David Ackerman


Education: In 1982, I graduated from Penn State University with a BA in English, and I also earned an MA in English from Slippery Rock University (1990).


Years Teaching: I joined the ACCCHS faculty in the fall of 2009 and teach a variety of English classes. In addition, I serve as the school’s head coach for both the cross country and track and field teams.


In my spare time, I enjoy chasing cars with my faithful dog, swearing at the ineptitude of the New York Mets, creating animals and other figures out of balloons and building sea-worthy craft. I reside with my wife somewhere in Allentown and, periodically, when the fancy strikes them, we hear from our three adult children.

Marcia Alati

Social Studies

Education: I earned my M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania (2006) and a B.S.E. in Secondary Education (Social Studies) from Millersville University of Pennsylvania (1990).

Years Teaching: I have 21 years of teaching experience with 17 of those years happily spent at ACCHS.


Experience: At ACCHS, I teach senior students the subjects of College Preparatory Economics/American Government as well as Honors Economics/American Government. 


In my spare time, I enjoy reading, counted cross-stitch embroidery, cooking, playing with my dog, Suzy and spending time with my loved ones.

Jason Bach


Education: I am a graduate of ACCHS, and after high school, I entered active duty in the United States Marine Corps. I later received my undergraduate degree from DeSales University and my master’s degree from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. I have two children, twins Jase and Brynn, who both attend ACCHS currently. 


Experience: I am also an adjunct professor at DeSales and LaSalle Universities.


My pedagogical vision can be summed up in the following quote by Meister Eckhart: “Gratitude for the gift is shown only by allowing it to make one fruitful.” With this quote in mind, students at ACCHS can never be reduced to “students.” Yes, they are technically “students” while here at ACCHS, but this descriptor does not reveal the fullness of what and who they are. They are Gifts.


This is precisely what makes Catholic—“according to the whole”—Theology the most challenging yet rewarding subject. Catholic Theology addresses the whole of life in the classroom, both for the students and myself. The foundation of the whole is grounded in giftedness. As Gifts, we are never separate from the Gift-Giver—the God Who is Love. We are thus created by Love, in Love, and for Love. It seems to me, then, that the guiding principle in the classroom is much greater than grades, awards, and acceptance letters, although these are crucial. The guiding principle is to show “gratitude for the gift by allowing it to make one fruitful.” 


In summation, I would like to conclude by coupling the quote above, which guides my instructional vision, with a quote by Hans Urs von Balthasar that explains the goal of teaching I relentlessly work toward each day: “What you are is God's gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.” Each day in Theology, we strive to recognize the Gift that we are and respond in love to God, the Gift-Giver, by striving to be what and who He intends us to be. 

Robert Baser


Education: I received my B. A. in English and in History from Villanova University in 1990. My areas of concentration are in the fields of British and Medieval Language and Literature, Modern Literature, and British, Medieval, and American History. 

Experience: I joined the Allentown Central Catholic High School English Department in the fall of 2000. Prior to coming to ACCHS, I taught English at East New York High School of Transit Technology in Brooklyn, New York. Specifically, I am interested in teaching students how to read, interpret, and write about the literature they read, and how it reflects the world in which they are maturing.


I reside in Bethlehem with my son, who is matriculating at the University of Pittsburgh in the fall. In my free time, I read voraciously, visit various art and historical museums, and am a fan of the opera.

Anthony Clifford


Education: B.A. Lafayette College and M.A. Lehigh University

Experience: As a fifteen-year pedagogical veteran and a cancer survivor of ten years, I have cultivated one all-encompassing philosophy: never etch-in-stone a philosophy. Teaching is a dynamic, ever-changing entity that knows no limits. An open-mind, an open-heart, and an open soul are essential to the individual’s, as well as the institutions’, success.

Change for the sake of change, isn’t always the best direction. When trying to upload a document or program where the projector, for some reason, doesn’t want to participate… I fondly recall the days of overhead contraptions and transparencies; giant TV’s that feature three channels on cumbersome steel carts with wheels. As the fourth white board marker comes up dry, I think of things like… chalk dust deep inside my nostrils. For all its drawbacks, chalk always worked. The latest teachers’ meeting features an endless line of on-line inter-active games that make me think of the simple days of pinball, quarters, and monster-chomping two-dimensional Pac-People complete with the dissonant sounds of repetitive computer music bouncing from shag-carpeted walls (why did they do that?).  But it is vital to keep an open mind; living in the past is a fool’s errand. Technology, after all, saved my life.

