The Academy of Saint Matthias the Apostle

Small Classes, BIG Results!

Alumni Spotlight: Tiara Darnell


At Saint Matthias, we prepare students for a global society.  Tiara is a perfect example of our former students impacting the world around them!

Tiara Darnell is a graduate of Saint Matthias, Bishop McNamara High School, University of Maryland- College Park, and recently returned from serving in the U.S. Peace Corps in Morocco.

“I had the travel bug from a young age, probably from all the time spent playing Carmen San Diego,” says Darnell, “but Michelle Doran, my 8th grade social studies teacher, planted the idea of Peace Corps in my mind. I went home after that day in class, looked up the organization, and promised myself I’d do it after graduating college.”

As a volunteer she worked in the field of Youth Development assisting young student journalist in producing an online news publication in English, doing arts and crafts with deaf children, and exchanging food culture through a women’s cooking class, among other small projects. After returning to the U.S. in May 2014, she moved to Oregon to pursue an interest in wine through an internship on a vineyard outside of Portland. She is currently working towards a specialized degree in Wine Business.



The Power of Play: Recess at Saint Matthias

The role of recess in an instructional day is one that has been off and on the hot seat for years.  The “Today Show” has a poll on their website, and as of 8:50am this morning, over 13,476 people had voted YES to recess. Just over 100 had voted now. The poll showed that 99% of those answering felt students should have recess. The mentality is clear, but illogical if you have ever been around a child. Educational leaders feel that less “play time” means more learning. What they forget is that the body of research, and a child every time, will tell you that learning happens better and faster when children are giving social learning time. Let’s also not discount the lessons learned and practiced at recess. At Saint Matthias, we have two recess blocks a day for a total of 45 minutes. This policy is preK-8th grade. Arguments come up about instructional minutes and time lost to testing. I am so thankful that the team at Saint Matthias has always prioritized teaching students all the lessons that will lead them to success, from fractions to taking turns. The body of research is rather impressive on this topic, and it supports both the public opinion on the Today Show website, and our own policies.

With our standardized testing scores to support us, we know and see the power of play on academic growth.  80% of our students of Saint Matthias this fall were at or above average in reading, with over a third of the student body “above average” in math and reading.  We are exceptional and continue to push students to learn and do more.

Our prayers are with those teachers and students in Orange County, Florida and all over the country who are strapped with educational policy that does not help the whole child grow and learn.

Middle School Students at Saint Matthias have two recess blocks a day.  The power of play translates into academic success

Middle School Students at Saint Matthias have two recess blocks a day. The power of play translates into academic success

-Abigail Greer, Principal

Saint Matthias hosts “Mini Mustangs” Workshop

On Saturday, January 10, 2015 we hosted our winter Mini Mustangs event.  Future Saint Matthias scholars got a chance to interact and learn with Mrs. Courtney Smith, our preschool teacher, and each other!

Mrs. Smith works with one of her future students at Saturday's Mini Mustang program.

Mrs. Smith works with one of her future students at Saturday’s Mini Mustang program.


Our next Mini Mustangs Event will be on May 16th from 9:30-10:15am.

Registration is available here.

We look forward to seeing you then!

Saint Matthias Announces Hall of Fame Class of 2015

Saint Matthias is proud to announce the details of the 2015 Hall of Fame Induction and Silent Auction.


On Saturday, March 14, 2015, the following former teachers will be honored for their decades of commitment to the students and families of Saint Matthias:

Mrs. Peggy Carlson

Mrs. Petrina Coyle

Mrs. Michelle Doran

Mrs. Pat Wilson

Mrs. Carol Wood

We will also be honoring supporter Bernie Zempolich and Volunteer Alice Gugliotta

The event will take place at Elizabeth Seton High School from 6:30-9:00pm.

Tickets for the event are on sale now!




Those who wish to contribute to the Silent Auction can do so by contacting Mrs. Vivian Richards at the school.

