Faculty and Staff

Academic Team Leaders

Dr. Christine McLean

Head of School

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It has been my joy to lead the Academy in the development of its mission, vision, values, Classical curriculum, parent education, student recruitment, and donor partnerships. I have also spearheaded fundraising efforts on behalf of the Board of Directors. I have networked with Classical education experts nationally and regionally; visited various high-performing Classical schools across the nation to ascertain promising practices; and engaged and collaborated with the local community to support the Academy as the first and only Classical Christian school to serve Christians in the city of San Francisco.

Mrs. Angelia Chung

Academic Coordinator, Math Tutor

I grew up in San Francisco and received a B.A. in Social Welfare from U.C. Berkeley. After a short stint in the dot com boom as a stockbroker, I had the privilege of my first teaching position to work with my former teachers at West Portal Lutheran. The following year, I moved to Shanghai, China to help establish a private bilingual school, the SMIC Private School.

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Grammar School Academic Team

Mrs. Beatriz Moraza

Pre-Kindergarten/Kindergarten Teacher

I have lived in the Bay Area since 2010. I have an Associate degree in Nursing, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ministry from Palm Beach Atlantic University. I homeschooled my boys for four years, using Classical and Christian curricula.

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Mrs. Lidia Mora

1st Grade Teacher

I was born and raised in Barcelona. God instilled in me a deep love for children from a very young age. After entering middle school, I often visited my elementary school every time I had an afternoon off to help the kindergarten teacher. Teaching became my passion at the age of 16 and since then, all my working experience has involved children and education, including serving in the children’s ministry at church for over 15 years now.

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Mrs. Mary Ling

2nd Grade Team-Teacher & Reading Specialist

My teaching career spanned three decades. It sounds like a long time, but time flies when one is having fun! During my years of teaching at both Sutro Elementary School and Gordon J. Lau Elementary School, I was fortunate enough to attend yearly summer institutes and numerous in-service trainings in all areas of discipline. These ongoing trainings helped to shape my teaching style, but it was God who directed my every step.

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Mrs. Stephanie Hamblen

2nd Grade Team-Teacher

Originally from the small town of Maryville, Tennessee, I moved to San Francisco as a newlywed in 2016. Before the move out west, I attended the University of Tennessee where I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, a Master of Science degree in Education, and an Education Specialist degree in Education Technology.

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Mrs. Hannah Walker

4th Grade & Latin Teacher

I was born in London, UK and although I moved to San Francisco over 13 years ago, my British accent remains strong! At the age of five, I knew I wanted to be a teacher and graduated from the University of Brighton in 2002 with a B.A in Primary Education (with Qualified Teacher Status), and a subject specialism in Art and Design.

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Enrichment Teachers & Trainers

Mrs. Laurel Porter

Youth Chorus Director

I was raised in Minnesota and have a passion for making music with the people around me. While I enjoy performing on the opera stage and in the concert hall, my deepest passion is to help God’s greater church sing his praise. I love exploring the wide range of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs that have been composed for God’s congregations over the centuries.

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Mr. John Elchico

Martial Arts Trainer

In 1985, I moved to the U.S. as a pre-Med student. Two years later, my passion for martial arts took over and I began training in Tae Kwon Do, a Korean martial art. I loved using various techniques to create both defensive and offensive moves and I enjoyed the challenge of physical endurance. My training helped me set goals as well as develop self confidence and self control. In 1992, I received my black belt.

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Ms. Elise Johnson

Ballet & Dance Instructor

I’m so honored to help Donum Dei not only dream, but also become a reality! I moved to San Francisco almost four years ago with the conviction that God was going to fill my life with color—a purpose- and identity-filled life that I’m still watching transpire and unfold. After graduating college, I began learning through community that God could not be limited to any type of box. He exists beyond any type of wall that has ever been put up. I’ve spent the past four years dancing professionally, teaching ballet, leading community groups, volunteering on my church’s prayer team, and volunteering with Because Justice Matters. 

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Bridge at Donum Dei 

Mrs. Suzette Elchico

Bridge Coordinator & History Instructor

I migrated to San Francisco Bay Area from the Philippines in 1985. I studied Environmental Studies/Urban Planning at San Francisco State University and received a certificate in Paralegal Studies as well. I worked in the legal department of a healthcare company for a number of years, then moved on to work as a Paralegal for a couple dot-com/start-up companies in the late 90s. My last employment was with the State Bar of California soliciting keynote speakers and professors for Continuing Legal Education classes and events for members of the Bar before I became a stay-at-home mom.

