Faculty & Staff Bios
Below is an alphabetical listing of our teachers with information on their backgrounds, qualifications, and more. Please take a look to better acquaint yourself with our faculty and staff.
Gina Caruso 2B Teacher
Mrs. Caruso began teaching in 1989 and has been with Immaculata since 2007. He holds both BA and Masters degrees and has experience teaching up to Grade 6. She really enjoys making learning hands-on and fun!
Karen Clark Grade 8 Science Teacher, Immaculata Parent
Mrs. Clark started her teaching career at Immaculata in 2004, holding a BS in marine science from the University of South Carolina, an MA in biology from Boston University, and a NC teaching license. She loves teaching science to help students explore God's creation and feel empowered to use their scientific knowledge to enact change in the world. Mrs. Clark enjoys her additional role as coach for the Immaculata Girls on the Run team.
Dana Corcoran Principal
Mrs. Corcoran joined Immaculata in 2009, with more than 20 years of experience in the education field. She previously taught both elementary and middle school, started a special needs school, and worked in administration. She is truly passionate about serving every child to the best of his or her ability. Her educational philosophy has always been, “Every child can learn” and she has thus dedicated time, resources, and teacher training toward the goal of making all our diverse learners successful. Mrs. Corcoran has a BS in Elementary Education (minor in English Literature), MS in Special Education Learning/Developmental Disabilities, and a MEd in Educational Leadership. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Education Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in K-12 Leadership.
Jennifer de Lima Middle School Spanish Teacher, Resource Support
Ms. de Lima started teaching in 2003 and has been with Immaculata since 2016. She holds a BA in Spanish language and literature from the University of California in Irvine and K-12 Spanish and ESL certification. She has taught Middle School Spanish in local public and private schools and also worked in non-profit and international business administration. She is from San Diego and is excited to welcome her first grandchild!
Natalie Earnhardt PreK-B Instructional Assistant
Ms. Earnhardt began teaching in Early Education in 2008 and has been with Immaculata since 2014. She holds an Associates Degree and has certification as a PATH Instructor. She is a Chapel Hill native who enjoys nature, riding horses, music, and swimming.
Jamie Fava 4A Teacher
Ms. Fava has been teaching since 2004 and started working at Immaculata in 2014. A California native, she holds a BA in Liberal Studies with a minor in history from Santa Clara University. She is also a member of the NC English Teachers Association and is a coach for the Immaculata Girls on the Run team. Ms. Fava enjoys running, watching sports, and baking/cooking.
Stephanie Frost Art Teacher, Immaculata Parent
Mrs. Frost began her teaching career in 2004 and has been with Immaculata since 2008. She holds a BFA in studio arts from Ohio University and a K-12 art teacher certification from Meredith College. She is from Cincinnati, OH and enjoys genealogy, gardening, and her family. In her spare time, Mrs. Frost also uses her artistic talent to create beautiful rosaries and jewelry.
Debra Hawkins PreK-B Teacher
Mrs. Hawkins began teaching in 1988 and joined Immaculata a year later. She has Early Childhood certification, a business administration degree, experience in the U.S. Army, and talent as a seamstress. She enjoys teaching through hands-on projects to help her students make new learning discoveries.
Bill Healy Middle School Language Arts Teacher, Immaculata Parent
Mr. Healy began teaching in 2009 and has been with Immaculata since 2011. He holds a BA in English and History and an MA in History, as well as MCSE and NC Coaching certifications. He enjoys his additional roles at Immaculata which include Chess Club and Yearbook facilitator and assistant coach for the baseball team. Mr. Healy also coaches football at Cardinal Gibbons and lends his teaching skills to the Hill Center during the summer.
Kathy Holt 2A Instructional Assistant, Immaculata Parent
Mrs. Holt is from South Carolina and began her teaching career at Immaculata in 2013. She holds a BA from Virginia Tech and formerly worked as an apparel import manager. She enjoys hiking, biking, traveling, and reading.
Leslie Huml Front Office Administrator
Mrs. Huml began teaching in 1997 and has been with Immaculata since 2003. With a BS from Drury University, she previously worked as a clinical data scientist and project manager. At Immaculata, she was a teacher's assistant in Kindergarten and Grade 1 for more than ten years before using her multitude of skills to transition to her current role. As well, Mrs. Huml coordinates our school's Catholic Schools Week celebration each year.
