Women teaching women.

All of our Roman Catholic faculty take an annual, public Oath of Fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

To view this oath click here.

Christina Carlyle

Originally from Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey, Christina graduated from Christendom College in 2013. After college she studied psychology and nursing for a time. Her career has taken her from teaching kindergarten to insurance to tutoring, counseling, school administration, and health management.

In 2017, Christina moved to Madrid, Spain for a year and taught English to high school and college students.

For the past 2 years she was living in Phoenix, Arizona where she worked as a Cryotherapist in a health and wellness spa facility.  and opened up an organic smoothie business with her husband.

Along with the recent move back to Front Royal, Christina welcomed her first baby in April of 2023.

Jen Davidson

Jennifer was raised in the foothills of Colorado and joined the Marine corps at the age of 18. She served on active duty as a helicopter mechanic, deploying to Iraq in 2006, and returning to serve a tour as a Marine Corps Drill Instructor from 2008-2011. She deployed again with the USNS Mercy Hospital ship for a humanitarian deployment to Southeast Asia in 2012 where she felt a strong call to change careers. After dropping into the reserves in 2013 to raise children and study Midwifery, she activated for several years to work with Wounded Warrior Battalion until the completion of her certification in 2020.

Jennifer studied psychology at George Mason University and received her Midwifery training through the Midwives College of Utah and Birthwise Midwifery School. For several years, she apprenticed with a home birth Midwife in North Carolina, before moving to Virginia to work with a busy birthing

center. She completed the PEP process through the North American Registry of Midwives and is licensed as a Midwife through the Virginia Board of Medicine.

Jennifer now lives in Middletown with her husband and 3 children as a local community Midwife. In her “free” time, Jennifer and her family attempt novice homesteading and attempt to travel whenever possible.

Jaime Gorman

A girl from the north country, Jaime originally hails from Detroit, Michigan. She graduated with honors in Literature from Christendom College and went on to earn her MA from the University of Dallas. She focused heavily on the Romantic and Victorian eras, both their literature and philosophy, especially in how these can help us understand and combat the crises present in modern aesthetics. She also has a special love for Shakespeare, Waugh, Faulkner, Tolkien, and T. S. Eliot.

Jaime has over 10 years of experience in several aspects of education. This includes classroom and online teaching, as well as curriculum development. A sporadic free-lance writer, she has been published several times, including by the American Life League and the grassroots Soul Gardening Journal. In addition, her academic writings have had various impacts in her chosen field. She has also been semi-officially studying herbalism for over two years, after seeing the power of herbs to heal her children in acute medical situations.

Jaime is now happy to call the Shenandoah Valley home. She lives with her husband and four boisterous children, who are slowly adjusting to town life after nearly a decade on a farm. In her elusive freetime, Jaime enjoys ballet dancing, playing guitar, training and riding Arabian horses, breeding milk goats, and reading, especially British murder mysteries.

Anna Hatke

Anna Maria Hatke grew up in the Napa Valley in California and holds a history degree from Christendom College. She has spent the past ten years homeschooling her five daughters, dabbling in homesteading, and traveling between her two homes in rural Virginia and Northern Italy.  Between the Shenandoah Valley and the Lunigiana region of Tuscany, she has developed a passion for the natural world and a passion for art.  She has furthered this passion through her studies of nature journaling, watercoloring, natural history, art history, local plant life, permaculture and conservation work. She has taught for TASIS, The American School in Switzerland, and for the past four years she has co-run and taught classes with Shenandoah Skylark Homeschool Cooperative. She has furthered her own education in the arts and sciences through multiple conferences, classes, and immersions with the Charlotte Mason Institute of Washington DC, The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the Paris Apothecary in Paris, VA. 

Rosie Hill

After abandoning her childhood dream of becoming a professional soccer player, Rosie focused on music when she realized it was a legitimate career option. She left her home state of Virginia, driving through seemingly endless stretches of Midwestern farmland, until she reached her new home on the shores of Lake Michigan at Northwestern University. There she received a degree in music education, married her high school sweetheart, and promptly bid adieu to Chicago winters and returned to Virginia.

Rosie taught choir, guitar, and piano at public schools in Williamsburg and Fairfax County, and spent some brief time as a professional church musician before taking early retirement with her growing brood of rambunctious children. Eventually the garden, she, and her husband outgrew the boundaries of their suburban yard, so in 2015 they moved to Front Royal and continue expanding their garden every year, and their family continues to grow as well.

