Head of School
Headmaster & Athletic Director
High School Leadership
First Grade Assistant
Language Arts, Western Civ & Rhetoric
Algebra Applications, Physics & Pre Calcuus
High School Leadership
Language Arts & Math
Biology, Physical Education, Math & Science
Math & Music
Mr. Nick Dunlap
Nick Dunlap has been teaching classically in Tucson for ten years. Latin and History are the two subjects he is most passionate about. Mr. Dunlap's favorite Latin phrase, Dulce et Utile, describes the ancient Roman philosopher and dramatic critic Horace's requirements for literature and art. It means: "sweet and useful." "I think it is a good summary of classical education," Mr. Dunlap says, "and also a good objective for our students' characters as a result of their education." Mr. Dunlap loves to read classic literature and would happily accept any job that would pay him to read old literature all day. Nick and Betsy are the proud parents of Silas and Amelia and are members of Rincon Mountain Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Brian McKinley
Brian McKinley returned to Tucson in 2011 after three years as Principal of Legacy Classical Christian Academy in Phoenix. Brian graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in History. His first school experience was at the newly formed Cornerstone Christian Academy as the assistant to the Headmaster in 1998. As Arizona’s first classical school, Cornerstone was a pacesetter in the development of classical curriculum and methodology. Eventually he taught Latin, logic and coached at Pusch Ridge Christian Academy. In fall of 2004, Mr. McKinley returned to Cornerstone as Assistant Headmaster and completed his Master of Education in School Administration from Grand Canyon University. Mr. McKinley and his wife Laurel have two Veritas students, Shannon and Austin, and are members of Rincon Mountain Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Nathanael Buus
Nathanael and Sharon Buus both grew up in Tucson and met in the 5th grade. Eventually they were married in 2000. Nathanael now owns a local real estate company, and Sharon works at home caring for their three children, Zachary, Jake, and Sarah Kate.
Mrs. Jessica Coffin
Jessica Coffin is a pastor’s wife of twenty-five years. She homeschooled all four of their children through high school, two have gone on to four-year degrees. Two are married with babies on the way! All four children are walking with the Lord and minister at least weekly to their church body. In her church Jessica also serves as a Children’s ministry leader, mentoring young Moms, and helping her husband. Jessica has been a running coach, a caregiver, and substitute teacher. She loves gardening, sewing, crafting, and playing with children so that parents get a “breather.”
Mrs. Melissa Diodati
Mrs. Melissa Diodati holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Arizona and is working on her Masters of Education and Master of Arts in Theology. She is a veteran home educator, having home educated her seven very successful children for over 23 years using a Christian Classical curriculum. During that time she created an integrated Christian History and Humanities curriculum, emphasizing God’s Plan through History. Ephesians 1:3-4, “Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of Heaven in Christ...He chose us, chose us in Christ, to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in His presence”. Mrs. Diodati is thrilled to cooperate with parents at Veritas and looks forward to many wonder-filled and enlightening hours “ living in love through His presence” in a joyful Christian classroom.
Mr. Thad Hardeman
Mr. Hardeman is originally from Iowa. He received both his bachelors and masters degrees in Agricultural Engineering from Iowa State University. As a graduate student, Mr. Hardeman taught for the first time and found that he really enjoyed teaching. After teaching for a year at Iowa State, he taught mathematics at a small college in Iowa. He has taught online mathematics for Kaplan University since 2002 and continues to work, part-time, as an adjunct professor. He has been married to Julia since 1997 and has three children, all of whom attend Veritas. The Hardeman family worships at Vineyard Christian Community near the U of A.
Mrs. Helga Kolosick
Helga Kolosick is a free-lance violinist and studio teacher in Tucson, Arizona. She studied at the Vienna Conservatory, the Guildhall School in London, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Presently, she is a member of the Arizona Opera Orchestra and the Tucson Repertory Orchestra. She also performs in numerous chamber music groups and is a founding member of the Presidio String Quartet. Helga homeschooled her two daughters, putting to good use her elementary teaching degree from Austria. She enjoys teaching students of a wide age range. In January 2016 she expanded her violin teaching to include group instruction in a school setting. When not working or teaching, she and Timothy, her husband of over 40 years, enjoy ballroom dancing.
Dr. Tom Askew
Dr. Thomas Askew has served for forty years as teacher and administrator in public and private school in Hong, Kong, Germany, Georgia, and Arizona. He and his wife, Linda, founded three Christian schools in Cochise County, Arizona.
His degrees from West Georgia College and the University of Arizona are in English, French, secondary education, elementary education, teaching, and teacher education. He serves on the Board of Branching Our Educational Consultants and is the Southern Arizona Coordinator for the Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization. He also enjoys making up stories about Henrietta, the musical hen.
Mrs. Natalie Abbott
Natalie Abbott graduated from the University of Arizona in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a minor in Latin. This is her first year teaching, and is very excited to teach the language she loves in a Christian educational setting. She loves reading (especially about history), listening to music and podcasts, and watching University of Arizona sports with her husband. She met her husband, Zach, through Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ) at the UA and they have been married for a little over a year. They are members of Redemption Church Tucson.
Ms. Amanda Starks
Amanda Starks recently moved back to Tucson after two years away. In 2014 she moved to Minneapolis, MN to attend Kairos Discipleship School, and graduated in August of 2015. Upon the completion of Kairos she moved back to Arizona for one month and then picked up to move to Fayetteville, Arkansas to nanny for a family there. Amanda was home schooled from fourth grade until graduation in 2010 and is now excited to assist the administrative team in fulfilling Veritas Academy's mission to Christian families in Tucson.