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Pastor Glenn Ferrell

Koine Greek I & II Teacher

I was born in a Southern Appalachian coal mining community in Eastern Kentucky. I received a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from Warren Wilson College, and received a Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.

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Mrs. Trisha Mammen

Writing & Rhetoric Teacher

I’ve worked as a network television news producer, media director, book editor, and screenwriter. While earning my master’s degree in professional writing at USC, I began teaching freshman writing courses and continued in that role after completing my degree. Since moving to the Bay Area, I’ve worked in video production and real estate marketing, but my love for writing remains at the core. In 2017, my screenplay for “The Prayer Box” won the Kairos Prize and was made into a feature film the following year. I currently have another script in development.

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Mrs. Susanna Rice

Bridge Literature, Poetry, & Rhetoric I Teacher

I live in Marin with my husband, Phil. Phil and I attend Tiburon Baptist Church. I have been in the education field in various ways since my college years, starting out in Special Education as a reading specialist. We were transferred to Houston and then Connecticut, returning to Marin in 1994. I continued to raise our children and work in the schools and churches. I led a Moms in Touch group for many years and have been part of a women's Bible study that will celebrate its 40th year this fall.

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Pastor Tom Shaw

Bible Narrative Teacher

I served as the Senior Pastor of The City Church in England for 10 years (during which time the church grew greatly and also planted 9 other congregations) and am now the leader of the Sanctuary Church plant here in San Francisco. I am particularly passionate about story and yearn to see the great stories of the Bible known, told, re-told, imagined, and pondered. After approaching Bible study and teaching mainly through a systematic and topic-based approach, I am excited about the Grand Narrative of the Bible being far more widely understood. I am hopeful that this Story will replace the other dominating stories that we have grown up hearing everywhere else as “real.” Our lives make sense when we see them as part of an ancient and wonderful ongoing great story. This written account then becomes alive through the Spirit and community. 

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Administration and Staff

Mrs. Leah Naylor

Recruitment & Hospitality Coordinator

I grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where I began my career working at some of the finest hotels in Cambridge and Boston. I worked with the Executive Management team in Hotel Administration and then transitioned into learning more about Catering and Event Management. I eventually began working in Business Administration, Human Resources, and then Recruiting in the consulting industry. During my time as a recruiter in the consulting industry, I sought, assessed, and evaluated talent from the top-tier universities and graduate school programs in the U.S. I also continued planning and executing large scale training events and activities. 

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Mrs. Josie Shaw

Volunteer Staff & Field Trip Coordinator

I was raised on the south coast of England by two primary school teacher parents who were passionate about nature, history, and the arts. I grew up building dens in the woods, spotting birds, making sandcastles on the beach, and generally getting very dirty! I studied English Literature and Religious Studies at the University of Kent in Canterbury, where I met my husband, Tom, and we served the local church by leading the growing college ministry. We married after University and Tom took over leading the thriving church

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Ms. Elaine Nguyen

Marketing & Communications Director

As a native San Franciscan who grew up outside of the church, I have a heart for this city and to see it thrive in God’s glory. I serve faithfully at my church as a deacon and across various ministries. Presently, I lead the Care Ministry and co-lead the Women’s Ministry. For me as a mother, serving also means doing it together with my daughter. She and I have served in the local community within the Tenderloin and traveled for short-term missions to orphanages in Romania, and most recently are beginning our journey to support local church families caring for foster children.

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Mrs. Brittany Yeager

Editor & Communications Coordinator

Although I’m a Texan at heart, our family spent nearly a decade calling New England home. During our time there, my husband earned his Master of Divinity degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and we welcomed our daughter and served together in churches and university ministries. Our family moved to San Francisco in August 2019 when my husband accepted the role of Associate Rector at Eucharist Church.

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Jon and Miranda Cheng

Academy Photographers & Yearbook Coordinators

Originally from Toronto, Canada, we were called to San Francisco in 2012 for work and to start a family. We have been married for 8 years, after dating for 15, and have 3 lovely children and 1 fur baby. Jonathan graduated from the Business Technology program at Ryerson University and has worked at several tech startups. He currently is a Product Manager at Change.org. Miranda has a Bachelor of Design Honors from York University and Sheridan College and has 12+ years of design experience. She now works as an Art Director in the beauty industry.

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360 9th Avenue

San Francisco, California 94118

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