Our Faculty & Staff

dr richard brake

Dr. Richard Brake

Headmaster

Dr. Brake took the helm of St. Michael in the fall of 2018.  In addition to overseeing the entire academic and spiritual mission of the school, Dr. Brake teaches courses in history, philosophy, literature, political science, and economics, and serves as coach of the ladies’ basketball team.  Dr. Brake enjoyed a diverse career in education, public service, and public policy before joining St. Michael, including stints as a legislative staffer; political science professor; think tank executive; and Army officer.  Immediately prior to assuming his headmaster duties at St. Michael, Dr. Brake served for five years as President of the Institute for Family Studies, a research institute dedicated to strengthening marriage and family life through research and public education.  During this same time period, Brake also was proud to serve on the faculty and administration of Regina Luminis Academy, a Catholic classical high school in the Philadelphia suburbs.

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Mr. Paul Bogan

Theology, Philosophy and Latin

This is Mr. Bogan’s first year teaching at St. Michael.  Prior to joining St. Michael, Mr. Bogan taught for two years at Ave Maria Classical Catholic Academy in Newnan, GA, and prior to that had stints at two other Catholic schools, St. John Paul II Catholic School in Huntsville, AL, and Muskegon Catholic Central.  Mr. Bogan discerned Priesthood with the Diocese of Kalamazoo, MI for six years after studying Music at Michigan State university, with a particular focus on classical saxophone.  He spent last year with the Canon Regular of St. John Cantius in Chicago, IL, studying Gregorian Chant, both forms of the Liturgy in the Latin Rite, Latin, and the history of the Liturgy. Mr. Bogan continues to play classical Saxophone and has performed in Saxophone quartets and various Saxophone ensembles. He is an avid reader, and his favorite book is Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien.

Ms. Keefe

Mrs. Sara Keefe

Literature

Mrs. Keefe has been teaching literature at St. Michael since 2015.  She began her teaching career at Detroit Country Day School before departing the classroom to focus on raising her children. After attending a lecture about the benefits of classical education in 2004, Mrs. Keefe decided to homeschool her children through the 8th grade following that model. Her oldest son graduated from St. Michael in 2018, her second son in 2020, and two others will follow in future years.

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Mrs. Laura Carl

History, Poetry and Literature

Mrs. Carl, a teacher and attorney, joins our faculty this year.  Before moving to Petoskey, she taught the classical curriculum to fifth graders at Ivywood Academy in Plymouth, Michigan, a Barney Classical Charter School that employs the Hillsdale curriculum.  Mrs. Carl’s extensive legal experience includes stints at the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Rosen, and the Institute for Justice.  Before attending law school, Mrs. Carl worked in public policy for the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C. and the Pacific Research Institute in San Francisco.  Her husband, Mark is a dentist for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and her two active daughters, Ella and Luca, also keep her busy.

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Mrs. Marti Krusell

Vocal Music, Piano, Sacred Music

We are excited to welcome Mrs. Krusell officially to the ranks of our faculty, as she served our school previously as director of our Mass Choir.  Mrs. Krusell will teach vocal music and piano for St. Michael, reprise her role as director of our Mass Choir, and assist Mr. Zehnder as accompanist for our burgeoning instrumental music program.  Mrs. Krusell has served as director of liturgical music in several Northern Michigan parishes, including the last ten years at St. Francis.  One of her greatest joys is the beauty of life and God’s Creation expressed through music.

Mr. Peck

Mr. David Peck

History, Civics, Literature

Mr. Peck joined the St. Michael Faculty in June 2020 after an extensive twenty-year teaching career at St. Francis Catholic High School in Traverse City, Michigan, where he served as the Chair of the Social Sciences Department, Women’s Varsity Volleyball Coach, and the Mission/Study Abroad Director.  Eager to join the Classical Schooling Movement, Mr. Peck is excited to be teaching Ancient, Medieval, European, and American History; Civics; and American Literature at St. Michael.  In addition to his teaching duties, Mr. Peck will serve as the high school’s college and career counselor, as well as the Women’s Volleyball Coach.  Mr. Peck began his Catholic teaching career at St. Mary’s High School, Lake Leelanau, and prior to his academic endeavors Mr. Peck served his country admirably as an F-16 Armaments Specialist in the New Mexico Air National Guard.

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Ms. Cora Rogers

Mathematics

We are overjoyed to have Miss Rogers return to our Mathematics faculty this year in a part-time role, where she will be teaching Calculus.  A native of Petoskey, Miss Rogers is an expert in both mathematics and pedagogy, and will be a tremendous asset for our younger teachers.  Welcome back, Miss Rogers!

Mr. Whitmore

Mr. Shea Whitmore

Literature, Theology, Latin

Mr. Whitmore, a native of Petoskey, returned to his hometown in 2018 and joined the St. Michael faculty that same year.  In addition to serving as St. Michael’s Latin master, Mr. Whitmore teaches courses in literature and theology.  A star athlete in both high school and college, Whitmore is the high school’s head men’s basketball coach and assistant golf coach.

Mr. Rudnicki

Mr. Larry Rudnicki

Athletics, Communications

Mr. Rudnicki joined the SMA Staff in 2018.  He has more than 20 years of coaching experience, most recently in Colorado, where he helped build a national-caliber running program.

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Mr. Paul Arkison

History

Mr. Arkison, a native of Wolverine, joins the St. Michael Faculty this year to teach History, and assist other courses in Literature and Theology as the need arises.  Mr. Arkison is a 30-year veteran social studies and special education teacher who taught extensively in the Alanson School System, as well as down-state at the Forest School for the Severely-Impaired.  In addition to authoring a novel about Medieval Scotland set during the reign of Mary of Guelders, Mr. Arkison’s varied skill-set includes serving as a go-to Drivers Education Instructor in the area.

Ms. DeAgostino

Mrs. Mary De Agostino

Executive Assistant

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Mrs. Melissa Nixon

Marketing Director