Melissa Jones 1B Teacher
Mrs. Jones began teaching in 2009 and has been with Immaculata since 2012. She holds a degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Math, and has taught both Grades 1 and 5. She gets her students involved in fun and educational hands-on activities, including an annual chicken-hatching project that is popular school wide.
Kathy Juranas Registrar, Former Immaculata Parent
Mrs. Juranas has worked at Immaculata since 1998. In addition to her registrar duties, she assists with the production of the annual school play. She is from St. Louis and enjoys sewing, crafts, music, and spending time with her grandchildren.
Vladimir Kary Band Director, Immaculata Parent
Mr. Kary began teaching in 2004 and has been with Immaculata since 2008. He holds both a Bachelor Degree in Music and a Master Degree in Biomedical Engineering. He is from Ternopil, Ukraine and previously worked as an electrical engineer. Each Friday morning, Mr. Kary leads the school in unique songs during our prayer services.
Desiree Korelich Director of Technology, Engineering Teacher, Immaculata Parent
Ms. Korelich started teaching Technology in 1995 and has been with Immaculata since 2011. She holds a BA of Sociology and is the head of the school's Technology department, including teaching students and training staff and parents. As a former actress from New York City, she now shares her love for theater and dance by leading the school's Hip Hop Dance club.
Tom Latimer 2A Teacher
Mr. Latimer has been teaching since 1991 and has worked at Immaculata since 2006. He holds a BA from Hartwick College and an MA from Russell Sage College. Previously, he taught Grades 1 and 4, Language Arts for Grade 8, as well as Special Education. Mr. Latimer is from Schenectady, NY and enjoys playing in a band, cooking, reading, watching football, and collecting vinyl records.
Veronica Lloyd 5A Teacher, Alum
Mrs. Lloyd began teaching in 2012 and has been with Immaculata since 2014. She holds a BA and MA in History and has previously taught PreK and Grade 1. She serves as the Girls Varsity Basketball coach and enjoys being active and outdoors.
Ralph Love Resource Officer
"Officer Love" has been with Immaculata since 2015 and is the retired Captain of the Durham Sherriff's Department, with over 30 years of experience in law enforcement.
Matthew McLaughlin Middle School Music Teacher, Band Director, Athletic Director
Mr. McLaughlin began teaching in 2005 and has been a dedicated member of the Immaculata faculty since 2009. He holds a BM in music education and is an accredited Interscholastic Coach (NFHS). In his spare time, he is working on certification to become an operational K-9 search and rescue team with his German Shepherd, Maggie.
Barbra Murray Director of Admissions, Former Immaculata Parent
Mrs. Murray began working at Immaculata in 2004 when her children were students at the school. She holds a BA from Emory University and previously worked in international development. She has lived in Durham most of her life and enjoys cooking, hiking, and reading.
Mary Lynn Myers Director of After School Care
Mrs. Myers has been with Immaculata since 2015. She is a graduate of Covenant College and has tutored students at various schools. Outside of Immaculata, she teaches private piano lessons and works as a freelance editor. She is an avid reader, gardening enthusiast, and Aunt to ten nieces and nephews.
Susanne Newman Catechist, Former Immaculata Parent
Ms. Newman has been with Immaculata since 2012, holding Level II certification in Cathechesis of the Good Shepherd and a BBA in finance from Notre Dame. She has more than 15 years experience teaching Montessori and Catechesis. In addition to her role at Immaculata, she also serves on the parish Welcoming Committee, the Family Association Board at Cardinal Gibbons, and the Parent Council at Meredith College.
Suzanne Pagnanelli 1A Teacher, Primary School Coordinator
Mrs. Pagnanelli began teaching in 1995 and has been with Immaculata for almost 20 years. She is from Steubenville, OH and holds a BS of Science. In addition to her experienced role as teacher, she is the Primary Division Head. In her spare time, Mrs. Pagnanelli enjoys running and spending time with her family.
Joy Palmore 5A Instructional Assistant, After School Care Counselor
"Miss Joy" has been a dedicated member of the Immaculata faculty since 2011. In addition to her role as Instructional Assistant, she works with students of all ages in the After School Care program, Christmas and Spring Break Camps, and more. She is from Brooklyn, NY and enjoys reading and drawing.
Rosa Pena Spanish Teacher
Senora Pena began teaching in 1980 and has been a dedicated member of the Immaculata faculty since 1995. She holds a BS in accounting from Honduras, an AA in early childhood education from Durham Tech, and an MEd from NC Central. In addition to teaching Spanish to the Primary and Intermediate students, Senora Pena enthusiastically facilitates the school's annual Hispanic Heritage celebration.
