Preschool Staff

Molly DeAngelo (Director)

Molly DeAngelo (Ms. Molly) has a Masters in Elementary Education and a Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Virginia. She is licensed in Elementary Education with an additional certification in PreK. She taught 3rd and 4th grade for 4 years before coming to Saint Raphael Preschool in 2006, teaching 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds for 10 years before becoming director. Her twin boys are both alumni of the preschool.

“Our family has lived in Raleigh since 2003. In my free time I enjoy reading and cheering for the Carolina Hurricanes. I love working at Saint Raphael Preschool because the staff and families support each other to create such a loving, educational environment for children to grow and learn. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing children excited about learning!”

B.J. Cady (Administrative Assistant)

B.J. Cady earned her Associates Degree in Data Processing at Phillips Junior College (Mississippi). She worked at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for over 20 years as a Purchasing Processor, eventually obtaining the position of Certified Purchasing Manager. When she and her husband, Mike, were blessed with a beautiful baby boy in 2007 she became a stay at home mom. She and her son, Matthew, were regulars at the St. Raphael Friday Play Group and she was also involved with Mother’s in Faith. Matthew is an alumnus of St. Raphael Preschool and currently attends SRCS.

“Coming back to St. Raphael Preschool felt like coming home again. Everyone here is so warm and caring. I am looking forward to getting to know each child and family. This opportunity is truly a blessing for me and my family. In my free time I enjoy spending time at the beach, going on camping adventures and reading.”

Nora Duran (Marketing & Enrollment Coordinator)

Nora Duran (Ms. Nora) holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Meredith College and holds a professional certification in Human Resources from Duke University. Before joining, Ms. Nora traveled the world working with consulting firms in the areas of human resources and project management. She’s multi-lingual in several languages including Spanish. She enjoys volunteering her skills and time to organizations. She lives in Raleigh with her family and beautiful daughters Kennedy Grace and Carlile Victoria. Her daughter Kennedy and niece Barbara currently attend SRCS.

“My whole family is from Garner, North Carolina and grew up in the Raleigh area. My parents and 3 siblings still live here as well. We are very blessed to raise our children in the area we were born and raised in as children. Garner is a very small town where everyone is like family and everyone knows each other’s name. As soon as my family stepped onto the St. Raphael campus, we knew this was our home. That is a special feeling. God bless!”

Jacqueline Coble (Teacher)

Jacqueline Coble (Ms. Jacqueline) earned her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from East Carolina University. She is licensed in Elementary Education and has a specialization in Reading Education as well as the Early Childhood Credential. Before joining the staff of St. Raphael Preschool, Ms. Jacqueline was a Reading Intervention Teacher in Wake County, NC and Broward County, FL. Her daughter is a current Preschool student. Ms. Jacqueline worked as our Lunch Bunch monitor before moving into the classroom.

“My family and I loved St. Raphael Preschool from our first visit. Our daughter was comfortable and excited as soon as she walked in. I’m so grateful to be a part of this wonderful preschool!”

Tracey Frank (Teacher)

Tracey Frank (Ms. Tracey) has a Bachelor of Arts in Child Development and Psychology from Meredith College and holds an NC professional teaching license in Birth through Kindergarten and Elementary Education. Ms. Tracey’s past work experience has included being the director of an infant/toddler program through Child Care Services, teaching preschool at Lakewood Avenue Children’s School in Durham, and working for the Child Development Service Agency in early intervention. After staying home with her three children for several years, she was excited to rejoin the workforce at St. Raphael Preschool. Ms. Tracey has two children who are alumni of the Preschool and current SRCS students and one child who is a current Preschool student.

“While searching for the best preschool for my first child, our family looked at many preschools in the Raleigh/Wake Forest area. Once I walked into St. Raphael, I knew this was where we belonged. I love that the teachers and staff are so welcoming and the children look happy and excited to be here. The teachers are educated and provide a curriculum that is age appropriate and stimulating. In my free time I enjoy reading and spending time with family and friends. I am excited to be on staff at St. Raphael Preschool, where my children received such a great foundation in their early learning.”

