Instructors

The faculty for the St. Thomas Catechetical School is drawn from both the clergy and laity of St. John.

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Hubert Bays

I was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Bethesda, Maryland. I received a B.A. and an M.A. in Religion from Baylor University with a focus in Biblical Studies. I received an M.Ed. from the University of Texas at Austin in Educational Administration. I have spent most of my career  in teaching and educational publishing. Most recently I taught Spanish to middle school and high school students at Meridian School in Round Rock, TX. I am now self employed with my online jewelry business, Viridian Gold.

 
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Mike Brown

With an undergraduate degree in Aeronautical Engineering, I have worked in aviation for over 35 years as a mechanic, engineer, and airline pilot.  I have a Masters degree in Christian Apologetics (philosophy and theology) and served as a Protestant pastor (Evangelical Covenant Church) for six years followed by one year with Christian Resource Ministries (CRM) as a pastor to pastors in the Denver area.  I currently work at the Georgetown airport teaching to fly aspiring airline pilots from China and Taiwan.  I’ve been married to Linda for over 30 years; we have a son and grandson in Colorado.

 
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Rdr Michael Coleman

Reader Michael has been an Orthodox Christian for 25 years and has taught various classroom levels throughout that time. From Church School (Junior High through College Age) to Adult Church Classes to Catechism Classes for all ages, Michael is devoted student of the Scriptures and the Holy Fathers.

 
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Rdr Baker GAlloway

I began studying iconography in 2009, and am currently a Certificate degree candidate enrolled in the Icon Painting Programme at The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts (U.K.), living in North Austin with my wife Rebekah and our children. I have a degree in Radio, TV and Film from the University of Texas at Austin; and I have worked at a church architecture firm for over ten years. I am also a tonsured Reader at our parish of St. John.

 
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Rebekah Galloway

My days are currently filled listening and learning as I work towards a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health at Seminary of the Southwest.  I also count serving as a catechist with the 3-6 year old children among my many blessings and have done so since 2012.  My work as a guide and teacher began in early 2001, and I have taught English at the high school and middle school levels; childbirth and early infant care as a doula and classical ballet and modern dance at a studio in North Texas.  I was received into the Church on my mother’s birthday in November 2006.

 
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Rdr Matt Groh

Matt was born and raised in Maryland. He attended Penn State for his undergraduate education and while there, he converted to Holy Orthodoxy in 1999. He moved to Austin in 2007. He currently teaches science classes at Westwood High School. He is married to Valerie Groh and they have two sons, James and John. Matt is currently the head chanter at St. John the Forerunner Orthodox Church.

 
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Seth Hart

My family and I were received into the Orthodox Church not that long ago – December of 2015 – and learning new, amazing, beautiful things about our Faith continues to be a daily occurrence. It is a wonderful blessing to be united to something that grows larger and more mysterious the longer you look at it. In a past life, I taught high school English, but these days I do computer-lab accessibility training for Texas Workforce Commission.

 
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De Anne Maisano

I graduated from Pepperdine University with a Bachelor of Arts in Education  and after a brief career as a teacher in Los Angeles and Long Beach, CA, I ‘retired’ to be a homeschooling mother for twenty two years (and counting). I have been married to my beloved husband, Dino, for thirty two years and we have been blessed with eight wonderful children, two fantastic sons in law and one completely amazing grandchild – so far.  I was thrilled to be received into the Orthodox church in July of 2016 and am honored to be asked to join the faculty of the St. Thomas Catechetical School.

 
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Michael Ruse

My academic background is rooted in the Classics (Latin and Greek) from Baylor University (BA) and University of Dallas (MA) where I read and translated a variety of texts from ancient Greek city states to medieval literature and Renaissance history. With a minor in philosophy, I’ve studied some of the Pre-Socratic philosophers of Greece and wrote on topics related to Epistemology and Existentialism. For five years, I taught Latin at the secondary level, and currently I work as a behavioral therapist with autistic children. Books on prehistory, psychology, poetry, and languages are some of the things I enjoy reading.

 
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Dr. Chris Speckhard

My first encounter with Holy Orthodoxy was in Russia, while I was conducting dissertation fieldwork.  After completing my doctoral degree, I worked for an NGO in Washington, DC, which allowed me to travel to Russia and learn more about the Faith.  Since then, I have completed the St Stephens program in Orthodox Theology, with a thesis in youth ministry.  I currently teach at Round Rock High School.

 
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Polly Thurston

I was raised Catholic, explored Presbyterianism in college, and then became Orthodox in 2011. I was and am drawn to the beauty, mystery, and liturgy of the Orthodox faith. My educational background is in art and design. I have a bachelors degree from Austin College in Art and a masters degree in Communication Design from Pratt Institute. I work as a User Experience designer at Mighty Citizen. I am also trained as a Catechist for 3-6 year olds in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program. I live in Austin with my husband and son.

 
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Fr. Aidan Wilcoxson

I have been an Orthodox priest since 1999, and I have been assigned to St John’s parish since 2002. Prior to my ordination in Holy Orthodoxy, I served as a United Methodist pastor for twelve years. I have degrees from East Texas State University, Indiana University, Southern Methodist University, and a certificate from the Antiochian House of Studies. I have been married for 40 years to Cynthia, and we have two children, a daughter-in-law, and a granddaughter.

 
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Fr. Dn. Andrew Wilson

I am humbled and blessed to serve as a Deacon at St. John the Forerunner Orthodox Church. I have done so since my ordination to the Holy Diaconate in 2013. In addition to serving the parish, I am also an Orthodox hymnographer.  I spend my days as the Deputy Director of Systems Improvement for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. I currently reside in Leander, Texas with my wife, Shamassy Xenia, and our two children, Isaac and Genevieve.  I look forward to seeing you in class, and, until then, I ask for your prayers.