Mr. Christopher Barnes
Pastor Christopher Barnes has spent his entire life obeying God’s call to raise up a generation of servant-warriors to penetrate this dark world for Christ. That call has taken many forms -working in youth ministry, teaching English and Journalism in the public schools for four years in northern Illinois, serving as a pastor in two distinctly different churches, and founding a small family-directed K-8 school. Most recently, they served at the St. Luke Evangelical Free Church in Wellington, a small town in rural western Missouri. Christopher recently celebrated his 42nd Anniversary with his wife Linda. They have two grown daughters, Hope and Abby, both married and living in Tucson. Hope has two children, Westyn and Ainsleigh. Abby also has two children, Evelyn and Caleb. Christopher and Linda are absolutely thrilled to be grandparents.
Mrs. Christina Jorg
Christina Jorg graduated from the University of Arizona (BA Elementary Education) and taught a year in the public school system. Afterward, Christina and her husband Dave, a teacher at Desert Christian Middle School, decided that she was to stay home to care for their family. Dave and Christina have three sons, Trevor (Grand Canyon University), Jason and Matthew (Desert Christian). Christina has homeschooled her children, including two years as a Veritas parent/co-teacher. She spent one year teaching Kindergarten at Desert Christian before God called her back to Veritas to serve as Kindergarten teacher. She has been teaching at Veritas since the fall of 2014. She is very excited to teach Veritas' littlest learners and partner with their parents in this privilege. Christina and her family are members of Rincon Mountain Presbyterian Church.
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Dr. Brice Kopas
Brice and Rebecca Kopas grew up in Arizona and met in 1998 while attending medical school at the University of Arizona. They currently reside in NW Tucson where Brice is in practice as a pediatrician and Becca works at home caring for their four children Ella, Kate, Timothy, and Andrew.
Mrs. Rosario Krusmark
Mrs. Rosario Krusmark has a creative mind along with training and experience in marketing and arts. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Art Communication from Pacific University in Santiago de Chile. She also received her graduate studies in Advertising Management from Escuela Administracion de Barcelona, Spain. Growing up Rosario was given a classical education at a French school and learned to seek God’s perspective of the world, studying the greatest artist and their work. Through the years Rosario has been passionate about Classical Christian education as she has mentored her daughters Sofia and Grace. She had the opportunity as a mom to assist in various fine arts programs and serve as a teacher aid within classrooms. Today she feels blessed to share what she has learned and impart her passion for art.
Mrs. Sarah Lewis
Mrs. Sarah Lewis is a Tucson native, but she and her husband Stephen moved back to Arizona this summer from Pasadena, CA. Sarah graduated from Providence Christian College with a B.A. in Liberal Arts, with concentrations in both English Literature and Humanities. She is thrilled to join the Veritas staff and primarily teach her most beloved discipline, the art of language. Her schooling background includes both homeschool and Christian education and she is fiercely passionate about both. Sarah is thankful to be part of a community where she is free to publicly rejoice in Jesus and is not only able but expected to point to his sovereign hand in all things. When she is not teaching, Sarah can often be found reading, cooking, traveling, playing music with her husband, and exploring Tucson.
Mrs. Martha Palmer
Martha Palmer received her Bachelors of Education from the University of Arizona. She has been married to Jim for 36 years. They have five children and eleven grandchildren. Their children home schooled for 14 years. Martha loves working with children and has a heart for helping them learn. She is grateful that the Lord led her to Veritas and she loves having the opportunity to support and co teach with home schooling parents.
Ms. Melanie Paulsen
Melanie Paulsen has a passion for teaching and a heart for children. She graduated from Thomas Edison State University with a B.A. in Natural Science and Mathematics and is excited to be teaching both math and science at Veritas again this year! Because of her educational background in private, charter and home schools, Melanie feels that she has a unique opportunity to minister to families at Veritas. When she’s not prepping for her classes or for Science Mondays, Melanie spends most of her time coaching swimming for Sabino High School and the Orca Swim Team. In her precious few minutes of free time, Melanie enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, swimming, and reading good books.
Mrs. Cathy Smith
Cathy Smith grew up in Iowa, not on a farm, but in the city of Cedar Rapids. She married Jim and has three adult children, two of which live in Tucson, thus, the reason for the move here. She taught elementary education in Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan and Arizona. She has a great love for music, plays the piano, and has been a choir director for both adults and children. One of her favorite hobbies is traveling, both to enjoy and refresh, as well as to learn something new from the adventures created by travel. A "God Hunt" is always on her mind - looking for God's surprise around every corner. Cathy is looking forward to teaching second grade at Veritas. Jim and Cathy worship at Rincon Mountain Presbyterian Church.
Mrs. Frances Spiegler
Frances Spiegler has been living in Tucson for a little over two years, having moved from southern Maryland where she taught 6th grade math for five of her nineteen years as a public middle school teacher. She has a B.S. in music education and was choir director at her former church for fifteen years. Fran is a member of Christ Community Church where she plays clarinet in the orchestra. Allan and Fran have been married for thirty-one years and have two adult children as well as a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren who all live on the east coast. Fran is very excited to follow the Lord’s calling to teaching music and math at Veritas.