April Haas (Teacher)

April Haas (Ms. April) has a B.S. in Elementary Education from Northern Illinois University. Prior to her employment at Saint Raphael Preschool in 2012, April taught 3rd, 4th and 5th grades for 5 years. She holds a license in Elementary Education as well as having earned the Early Childhood Credential. April has two daughters, both of whom are alumnae of the Preschool.

“My family has been a part of the Saint Raphael community since we moved to Raleigh in 2003. My children are Preschool alumni and now attend SRCS and Cardinal Gibbons. I have always loved how the community makes you feel like a part of the family. I feel very blessed to now have a more integral role in making the magic happen. My family deeply appreciates the faith-based, family oriented education that Saint Raphael provides. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, reading and spending time with family and friends.”

Amanda Houchin (Teacher)

Amanda Houchin (Ms. Amanda) has a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Akron. Prior to her employment at Saint Raphael Preschool in 2019, Amanda taught kindergarten in Wake County and at area preschools, including St. Catherine. She holds a teaching license for preschool through 3rd grade. Ms. Amanda’s daughter is a student at St. Raphael Preschool.

“Preschool is an exciting place to be, and I look forward to providing a wide variety of learning and play experiences for your children throughout the school year! On a personal note, I have a wonderful husband, beautiful daughter, a dog named Ella and a cat named Darby. As a family we enjoy being outside, taking trips to the mountains, and watching football.”

Tina Rodgers (Teacher)

Tina Rodgers (Ms. Tina) has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Elementary Education from the University of Mary Washington. She has taught children in all developmental stages from birth to Kindergarten. She loves to include mindfulness lessons throughout her preschool day. Ms. Tina’s teaching experience includes 5 years at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool. In her free time after school she loves to teach yoga and meditation. Her favorite thing about teaching PreK is the children’s love of exploring the world around them. They are filled with curiosity and wonder everyday!

“I am truly blessed to call St. Raphael Preschool home. I love teaching about faith, love and kindness. I get to share my gifts of creating art, reading stories, listening to children’s ideas, fostering new friendships and most importantly discovering new ways to make learning fun. Happiness for me is the smile on a child’s face when they love to come to school and are excited about what they will learn today.”

Kathryn Scialdone (Teacher/Extended Day Drama & Art Teacher)

Kathryn Scialdone (Ms. Kathryn) has B.A.s in Theater and English from Appalachian State University and holds an NC teaching license. She taught for over ten years in Wake County Public Schools and, prior to that, worked on the staff of the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. She also assisted in the Teens On Stage program for Raleigh Little Theatre. In the years her son attended the Preschool, Ms Kathryn was a frequent volunteer both in the classroom and serving as chair of the Puppetry Committee. 

“St. Raphael Preschool is like a family tradition for me.  My mom worked here for 31 years before retiring.  Both my sisters, now in their thirties, went to preschool here as did my son and nephew.  And now, here I am teaching in the classroom as well as art and drama in our after school program. There’s no better compliment that I can give to St. Raphael Preschool than to say each day I come to work, it feels like home.”

Kim Simmons (Teacher)

Kim Simmons (Ms. Kim) holds a B.S. in Marine Biology from the Florida Institute of Technology. Before moving to Raleigh she worked for The College of William & Mary (Williamsburg, VA) doing research and educational tours at The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS). Kim has been an active member of the Saint Raphael Catholic community since arriving in Raleigh in 2001. One of her favorite ways to share her time was serving as a Faith Formation Catechist for 2-5 year olds and First Grade. Kim and her husband have four children, all of whom are Preschool alumni. Since working at the preschool, Kim has earned the Early Childhood Credential.

“A lot has changed in education in the last fifteen years, but one thing that will never change is that each child is a unique person of God. Each child is truly a blessing, and I feel honored to be a small part of their day. Our Preschool staff and families partner together to make each child’s experience here a great one! This is truly an environment where your child’s mind, heart and spirit will be nurtured and respected.” 

