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Christian Education Staff and Volunteers


Carole A. Buleza, Director; (717) 747-5221;

Carole was appointed to the position of Director of the Department of Christian Education for the Antiochian Archdiocese in January 2000. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and a Master's Degree in Religion, with a specialty in Religious Education. Also in conjunction with the OCEC, Carole introduced the teacher training program "Educating Ourselves and Our Children in Godliness" which has provided hundreds of teachers throughout North America with the resources and training for success in the church school classroom. Carole is thrilled to be presenting the sixth annual Orthodox Institute at Antiochian Village, and to have initiated Mini-Institutes in the Dioceses of the Midwest, Mid-America, and the West. She gratefully acknowledges that, "It is only by God's grace and with the help of my dedicated staff, the Order of St. Ignatius, members of the OCEC Board of Trustees, and especially His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP, that we are able to provide such resources for Christian Education. May God continue to bless our efforts."

Rosemary Shumski, Admin. Assistant; (717) 747-5221;

Please contact the Diocesan Coordinators for updates on training activities and other events in your region.

Charleston, Oakland, Pennsylvania & the East; New York and Washington D.C.
V. Rev. George Alberts; (203) 798-1771;
Fr. George, a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, has been involved in Orthodox Christian Education for over 35 years. Ordained to the priesthood in 1973, he also studied Clinical Pastoral Education at Pine Rest Mental Health Hospital, Grand Rapids, MI, and has taught sociology at the community college level. Fr. George has served as a pastor in Michigan and Pennsylvania and is currently the pastor of St. George Church in Danbury, Connecticut. In addition, he holds the positions of Recording Secretary of the Orthodox Christian Education Commission, and Christian Education Coordinator for both the Diocese of New York and Washington, D.C., and the Diocese of Oakland, PA and the East.

Toledo and the Midwest
Robert Snyder; (330) 493-4029;
Robert is the Religious Education Coordinator for the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, a position he has held for the last fifteen years. He has been actively engaged in Christian education for the last thirty years as a High School teacher, a teen youth advisor, and, currently, as an instructor in Adult Christian Education. During this time, Robert has conducted many Christian Education workshops, and written numerous articles on Christian Education for The Word and the OCEC Christian Education newsletter. He is known in his parish of St. George, Akron, Ohio, for his work as a highly successful youth advisor (achieving, among others, "Teen Club of the Year" award), as a past president of the Parish Council and since 1996, and as the recipient of the Protsyngelous Ellis Khouri Merit Award.

Los Angeles and the West
Carole A. Buleza, Acting Coordinator; (717) 747-5221;

Eagle River and the Northwest
Los Angeles and the West
Carole A. Buleza, Acting Coordinator; (717) 747-5221;

Ottawa and Upstate New York
Rev. Fr. Christopher Rigden-Briscall; (519) 807-2986;

Wichita and Mid-America
Vasiliki Oldziey; (512) 694-7073;
Vasiliki (Billie) holds a B.A. in Humanities and Dance from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. and a certificate in the Laban/Bartnieff System of Movement Analysis, NYC. Vasiliki previously taught dance/mime/movement classes for children in the Central Texas region.  Currently she is working as a vision and hearing screener for the Austin, Texas school district. For the past 25 years, Vasiliki has either taught Church School or acted as director at St. Elias Orthodox Church in Austin.  In 1995, along with the V. Rev. James Kenna, she helped to establish and served as editor of the quarterly publication, The Children's Magazine for Orthodox Christian Children.  Vasiliki has also written articles for The Handmaiden. For the past 12 years, she has been studying iconography with master iconographer, Vladislav Andrejev and iconographer, Irene Perez-Omer and has received commissions to write icons for private prayer, for Camp St. Raphael and portable icons for churches. She served as the Southwest Region Writing Festival Coordinator and currently is the DOWAMA Coordinator for Christian Education and the Creative Festivals.   Vasiliki also serves as a co-chair of the DOWAMA Sacred Arts Committee, established by His Grace, Bishop Basil. She has led workshops for church school teachers and adult Christian education. Most importantly, Vasiliki is the (proud) mom of Nicholas, who has just started his college education.

Worcester and New England

Anna Hughes; (978) 686-3274;

Miami and the Southeast
Kh. Betty Randolph; (864) 230-8438;
Khouria Elizabeth "Betty" is the Christian Education Coordinator for the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast. She is also a past President of the Fellowship of St. John, Southeast Region. With 25 years in the field of education, curriculum selection, and staff development, and an M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, Betty brings manifold resources to the task of both teaching and administration. She is principal of Forest Acres Elementary School in Easley, South Carolina. Her husband, Fr. David, is pastor of Christ the Savior Church in Central, South Carolina.



Gail Meena attends St. Matthew the Evangelist Orthodox Church in North Royalton, Ohio. She has taught Church School for 25 years and was a church school director for 3 years at St. Luke's Orthodox Mission in Solon, Ohio. She teaches special needs students in grades K-6 in Parma, Oh. She has 3 children, ages 23, 20, and 15.

Leslee Abud's background is in Education, specifically Christian Education. At the age of 24, she was accepted into the Religious Education program at St. Vladimir's Seminary. At the same time, she was enrolled at Concordia College in Bronxville, New York, where she completed her Bachelor degree in Educational Services. Leslee is married to V. Rev. Joseph Abud and is the mother of three children. She is the Church School Director of her parish, St. George Orthodox Church in Flint, Michigan and is also an Associate of the Department of Christian Education. She has previously taught elementary education in Catholic, Lutheran, and Orthodox parochial schools and is currently working as a substitute teacher in her local school district.

Myra Kovalak has served on the Department of Christian Education for the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania, as well as the Dept. of Christian Education of the Orthodox Church in America for the past ten years, writing curriculum, coordinating retreats for teens and women, teacher workshops, children's activities, and summer camps.  She serves as chair of the Teacher Training Department of the Orthodox Christian Education Commission.  She holds a BA in English and Secondary Education, and has done graduate work in elementary and secondary education.  She participates in the Antiochian Archdiocese's annual Orthodox Institute for Christian Education, as well as Teacher Training Workshop presentations at St. Tikhon and St. Vladimir Seminaries.  She is the language arts teacher at St. John Neumann Regional Lower Academy in Williamsport, PA.  She serves on the board of the Lycoming Unit of the American Cancer Society, working on the annual Relay for Life, as well as the Reach-to-Recovery and Support Group programs for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. She is married to Fr. Daniel Kovalak of Holy Cross Church in Williamsport, PA., who serves on the OCA Department of Evangelization.  They have 2 daughters, and two grandchildren.

Catherine Sullivan holds a Bachelor's degree in Education and a Master's degree in Theology and Religious Studies with a concentration in Christian Education.  She is certified to teach both elementary and secondary students and has over twenty years of teaching experience. She was the first Director of Christian Education for the US Coast Guard and has served as a Director of Christian Education for several parishes. Catherine is an associate of the Department of Christian Education specializing in Small Church School Resources.

Sandy Mitchell received her B.A. in Biology from Cornell College. She currently teaches science to students in grades 1-12 at St. Peters Classical School Fort Worth, Texas.  She is a member of St. Peters Antiochian Orthodox Church, where she serves as part of the teen SOYO advisor team. For 18 years, she has been an active part of St. Peter's Christian Education department, serving as Church School Director, teacher, and VBS coordinator. Sandy is the Christian Education Director for Camp St. Raphael, for which she writes and compiles a yearly curriculum. She serves the Department of Christian Education as the Western Rite liaison, a teacher trainer for the OCEC, and as an associate Christian education coordinator for the Diocese of Wichita and Mid America.