Meet Our School Board

The Academy of Saint Matthias the Apostle is proud to share the 2014-2015 School Board, which serves in an advisory capacity in the leadership of the school.


Kwesi Ames has been a proud parent at St. Matthias since 2006. During that time he has worked to support the school in various ways. From 2007 to 2010, he served as the CYO Soccer Commissioner where he coached grades 1 through 3. He also has held the role of Treasurer of the Home and School Association (HAS) for the last 6 years. Mr. Ames was born in Trinidad and Tobago and attended Howard University in Washington, DC. He is an information technology professional and currently works at He enjoys watching/playing soccer and tinkering with tech gadgets. He lives in Upper Marlboro with his wife and two St. Matthias sons.


Mona Amatie joined the St. Matthias school family in the 2013 school year, and currently has a daughter and son here in the 5th and 3rd grades, respectively. However, her family has long ties with St. Matthias that go back to when her nieces and nephews attended the school several years ago. Since joining St. Matthias, Mrs. Amatie has actively participated in school activities, and also served as 2nd grade class parent last year. In her professional life, Mrs. Amatie is a Certified Government Financial Manager and Project Management Personnel with an innate ability to communicate, lead, and coach. She has extensive public sector financial management and project management experience, specializing in Financial Management policy, Accounting, Budget Execution, Internal Controls, and Financial Statements.


Christina Beal is a graduate of Saint Bernard’s School and Saint Vincent Pallotti High school. She attended Washington Adventist University were she earned a double major in Elementary Education and Special Education. She is now certified in Elementary Education and Special Education. She teaches Kindergarten at Saint Matthias School. She is the assistant softball coach at Saint Vincent Pallotti High school. At Saint Matthias she is on the leadership committee, director of the student assistance team, member of the data team and the leader of the primary team. She helped this fall with the cross country team at Saint Matthias.


Kelvin M. Blake is an Assistant Attorney General, and Chief of the Investment Adviser/Broker-Dealer Unit, for the Maryland Attorney General office.  Kelvin is responsible, among other things, for supervising the investment adviser registration and audit programs, and prosecuting violations of the Maryland Securities Act.  Kelvin is a graduate (with honors) of the University of Maryland, College Park with a degree in Finance and Economics.  He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law, specializing in Securities Law, and his Masters of Law in Taxation from the University of Baltimore Law School.  Kelvin also is a Certified Public Accountant.  Kelvin is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the accounting department at the University of Maryland University College.  Kelvin served on the school advisory board for St. Mary of the Assumption School.


Beth Blaufuss president of Archbishop Carroll High School, a community with a proud sixty-year history of combining academic excellence, Catholic spiritual growth and a commitment to social justice.  She began her career in education as an English teacher and have worked at independent, public and Catholic schools.  Prior to Archbishop Carroll, Beth served as the Academic Dean at Bishop McNamara High School.  She grew up in Kansas and Tennessee.  Beth graduated from Yale College and received her master’s degree from Vanderbilt.  She has lived in Washington for sixteen years and attends St. Matthew’s Cathedral.  In her free time, she enjoys writing and running half marathons slowly.


Candace Cage is the Director of Athletics at Elizabeth Seton High School and serves on their Leadership Team. She oversees 17 teams and 48 coaches and is currently involved in Seton’s Capital Campaign to build a new track and turf field to the school. Prior to returning to her alma mater, she spent 17 years coaching Division I Collegiate Basketball, which included positions at Mt. St. Mary’s, Georgia Tech and Loyola University. Candace has a BA degree in History and a Masters Degree in Secondary Administration from Winthrop University. Candace is an alumna of Saint Matthias.


Edith Damron has been immersed in Christian education since she was born. Her parents read her Bible stories at home and took her to church and Sunday School every week. She attended a Christian elementary school in Corpus Christi, Texas and Lutheran colleges in Austin, Texas and Seward, Nebraska. Edith has taught in Lutheran elementary schools in Houston, Texas and Hyattsville, Maryland before joining The Academy of St. Matthias the Apostle in 2012.  Edith, her husband, Craig, and their three adult children live in University Park, Maryland.


