The Faculty

Zachary Waltz

As Headmaster, Magister Waltz primarily mentors a number of the teachers, but he also teaches 8th Latin and English Grammar, and it has been a joy to teach our current 8th grader these subjects for the past five years. She has shown a level of mastery in and love of these subjects which he never thought possible in a student. He came to the school because he saw the potential for this in every student, a community where incredible intellectual ability is matched by a love of learning, each other, and God. Each year the school actualizes this vision. Whether he is inside or outside school, he delights in dialectic (i.e. dialogues like gentlemanly sword-fights), contemplation, harmony, analogies, a good story, a beautiful work of art, an incisive argument, a master craftsman at his work. He loves to seek and share these things with others.

Dn. Paul McDonald

This is Deacon Paul McDonald’s fourth year with Hagia Sophia Classical Academy, and his first as the administrative dean of HSCA. He continues to teach Christian Studies, this year to our middle school students. The chance to put his seminary education to the test and to teach Christian Studies is what first drew him to HSCA, but the engagement, inquisitiveness of the students is what has drawn him deeper into the life of the academy every year. Their open-heartedness has been incredibly instructive to their instructor!
Outside of school, he works as the deacon and parish assistant of Ss. Constantine and Elena. He spends the rest of his time with his wife Anna and their two children, Jane and Peter, all of whom have been recipients of silly nicknames. In rare and wonderful moments of solitude he loves to read, listen to podcasts, write poetry that often amuses only himself, and sometimes drive to an unfamiliar place just to see something new.

Allison Beecham

Magistra Beecham is teaching her fifth year with HSCA and she currently teaches fourth grade, including the humanities, math, zoology, and Christian studies. She considers it a blessing being at school with her three children and a privilege teaching in an environment where Christ is the focus and the goal. She witnesses daily these young ones learning, and struggling with, how to walk the path of virtue. And she gets to walk with them. It is most rewarding when she sees a student offering encouragement to a classmate. When one willingly helps another to understand, communicating in such a way that makes sense to him, they all experience delight. In addition to teaching, Magistra Beecham loves nature and being outside as much as possible (a necessity for the soul), whether it’s walking, hiking, biking, or simply being present.

Fr. David Wey

Fr. David Wey was ordained to the Orthodox priesthood in 2005 and has served as the full-time parish priest to Ss. Constantine and Elena Orthodox Church since September 2006. After studying at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Fr. David had a long career in the recording industry, where he was a writer, arranger and producer, and a briefer stint in the IT world while serving as a deacon. Married for 35 years, he and his lovely wife, Janene, have three grown children and are the proud grandparents of Gideon and Ephrem. A lifelong learner with a particular affinity for all things Tolkien, Lewis, MacDonald and Rowling, Fr. David serves as the Spiritual Director of Hagia Sophia Classical Academy (Rector.)

Photini James

Magistra James teaches all subjects in first and second grades. She loves doing crafts and teaching children about Jesus Christ, the Theotokos, the Saints and the church. When it comes to feast days, she enjoys arranging flowers for the church. Her most rewarding experience at Hagia Sophia was teaching kindergarten – hearing the students read a simple word and sentence after learning it and also receiving thank you notes from them written by hand. Magistra James is thankful that HSCA provides a great opportunity to be a part of the students’ academic and spiritual development.

Nezhla Sanderson

Magistra Sanderson lives in Indianapolis, In and enjoys working as a First and Second Grade teacher at Hagia Sophia Classical Academy. She is impressed by the strong curriculum and the math and reading skills that the early grades are learning. The students are reading better and understanding arithmetic quite well in comparison to many children she knows in the same grade level and she feels it is due to the thorough curriculum that Memoria Press provides. Her students have a great sense of humor and make her day with their imaginative games at play time and stories about their life experiences over the week.

Magister Ellett is completing his undergraduate studies in Philosophy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Magister Ellett is a lifelong student of religious philosophy and history, interests which have taken him to the Eastern Orthodox Church as an active member of Sts. Constantine and Elena Romanian Orthodox Church. It is there he discovered Hagia Sophia Classical Academy and is a contributing instructor for the fourth, sixth and eighth grade classes this year, particularly in science and history. His pedagogical oeuvre at the Academy has included logic and Aristotelean metaphysics, mythology, literature, science, and even physical education. Outside of the classroom — the time most rewarding — Magister Ellett engages in the Great Conversation with his friends, sometimes dabbling in chess and experimenting with poetry.