Mr. Barry Wright was raised in Northampton, Massachusetts and attended Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. Upon graduation from Norwich in 1970 he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army Air Defense Artillery from the Norwich ROTC program. His technical background was enhanced in 1975 with a Master of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering (Operations Research) from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
He entered the Army in April of 1971 embarking on a 30-year career of leadership and management assignments that reflect significant growth of responsibility and professional skill. He received a Regular Army Commission in 1974 and was detailed to the Signal Corps at that
time. Mr. Wright successfully commanded units at all levels and was board selected for command designated list assignments for both Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel. He is a fully, Level III certified Army Acquisition Corps member in the Program Management; Research and
Development; and Test and Evaluation specialties. Professional military education included the Inspector General Course, the Command and General Staff Course, the Program Management Course, and the Army War College.
Career highlights include being the Director of Operations and Resource Management, Presidential Contingency Programs Office, The White House; a Congressional Fellow assigned to the Office of Congressman John R. Kasich; the Chief of the Congressional Affairs Office, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research, Development and Acquisition; and the Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. Mr. Wright’s Program Management experience includes having been the Product Manager, Standard Theater Army Command and Control System (PM STACCS) and the Project Manager, Strategic and Theater Command and Control Systems (PM STCCS). Mr. Wright’s military recognitions include two Legion of Merit awards, two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, four Army Meritorious Service Medals, the Joint Services Commendation Medal and the Army Commendation Medal, and he is authorized to wear both the Presidential Service Identification Badge and the Army Staff Identification Badge.
Upon retirement from the Army he began employment in the Defense Contracting arena. He worked for Engility Corporation (and its legacy companies: SRC, Titan Corporation and L-3 Communications). During portion of his career journey he enhanced his experience and expertise in all aspects of successful business activities; marketing, business development, bid and proposal, pricing, operational management, and customer relations. His efforts were recognized with assignments of growing complexity, responsibilities and designation as a Business Unit Vice President managing a portfolio with annual revenues exceeding $300 million. This portfolio included contracts with the Department of Defense with staff on site with customers both in CONUS and OCONUS, Department of Interior, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Defense Intelligence Agency, State and Local governments.
Mr. Wright now enjoys the three passions of his life; mentoring, teaching and fly fishing. He is grateful to be part of the Saint Ambrose School Community.
This is Mrs. Healy’s twenty-fifth year as St. Ambrose School’s librarian, following three years as the kindergarten aide. She was born in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, and received her Bachelor of Education degree from The University of Virginia. She taught second and third grades for eight years in Albemarle County, Virginia. When her sons were born, she retired and was a regular room mother and library volunteer through their elementary school careers.
Mrs. Healy and her husband of 50 years have been St. Ambrose parishioners for 39 years. She has two grown sons. The oldest is married with 2 sons in Maryland, and the youngest is married with one daughter, living in New York. That leaves only her corgi puppy at home to keep she and her husband busy! Mrs. Healy’s love for children’s literature led her to the St. Ambrose library. She read to her boys daily when they were young and is passionate about the importance of parents sharing books with their children every day. Now she enjoys reading to her grandchildren!
Hola, my name is María Teresa (Tere) Balda. I am the new Spanish Teacher!. “La profe de Español”. I am from Quito, Ecuador, a beautiful city in the middle of the Andes!
I have been living in the United States for about 17 years. After living away from home for such a long time, teaching my language and sharing the Hispanic culture has become my passion.
While living in the United States, I appreciated the importance of learning a second language. I also learned how hard it is to learn a new language. That is the reason why I am here. I am here to make learning Spanish fun!
Using myself as an example, I remind my students that it is ok to make mistakes, and it is ok to sound different. The important thing is to keep trying! I like to share with my students about my own experiences, my traditions, and stories about how different it is to grow up in a country that does not have four seasons. I also tell them about all the volcanoes that I have seen! That is their favorite part.
I have been working in education for over 8 years. I worked for Fairfax County Public Schools for 7 years and last year I taught Spanish at St. Bernadette Catholic School.
I cannot wait to meet my students and be part of the Saint Ambrose Community!
Sarah is not new to St. Ambrose. She is a past PTO President, Room Parent, Religious Education Assistant and longtime Parishioner. She and her husband, Bill, have one daughter who graduated from St. Ambrose.
With a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science from Providence College and a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Saint Mary, she is thrilled to be able to apply some of the skills she learned while homeschooling, student teaching and in her painting, sculpture and art history classes to bring a cohesive picture of art, faith and learning to all the artists who attend St. Ambrose.