Cara Ragusa Director of Communications, Immaculata Parent
Mrs. Ragusa has worked in the design/advertising industry for more than 15 years and holds a BFA in graphic design from Boston University. She began working at Immaculata in 2015 and enthusiastically uses her skills to promote the school. She is originally from Rochester, NY and enjoys the arts, nature, and volunteering.
Cynthia Rains Middle School Social Studies Teacher
Mrs. Rains began teaching in 1994 and has been with Immaculata since 2006. She holds a BA in English and History from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MEd in Social Studies from NC State, with certification in reading strategies from the Hill Center. She is from Rhinebeck, NY and previously worked in the research field. She enjoys travel, being outdoors, cooking, reading mysteries, and volunteering for Special Olympics.
Lisa Roess Catechist
Ms. Roess began teaching in 2011 and has been with Immaculata since 2014. She holds a BS in Early Childhood Education and certification in Level 1 Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. She is from New York City and previously worked in computer and software training. She enjoys traveling, taking walks, and spending time with family.
Aileen Ross 3A Teacher, Intermediate School Coordinator
Mrs. Ross began teaching in 1987 and has been with Immaculata since 1992. She is originally from Texas and holds a BA in elementary education from the University of Dallas. In addition to her teaching role, she is also the Intermediate Division Coordinator. In her spare time, she enjoys reading mysteries and teaching herself to knit.
Dan Schwankl Middle School Language Arts Teacher
Mr. Schwankl began teaching in 1992 and has worked at Immaculata since 2009. He holds a BS in education from UNC-Chapel Hill and has enjoyed teaching all levels of reading and writing up to Grade 10. With previous experience in farming, carpentry, and charity work, he also leads the Environmental Club and related electives and clubs.
Andrea Slanker Catechist
Ms. Slanker began teaching in 2007 and has been with Immaculata since 2015. She holds a BA in English from Loyola University in New Orleans, Primary Montessori Certification from the NC Center for Montessori Teacher Education, Latin American Cultural Studies Certificate from Universidad de Iberoamericana in Mexico City, and Level One Certification in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
Ann Smith PreK-Grade 5 Music Teacher, Choir Director, Former Immaculata Parent
Ms. Smith began teaching in 1985 and has been with Immaculata from 1997-2000 and 2008 to present. She holds a BA in Music Education and Elementary Education from Eastern Illinois University, and an MA in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as Orff Level 1 certification. She leads Jr. Choir, Liturgical Choir, the Worship Team, and Cantors in addition to her role as music teacher.
Robyn Soffera Director of Advancement, Immaculata Parent
With a BA in journalism/communications from UNC-Chapel Hill, Mrs. Soffera has worked in Development for 13 years. She started working at Immaculata in 2014, using her experience to bring new ideas and expand the Advancement team. She keeps busy in her spare time by tending her small farm, sewing, cooking, and leading an active, healthy lifestyle.
Jennifer Wasielewski KB Teacher
"Mrs. Waz" began teaching in 1991 and has worked at Immaculata since 2008. She has a BS and MSEd from St. Bonaventure in NY and has previously taught Grades 2, 4, and 5. She is a Pittsburgh native and loves the Steelers, baking, and yoga.
Kathleen Weeks Grades 7-8 Math Teacher
Mrs. Weeks has been teaching since 1981 and began working at Immaculata in 2009. She holds a BA from Our Lady of the Lake University and an MA from the University of Texas at Austin, with teacher certification in math for Grades 6-12 and chemistry for Grades 9-12. She is from Texas City, TX and previously worked as a chemist.
Jackie Wheeland 5B Teacher
Ms. Wheeland began teaching in 1986 and has been with Immaculata since 2015. She holds a BS in education from SUNY Geneseo and an MEd from NC State, with certification in elementary education and learning disabilities. She is from Elmira, NY and enjoys spending time at Jordan Lake, reading, and praying. Her twin sister also teaches at Immaculata!
Jessica Yaffey Enrichment Specialist
Mrs. Yaffey started with Immaculata in 2016 with experience as a Middle School teacher in local public schools. She works closely with the school's AIG consultant to help identify and test students and offer support to teachers in Grades 3-5.
IMMACULATA CATHOLIC SCHOOL | 721 BURCH AVENUE, DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA 27701 | 919-682-5847