Our neighbors, our team

In the tradition of missions that have established schools, colleges, hospitals, food banks, shelters and other works intended to meet the needs of their neighbors, no matter their background, we offer support to any teacher in any kind of school or adult education program, serving all kinds of students. We believe in the dignity of every human being and that each one deserves an exceptional humanities education. That is why we are committed to serving all teachers and fostering humanities for everyone.

The support we provide improves teaching; better teaching improves learning; and better learning advances both the good of each individual student and the common good.

As an Academy we study, develop, and teach the best ways for teachers to master their art. Why “Cana”? A modern adaptation of the ancient story of the wedding feast proved restorative for the protagonist in Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. In that restoration his vision of the order and goodness of life became clear, his ability to serve others in that light grew strong. We are inspired by that story in its ancient and modern versions. It drives all we do.

Staff

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Andrew J. Zwerneman serves as Cana Academy’s President and as one of our Master Teachers. For 35 years, he has taught and consulted in secondary schools that emphasize classic humanities. For 19 years he headed schools—2 at the public charter school, Tempe Preparatory Academy in Tempe, Arizona, 17 at Trinity School at Meadow View in Falls Church, Virginia. He is the founder and owner of The Academy Project, LLC, which wrote the curricula and trained faculties for Thomas MacLaren School in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Trinity Academy in Portland, Oregon. Education: B.A., A.B.D., University of Notre Dame; M.A., St. John’s University.

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Jeannette DeCelles-Zwerneman is Director of Instruction and one of our Master Teachers, specializing in teaching writing and leading seminars on imaginative literature and philosophy. For 37 years she has taught and consulted in schools with an emphasis on classic humanities. In 1981 she co-founded Trinity School at Greenlawn in South Bend, Indiana, where she taught until 1997. From 1999 to 2016 she taught at Trinity School's campus in Virginia. She served as Dean of Humanities for the national group of Trinity Schools and as a master teacher for all three campuses of the organization. As part of The Academy Project LLC, she co-authored the curricula and helped train faculties for Thomas MacLaren School in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Trinity Academy in Portland, Oregon. Twice she received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, one for the study of Plato, Kant, and Hegel, another for the study of Dante's Divina Commedia. Education: B.A., M.A., University of Notre Dame.

Mary Frances Loughran serves as Cana Academy’s Director of Writing and one of our Master Teachers, specializing in teaching writing and leading seminars on imaginative literature, philosophy, and history. Additionally, she specializes in education for disadvantaged students. For 33 years Mary Frances has taught and consulted in schools with an emphasis on classic humanities. She co-founded Trinity School at River Ridge in Minnesota and served as a master teacher for all three of the Trinity Schools. As part of The Academy Project LLC, she co-authored curricula and helped train faculties for Thomas MacLaren School in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Trinity Academy in Portland, Oregon. Education: B.A., St. Mary’s College; certification in Choice Theory, Reality Therapy and Lead Management, William Glasser International.

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Helen DeCelles-Zwerneman serves as Operations Manager, Webmaster, and Artistic Director for Cana Academy. She also develops mathematics and science curricula. Before joining Cana Academy, Helen spent two years teaching physics, calculus, pre-calculus, geometry, Latin, and scripture at Trinity School at Meadow View in Falls Church, Virginia. Education: B.S., Georgetown University. At Georgetown, she conducted research in biophysics and was the recipient of the prestigious Clare Boothe Luce Award for women in the study of mathematics and science.

Andrew Ellison is a Senior Writer with Cana Academy. From 1997 to 2003, he taught literature, history, philosophy, theatre, Latin, and German at Tempe Preparatory Academy, in Tempe, Arizona. In 2003 he became the founding headmaster of the first of the Great Hearts schools, Veritas Prep in Phoenix. In 2013, he became Great Hearts’ vice president and assistant superintendent for upper schools in Arizona before relocating to Texas in 2018 as executive director for all Great Hearts schools in San Antonio. Education: B.A., Valparaiso University.

Joseph R. Wood serves as a research and seminar Fellow for Cana Academy. His work focuses on developing seminars for adult education. He currently teaches at the Institute of World Politics. Joe has taught at the Air Force Academy and in a variety of graduate seminars in Europe. Education: B.S., U.S. Air Force Academy; M.A., Ph.D. candidate, School of Philosophy, Catholic University of America; M.P.A. (Two-Year), Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; diploma, French Joint Defense College, Paris

Michael C. Gaskins is a research and seminar Fellow with Cana Academy, focusing on education among the incarcerated and returning citizens. Since the early part of the century, Michael has worked in ministry and outreach to prisoners and returning citizens through Prison Fellowship and Philadelphia Alive Center for Transformation. Education: B.A., Temple University.

Freelancers

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Michaela A. Loughran, B.A. in History and Economics, George Mason University, 2018

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Julia DeCelles-Zwerneman, B.A. in Biology and Music, University of Virginia, 2016

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Eleanor Wood, Sophomore, Program of Liberal Studies, University of Notre Dame

Benjamin Mysliwiec, Senior, University of Notre Dame, Theology major

Santiago Ruiz, Fourth Year, University of Chicago, majoring in political science with a minor in human rights

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Kyler Schubkegel, Senior, William Penn Honors Program at George Fox University, English and Philosophy double major

Board of Advisors

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Joseph Clair, PhD, Dean of the College of Christian Studies, Liberal Arts, and Honors at George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon

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Mary Faith Hall, MA, Head of School at Thomas MacLaren School, Colorado Springs, Colorado

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V. Bradley Lewis, PhD, Associate Professor of Philosophy Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

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Jonathan Sanford, PhD, Provost of University of Dallas, Irving, Texas

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George Sanker, MA, Headmaster of Covenant School, Charlottesville, Virginia

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Daniel Scoggin, PhD, Co-founder of Great Hearts Academies and President of Great Hearts Foundation, Phoenix, Arizona

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Thomas Werge, PhD, Professor Emeritus of English at University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana

 
 

Board of Directors

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Michael Ortner

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Elizabeth Ortner

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Andrew Zwerneman