In her spare time she enjoys creating art, writing, travel, cooking, an occasional 5K race along with time spent with her family which includes a Vizsla.
Dr. Andrei Pidkivka, has been critically acclaimed in the United States and Europe as the preeminent performer and educator. As an educator, Dr. Pidkivka presented workshops and master classes throughout the United States, Asia and Europe and performed as a soloist and a guest musician with numerous symphony orchestras. Performances include the Columbus Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, and Pittsburgh Symphony.
For the past twenty years he taught general music, flute, recorder, clarinet, saxophone and coached a variety of chamber groups in private and academic settings. He holds a Doctorate of Music Arts Degree from Michigan State University. His extensive collection of world instruments, from archaic to modern, encompass a wealth of knowledge and great possibilities.
Dr. Pidkivka’s East European background and extensive world music research keep him in demand as a maker of folk instruments and a recording artist. He has multiple appearances and performances on recordings in support of soundtracks for Broadway, Disney, The Lord of The Rings, Medieval Times. In 2020 he holds a Grammy award as a producer for the best soundtrack for the HBO series “Chernobyl.”
Hello, my name is Stephanie Guiffre, and I am excited to be a part of the St. Ambrose community’s Resource Team!
I was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island and attended a K-8 Catholic school much like St. Ambrose. While I am an only child, I was raised in a close-knit Italian family and was constantly surrounded by the love of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. My parents taught me the value of family and a strong Catholic faith, which have embodied my adult life. I received my bachelor’s degree in communication and business administration from Stonehill College in Massachusetts, a liberal arts college run by the Holy Cross Fathers. I then received a master’s degree in public administration from The American University and I am currently enrolled in Marymount University’s Certificate Program in Special Education and I am on track to complete the program next summer.
While education was not my first vocation, my interest in the field was a result of my dad’s more than 40 years, as a mathematics teacher for middle and high school students and the more than a dozen years spent volunteering in the Arlington Diocese school system. As a parent of a child with dyslexia, I am passionate about meeting the needs of ALL students in a way that enables them to achieve academic success. During the 2017-2018 school year, I became a substitute teacher at St. Leo the Great and St. Michael Catholic Schools while taking classes at Trinity Washington University to receive my teaching certification. In June of 2018, I earned my teaching certification from the Virginia Catholic Education Association. Prior to coming to St. Ambrose, I taught both first and second grade at St. Leo the Great Catholic School and St. Bernadette Catholic School.
The opportunity to serve as the Director of Resource is truly a calling from God! It is an honor and a privilege to teach, counsel and inspire these children to discover their God-given talents. I look forward to our learning adventure together as we grow deeper in our faith, self, and academic wisdom.
On a more personal note, I have been married to my husband, Michael, for 26 years and we have three beautiful daughters, Megan (22), Mia (17) and Olivia (15) who are all products of a Catholic education. We also have a black lab named Bull, who keeps us on our toes! During my free time, I enjoy reading, swimming, playing at the beach, cooking family meals, and visiting new and exciting places.
My name is An Cao (pronounced “Awn” and “Cal” like Cal Ripken). I’m known to students as Mr. An. In Vietnamese, the full name means “highly graced”. I grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland and spent lots of summers in Orville, Ohio where my best memories were playing pickup basketball games, fishing, camping, and building tree houses.
I earned a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Catholic University of America. My career path has been in Engineering Consulting, Medical Research, and Healthcare Technologies for the past 20 years. I love solving problems with innovation by applying science and technology to better serve and enrich humanity. I am joyfully married and consider being a dad to be my greatest promotion. My passion is teaching, mentoring, and being a life coach to young people. I love to read about strange things, watch super hero movies, and play street basketball.
My mantra over the years has been “Every day is a bonus”. This stems from being grateful to breathe, laughing, eating, smiling, and simply being the better version of yourself each day. At the end of the day, I will have hoped I learned something new and offered my work as a gift to others no matter how little. “Do little things with great love” – St. Mother Teresa
After graduating from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, I taught algebra to students from 7th-12th grade at Lincoln International Academy in Managua, Nicaragua. Upon returning to the states, I accepted a physical education teaching position at St. Michael’s Catholic School in Annandale and taught there until I left to start a family, 11 years later.
When my children were older, I returned to teaching and feel very blessed to be a part of the St. Ambrose community and look forward to having a fun-filled year teaching your children.