Our Board

Karen Bonham is a wife and mother of five.  Karen began homeschooling twelve years ago when her oldest child was in kindergarten.  After homeschooling solely at home and then with the support of a homeschool tutorial, Karen enrolled her children at STAT in 2021 and has been delighted with the warm and welcoming community and the quality, faith-filled academics.  Karen also works part time as a speech-language pathologist and volunteers as a catechist in a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atrium.

Monica Buckley earned a BS in Art Education from James Madison University in Virginia.  Following graduation, she taught elementary art for ten years in Waynesboro, Virginia before getting married and moving to the DC area where she taught art at Gonzaga College High School.  After the birth of her first child in 2005, she left the classroom and began her journey as a stay-at-home mom, moving into the role of homeschooling mom ten years ago.  Before joining STAT’s tutors, Monica was both a grammar and art tutor with St. Peter the Rock Homeschool Tutorial in Bowie.

Melinda Deras has a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Language (Spanish and French) from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She and her husband, Leonel, are the proud parents of four children ranging in age from 10 to 19 years old, and began their homeschooling journey 9 years ago when their oldest was entering middle school. The STAT community has been a true gift and a blessing in their family’s homeschooling endeavors, and Melinda is honored to play a more active role in this community now that she serves as STAT Director. A longtime parishioner of St. Bernadette Parish in Severn, Melinda has served in many ministry roles over the years, most currently as co-coordinator for her parish’s Walking with Purpose program. When she is not learning alongside her children, Melinda enjoys reading, running, puzzle-working, and learning new languages.

John Freymann is an active-duty Navy officer, currently serving at the U.S.
Naval Academy as a military professor in history. He has a B.S. in Optics from the University of
Rochester, a Ph.D. in the History of Christianity from the University of Chicago, and (only) four
bicycles. John and his wife, Melissa, are active parishioners of St. John the Evangelist Church.
They are raising and home-schooling four children, ranging in age from six to thirteen.

Tara Pessia has a Master of Social Work from Widener University, and previously served as the Clinical Director for a youth residential treatment and foster care facility in the Baltimore area. Tara became a stay-at-home mom for her three sons and daughter beginning in 2005. She was introduced to STAT in 2016 when she began homeschooling her oldest son. Tara’s faith and dedication to family drive her to devote her time to volunteering with her parish (Our Lady of the Fields) and community organizations, including the Boy Scouts. She and her husband, John, have been married since 2001 and have lived in Crofton since 2008.

Nicki Wagner has been a part of the homeschool/STAT community since 2017 and has grown in love and appreciation of the Catholic Classical education that her children have been blessed to receive.  In addition to homeschooling, Nicki has been a CPA with a local tax and business advisory firm for the past ten years.  She is excited to serve on the STAT Board.