An open heart. I believe it is important to love what you do. And in turn, love the ones you serve. My first vocation in life, as a culinary artist, revolved around the idea of service. It was a passion to make everyone I was blessed to serve feel: welcome; well attended to; and better for the experience. I bring this to my classroom. My focus in this regard has, and always will be — communication. Writing and speaking are life-skills. Long after Hamlet becomes a couple of quotes in the dark recess of a clever bar-conversation, communication will remain a key to progress. As I tell parents, every single parent night, “it’s all about communication,” and communication begins with a voice, a writing utensil, and some paper. Computers steal a student’s ability to effectively apply rhetorical skills and actively proof-read. These skills are crucial for success in the AP, SAT, and ACT testing environment. Right now, spelling, grammar, and penmanship are on life-support (and it gets worse with each passing year).

As a Christian, and an active member of St. Thomas More Church, I firmly believe in a Christ-centered approach in dealing with others. Christ teaches love, honesty, humility, and respect. With a truly open soul, a soul that embraces the tenets of Christianity, the classroom becomes a safe, fertile place that fosters exchange, exploration, thought, and discussion.

I have a heart and a passion for what I do. And I thank God for a soul; He reminds me that every day, every person, and every experience is a unique and precious gift.

Erin Charnick

9th & 10th Grade, Academic Achievement Center

Education: Bloomsburg University for both undergraduate and graduate studies. I hold a Bachelor’s of Liberal Arts in Social Work and a Master’s of Science in Exceptionalities. I am certified in Elementary Education and Special Education.  


Experience: I grew up in Annville PA, a small town near Harrisburg. I love helping students discover tools and strategies that assist them to become successful students. I hope to inspire students to become life-long learners.  

Currently I live in the Lehigh Valley with my husband and two children. I love spending time outdoors; gardening, biking, swimming, running, and playing with my children are some of my favorite activities. 


“Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” 

- Saint Francis of Assisi

Mark Damiter


Years Teaching: I have taught Biology, all levels, at ACCHS for the past 34 years. During that time I mentored its  PJAS science club for 15 years and coached Track for 5 years.


Experience: I enjoy teaching teaching at ACCHS because of the spiritual structure it projects. I can integrate religion and moral values in my classes that I could not do in a public school. Academic excellence is fostered and expected by other peer teachers as well as by administrators. I felt that I have grown, gained confidence, and evolved,as a teacher as a result of being exposed to new educational ideas, methods, and integrating them as I can in my classroom. 

Over the past 34 years, I sincerely feel that ACCHS has become a part of me and my family and I, in turn, became part of Allentown Central Catholic. The relationships I developed over the years with former students means very much to me. It is my hope that I inspired some young minds to do better in the classroom and life in general.

I have also been a Park Ranger at two nearby State Parks for 11 summers. During my student teaching I was a security guard at a department store to catch shoplifters.I also did custodial work on and off from the time I was 18 until I was 45. I am married for the past 28 years and have a son, 26, and a daughter, 22, both college graduates and ACCHS alumni.

Joseph DeAcetis

Social Studies

As a practicing Catholic, I chose teaching as my life long profession because I believe in the importance of helping young people equip themselves to grow intellectually and mature with confidence. The approach I take to teaching social studies is founded in the belief that all subject matters in school are a part of God's general revelation. A Catholic school education should provide a student with the ingredients necessary to lead a productive, faith-filled, prosperous existence. I believe a teacher's task is to enhance their pupils' ability to think, reason, analyze and inquire logically.  Students who learn to think for themselves will be better equipped to live as responsible citizens, make correct decisions and handle adversity in a mature way.


