Asya Sigelman, Ph.D
Dr. Sigelman is a founder of the school as well as a teacher of Latin and Art History.
An Associate Professor of Ancient Greek at Bryn Mawr College, Dr. Sigelman conducts scholarly research on the poetry and literature of Classical Antiquity and regularly teaches both undergraduate courses and graduate seminars on the language, literature, culture, religion, and philosophy of ancient Greece and Rome. Her book, Pindar’s Poetics of Immortality, was recently published with Cambridge University Press. Throughout her teaching, Dr. Sigelman encourages her students to explore not only the beauty of the language and literature of the ancient world but also their relevance as the origins of Western culture, politics, art, and philosophy. Much of her work has involved connecting with students with no prior background in classics.
Prior to Bryn Mawr, Dr. Sigelman served as adjunct faculty at Tufts University and as a Teaching Fellow at Brown University. In the course of her academic career, Dr. Sigelman has also accrued experience in primary and secondary education. She has taught Ancient Greek at the Wheeler School, an elite independent school in Providence, RI as well as elementary school classes in Ancient History and English literature at the Shaloh House Jewish Day School in Brighton, MA and at the Torah Academy of Brookline, MA.
Dr. Sigelman holds a Ph.D. in Classical Studies from Brown University and a BA summa cum laude in Ancient Greek & Latin, with minors in Music and in German, from Boston University.
Sasha Fradkin, Ph.D
Dr. Fradkin has loved math from an early age, and seeks to share that love of math with others. She earned both her BS and PhD in Mathematics from Princeton University and thereafter spent five years working as a professional mathematician. For the three years prior to joining the Classical Academy, Dr. Fradkin taught enrichment math at the Golden Key Russian School where she introduced children of ages 4-10 to mathematical gems beyond their school curricula. Dr. Fradkin writes a blog titled Musings of a Mathematical Mom about her various mathematical adventures with kids. Most recently, Dr. Fradkin has co-authored “Funville Adventures”, a math-inspired children's fantasy adventure that introduces kids to the concept of mathematical functions, recently published by Natural Math.
Mrs. Kaplan earned her BA in English and History from the University of Pennsylvania and her JD from Boston University. After graduation from law school, she spent several years practicing corporate law at Reed Smith in Philadelphia and mergers and acquisitions at Skadden Arps in Delaware. Since then, Mrs. Kaplan has devoted the last dozen years to raising her children. In addition to spending time with her family, Mrs. Kaplan enjoys skiing, jogging, and gardening.
After earning his BA in Theological Studies from Eastern University, Mr. Chilbert and his wife taught for two years in Arizona at the Trivium Preparatory Academy, a Great Hearts Classical School. During his time there, he taught Ancient History, Medieval History, and Literature and Composition to Junior High students. He also helped in the school jazz band and founded and coached the Trivium Ultimate Frisbee Club. Mr. Chilbert has strong affections for the city of Oxford, where he studied Early Church History and Theology. He enjoys discussing good literature and poetry with his friends and his students.
Ms. Bashore loves sharing her passion for knowledge and asking questions in order to seek truth with children. Prior to joining the Classical Academy, she spent four years in youth and college ministry where she regularly spoke before audiences of more than 250. In addition, Ms. Bashore accrued experience as a teaching assistant at Eastern University and in more than five years spent tutoring children with autism, Down’s Syndrome, and other special needs. She took her B.A. in Biblical Studies with a concentration in Hebrew from Eastern University, including a six-month stint at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel where she focused on Hebrew and the Tanakh (Old Testament). At the Classical Academy, Ms. Bashore sees her goal as shaping the classroom into a curious, nurturing, purposeful, engaging and collaborative environment.