Now out of retirement, Rosie directs the choir at St. Edith Stein and the Latin Mass Children’s Choir at St. John the Baptist. She spends her copious free time growing food for her family and friends, and growing cut flowers on their farm, Peregrine Hills Farm.

Delane Karalow

Delane was born and raised in Virginia, where she has resided most of her life. She was educated in the public-school systems, earning her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in Art History from Virginia Commonwealth University. Although raised as a protestant, she was led to convert to the Roman Catholic Church after hearing a graduate lecture on Raphael’s Disputa. After teaching at several colleges and universities, she settled in Lynchburg, Virginia where she was Associate Professor of Art History and was Chair of the Art Department at the University of Lynchburg. Upon retiring, she moved to Front Royal to be part of the growing Catholic community and to be closer to her sons.

During her career in academia, she traveled abroad with students to Italy, Turkey, and Greece, to study Classical influences in Art and Architecture, and the great patrimony of Roman Catholic Art and Architecture. Her special interest is in the Italian Renaissance, Mannerist, and Baroque periods. In addition to reading, she enjoys visiting museums, painting icons, and working on ways to inspire in others a lifelong love of learning and an appreciation of Art and Architecture, focusing on how to instill that love through curriculum design and engaging lectures.

Sarah Mason

Sarah graduated with a B.A. in history from Christendom College and has taught history, language arts, SAT prep, science and math at the middle and high school level since 2007. In 2017, Sarah earned her AMI Montessori 12-18 diploma to teach ages 12-18. She helped to found the adolescent program at John XXIII Montessori in 2015 and later served as their Lead Adolescent Guide from 2020 to 2023. Sarah joined St. Edith Stein School in 2023; she teaches consumer math, as well as middle school math, history, science and religion. She is also a Confirmation catechist at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

Emily Minick

Emily teaches both Economics to high school students and American Federal Government to college students. Prior to entering teaching, she worked on Capitol Hill for Members of Congress in both Chambers working on issues ranging from labor policy, foreign affairs, tax policy and the federal budget. She has also worked at numerous political nonprofits in Washington.

She received her B.A. from Christendom College in Political Science and Economics and her M.A. in Government from Johns Hopkins University. She currently lives in West Virginia with her husband and 4 children.

Christine Nussio

Christine has taught, coached, and mentored high school girls for more than ten years as a history teacher and school administrator. She has a M.A. in European History from the Catholic University of America and a B.A. summa cum laude in History from Christendom College.

Christine has taught European History, U.S. History, Philosophy, and Debate at the high school level, as well as coached soccer, Lincoln-Douglas debate, and track and field. Christine lives in Front Royal and is excited to be joining the St. Edith Stein faculty this fall to teach the junior and senior history class.

Cecilia Philbin

Cecilia grew up bilingual with a German mother.  She was homeschooled and received violin and piano lessons from an early age.  She has taken Suzuki violin training for units 1 – 3 and is currently teaching at Mountain View Music Studio in Front Royal.  She is looking forward to working with the students at St. Edith Stein and thinks learning German is a wonderful way of honoring the school’s patron saint.

Peggy Philbin

Peggy grew up in East Germany where she received Professional Training with focus on German. After moving to West Germany she worked as an Office Assistant at one of Germany’s oldest ore mines. Finally being able to do so, she used her free time for extensive travel. When she met her future husband, she moved to the US. She loves living in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and enjoys homeschooling their three children.

Elizabeth Pilon

A native Virginian originally from Northern Virginia, Elizabeth has been a resident of Front Royal for over 30 years. She earned her BA in philosophy from Christendom College where she met her husband. They have 9 children whom Elizabeth spent more than 20 years homeschooling before they attended school. She is happiest when surrounded by her family, and is thrilled to be discovering the joys of being a grandmother. Elizabeth also enjoys watching her children play sports, reading, working on sudokus, crosswords, and other puzzles, and her daily walks while listening to audio classics of literature or faith-based podcasts.