My personal assets and skills will enable your child to learn from a well-prepared, understanding, knowledgeable teacher. Reflecting upon my own approach, I bring an intensity and dedication to teaching.  This is how I approach all my responsibilities. I believe time and life are two of our most precious gifts from God and I always try to use my talents and abilities to draw the most value from both. As a teacher, I want to use my talents and abilities to help young people draw value from their life and time.

John F. Durishin Jr.


Education: In 1970, after graduating from Parkland High School, I was an exchange student with Rotary International and resided in Malmo, Sweden for 14 months. I am a graduate of Lehigh University where I received degrees in English-BA, Psychology-BS, and Theatre and Drama-BS. I received my Education Degree in Communications from Lafayette College and my Graduate degree from East Stroudsburg University. 

Years Teaching: I joined the Allentown Central Catholic English Department in 2012. I taught at Parkland High School for 35 years in English, Theatre and Drama, began the TV and Video Production curriculum, and instructed as an assistant in the Introduction to Engineering Design classes until I retired in 2012.

Experience: Before teaching, I worked as a Residential Counselor (fancy name for –Guard) at a maximum security prison near Philadelphia.


My family and I live near Allentown. I am most blessed with an amazing and beautiful wife, Linda, a DeSales University graduate-BA, MSN in Nursing. Linda is currently an administrator with Lehigh Valley Hospital. Our sons Brendyn-a graduate of Drexel University (Civil Engineering), JohnByron-a graduate of Penn State (Shreyer Honors College of Business), and Colyn- a remarkable and talented senior at ACCHS are what keep us grounded and provide endless entertainment and unconditional love.


I am truly blessed to have worked and to work with some incredible teachers and staff. My future plans include traveling as far and wide as my Harley Davidson will take me and live long and healthy enough to enjoy grandchildren. There is so much more to see and experience. As I look forward to my 41st and possibly final year of teaching, I want to thank first and foremost my family for always supporting me, and then the thousands of young people who have made such an impact and impression on my life. I am a far better person because of all of you. May God bless you and always keep you safe from all harm.

Mary Lou Grigalonis

Academic Achievement

Education: After obtaining my bachelor's degree in special education I moved to the Lehigh Valley where I pursued my graduate studies in counseling of psychology.


Experience: Learning has always been a passion of mine. From a young age, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. When I am not teaching I enjoy reading, being outdoors especially at the beach and spending time with my family.

Randy Haring

CP Chemistry

Education: Bachelor’s and Master’s work at the Kutztown University.  


Years Teaching: 19 years at ACCHS

Experience: Presently teaching CP Chemistry; previously taught ChemPhysics, CP Environmental, Honors Environmental and Physics. I started my teaching career teaching Physics at Upper Bucks Technical School part time. I really enjoyed working with young adults, so I changed careers. My second teaching position was at Minersville teaching physics.   

I enjoy teaching at ACCHS for many reasons but most of all is because I can speak about Jesus. Prior to teaching, I was a chemist. 

In addition to teaching, I also was the moderator for Student Council for 16 years. I am married and have four children, seven grandchildren and many international students.

Lauren Kammerer

World Studies, American Studies, Pop Culture

Education: Growing up, I went to Emmaus High School. I continued my education at East Stroudsburg University where I studied Secondary Education in social studies.    


Experience: I teach World Studies, American Studies, and Pop Culture here at ACCHS.  

While at Emmaus and East Stroudsburg, I was a member of the women’s swimming and diving team. My passion for this sport continues here at ACCHS where I am the head coach of both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams. This past season both teams won the District Championship for the first time in nearly fifteen years.

James Karabasz

Entrepreneurism and Information Technology

Education: 1978 graduate of Allentown Central Catholic High School


Years Teaching: Over 25 years of successful entrepreneurial ventures and 10+ years of educational experience. 

Experience: I feel privileged to return to my Alma Mater, and teach my passion, Entrepreneurism and Information Technology to the students here at Central. I feel being associated with the students, faculty and administration makes me a better person (as it does all of us). This is a special community I am blessed to be a part of it.

Susan Kostelnik

World Language, Spanish: Levels 2, 3, 4 Honors and College Prep

Education: B.A. in History and Spanish, Franklin and Marshall College, 1987. NJ and PA (Instructional II) Certifications.