Abigail Greer is in her third year the principal at The Academy of Saint Matthias the Apostle. With a decade of experience in the Archdiocese of Washington, Abbie is a former high school teacher and elementary school counselor. A graduate of The University of Maryland and George Washington University, Abbie has a focus on student-centered instruction and character education. She has been asked to speak locally and nationally on the topics of Character Education, Teacher/Parent Language, Special Needs Learners, and Social Media Use. She and her husband have two children and three dogs.


Tommy Paolucci is in his fifteenth year in Catholic Education, as well as his fifteenth year serving students and families at DeMatha Catholic High School.  A 1993 graduate of St. Matthias the Apostle School, and a 1997 graduate of DeMatha, he has undertaken many roles at his high school alma mater.  Tommy initially taught in the Business Department, however spent the majority of his time, thirteen years, as a School Counselor. He has also coached in the football program, and still coaches in the basketball program.  His other current titles include Advanced Placement Coordinator, Physical Education Department Chair, and Admissions and Development Associate.


Victor Shin is in his first year as the Upper School Head at Maryvale Preparatory School in Lutherville, MD.  Maryvale Prep. is an all-girls Catholic school.  Prior to arriving to Maryvale Prep., Mr. Shin served as Associate Principal at Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, MD.  Over the years, he has also taught various history and math courses.  Mr. Shin is a second year doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania studying educational leadership.  Mr. Shin has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Baltimore, and he has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland at College Park in government and politics with a minor in leadership studies.


Charles Shryock, IV is a 1993 graduate of St. Matthias the Apostle School, and has spent his career working in Catholic education. He is currently department chair and a full-time instructor in the English department of Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Maryland. He is now studying private school leadership at the Klingenstein Center for Independent School Leadership, at Teachers College, Columbia University. He has presented nationally and published a case study on the Instructional Rounds method of faculty development. His teaching has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia, and the American Society of Newspaper Editors. As a journalism instructor, his students have won regional awards, and published work for WUSA Channel 9 News, USA Today and The Washington Post.


Natalie St. Louis has been an educator for the past seventeen years.  As the French teacher and moderator of the French club at Elizabeth Seton High School, she enjoys organizing both local and international trips in an effort to immerse her students in both the language and the culture.  She is an active member of the technology committee at Seton and belongs to the American Association of Teachers of French.

Breakfast With Santa 2014

This year, Saint Matthias celebrated their annual Breakfast with Santa on Tuesday, December 23rd.

An addition to the traditional breakfast meal and craft, this year students participated in a “family story time.”  This school year, Saint Matthias began their “families” program, where one child from each grade is grouped together in a cross-grade community.  Older students help younger ones as we continue to better connect all members of our Saint Matthias family.  The middle school students shared the story “The Night Before Christmas” with their family members.  Also, students came together to watch a Christmas classic movie together. Community is a key component of the social curriculum of Saint Matthias.  A day of fun is also a day on cooperation, teamwork, compassion and caring. Thank you to all our parents who made sure today was a wonderful success! Merry Christmas, and see you in 2015! image[14] image[13] image[12] image[11] image[10] image[8] image[7] image[6]  image[4]  image[3] image[2] image[1] image

Merry Christmas from Saint Matthias

Advent is a time for waiting in joy.  We, at Saint Matthias, have been preparing our hearts and school for Christmas through classroom activities and school-wide fun.  Each week, our 4th grade students have been leading the Advent Prayer Service.  Our 5th grade shared a living nativity story with us in the church.  All of our students participate in art and music projects.  The following video shares some highlights.

Merry Christmas!


Follow us


First Annual Appeal

The actual cost of educating one child at Saint Matthias was over $2000 more than the cost of tuition. This includes instruction and educational materials, and capital improvements. Your donations help us keep our tuition costs low. Thank you for your support!

Current Events