Mr. Darer loves learning about the natural world through direct experience and enjoys sharing those experiences with others. Mr. Darer has worked as an apprentice on organic farms, as a cook in industrial kitchens, and as a research technician in environmental science laboratories. As a member of the Outdoor Classroom at Oberlin College, Mr. Darer planned, organized, and co-led bi-weekly environmental education classes to second grade students at Eastwood Elementary. In Philadelphia, Mr. Darer has assisted with weekly lessons on sustainable agriculture and healthy cooking for elementary school students as a volunteer with Food Moxie. With a B.A. from Oberlin College in Chemistry (high honors) and Environmental Science, and years as a research technician at Scripps Institute of Oceanography and Stroud Water Research Center, Mr. Darer brings a strong natural science background to his hands-on lessons at the Classical Academy. When not teaching, he can be found in Germantown tending his beehives or playing blues keyboard on the front porch.
Friday is the school’s very own labradoodle. A certified therapy dog, Friday was trained at a nationally-recognized academy in Indiana that specializes in training dogs as service animals (including all therapy dogs for Ronald McDonald Houses nationally) and for law enforcement K-9 units. Friday can often be found in the hallways cuddling with the students (he’s hypoallergenic) during recess and joining them for games on the playground.
Mrs. Jaskot joined the Classical Academy from the Synapse School in San Francisco, where she served as a Middle School Math and Language Arts teacher. Prior to teaching at the Synapse School, she taught fourth and fifth grade at Greens Farms Academy in Connecticut. Mrs. Jaskot graduated from Connecticut College with a BA in History and French and a concentration in Education. While at Connecticut College, she worked with students of all grade levels ranging from Kindergarten to High School. She has taught a variety of age groups in both the United States and France.
Rita Shpilman biography TBD.
Mrs. Ter-Saakov grew up in a family of mathematicians in Voronezh, Russia, and was exposed to math from a very early age. She has always envisioned math as a vastly broad field, large areas of which even a young mind could explore when guided by an experienced hand. Mrs. Ter-Saakov spent her high school years in Moscow in a specialized boarding school for gifted children with a focus on Physics and Mathematics. There she was blessed to meet many teachers passionate about sharing the beauty of mathematics with young students. She then continued studying mathematics at Moscow State University where she received her BA degree.
When raising her own three kids, Mrs. Ter-Saakov became interested in early childhood education. She spent a few years working in a Montessori classroom. Currently, Mrs. Ter-Saakov also runs a math club at Voorhees Middle School, and small home groups of “recreational mathematics.” In recent years, she has been participating in interactive math experiences with Moscow’s popular teacher and author of books on mathematics, Jane Kats.
Ms. Bullick earned her BA in Creative Writing and French from Lycoming College. After graduation, she moved to Paris for three years, where she worked as an au pair for two young French children, attended the Ecole du Breuil, and performed spoken-word poetry with artistic collaborations such as Paris Lit Up. Since moving back to the United States, she has worked as a Gym and Music teacher at Kinder Works, spent a summer working on an organic farm, and earned her 500-hour yoga teaching certificate. Following her love of teaching, she is in the process of obtaining her Masters of Science in Education from Gwynedd Mercy University. She enjoys the ever-evolving dynamic of the classroom and its demand for continuous growth, as well as the empathy, receptivity, and innovation that teaching requires. Her authenticity and enthusiasm engages students, helping them to cultivate their own passion for learning and personal expression.
Mme. d’Hervé is thrilled to share French language and culture with students and teaching has been her passion throughout her career. Having received a BS with honors in both sciences and mathematics, she earned an MA with honors in Elementary Education as well as elementary school teaching certification in her native France. She began her teaching career as a specialized aid teacher and then head of a school for children with disabilities. She later taught both first and second grade in a small village in the north of France for 5 years. When she moved to the United States with her husband and two children in 2004, she began teaching Kindergarten at the French International School of Philadelphia in February 2005. Subsequently, she taught French at Baldwin school for 6 years for Pre-K through 9th grade. Mme. d’Hervé is excited to be taking part in the adventure of The Classical Academy!
Mr. Gormley is excited to share his fascination with the Ancient World with his students. When he is not spending time with his wonderful family, Mr. Gormley enjoys teaching college students at nearby Villanova University, hosting discussion groups at his home, and listening to Chopin.