Years Teaching: Spanish teacher, Immaculate Heart Academy, Township of Washington, NJ 1987-1991; Spanish Teacher, ACCHS, 1993 to present.


Experience: I have been teaching Spanish at ACCHS, all levels from CP1 to AP, for 24 years. I am currently a moderator for National Honor Society and a Kairos Retreat Leader. I participate in our school liturgies as a lector and Eucharistic Minister and I am extremely enthusiastic about sharing my faith with the students of Allentown Central Catholic. It is the students that have kept me here for so many years; they make every day a worthwhile experience. To me, they are the heart of our school and I am blessed to share my time with all of them.


Outside of school, I love to cook and to read, unlike the students, I LOVE to have a summer reading list!

On a more personal note, if you are a parent that is reading this and are unsure about sending your child to our school, please feel free to email me with questions. My children, coming from Northampton County, knew no other students when they began at ACCHS and it turned out to be an extremely worthwhile experience for both of them! My children have grown up at Allentown Central Catholic and both graduated from ACCHS, my son in 2010 and my daughter in 2014. 

Patrick Markham

Theology Teacher and Central City Project Coordinator

Education: I completed my undergraduate work at Villanova and just finished my Master’s in Theological Studies at LaSalle University.


Years Teaching: I have nine years of teaching experience and have been teaching Theology at Allentown Central Catholic since 2011.  

Experience: As a Theology teacher and Coordinator of the Central City Project, I have the unique opportunity of combining the Gospel principles taught in the classroom with social outreach in the city of Allentown. Because of the Central City Project, the students at ACCHS are given the opportunity to live the ideal of a “faith that does justice”.  


When teaching Theology I utilize Church architecture, art, music, and literature to highlight the depth and rich history of the Catholic faith. My research interests include Ignatian and Celtic spirituality. During the past two summers, I have taken courses in Ireland on Peacebuilding and Irish culture. 

Jane O'Neill

Honors Chemistry

Education: Teaching chemistry is my second career…but honestly my first one seems like a lifetime ago. I am a proud graduate of Allentown Central Catholic and hold a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering Degree from Villanova University. Upon graduating from Villanova, I was hired as the first female engineer in the Base Oils Product Development Group at Sun Oil. Eventually I returned to school and earned my secondary education certification in chemistry from DeSales University.

Experience: I taught at Notre Dame High School in Green Pond prior to returning to teach at my alma mater.

I want to share my passion for chemistry with students, make it understandable, and help them appreciate its relevance to their lives. Sparking an interest in science and engineering careers never loses its excitement. I strive to create a classroom environment where students feel challenged, yet comfortable to ask questions. I seek to encourage students to be at ease with making a mistake, to learn from mistakes, and to do their best.   

My aspirations for my students include developing higher level problem solving skills, improving technical writing skills and advancing technology skills. My pedagogical approach to this end includes incorporating a variety of techniques to reach different learning styles. These include inquiry based lab experiences, flipped classroom videos, cooperative group sessions, computer games, student generated projects, demonstrations and direct instruction. My goal is to prepare students for college and for them to be responsible, caring, productive members of society.

“Best Friends Forever” is one of the extracurricular activities at ACCHS for which I am the faculty moderator.  This club promotes friendships between teens at ACCHS and special needs teens at Mercy Learning Center.   Monthly social activities are scheduled with Mercy buddies such as karaoke/movie night, sporting events, art projects, bowling and cookie baking. This club holds a special spot in my heart and I am grateful for the friendships I have at Mercy. 


I see my students as individuals and aim to foster their growth academically, socially, and spiritually. I believe that a cooperative effort among parents, students and myself will help each student develop to their full God-given potential.  

I married my husband Chris (we met in my Villanova chemistry class) and chose to leave my engineering job after our first son was born. I enjoyed being a stay at home mom to my five children for many years and still view time with my family as my greatest gift.

Robert Rineer

World Language

Educational: B.S. in Bible and Cross-Cultural Ministry, M.S. Ed. in Teacher Education, PA & VA certification-Spanish K-12, and AP Spanish Institute.

Years Teaching: I have been teaching for over 30 years, which includes 15+ years of teaching Spanish. This is my 11th year at ACCHS. 