Amy Vancura (Teacher)

Amy Vancura (Ms. Amy) earned her BA in Elementary Education from UNC Chapel Hill. She holds an Elementary Education teaching license with additional ESL licensure. Her teaching career began in Carrboro City School system where she taught Kindergarten for two years years. Amy then went on to teach ESL and Kindergarten in Harnett County. She is the mother of Mia and Anthony, both alumni of the Preschool. 

“I knew from the moment we walked in the door to tour that St. Raphael Preschool would be a special place for our family. The school has such a loving, positive vibe and right away we felt welcomed into the community. I’m so excited to be part of such a supportive and giving staff. Reading, running, and yoga are three of my favorite things to do!”

Elena Lazaro (Music Teacher)

Elena Lazaro (Ms. Elena) received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in flute performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. In addition to her freelance work in performance, she has taught students ranging from infants to adults as a private flute instructor, ensemble director, and classroom teacher for music appreciation and music fundamentals. Ms. Elena worked as a music specialist in area preschools and daycares before becoming mother to Sylvia and Emilia. She received Level 1 certification from the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association and trained in both Musikgarten and Orff-Schulwerk methodologies. Ms. Elena currently directs flute ensembles at Cardinal Gibbons and Saint Mary’s School, where she also teaches flute lessons.

“It is a special delight for me to engage these little ones in joyous music-making. We are also doing some serious work! Music class for the young child not only lays the foundation for musicality but also meets their social, emotional, and developmental needs. Our activities are developmentally appropriate and musically significant. We enrolled our daughters at St. Raphael because of the strength of its staff and its child-sensitive approach to faith. When the importance of developmentally appropriate activities and early childhood research was addressed at orientation, we knew we chose the right place.”

Nikki Simpson (Catechist)

Nakia Simpson (Ms. Nakia) has a Masters in Sociology and a Bachelors in Political Science from Stanford University. For many years she focused on being a stay-at-home mom for her three children. As each one entered school, she often volunteered in their classrooms. Ms. Nakia has served as an assistant catechist in Saint Raphael’s Faith Formation program in first and second grade as well as in the special needs class with her son, held in the Preschool Atrium. She loved being in the Atrium so much that in 2015 she attended Level 1 training in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Most recently, Ms. Nakia worked as a third grade teaching assistant. She plans to pursue the Early Childhood Credential and Early Childhood Education Certificate.

“I’m so happy to work at St. Raphael Preschool. As a mom, I saw how important a positive preschool experience was for my own children’s development. They were  blessed to have caring and supportive preschool teachers and staff who took the time to get to know them and recognize their unique strengths. I am eager to do the same in my role at St. Raphael Preschool!”

Lisa Porter (Creative Movement Teacher)

Lisa Porter (Ms. Lisa) earned her Associates degree in Business Administration from Durham Tech. She worked in the corporate world up until the birth of her children. She joined the staff of the Preschool as a classroom assistant in 2011 and has since attained the Early Childhood Credential.

“Both of my daughters attended the Preschool and SRCS. I found the environment of the Preschool so warm and welcoming for my girls. I appreciated each of my children’s teachers and always knew that my girls were well cared for and happy. I enjoyed coming to their classrooms as a Helping Hand and was thrilled to join the Preschool staff when my youngest started Kindergarten.” 

Marla Katz (Spanish Teacher)

Marla Katz (Ms. Marla) received her Master’s in Sports Administration from St. Thomas University (Miami, FL) after receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Business from SMU (Dallas, TX). Marla started her career with the Miami Marlins, where she helped launch the team’s first ever kids club in addition to working with the team’s community relations program. Marla and her family moved to Raleigh in 2006 and she has been a volunteer in many of her three boys’ schools and sports programs. Her parents are originally from Colombia and Spanish was actually the first language Marla learned.