Tara Johnson

Tara E. Johnson studied English, Communications, Acting, and Dance at Elizabethtown College in PA and at Cheltenham University in England. Mrs. Johnson has appeared in a plethora of ballets, musicals, and theatrical performances. In addition, Mrs. Johnson has directed and choreographed full length productions of; Little Red Riding Hood, Alice in Wonderland, Smarty Pants, Shrek, Madagascar, Beauty and the Beast, The Nutcracker (abridged), The One and Only Santa Claus, Grease, The Wizard of Oz: Deleted Scenes, and Footloose. In addition to being an English, Mythology, Writing, Theatre, and American Sign Language teacher in public and private schools, Mrs. Johnson is also a professional Voice Over Artist and an Interpreter for the Deaf. She has travelled the world, is a returned U.S. Peace Corps volunteer, and loves reading suspense/action/mystery novels, camping at Claytor Lake, coffee, her two teenage daughters, four dogs, and two horses (her awesome husband should probably get a “shout-out” as well). Tara is grateful for her many blessings, including being a part of St. Edith Stein’s faculty!

Dian Schmiedicke


Dian Schmiedicke grew up in the coastal community of Santa Cruz, California, the eldest daughter of Bohemian and German immigrant parents. Raised as an evangelical Christian, she discovered and entered the Catholic Church while attending college in Asheville, North Carolina in 1995.

Dian discovered Montessori and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd as a new mother searching for truth and beauty in parenting and began to study. She holds a B.A. in Biology and Chemistry from Warren Wilson College, an Association Montessori Internationale Primary Diploma from The Washington Montessori Institute, and a Masters Degree in Education from Loyola University. Dian also holds Levels I, II and III Certifications from The Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

In 2012, Dian founded Divinum Auxilium Academy, a flourishing Montessori to Classical elementary farm school in Front Royal. In 2018, she established an all girls junior high and high school, St. Edith Stein School for Girls, of which she is Headmistress, and in 2022, co-founded along with Joel Trumbo, its brother school, St. Joseph the Just School for Boys.

Dian lives with her husband and their four children in Linden, VA with their horses, pigs, sheep, chickens, dogs, cats, and bees. She enjoys raising and growing food and tinkering in her laboratory kitchen. Dian is passionate about pairing her love of nature with athletics. She has competed in a variety of equestrian sports as well as swimming, mountain biking, triathlon, CrossFit and adventure racing. For fun she enjoys reading, hiking, fox hunting, running, scuba diving, skiing, rock climbing and backpacking with her family.

Susan Schwartz

Susan was raised in Arizona where she trained in Classical Ballet. After her own professional career, she taught ballet for nearly three decades and many of her students have gone off to have professional careers of their own. She earned her BS in Zoology at Arizona State University and has been homeschooling her nine children for the past 17+ years. Through it all, she has choreographed and directed many ballets and theatre productions.

Faith Starnes

Faith joins us as a lifelong Catholic and proud native Texan. Having graduated from the University of Dallas with a major in Theology and concentration in Ethics, she is excited to bring her love of faith and ethics to the Front Royal community. 

Growing up, Faith’s parents instilled a love of athletics in her and her 5 siblings. By the time she graduated high school, she had played tennis, volleyball, basketball, softball, track and cross country. After having played one year of college basketball, Faith realized she was called to focus more on her faith and friendships. She continued her passion for athletics by overseeing the intramural seasons at the University of Dallas throughout her last two years. 

After graduating college, Faith spent the next year as a Seton Teaching Fellow in the Bronx where she helped bring the Catholic faith to students and their families. There she cultivated a deeper passion for sharing the faith while also realizing a fervor to continue teaching. 

She enjoys working out, traveling, cooking, crocheting baby blankets for her friends, and painting. She is very excited to begin her new journey in Front Royal!

Anita Torzala

Anita was born and raised in Arizona where the inspiration of her homeschooling mother instilled in her a life-long love of learning which has served her throughout her continued education as well as her many creative endeavors.

In addition to traditional academic courses, Anita has continued to broaden her knowledge in a wide variety of subjects. She has taken courses in such lost culinary arts as cheese making and fermentation, and is a self-taught knitter and seamstress.

A true renaissance woman, Anita’s professional history reflects her many skills as well as her proven competence and work ethic. She has served in a number of positions, including secretary at a law firm, office manager, administrative assistant with multiple small businesses, farm hand, manager of a farm-to-fork food truck, and woodworking. Her jobs have exercised her talents in such varied fields as grant writing, hospitality, event coordination, accounting, and catering.

Anita lives in Front Royal, Virginia, where she continues to pursue personal interests in art and interior design, reading, cooking, holistic living, organization, and her latest creative endeavor—writing a children’s book.

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