WELCOME TO A2OCA!
We can all agree that an education is an important part of a child’s life and that a child’s education begins at home. Parents are children’s first educators, and at Ann Arbor Orthodox Classical Academy (A2OCA), we strive to work with parents to provide their children the best education possible—one that is Christ-centered and within the time-tested classical education tradition.
Our mission at A2OCA is to provide an education that complements students’ home life and one that supports them to become Christ-loving leaders in their communities. It is an important, God-given mission that we take seriously. A classical Christian education is one that honors the body, mind, heart, and soul by honoring God in our curriculum, who is the creator of all, and, to this end, we encourage students to know and see God in anything and everything around them.
A2OCA students seek wisdom and virtue in Christ. They learn to appreciate what is true, good, and beautiful and to seek to cultivate it in their lives. And we do this by having students memorize important information in the lower elementary grades to construct the building blocks of learning. In the mid to upper elementary grades we foster their skills of question-asking, analysis, and logical reasoning to help them discern between what is true, good, and beautiful from what is not. In the secondary grades, we develop their eloquence in verbal and written communication, so that they can effectively and persuasively convey to others what is true, good, and beautiful.
I invite you to explore The Good Soil Study on various life outcomes of graduates of classical Christian schools (such as our own). These findings reveal that this type of education works for our children. Won’t you join us?
May you always seek out and experience the love and light of Christ in your hearts, minds, and souls!
With love in Christ,
Interim Head of School
MISSIONS, VALUES, AND GOALS
Our School Mission
The mission of Ann Arbor Orthodox Classical Academy is to provide a classical education in an Orthodox Christian environment, allowing our students to grow to their full human and spiritual potential, with the ability to engage society as mature followers of Jesus Christ.
Our School Vision
The vision of Ann Arbor Orthodox Classical Academy is to foster the next generation of leaders for the Church and society with fully developed minds, bodies, and souls.
Our School Values
Please see our ORTHODOX LIFE and CLASSICAL EDUCATION pages - this will tell you all you need to know!
Our School Goals
• Strive for academic success
• Nurture our students’ love of learning
• To foster the love of classical languages, math, science, the arts, and music
• Encourage students to be creative and responsible
• Offer a traditional atmosphere/learning setting
Hello, dear future friends,
I would like to introduce myself. I am Anne Ramirez (Mrs. Anna), and this year I am the online instructor for Ann Arbor Orthodox Classical Academy teaching K through 2nd Grade. I am eager to meet you and your child!
I live in Texas! I have lived in a few different parts of my state for a long time. Like many places in the Great Lakes region, my town has a Native American name: Waxahachie. It is close to Dallas, but it is not a suburb. I was born Anne Helene Bolger in New York, and my family moved a bit, landing me in New Mexico for high school. Then I married my husband and we settled in Texas and had two sons, who are now grown. My husband reposed in the Lord 19 years ago. I currently live with one of my sons and his family (including two grandchildren), and we own an adorable, friendly Golden Doodle dog named Nemo. (Guess who named him?)
I came to Orthodoxy because of my younger sister. We were raised in the Methodist Church, but it changed its message significantly just when we entered our teens. She tells people that I prayed her back into the Kingdom, and then she led me here! Of course, it was really the Lord, and we both know that. I was Baptized into the Orthodox Church just after Theophany in 2012. I attend St. Nektarios Orthodox Church, OCA, here in Waxahachie, where I sing alto in the choir.
I attended the University of Texas at El Paso (Go Miners!). I did graduate work there and, also, at West Texas A&M. I have nearly always taught since then. I have taught Kindergarten for 16 years, Spanish for about ten years, and other elementary grades as well. The schools where I have taught have been very good ones; some secular and some religious.
I hope to be able to get to know you better soon. I have been lesson planning for the past two weeks, and I am ready to go! Come join me!
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
We are thankful to the members of our Steering Committee who worked so hard to establish our school!
In 2019, a School Board of Directors was appointed to continue on the work of our Steering Committee members. The Board of Directors are listed below. We ask that you remember them in your prayers!
Fr. Gregory Joyce
Chair, School Rector
Fr. Gregory Joyce was appointed the Rector of St. Vladimir Church in Ann Arbor, MI in 1996 and has served the parish in that capacity since. He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Michigan in Education, as well as a D.Min. from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. In addition to being the Rector of St. Vladimir’s, Fr. Gregory is the Dean of the Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America and the Secretary of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America.
Deacon Vladimir Pyrozhenko
Member of the Board
Vice-Chair, Head of School (Interim)
Over the past 15 years, Irene Melabiotis has had the pleasure of teaching in the United Kingdom, South Korea, Australia, and Canada. Her love of teaching compelled her to pursue post-graduate studies in education. She earned her PhD in Education from the University of Western Ontario (Canada). Her qualitative research study explored the quality of learning motivation of ten 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students while learning through the arts. One of the main findings of her study was that arts integration can foster diverse students’ quality of learning motivation by supporting their feelings of autonomy, competence, and relatedness—each of which are elements involved in the expression and development of self-determination. Aside from her commitment to Ann Arbor Orthodox Classical Academy, Irene is a full-time homemaker with two young children. When time permits, she enjoys reading about topics that interest her, such as those that pertain to her Orthodox Christian Faith, health, and gardening.
Reader Mark Chaffee
Member of the Board
John Hill earned his Bachelor of Arts from New College of Florida and his Master of Theatrical Arts from the Russian Academy of Theater Arts in Moscow, where he studied in the department of musical theater under Boris Pokrovsky. He has a PhD in theater studies and an MA in education from the University of Michigan. John teaches English Language Arts at Romulus Middle School and thesis writing for the Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.