“Our two youngest children both attended Saint Raphael Preschool and it is such a tremendous environment for children to learn and grow. I am excited to be a part of it and help the students become excited about learning a new language! In my spare time, I am often at a field or on a court cheering on our three boys!”

Tabitha Davis (Assistant/Extended Day Science and Religion Teacher)

Tabitha Davis (Ms. Tabitha) attended Wake Tech Community College and attained her Associate of Arts Degree. She holds the Early Childhood Credential and has worked in the field of early childhood for eleven years. Currently she is working on attaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education (Birth to Kindergarten).

“I’m very excited to be part of he St. Raphael Preschool family. Working with children is a passion of mine; seeing them grow and become confident in their abilities and skills is very rewarding. In my free time I enjoy reading, crafts, baking and exploring our beautiful state of North Carolina.”

Debbie Farley (Assistant)

Debbie Farley (Ms. Debbie) holds a BS in fashion merchandising from Meredith college. Prior to having children, she worked as a buyer for Belk stores for many years. Both of her girls attended St. Raphael Preschool. Ms. Debbie volunteered extensively at both the Preschool and in her daughters’ Wake County schools. She recently worked for three years at the Preschool, both as an assistant teacher in the Turtles and as an extended day monitor. During this time she earned her Early Childhood Credential. After taking a year off to figure out the new carpool juggling act with downtown middle and high schools, she is back at St. Raphael! 

“As a first time parent, I must have toured 10 preschools! St. Raphael Preschool, by far, stood out to me as the number one school on the list. With the accredited program, secure facility, bright, beautiful, structured environment, and kind and loving teachers, I felt like St. Raphael was the best kept secret in preschools. My girls had an incredible experience here, and I love having returned to the school years later to work with this wonderful staff and helping a whole new group of children find their wings.”

Diane Grimaldi (Assistant and Extended Day Monitor)

Diane Grimaldi (Ms. Diane) came to North Carolina in 1996 while working as a sales manager. For many years she worked at the Discovery Kids Preschool at the YMCA, where she started by assisting in the 2 year olds and eventually became the lead teacher in that classroom. She began working at St. Raphael Preschool in 2016. She is also an active volunteer in the preschool department of her church. Ms. Diane is happily married with a son in middle school and a daughter in high school.

“I love working at St. Raphael Preschool because the atmosphere is friendly, supportive, and loving. I am excited to be an assistant in the Cubs and as a monitor in Extended Day. In my free time I enjoy reading, hiking, and camping with my family.”

Jillian Lemmon (Assistant)

Jillian Lemmon (Ms. Jillian) moved to North Carolina from New York City. She ran the nursery program for her church in NY and also worked as a nanny for some time before moving to NC and staying home with her children full time. Both of her sons are Preschool alumni. She has a daughter as well, and all three children currently attend SRCS. Ms. Jillian volunteers for many committees in both the Preschool and the grade school.

“After moving to Raleigh, St. Raphael Preschool was the first place that felt like home. The relationships that we have built here are our most cherished. I’m glad to be a part of the staff!”

Gail Parquette (Assistant)

Gail Parquette (Ms. Gail) attended Hillborough Community College and attained her Associates degree in Business. She holds a Early Childhood Credential and has experience as a substitute teacher in grades K-2. Her son is an alumnus of the Preschool.

“My husband and I have a son, Jackson, who attended Saint Raphael Preschool for two years. It was pure joy to watch my son grow in faith and knowledge in such a loving environment, so you can imagine how blessed I feel to now be part of the staff at St. Raphael. In our spare time, my family and I enjoy biking and taking walks along the many greenways in Raleigh.” 

Megumi Paulsen (Assistant)

Megumi Paulsen (Ms. Megumi) is originally from Japan. She earned her Associate degree in Mass Communication and worked in the financial industry in Boston before relocating to Raleigh with her husband in 2006. She worked at Fidelity Investments for 10 years until she decided to stay home with their newborn daughter. Her daughter is a Preschool alumna and now attends SRCS. Ms. Megumi often volunteered in both preschool and SRCS and started helping at Early Arrival at St. Raphael Preschool in 2018. She holds the Early Childhood credential.

