News Releases

St. Michael Academy Welcomes Four Accomplished New Teachers to Its Outstanding Faculty

PETOSKEY – July 16, 2020 – St. Michael Academy (SMA), Northern Michigan’s only Classical Catholic high school, is very pleased to announce that it has hired four new teachers for the upcoming school year.  All four new SMA teachers hold advanced degrees and bring tremendous energy and expertise to an already stellar faculty.

“In an age when most schools are struggling to maintain the status quo, our joyful and hopeful brand of education is attracting talent from across the nation to join our mission, inspiring the next generation of American leaders with a love of the Gospel and the wisdom of Western Civilization,” proclaimed SMA Headmaster Dr. Richard Brake.  “These accomplished, Catholic educators will allow us to expand our academic and athletic offerings which, we believe, will attract new families to our growing school.”

SMA welcomes Mr. Martin Beers, Ms. Elizabeth Kovacs, Ms. Angele Larson, and Mr. David Peck!

Mr. Martin Beers most recently discerned a vocation to the priesthood at the Saint Benedict Monastery in Norcia, Italy.  A product of Catholic home schooling, he helped develop the curriculum for the Mother of Divine Grace home school program while pursuing his undergraduate and graduate studies.  He will teach upper level Science and Mathematics courses at SMA.  Prior to that, he was a Teaching Assistant at the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a M.A. in Philosophy.  He also holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas University in Santa Paula, California.

Ms. Elizabeth Kovacs is a recent graduate of the Dominican School of Theology and Philosophy in Berkeley, California, where she earned a M.A. in Theology.  While studying there, she worked as an Academic Librarian and Art Archivist, and also taught Art History to local home school students.  She will teach Theology, Philosophy, Art History, and Studio Art at SMA.  Ms. Kovacs is a Michigan native and also holds a B.A. in Art History from Michigan State University.

Ms. Angele Larson is an Adjunct Professor of Spanish, Arabic, and Communications at North Central Michigan College in Petoskey.  She will join the SMA faculty this fall on a part-time basis to teach introductory Spanish.  Prior to her teaching career, she held a variety of diplomatic posts for the Danish Embassy in the Palestinian Authority, where she was born and raised, and where she attended Catholic high school.  She holds a M.A. in Organizational Communications, and a B.A. in Mass Communications, from the University of Madrid, in Madrid, Spain.

Mr. David Peck joins SMA following a 20-year career at Traverse City St. Francis High School, where he served as Chair of its Social Sciences department, directed its Mission / Study Abroad program, and coached Volleyball for seven seasons.  He will teach History (Ancient, Medieval, European, American), Civics, and American Literature at SMA, while also serving as its College and Career Counselor and leading the revival of its Volleyball program this fall.  Mr. Peck holds a M.A. in International Relations from Norwich University and a B.S. in Social Sciences from the University of Central Florida.

“We are extremely fortunate that the Good Lord has blessed us with these outstanding educators and role models, and we can hardly wait to open our doors for live instruction on August 31 so that our students can fully benefit from their insight and inspiration,” concluded Dr. Brake.  “These new faculty are further evidence that we are forging ahead prudently, boldly, and without fear – full of hope and confidence that not only will we be open for learning this fall, but that the coming year will be our best ever!”

SMA is enrolling rising 7th through 12th grade students for the 2020-21 academic year.  Please contact Dr. Brake at for more information.  SMA offers tuition assistance to qualifying families.  No student is denied enrollment because of financial reasons.

For more information about SMA, please visit the school website at

Established in 2013, St. Michael Academy is the first Catholic high school in the Little Traverse area since 1972, and the region’s only Classical high school.  SMA strives to develop the next generation of American leaders by promoting a culture of excellence and instilling its students with the classical virtues of wisdom, temperance, courage, and justice, along with the Christian virtues of faith, hope, and love.