Having started his career with studies at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, Mr. McCormick, found that the commercial art field was not the desired direction. After 1.5 years at AIP he was accepted at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) and continued with classical art studies to completion of a four year certificate program. In the following years, Mr. McCormick received several portrait commissions and many still life and landscape works, subsequently displayed in individual and group shows. Many of these are now in private and corporate collections.
Drawn towards art instruction, Mr. McCormick had the opportunity to teach at the Delaware County Community College arose. After two years there, Mr. McCormick followed his special interest to teach in the home-school community while simultaneously working with the American Academy, then in Wayne, PA.
Mr. McCormick has now been teaching art for twenty eight years. His training and approach to the study of fine arts is strongly rooted in a classical style with a bold conviction to gain a good foundation in drawing and color. He strives to equip his students to expand their acquired skills in the direction of their personal interest. Without this foundation art is often fluff and feelings with little substance. In contrast, Mr. McCormick believes that students well-grounded in a classical art foundation can rise to any challenge the visual realm can afford. Under his instruction, several of Mr. McCormick’s students have received significant art scholarships and awards.
Mrs. Shpilman started her career in the corporate world, serving as a strategy and organization consultant for the Boston Consulting Group and for Vanguard. However, her true passion has always been teaching. Her diverse teaching experiences range from mentoring elementary school students in West Philadelphia public schools to building and running the Golden Key Russian School, a thriving Sunday enrichment program focusing on mathematics, the sciences, and Russian language & literature.
A native of Moscow, Russia, Mrs. Shpilman moved to the US with her family when she was in elementary school. She grew up in the Philadelphia area and went to Central High School. She graduated magna cum laude from the Huntsman Program at the University of Pennsylvania where she earned both a BS in Economics from the Wharton School and a BA in International Studies and French from Penn’s College of Arts and Sciences. Mrs. Shpilman also holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
She resides with her husband, two sons, and two cats in Wayne, PA.
Mrs. Voznaya began her piano studies at the age of 4. In 1993, she completed eight years of study in Tchaikovsky Music School in St.Petersburg under Elena Trofimova. In 1997, Mrs. Voznaya graduated with honors from St.Petersburg Music Pedagogical College N 3. Where she studied under Natalia Khoreva (piano) and Olga Lusina (vocal). While studying there, she taught children (ranging from 3 to 25 years old) in private lessons and at local schools to play the piano as well as singing or vocal, and explained the theory of music. She subsequently worked as an accompanist of the ballet studio and studied at the Herzen State Pedagogical University in the Faculty of Music from 1997-1999, specializing once again in pianoforte. She went on to be admitted to the St. Petersburg State Rimsky- Korsakov Conservatory under the tutelage of Professor Tatiana Novikova and graduated in 2006. She received her Master’s degree in Vocal Studies (Master of Fine Arts in Vocal Studies). While she was studying, she went on concert tours to Germany, Italy, Switzerland and England. She worked with the Mariinsky Theater Choir as a soloist, beginning during the 5th course at the Conservatory and continued with the Choir until 2015. As a member of the Choir, she toured internationally concerts and theatrical performances, including the following countries: United States, Israel, Japan, China, England, Germany, Holland, France and Austria. All opera and performances were sung in the original languages. When she became a mother, Mrs. Voznaya taught music and singing at a private kindergarten and elementary school on a part-time basis until 2018. She was a soloist of a cappella church choir in Cathedral of Saint Catherine until 2018.
Mrs. Butterworth grew up in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she studied music, art and theater. She graduated from the St. Petersburg Music Training College where she focused on violin. As part of her studies, Mrs. Butterworth also learned piano, conducting, ensemble, and led a music class at a local elementary school. Mrs. Butterworth later majored in theater at the St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts. She also studied art with Vycheslav Shraga at the Matisse Club Studio in St. Petersburg. Mrs. Butterworth has close to 20 years of experience in working with children. She has taught music, violin, and guitar at formal music school establishments in the Main Line area, including the Nelly Berman School of Music in Haverford.
