SMR Welcomes New Faculty and Staff Members to the Community


St. Mary's Ryken Welcomes Experienced Faculty and Staff to the 2018-19 School Year

This year St. Mary's Ryken celebrates 38 years as a college preparatory, Catholic and Xaverian high school, educating students in southern Maryland. The school community is thrilled to welcome the following new faculty and staff members:

Top row, from left: Ben Jarboe, Aaron Percich, Charles Woolridge, Joseph Chirichella, Cameron Leischer and Diane Carter

Front row, from left: Grant Castner, James Parker, Leif Liberg, Amanda Ripple, Sarah Schachterle and Angela Swann. Not pictured: Kendall Black

Grant Castner, Chinese

Mr. Castner spent his summer in Taipei with other Chinese educators being immersed in the Chinese culture and language. He has previous experience in the Howard County public school system where he taught elementary school students how to learn Chinese, and in Baltimore County where he co-taught Chinese to 3rd and 6th graders. He earned his Masters in Teaching from Towson University and a B.A. in Asian Studies (Mandarin Chinese) with a minor in History from the St. Mary's College of Maryland. 

Joseph Chirichella, Physical Education 

Mr. Chirichella was a previous strength and conditioning coach at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and William Paterson University. Mr. Chirichella is a retired Maryland State Police Officer. In addition, as a previous owner and operator of numerous cross fit facilities in the southern Maryland region, Mr. Chirichella has extensive experience in the area of health and fitness class programming and curriculum and training best practices for athletes. He has also been strength and conditioning coordinator for SMR athletes, and has several certificates in the field of strength and conditioning. Mr. Chirichella has a B.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland University College and a B.A. in Exercise Science from Concordia University. 

Diane Carter, Science

Ms. Carter has been an adjunct professor at the College of Southern Maryland for 8 years in the Biology and Physical Sciences Division teaching classroom and online courses. Additionally in her professional career, she was a scientist in product development and a research associate. She has been a part of many scientific publications and patents. She has a M.S. degree in Biotech Studies from the University of Maryland University College and a B.A. in Biology from Hofstra University. 

Lawrence (Ben) Jarboe, Science

Mr. Jarboe officially joined the SMR staff this year but last year was a part-time teacher in the science department. He earned his B.S. in Pre-medical and Pre-Professional Studies from Point Park University School of Arts and Science. He is pursing his master’s degree in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Jarboe is an assistant baseball coach and an alumnus of SMR. 

Angela Swann, Science

Ms. Swann has over fourteen years of teaching experience in the field of science. Previously, she taught in the Charles County public school system as an earth science, biology and AP biology teacher, and before then was a science teacher and cheerleading coach for Loyola College Preparatory School in Shreveport, LA. Ms. Swann has a B.S. in Biology from High Point University. She is pursuing her master’s degree in Educational Leadership.

Kendall Black, English

Ms. Black spent the last five years teaching advanced placement language and composition in Jacksonville, Fl. She was very involved in her school community as a club moderator and was a past department chair.  She earned her B.S. degree in English and Secondary Education from Radford University.

Cameron Leischer, English

Mr. Leischer was previously an English and mythology teacher in the St. Mary's County public school system for 6 years. He spent the last two summers teaching for Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. He earned his Master of Arts in Teaching and B.A. in English with a minor in Education from the St. Mary's College of Maryland.

Aaron Percich, English and Theology

While completing his Ph.D., Mr. Percich taught in the English department at West Virginia University for eight years. Previously, Mr. Percich was the Faith Formation Coordinator at St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church in Morgantown, West Virginia where he directed the Religious Education Program for students and catechists. In addition to his Ph.D. in English, he earned a M.A. in Liberal Studies from Villanova University and a B.A. in English, Theology and Religious Studies (minor) from Villanova University.

Leif Liberg, History

Mr. Liberg comes to SMR with over ten years of teaching experience as a secondary history teacher from California and Virginia. He was a moderator for Model United Nations, faculty mentor and selected to create curriculum for National History Day.  Mr. Liberg earned his Masters in Education from Gwynedd-Mercy College and a B.A in History with a minor in Military Studies from Pennsylvania State University. 

James Parker III, Band and Orchestra Director

Previously, Mr. Parker was a music teacher and band director at a K-12 school in North Carolina and a graduate teaching assistant at the University of South Carolina. Mr. Parker earned his Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from the University of South Carolina and a B.A. in Music Education from Providence College.

Amanda Ripple, Athletic Trainer

Ms. Ripple will be working with the Athletic Department as a certified Athletic Trainer doing injury prevention, evaluation, management, treatment, and rehabilitation services for all the SMR sports teams along with event coverage for sporting events. Ms. Ripple earned her M.S. in Athletic Training and a B.S. in Exercise Science with a minor in Dance from Shenandoah University.  Ms. Ripple is an alumnus of SMR. 

Sarah Schachterle, Resource Specialist 

Ms. Schachterle will assist our students who have learning differences on a part-time basis. She earned a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Special Education from Franciscan University of Steubenville. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Special Education. 

Charles Woolridge, Resource Specialist

Recently, Mr. Woolridge was an academic support specialist in the Montgomery County public school system where he provided academic assistance to students with learning differences. He will assist our students who have learning differences.  Mr. Woolridge will also be a member of the football staff as an assistant coach. Mr. Woolrich has a B.A. degree from Rutgers University in Sociology.