Our Mission, Vision and Values

St. Abraham’s Classical Christian Academy was founded in 2009 in Santa Cruz, California by a few families who had heard of this renewal of the classical education tradition that has been sweeping the country for the last three decades. Excited to provide a Christ-focused, academically-challenging education for their own children, they invited others to join in their efforts to create this new school.

What started with 19 students has now flourished into a student population of 160. The school is enrolling grades Transitional Kindergarten (TK) through 12th grade for the 2019-20 school year. Families whose children attend the school have become a close-knit group. The community is a beautiful picture of participation and unity, as a dozen area churches are represented.

To find out more about St. Abraham’s, please schedule a campus visit which includes a one-on-one meeting with the headmaster. You can contact the school at office@stabrahams.com or 831.239.4657.

 
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Tracy Lee Simmons notes that it was little more than a century ago that the word “classical” did not need to modify the word “education.” Ultimately, all schooling was itself classical. Perhaps we have forgotten this over the last century, and even now it’s difficult to recall the purpose of education as the desire increases for good college applications, high SAT scores, strong transcripts, and glowing college recommendations. So what is it all about anyway? What’s the point of school?

The truth is that education has changed. It has largely become transactional, where schools focus on test scores, job skills, or grades, while sometimes avoiding the subjects of good character and moral integrity altogether. Young people often grow up assuming the only reason they go to school is to get into college, just to get a degree, so they can just get a job, so they just make money, so they can just buy things, things which will hopefully satisfy their desires. But humans were made for more than just getting and spending.

At St. Abraham’s Classical Christian Academy we believe purpose of an education is more than simply getting into college, or getting a job, or making money. All these things are good and have their place. But ultimately, we believe education is about cultivating virtue in the soul of the student, making him or her a better human.

Education is nothing short of the discovery of one’s soul and the fulfillment of God’s calling on us as men and women made in His image.

This is what separates us from other TK-12 schools. We want to answer the most essential questions of life: What does it mean to be human? Why should we be good? How can we know and love God? What is a just society? Can we judge when something is beautiful or not? What does a good life look like? We want students to love what is lovely and hate what is hateful, to have the proper time to contemplate and reflect on their own lives, and to judge rightly the often unexamined assumptions of popular culture.

What if a man gain the whole world, Jesus asks, yet lose his soul? Education is nothing short of the discovery of one’s soul and the fulfillment of God’s calling on us as men and women made in His image. It involves learning not merely a skill here or there, but learning in order to act in accordance with the purposes for which we were made. The ancients knew that it was not things that make men happy, but virtue, that is, doing what is Good, knowing what is True, and loving what is Beautiful. Similarly, it is not “skills” that make the best employees. Rather, it is good humans who make good employees. This is what education traditionally sought to produce.

In light of this, imagine a place where the purpose of learning actually supported Christian discipleship, rather than tearing it down. Imagine an instructional framework that integrates knowledge, as well as a curriculum derived from over 2,000 years of the greatest achievements in art, literature, history, math, science, and more. Imagine a place where children are invited to apply their innate sense of wonder and trained to use tools of study that enable them to become lifelong learners and to love what is Good, True, and Beautiful.

Welcome to St. Abraham’s.

Devin O’Donnell, Headmaster


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Our faculty members model joyful learning and count it a privilege to exemplify love for God, His word, and His world. They lovingly instruct our students in the “paideia” of God (Eph. 6:4). They are not simply receptacles of data and facts; they are co-learners and co-laborers in the work of recovering and rebuilding a culture that is once again rooted in the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. Get familiar with our wonderful faculty and staff below.

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Devin O’Donnell
Headmaster

James Mastrianna
Dean of Students, Pre-Algebra, History, Literature, Bible, Discipleship

Colleen Franklin
Assistant to the Headmaster & Curriculum Coordinator

Renee Ollenburger
Receptionist & Registrar

Gwyne Ortiz
Communications Director

Shannon Darton
Bookkeeper

Allison O’Donnell
Development Director

Kat Paradiso
Human Resources

Heather Bentley
Receptionist

Sarah Baker
Kindergarten, Theatre Director, Lower School Music

Jannet Martinez
Kindergarten Aid, Elementary & Upper Girls P.E. & Woodshop

Sybil Betancourt
1st Grade Teacher

Anna Matangelo
2nd Grade Teacher

Christie Reynolds
3rd Grade Teacher

Lori Bryant
4th Grade Teacher

Ines Odegaard
5th Grade Teacher, 6th Grade Math

Nate Hennes
6th Grade Teacher, 5th Grade Literature

Rachel Sebourn
7th Grade Homeroom, 8th-10th Latin, 7th & 10th Grade Humanities

Susie McNair
8th Grade Homeroom, Geometry, Humanities, Logic, Writing

Angie Pack
9th Grade Bible & Spanish

Marcus Schwager
9th & 11th Humanities

Nathan Pak
Upper School Algebra I & II, Pre-Calculus

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Brittany Martin
Physical Science, Chemistry, Athletic Director

Brie Schmida
Upper School Art

Rob Patterson
Upper School Choir Director

Veronica Marquez
Jr. Scholars Teacher, 2-Day

Susan Bentley
Jr. Scholars Teacher, 3-Day

Mia Clark
Jr. Scholars Aid

Thank you for your interest in teaching opportunities at St. Abraham’s Classical Christian Academy.

Established in 2009, St. Abraham’s is a TK-12 discipleship-focused Christian school that partners with parents in the education of children through the time-tested classical model. We see education not for job training but for the cultivation of virtue and piety, wisdom and eloquence. We believe classical learning and Christian discipleship is the best kind of preparation for any future, whether that means furthering one’s higher education in college or entering directly into the job market.

Education is not a subject, nor does it deal in subjects. It is instead a transfer of a way of life.
— G. K. Chesterton

Academic development is part of the Christian life, fulfilling the call to “love God with all your mind” (Luke 10:27) and to be a community of learners who seeks to love and know the Triune God, His Word, and His world. At a classical Christian school, learning is a way of life, part of being “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). Students are not the only ones who learn—parents, teachers, administrators, board members—all are members of that community of learners, all on a journey of “growing in wisdom and stature” (Luke 2:52).

We seek faculty who can model joyful learning, exemplify love for God, His word, His world, and who lovingly instruct children in the “paideia” of God (Eph. 6:4). Our faculty are not receptacles of data, they are co-learners and co-laborers in rebuilding a culture rooted in the Good, the True, and the Beautiful.

Open Positions

Latin teacher
Upper school

Humanities
Upper school

Spanish teacher
Upper school

Boys P.E. teacher
Upper school

Art teacher
Grammar school (1st-6th)

Girls Volleyball coach
Upper school

If you are interested in teaching here, please email your resume, or call the office for more information at 831-239-4657.