Ms. O’Donoghue is an educator and artist originally from Prince George’s County, Maryland. She received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 2009 and her MFA from American University in 2017. Ms. O’Donoghue has taught a diverse array of students in a wide variety of contexts, ranging from preschoolers to incarcerated adults. She served as the lead art instructor at Franklin Montessori School in Washington DC from 2013 until 2015, where she continued to work part time as a classroom assistant teacher while attending graduate school. During the 2017-2018 academic year, she taught studio art at American University and served as an art instructor for both elementary and middle school students in the Montgomery County public school system. She has also worked as a behavior therapist for special needs children (grades K-6) and as an art teacher for Hope House DC, a program that connects incarcerated fathers with their children through art programming. Ms. O’Donoghue has participated in numerous artist residency programs, both national and international, and has exhibited her work in Asheville (NC), Berlin (DE), Brooklyn (NY), Buenos Aires (AR), Gyeonggi-do (SKR), Mexico City (MX), New York City (NY), Phoenix (AZ), Richmond (VA), Sao Paulo (BR), Seattle (WA), Tucson (AZ) and Washington DC. Ms. O’Donoghue sets an example to her students by continuing to be an active scholar of art by instilling a genuine enthusiasm and curiosity she brings to the classroom.
Ms. Gutman was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, where she lived before relocating to Philadelphia two years ago. In Israel, Ms. Gutman gained experience in a variety of educational positions, teaching literature in middle school and high school, developing educational programs, working as a pedagogical advisor for NGO's, and as a lecturer and workshop instructor for gender education, working with both faculty and students. Ms. Gutman graduated from Tel Aviv University, with a B.A in Hebrew & General Literature and Women & Gender Studies and holds a teaching certificate in Hebrew Literature from Beit Berl College. She has been teaching Hebrew at the Classical Academy since spring 2016, and seeks to inspire her students to love the Hebrew language and Hebrew and Israeli culture.
Dr. Nagelberg believes that science is for you—whether you are an artist, a NASA engineer, or a sixth grader! Dr. Nagelberg earned her BS from Temple University and her PhD from New York University, and most recently conducted postdoctoral research at Stanford University. Where do the cells that make organs come from? How do they know where to go? These are some of the questions she has focused on in her developmental biology research. Along the way, she has sought out opportunities to share science, teaching students from the elementary to the university level. Dr. Nagelberg has recently moved back to her native city of Philadelphia, and is excited to be focusing on science communication.
Mr. Soto earned a BS in Health and Physical Education from West Chester University. Most recently Mr. Soto worked as a coordinator and coach for Soccer Shots Chester County, PA and Club Sports Coordinator and Club soccer coach at Widener University. Prior to those positions, Mr. Soto was a health and physical education teacher and coach at Friends’ Central School for 22 years. He coached the boy’s and girl’s cross country teams, the wrestling team, and track and field team to league titles. Even though he spent most of his career teaching and coaching at the middle and high school levels, Mr. Soto’s first assignment was at Lansdowne Friends School K-6. Teaching has a special place in his heart. A passion to be creative and think outside the box, Mr. Soto enjoys learning about each individual. He takes their passions and uses them to motivate them further while taking their natural love of movement and empower them to be successful, productive citizens while making healthy choices. As a father of three boys Mr. Soto stays busy supporting them in their education and extracurricular activities.
Soon after his graduation from Haverford College (B.A., English) in 1984, Mr. Walter worked as a writing instructor at Delaware County Community College for two years. He then taught elementary and high school students at the American Academy in grammar and literature as well as American and English history for eight years. After leaving American Academy, Mr. Walter began working full time as director at his own classical home school academy, enrolling up to a hundred students and organizing classes in French, classical languages, classical oil painting, history and literature. Mr. Walter has written and edited seventeen books on literature (self-published) to use as curriculum for his students and has recently finished a 400-page novel for young adults, for which he is now seeking an outside publisher. In addition to reading classical literature, Mr. Walter enjoys calligraphy, reading Koine Greek, playing cello, and telling and writing stories for children; he enjoys communicating his academic interests to the children he teaches.