Experience: I have been intrigued by the Spanish language and culture since my junior high years. Having had the privilege of living and serving Spanish-speaking people: Latin America (1 year), Spain (8 years), and the USA (25 years), the Lord has increased my delight in sharing the language and culture with my students. 


I am delighted to be a Spanish teacher here at Allentown Central Catholic. I have taught Spanish to all ages from nursery school to adults. I have been privileged to teach home school, private school, public school, Catholic school, online classes, and college students. 

Ruth Ruch

Specials Department Chair

Education: I have a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Education and an Instructional Level I & II Teaching Certification from Bloomsburg.


Years Teaching: I have been teaching at ACCHS for 35 wonderful years.


Experience: I am the Specials Department Chair which includes teachers from the Physical Education, Business, Information Technology and the Arts (music and visual arts). We are a varied and positive team. I enjoy teaching Accounting I, II, Desktop Publishing/Web Page Design and Information Technology. I serve as a SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) Moderator.


My children graduated from Allentown Central Catholic and are living exciting lives with rewarding careers. I am the most positive person you will ever meet!

Jean Scialla

Science - Biology

Education: I am a proud graduate of the University of Scranton. While at Scranton, I earned a BS in Biology. I also earned a Masters degree in Biology from Villanova University.


Experience: My experience in the classroom began as a teaching assistant at Villanova during my two years as a graduate student. After Villanova, I worked as a virologist for Merck & Co, specifically in vaccine development. I also worked for the pharmaceutical sales division of Merck. I taught biology for three years in a public school in New York. In 2014, I was blessed with the opportunity to take a position as a biology teacher here at Allentown Central Catholic.


I love being a part of this truly incredible and dedicated staff.  The students are a joy to teach, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with them. Outside of school, I spend as much time as possible with my four children and husband. I love to go to the beach, run, read, and watch the Yankees win.

Renee Serencsits


Education: Before coming to Allentown Central Catholic, I was a proud graduate of Notre Dame High School, Green Pond. I also earned a Bachelor of Science in Spanish Education from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. In addition, I studied Humanities at the Universidad de Burgos in Burgos, Spain where I lived, studied, and taught English for a year. 


Years Teaching: I have been lucky enough to have been at Allentown Central Catholic since 2010


Experience: I am blessed to be a Spanish teacher, the World Language Department Chair, SAP Team member, and Advisor of the Drama Club, among many other activities. 

There are so many things that I love about being a member of the Allentown Central Catholic family, but first and foremost are my amazing students. Through classes, Drama productions, spiritual retreats, and just everyday life, I am blessed and honored to teach and know such an amazing group of individuals. I only hope that my students learn as much from me as I do from them. 

Jennifer Shankweiler


Education: In 2009, I graduated magna cum laude from DeSales University with a B.A. in theology and secondary education. 

Years Teaching: I joined the Viking Nation in 2016 and happily calls it home.


Experience: Before becoming a Viking, I served for two years as the Director of Religious Education at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena. Prior to this, I spent some time as a missionary with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. I devote the majority of my time sharing my passion for theology, the Catholic Church and Christ himself with the students of Allentown Central Catholic.

Jared Smith

Social Studies

Education: I was born in Allentown, PA. Graduated from Jim Thorpe High School in 2007. Attended Duquesne University where I received my Bachelors of Science in Secondary Social Studies Education.


Experience: My classes at Allentown Central Catholic include World Studies, American Government and Economics. I serve as Assistant Tennis Coach to the boys and girls teams. I also serve as Class Advisor to the class of 2020. My interest include: history, politics, reading, and supporting Pittsburgh sports teams (Go Pens!). 

Patrick Sutton


Education: I graduated from Moravian College with a BS in Mathematics and Secondary Education. I am currently working towards my M. Ed. in Secondary Education at Kutztown University. 


I am a lifelong member of St. Thomas More Church in Allentown and am currently a member of the adult choir. I am a graduate of both St. Thomas More School and Northwestern Lehigh High School. One of my favorite things about teaching is leading struggling students to success by helping them overcome their "fear" of math.

