyder Public Library

Favorite Quote:Think before you speak. Read before you think.” – Fran Lebowitz

Reverend Father Jozef Kovacik

Pastor and School Administrator

Country of birth: SLOVAKIA
Came to the USA:  July 18, 1994  
Ordained Deacon:  May 24, 1997 
Ordained Priest:  May 30, 1998
Became a citizen of the USA:  December 7, 2005

Education:  

Saint Francis Seminary, SLOVAKIA

Saint Vincent Seminary, Latrobe, PA

Experience:  

Deacon at Good Shepherd Church, State College, PA

Parochial Vicar at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Altoona, PA

Parochial Vicar at Saint. Benedict Church, Johnstown, PA

Parochial Administrator at Most Holy Trinity Church, Huntingdon, PA

Parochial Administrator at Saint Joseph Church, Bellwood,

Pastor of Saint Agnes Church, Lock Haven, PA

Pastor of Saint Matthew Church, Tyrone, PA

Favorite Quote: “Life is a chance to love.” 

Favorite Bible Verse: Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.  -John 8:7

Support Staff

Sara Wagner​

Reading Teacher/Reading Specialist

Educational Background:

M.Ed of Reading with Reading Specialist K-12 Certification, Edinboro University

B.S.  Elementary Education, Mansfield University

Experience:

Reading Teacher & Interventionist K-4- 11 years

Instructional Support Teacher K-6 – 2 years

Middle School Reading Teacher Grades 7-8- 3 years

Itinerant Learning Support Teacher K-12- 2 years

3rd Grade Teacher- 2 years


Dawn Mellott​

Act 89 Mathematics Specialist

Educational Background:

BA from St. Francis University in Mathematics, Minor in Physics

BS from Indiana University of Pennsylvania Secondary Mathematics Education

Additional Certificate in General Science 7-12

Experience:

Instructor for the IU8 for 25 years

18 years of Alternative Education and 8th year in the Act 89 Programs

Favorite Quote:The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow

Emily Deemer

School Counselor

Educational Background:

Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Penn State

Bachelor degree from Dickinson College

Experience:

School Counselor for the IU8 since 2008

Favorite Quote:Believe you can and you are halfway there”  – Teddy Roosevelt

Roberta Woomer

Reading and Math Support Teacher and Librarian Support Teacher

Educational Background:

B.S in Elementary and Special Education, Lock Haven University

Experience:

Special Education Teacher, 36 years

SCI Huntingdon Prison Adult Education Instructor

Prison Ministry Volunteer Rockview and Benner State Prisons

Favorite Bible Verse: “Let all you do be done love.” 1 Corinthian 16:14 

Testimonial:

Our vision and purpose in life should be to love one another as God loves us. God puts us where He wants us in our lives, and this has been a blessing to have the opportunity to make a difference at St. Matthew School. I learn something new during each encounter with the students. It has been a Win-Win situation each and every day.

Steven Stoner

Educational Enrichment Instructor

Educational Background:

M.Ed. in Curriculum and Supervision, University of Pittsburgh

B.S. in Special Education and Elementary Education, Kutztown University

Experience:

Sixth Grade Teacher, Tyrone Area School District

Study Skills and Support, Grier School

Third Grade Gifted Teacher, Altoona Area School District

Academic and Life Skills Teacher, Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, Pittsburgh, PA

Favorite Quote: It isn’t hard to be good from time to time in sports. What is tough, is being good every day.”  Willie Mays

Favorite Bible Verse:Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Facility Staff

Ralph Stimer​

Saint Matthew School Janitor

Testimonial:

What I love about Saint Matthew is being part of a team doing what I can to help the school and the students. The joy of being able to observe some of what the children are learning and their achievements throughout the year and the love and smiles they share with me each day are the best parts of my job.  

Favorite Quote:Smile, God loves you!

Mark Dietze

Saint Matthew School and Church Maintenance Supervisor

Testimonial:

We take pride in keeping our school campus clean, safe, and attractive for the students and staff. Having the students greet me in the halls or cafeteria is the best part of the day.