Casady School takes pride in its robust and talented faculty and staff. We fill positions with unique and experienced individuals who will continue Casady's mission to develop excellence, confidence, and integrity in our students.
List of 13 items.
Marc Addington, Director of Upper Division
Casady welcomes Marc Addington to Upper Division. He comes to us from St. Francis Episcopal School in Houston, where he was Head of Upper School. Before joining St. Francis, Mr. Addington served Parish Episcopal School in Dallas as Assistant Head of Upper School, Upper School Academic Dean, Director of ParishVirtual, and many other roles, including teacher, coach, and administrator. Mr. Addington, a Greenhill alumnus, competed regularly against Casady in the Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) as a student-athlete. He graduated from University of Texas with his M.A. in Classics, and from Texas A&M with a B.A. in History and a minor in Classical Studies.
Caleb Caldwell, PE Teacher
Caleb Caldwell has joined the Casady Athletic Department as a PE Teacher. He is the owner of personal training company, Humble Grind Fitness, and previously worked as a fitness trainer at OrangeTheory. Mr. Caldwell received his B.S. from Southwestern Christian University and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Performance Trainer through The National Academy of Sports Medicine.
A. Gemma Defee Cooper, Upper Division History
Upper Division has gained A. Gemma Defee Cooper as a History teacher. She brings more than 15 years of teaching experience, having served previously as a Senior Teacher at Harding Charter Prep. Ms. Cooper also worked as an Adjunct Professor, teaching Comp. I and II at Oklahoma City Community College, Rose State College, and University of Central Oklahoma. She graduated from University of Central Oklahoma with her M.A. in Literature with Writing Emphasis, and completed her undergraduate degree at Drury University with a B.A. double major in Criminology and Sociology.
Amber Cruz, Lower Division Teacher
Lower Division is excited to have Amber Cruz as a new member of the faculty. Before coming to Casady, Ms. Cruz was a Fourth Grade Teacher at Buchanan Elementary School. She earned her B.S. in Education from Samford University and holds a Certificate of Biblical Leadership and Studies from the Kanakuk Institute.
Chris Dearner, Upper Division Computer Science
Dr. Chris Dearner joins Upper Division as a Computer Science teacher. Dr. Dearner previously served as Director of Product Operations and Grooper Training Product Manager at BIS. Additionally, he was a TA/Graduate Instructor at University of California, Irvine, and an Instructor at Classen School of Advanced Studies. Dr. Dearner earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in English Literature from University of California, Irvine, and completed his B.A. in English Writing from University of Oklahoma.
Merich Fricks, Head Varsity Field Hockey Coach/PE Teacher
Casady’s Athletic Department welcomes Merich Fricks as Head Field Hockey Coach and a PE Teacher. Before joining the Cyclones, Coach Fricks was Event Logistics and Operations Coordinator for IF:Gathering in Dallas, as well as Assistant Field Hockey Coach for Episcopal School of Dallas. A Holland Hall graduate, Coach Fricks joins our program with a solid understanding of the Southwest Preparatory Conference as well as field hockey in Oklahoma. Coach Fricks played field hockey on the collegiate level and graduated from Liberty University with a B.S. in Camp and Outdoor Adventure Leadership.
Heath Jones, Theatre Director
Heath Jones joins the Casady Community as the new Theatre Director. Mr. Jones previously served as Director of Theatre Arts at Harding Fine Arts Academy and taught Theatre Arts at Wilson Arts Elementary and ASTEC Charter School. He earned his M.E. in Curriculum and Instruction from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and his B.F.A. from Oklahoma City University.
Valerie Manriquez, Receptionist and Advancement Assistant
Institutional Advancement has recruited Valerie Manriquez as Advancement Assistant. Mrs. Manriquez also serves as the School’s receptionist and provides office support to our Primary, Lower, and Middle Divisions during lunch. Mrs. Manriquez took the position in IA after working in Casady’s Extended Day Program. She has previously worked for Arts Council OKC, Tangles Salon, and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Mrs. Manriquez earned her B.F.A. in Studio Art and a minor in Outdoor and Community Recreation from University of Central Oklahoma.
Anna Marquardt '03, Primary Division Teacher
Returning to Primary Division as a Kindergarten teacher is Anna Marquardt, who previously worked at Casady as a Montessori Lead Teacher from 2011-2020. Ms. Marquardt earned her M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Oklahoma City University and her B.A. in Environmental Studies/Botany from University of Oklahoma.
Hudson Smith, Lower Division Teacher
Lower Division is excited to welcome Hudson Smith as a Third Grade Teacher. Mr. Smith previously taught Fourth Grade at Orvis Risner Elementary School. He is currently pursuing his Masters of Educational Leadership from Southeastern Oklahoma State University and graduated with a Bachelors of Elementary Education from University of Central Oklahoma.
Mark Strawn, Upper Division Math
Mark Strawn will join Casady’s Upper Division as a Math Teacher. Mr. Strawn brings nearly 40 years of experience in the technology industry at companies like VisiCom Laboratories, Microsoft, Fitbit, and NeoSensory. He graduated with a B.A. in Mathematics from Occidental College.
Sam Wert ’14, Middle Division Latin
Middle Division has gained a new Latin Teacher in Sam Wert. Middle and Upper Division students may be familiar with Mr. Wert as a substitute teacher at Casady. He has also worked as a Graduate Student Teacher and Researcher in the Department of Classics at University of Kansas. Mr. Wert earned his M.A. in Classical Languages and Literature from University of Kansas, completed a Post-Baccalaureate Program in Classical Studies at University of Pennsylvania’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies, and graduated with a B.A. in Classical Languages and Literature, also at University of Pennsylvania.
Kendall White, Director of Curriculum
Casady School is excited to welcome back Kendall White as our new Director of Curriculum. Mr. White began his teaching career in Casady’s Middle Division as a Latin teacher before moving to Alexandria, Virginia, to serve as the Dean of Students at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School. Knowing he would eventually want to return closer to family in Oklahoma, Mr. White and his family have spent the last six years in Houston at the Emery Weiner School, where he has served as the Head of Middle Division. Mr. White graduated with an M.A. in School Leadership from Columbia University’s Teachers College, and a B.A. in Classics and Philosophy from University of Oklahoma.
FAMILIAR FACES | NEW PLACES
Versatility and talent are key in Casady School's faculty base. Several members of our community are assuming new roles this year.
Caroline Baker is now a full-time teacher in Primary Division
Joe Bonfiglio ’16 is now serving as the Theatre Assistant.
Rose Mashinda has moved to a full-time Primary Division teacher role.
Sandy Nelson will serve as Director of Strategic Academic Initiatives.
Dr. Jon Powell ’80 will serve as Director of New Teacher Development.
Tai Shriner is assuming a new role as Assistant Lower Division Director and will continue as a Learning Specialist.
Laurie Way is moving from her position in Lower Division to a part-time role in Primary Division.
Casady School is a PreK-12, independent, college preparatory Episcopal day school committed to deeper-level learning. Casady School welcomes a student body that reflects the diversity of the world around us and therefore does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, nationality, or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletics, and other school-administered programs generally accorded or made available to students at the School.