“We looked at few preschools in the area and loved the safe and nurturing environment of St. Raphael Preschool. Our daughter loved coming to preschool and ran to the Pandas class every time. Her love for school continued even after she moved on to the “big school” next door. Teachers here care so much about the kids and their development- it certainly shows, and we feel it, too. I am excited to be part of the preschool staff!” 

Lauren Peterson (Assistant)

Lauren Peterson (Ms. Lauren) earned her Registered Medical Assistant and Phlebotomy licenses at HoHoKus School of Business and Medical Studies in New Jersey. She worked in the medical field for five years in both Greenville, NC and Lynchburg, VA before moving back to the Raleigh area in 2006, when she became a stay at home mom. Both of her children are alumni of the Preschool. Lauren volunteered here often during the four years her children were enrolled. She served as a substitute teacher and an extra resource helper for two years at St. Raphael Preschool before earning her Early Childhood Credential and becoming a classroom assistant teacher.

“St. Raphael Preschool felt like home from the moment we first came to look at the school. We couldn’t have imagined sending our children anyplace else. Everyone here was so warm and caring, and the preschool still means so much to both of my children, my husband and me. I’m blessed to be able to be part of this wonderful school!”

Maylena Rinda (Assistant)

Maylena Rinda (Ms. Maylena) is originally from Pennsylvania but has lived in Raleigh since 1992. She has a very large family with a long history at St. Raphael. Two of her children attended St. Raphael Preschool and all three children and all of her siblings attended SRCS. Ms. Maylena has already attained her Early Childhood Credential and is now pursuing the Early Childhood Associates degree.

“You cannot beat St. Raphael Preschool! All the teachers are so wonderful and it’s such a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. I’m excited to join the staff. Working here feels like being with family!” 

Marcie Graf (Early Arrival and Extended Day Monitor)

Marcie Graf (Ms. Marcie) earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Communication Disorders from Lousiana State University. She holds an NC license in speech language pathology and worked with children as a speech language pathologist for nearly a decade before coming to the preschool.  Her son and daughter are Preschool alumni and now attend SRCS. She is here bright and early every morning ready to greet with a kind smile those preschool students whose parents need to drop them off before our 9 AM start. 

“My husband and I began attending St. Raphael when we moved to Raleigh in 2003, and I immediately loved the welcoming family atmosphere. I felt it again when my children started at the Preschool. It was a wonderful experience as a parent, and is now once again as a staff member.”

Donna Johann (Extended Day Monitor)

Donna Johann (Ms. Donna) has a B.S. in Industrial Relations from UNC-Chapel Hill. She has been a Preschool substitute for many years and coordinated the Lunch Bunch program. Both her son and daughter are alumni of the Preschool.

“I have been a member of the St. Raphael community since 1980. I was married here and both of my children were baptized here as well. My husband and I are originally from Wisconsin (yes, we are cheeseheads/Packer fans). I enjoy crafts, geneology, gardening and spending time with my family. I knew the second I walked in, my children were going to attend the Preschool. I loved the warmth and attention of the teachers and staff. I believed so much in the program that once my children “graduated,” I stayed. I feel so blessed to work here, and I truly enjoy the children who walk these halls!”

Nancy Masteller (Extended Day Monitor)

Nancy Masteller (Ms. Nancy) is a Raleigh native and a graduate of Millbrook High School and East Carolina University, where she received a BS in Elementary Education. She recently retired from Wake County Public Schools, where she taught at Brassfield Elementary teaching first, second, and third grades. Prior to that she taught second grade at Our Lady of Lourdes. Her daughter, Meredith, is an alumna of the Preschool. In her free time Ms. Nancy enjoys reading and relaxing on the beach.

“St. Raphael has played an important role in my life. My parents were members of the parish from the beginning. I was married here and my daughter attended the Preschool. After retiring from the classroom, I wanted to continue working with children. I look forward to a great year!”