Mrs. Campbell is excited to join the faculty at Main Line Classical Academy and to bring her training in the Arts to the MLCA Aftercare program. She earned her MA in the Elementary Education, K-6 Certification program from Rosemont College.
Originally from Quebec, Canada where art and music are as important as good food and company, she learned French at the age of five. Learning a new language became a starting point for her teaching philosophy and it shaped her in the field of Design and the Arts. She earned her B.F.A in Theatre with a minor in Music from The University of the Arts, Philadelphia and a MS in Interior Design from Drexel University.
Mrs. Campbell worked for a Classical Architecture Firm where she learned the "traditions" of classical drawing. She has been teaching in the arts for over 20 years including design, ballet, theatre and English Language Arts. Her favorite teaching moments are when students are inspired and engaged when they see something well-made and beautiful and are able to not only imitate, but synthesize what they have seen.
Dr. Feeley has a BA in Latin from Oberlin College, an MA in Ancient Judaism from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and a PhD in Ancient History from the University of Pennsylvania. His doctoral dissertation was on the political philosophy of the Roman-Jewish historian Flavius Josephus. He has taught middle and high school Latin at the Greenwich Country Day School in Greenwich, CT, and high school Latin and Jewish studies at the Solomon Schechter School in White Plains, NY. He has also taught writing and Greek and Roman history to undergraduates at Penn. He lives in Bala Cynwyd and enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons, reading, and hiking.
Ms. Harper is an artist/ photographer. She has taught at Swarthmore College, The International Center for Photography, and Haverford College. In 2017 she was invited to work with children as an Artist in Residence at Merion Elementary School in Merion, PA, where she has also taught art history as a volunteer for 3 years. Her two books of portraiture, Interior Exposure (Damiani 2008) and The Home Stage (Damiani 2014) were both first place prizewinners in the International Photography Awards. The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and The National Portrait Gallery in London are independently exhibiting her work as some of the best portraiture of our time. Ms. Harper received her BA in the History of Art from Bryn Mawr College and her MFA in Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Mr. Ruelens is a native of Antwerp, Belgium. He started studying the organ when as a small child and later added piano. After 12 years at the Royal Academy for Music in Belgium, he enrolled at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp. He later received a full scholarship to study in the United States at Kutztown University where he earned his BA in Music. He also earned a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Temple University.
Mr. Ruelens started teaching private music lessons when he was 16 years old. At Temple University, he worked as a graduate Teaching Assistant where his responsibilities included teaching private students, assisting in group piano classes, offering a weekly workshop piano lab, and lecturing on behalf of absent professors. He also has extensive experience leading church choirs, including most recently as Music Director at Nativity Lutheran Church in Reading, PA. Mr. Ruelens is also an active accompanist and performing musician.
Mrs. Souder grew up in West Berlin and graduated from Potsdam University (Germany) with a Master’s degree in Education for grades K - 10 in Music, French, and Physical Education. As a student, she played classical piano and performed in small ensembles, solo or as an accompanist for choirs and soloists, and was also an alto saxophonist in a Berlin jazz band. She taught private piano lessons to children, as well as music classes in Berlin preschools. In 2011, Mrs. Souder co-founded PhillyKinder, a weekly after-school German language school for bilingual students. Since then, she and her colleagues have developed and taught curricula for German language and culture, including several musical productions. Mrs. Souder is also certified to teach German as a foreign language, and taught this in several Parisian schools from 2004-2005. From 2006-2009, she was a teacher, advisor, and coach at Friends’ Central Middle School in the subjects of French and Prima Lingua, a Latin-based introduction to foreign languages. Ms. Souder is thrilled to join Main Line Classical Academy, and can’t wait to share her passions with her new pupils. Her positive nature, firm teaching structure and broad pedagogical experience with children of all ages will help them build a solid foundation in piano and appreciate its place in the broader spaces of music and culture.