Team Members

Sedrick Dellinger

Sedrick Dellinger Principal

History, Trivium, & Theology
  • B.A. in Theology from Asbury University
  • M. Th. from University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Catholic, St. Barnabas

“Life is a mystery to be lived continuously, not a problem to be solved suddenly.”
~ Kierkegaard

Sedrick Dellinger is a co-founder of Canongate and its Principal. He believes the Appalachian hills are indeed alive with the sound of music. He and his wife are raising four children in this music, on a little piece of land that sings of God’s presence and bounty.

Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, formally educated in Kentucky and Edinburgh, Scotland, he received a poetic and philosophical education that led him into full communion with the Catholic Church in 2004. As a teacher, inspired by the Integrated Humanities Program and the vision of John Senior, Mr. Dellinger is leading his students to anchor life and education in the permanent things. The mountains. The stars. Great books. Virtue. The altar. Love.

Festina Lente

Prof. Reuben Slife

Prof. Reuben Slife

Literature & Theology
  • B.A. in Theatre, Minor in English, from Anderson University, SC
  • M.A. in Theatre from Regent University

Catholic, St. Barnabas

Reuben Slife sees literature as a way of entering more deeply into the world.

“We often miss the beauty and meaning of everyday things until we see them in a story; we even hide from our own humanity sometimes, until we find that our secret is shared by the great writers of the past. The grandeur of life, which we might never have guessed for ourselves, is revealed to us in Stevenson, Wodehouse, Chesterton, Shakespeare, and Dante.”

He is also a playwright and actor—favorite roles include Karl Lindner in a Raisin in the Sun and Philinte in Molière’s Misanthrope. When not teaching, he can often be found reading philosophy or writing poetry.

“If in consuming the Eucharist we become the body of Christ, then we are called, in turn, to offer ourselves to be consumed to the world.”
~ William T. Cavanaugh

R. Trent Codd, Jr.

R. Trent Codd, Jr.

Mathematics
  • A.A. in Mathematics, Minors in Physics, Electronics, & Music from Miami-Dade College
  • B.S. in Mathematics & Physics, Minor in Psychology from University of Miami
  • B.S. in Computer Science from Florida International University
  • M.A. in Mathematics from University of Miami
  • E.A.S.G.C. (Educational Administration and Supervision Graduate Certificate) from Florida International University
  • Further Graduate Study: Technology in Math and Science Education from Western Carolina University

Catholic, St. Lawrence

In 1987, Trent and his family relocated to Asheville, North Carolina. He taught Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science at A.C. Reynolds High School and was simultaneously hired as a mathematics instructor on a part-time basis at The University of North Carolina at Asheville. Additionally, Trent wrote computer application software for the North Carolina Community College System and went full-time at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College to teach Mathematics and Statistics in late 1999. He was promoted to Department Chairman of Mathematics in 2004. During his tenure at the community college, Trent served as a member of the Diocese of Charlotte School Board.

Trent retired from his full-time chairmanship at the community college but continues to teach there on a part-time basis. In addition to co-founding Canongate with Mr. Dellinger, he occasionally teaches at Montreat College.

Trent has four grown children and six grandchildren. He is very much a family man and looks forward to family gatherings. Trent enjoys reading and studying science, particularly quantum physics and brain research. He and his wife, Celine, have a strong Catholic identity and always begin the day in prayer and meditation. They believe that it is best to center themselves prior to meeting the challenges of each day and to keep focused on what God intends for them.

A Catholic cannot help but be happy; sadness should be banished from their souls. Suffering is not sadness, which is the worst disease. This disease is almost always caused by atheism, but the end for which we are created guides us along life’s pathway, which may be strewn with thorns, but is not sad. It is happy even through suffering.”
~ Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

 

Claudia Yepez

Claudia Yepez

Spanish & Theology
  • A.A. in ESL, Instituto Anglo-Mexicano De Cultura, A. C., Mexico
  • B.S. in Education, Universidad Anahuac, Mexico

Catholic, Immaculate Conception

“Open your eyes; the mysteries hidden in the visible are revealed to you.”
~ Gregory of Nyssa

Claudia comes to us from sunny Mexico and feels at home in Asheville. A people-lover, she seeks to get to know her students deeply in order to better serve them. She is inspired by people of various ethnicities and diverse backgrounds because differences point to their common humanity. She enjoys languages immensely and has taught English, Spanish, French and Latin in the Asheville Area. A big fan of Maria Montessori and her positive view of children, she continues to work with young children through the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

In her free time, Claudia enjoys drinking coffee with her children and friends while making material for faith formation to help children get closer to Jesus “by themselves.