Edward Tabor


Education: When I studied in the graduate program at Lehigh University, I learned that a strong basis in one’s subject matter is vital to scholarship. I also realized that one must continually expand his knowledge base to remain an innovative and effective teacher. In my academic research, I’ve addressed traditional concepts in literature and culture and worked toward new perspectives on older ideas. Specifically, I’ve focused on the transatlantic nature of modernism, postmodern horror film, British colonial literature from the Romantic period, political and social revolutionary texts from the seventeenth century, architecture in literature, and Utopian Studies. In my Master's thesis, I argue that a remapping of the literary/artistic territory of Harlem is necessary to understanding of the international structure of the Harlem Renaissance. The full title of my study is, Carl Van Vechten in Harlem: Envisioning and Reinventing American Transatlantic Bohemia. 


Years Teaching: The chronicles of history will one day mark the year 2003 as the beginning of my teaching career at the great school of Allentown Central Catholic; what the world may not know, is that it actually began in the late 1990s in that venerable old institution of Reading Central Catholic High School. After spending two years working with promising students within the marbled halls of that school, I found that my career beckoned me to teach Theology and English at the neighboring Holy Name High School. Beginning in 2002, a new opportunity arose and I began to teach courses in English Composition and English Literature at Reading Area Community College. At RACC, I enjoyed the views of the Schuylkill River and more importantly, I began to test a new style of seminar discussion. 


Experience: After joining the faculty at Allentown Central Catholic, I have focused on teaching Advanced Placement Literature, as well as following my love of creativity and philosophy. This mix of interests led me to create three minor courses: Creative Writing, Existential Literature and Film, and Detective/Crime Literature. In order to further decode the AP exam for my students, I embarked as a reader for the AP Literature and Composition exam, a position which I have held since 2015.

My scholarly pursuits often take me beyond the classroom to the venue of academic conferences. These conferences are the testing ground for new ideas and concepts and they give scholars a place to discuss and debate. Beginning with my initial conference paper in 2011 -Utopia at the Crossroads, Work, Radical Idleness and Revolution in Henry Neville's The Isle of Pines- I have had an interest in exploring non-canonical and revolutionary texts. My recent papers include, "The Suburban House as Para-Site; The Terrible House in Oren Peli's Paranormal Activity" which I presented at the Pennsylvania College English Association Conference, and a paper on the concept of enclosure in the work  of  the seventeenth century playwright Margaret Cavendish, which I presented at the Society for Utopian Studies Annual Conference.  I am currently working on a paper examining the underlying motif of fabric weaving and its connection to computer coding in Thomas Pynchon’s fiction. 

Janice Wiliams

Social Studies

Brain Teaser: What teacher gives brain teasers, loves sports – especially the Eagles, and loves to read?


Answer: Mrs. Williams


Education: I received my B.A. degree from Muhlenberg College and an M.A. in History from Lehigh University.


Years Teaching: This is my 18th year of teaching at ACCHS, where I have taught AP United States History, Honors American History, and Popular Cultures.


I am married and have two daughters. I reside in Nazareth and keep busy playing with my grandchildren and two golden retrievers.

Mark Wilson

Science - Engineering

Education: My formal education all took place within Philadelphia's University City neighborhood: B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University; M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Ph.D. in Systems Engineering, both from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Years Teaching: I joined the ACCHS faculty during 2016 to launch and teach our new engineering program. Although this is my first full-time teaching position since graduate school, I have taught at the university level throughout much of my career. I currently teach undergraduate mathematics classes as a member of the adjunct faculty at the Lehigh Valley campus of Penn State University, and I taught graduate-level engineering courses for many years as an Adjunct Professor of Electrical & Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

Experience: I elected to transition from a wonderfully rewarding 26-year engineering and management career in the communications technologies industry to become a full-time teacher to share my enthusiasm and hopefully inspire our next generation of engineers and scientists!


As part of this program, I teach two Honors-level courses: Introduction to Engineering Design, which is offered to juniors and seniors, and Principles of Engineering, which is a second-year course offered to seniors. In addition to these two courses, I teach both precalculus and Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus BC as part of of our mathematics curriculum.


As you might expect, I am a huge fan of The City of Brotherly Love and its sports teams!

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