 

Jennifer Murrey

Jennifer Murrey

Music & Theatre
  • B.A. in French, from UNC-Asheville
  • Further Studies in Vocal and Cello Performance, George Mason University

Catholic, St. Barnabas

As theatre director and part time music director for Canongate, Jennifer’s days are filled with directing. Whether at her home, Ovenbird Farm, where she and her husband are raising and teaching a family of 8 children, or at the Cradle of Forestry or her local parish leading theatrical and musical productions, or at Canongate bringing the joy and beauty of the arts to students, Jennifer strives to be, in the words of John Senior, “born in wonder.” Jennifer has a love of language and culture, music and drama, and of performance and the arts that imbues all she does, whether a play with the entire student body or a culinary experience for family and friends. She believes that the performing arts are a perfect medium for bringing the joy of wonder and Faith to students and to the current culture. Thankful for her home in the Carolina mountains, Jennifer encourages community and a sense of place through music and theatre, and especially through our shared Catholic heritage and the beauty of the Mass. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.

“‘The glory of God is man fully alive.”
~ St. Irenaeus

 

Jeni Kelsch

Jeni Kelsch

Art
  • B.F.A in Painting from Savannah College of Art and Design

Catholic, St. Barnabas

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” –Pablo Picasso

Jennifer Kelsch began teaching art when her first child managed to hold a crayon between his chubby little fingers. Until that time she worked as a professional artist, exhibiting in several galleries and venues in Atlanta, Georgia. In the last twelve years she has taught high school art in the homeschool community and middle school art at Immaculata Catholic School. She joined Canongate three years ago. Jeni is the proud mother of five children.

“Had I not had them, I would surely have developed some hobbies. As it stands, child rearing, cooking for small armies, and sock hunting have filled those timeslots.”

Jeni hopes to return to painting before she dies, but finds teaching teenagers about art history and helping them find their own unique way of expressing themselves through the visual arts to be a very creative and rewarding process.

 

Phil Morgan

Phil Morgan

Athletics
  • B.A. in History from Hillsdale College

Catholic, St. Barnabas

Virtus Tentamine Gaudet!
(Strength Rejoices in the Challenge)

As Canongate’s cross country coach and fitness instructor, Mr. Morgan understands that a good education involves the mind, body, and soul. Mr. Morgan studied history at Hillsdale College. Through a liberal arts education and his experience as an endurance athlete, he knows that there is great joy in the pursuit of goodness, truth, and virtue. When he is not reading and teaching, he can be found in the mountains – running, biking, or long-distance swimming. He loves a struggle, especially in good Christian fellowship.

John Souder

John Souder

Science/Theology/Philosophy
  • BS in chemical engineering, University of Notre Dame
  • BA in philosophy, University of Notre Dame
  • Bachelor’s of Theology, Pontifical Gregorian University

Catholic, St. Lawrence

“In the beginning was the Logos
–John 1:1

John was raised in a large Catholic family in East Tennessee and was home schooled until high school. Halfway through college, John realized that he wanted not only to know the “how” of engineering, but the “why” of philosophy. This search ruined his life (in a good way) and eventually led him into seminary for the diocese of Lake Charles, LA for several years, and then back out again. After taking a chemical engineering job in Tennessee, he quickly realized that he was much more interested in not-engineering and has always been interested in teaching. He loves Rome (where he lived for 3 years) and all things Italian and he enjoys cooking, running on special occasions, reading, and languages. He is convinced that he did not find Canongate, but that Canongate found him. He can be stopped in his tracks with questions such as “what is evolution?” and “what is a soul?” It can be very distracting.

 

Post comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2018 Canongate Catholic High School. All rights reserved.