The School Advisory Council is consultative in that it formulates, initiates and administers certain projects essential to success. The Advisory Council’s functions include, but are not limited to:
- Assists in the development of long-range plans for the school in conjunction with the Principal for input on the School Improvement Plan.
- Helps development of the total school budget.
- Advises on local policy development and formation which are consistent with diocesan policies and guidelines.
- Provides public relations, marketing and communications support.
- Establishes development planning and fundraising.
- Advises on facilities maintenance and management.
- Nominates new members for the Advisory Council.
Below are the current members of the School Advisory Council.
Curriculum and Instruction: Julia Bierhaus is currently a first grade teacher at Nativity Catholic School. She and her husband reside in Apollo Beach and attend Nativity Catholic Church. Julia has been educating children for 20 years with experience teaching in both Catholic and public schools in Bloomington, Indiana and Davenport, Iowa. She has experience teaching college, middle school, fourth grade, third grade, second grade, and now her favorite - first grade. Julia believes the key to successful teaching is the relationship between the teacher and student. Learning shows our vulnerable side to the world, and a student must feel safe and respected to take a chance on making a mistake in the learning process. Julia was born and raised in southern Indiana. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and a Master’s in Literacy Education from Western Illinois University. In addition to her experience teaching in Catholic schools, she also attended Catholic school as did her seven children. Julia volunteers at Sun City Stables in her spare time. She looks forward to sharing her expertise in best learning practices and brain research with the School Advisory Council and the Nativity community.
Chairperson: Cheriese L. Edwards has a strong belief that only what you do for Christ will last. It is with this mindset that she approaches Catholic education. Currently the Vice Principal at Tampa Catholic High School, she coordinates the curriculum implementation process and professional development activities for faculty and staff. Cheriese has over 14 years of secondary classroom experience in Catholic schools where she has served as a teacher, extracurricular moderator, Dean of Students and Assistant Principal for Curriculum. In education and life, she has found that as you gain information, God provides revelation, and as we grow in our knowledge of Christ, we have an obligation to share that knowledge with others. Cheriese holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Florida A&M University, a Master’s in Social Science Education from the University of South Florida, and is currently enrolled in an Education Specialist program in Education Leadership at St. Leo University. Outside of the honor of sharing God’s love through education and in her career, Cheriese is the proud wife of Demond Edwards and together they have four children: Devaughn, Nicholas, Deidra, and Tanisha.
Nominating: Stephanie Holmberg has been a Registered Nurse (RN) for 23 years, earning her Bachelor’s in Nursing from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. She has worked as an RN in a variety of capacities including Assistant Director of Nursing, Nursing Supervisor, Head Nurse and Clinic Chief in many different healthcare settings. Stephanie is a military spouse, moving around the country six times in 10 years. She served as a Family Readiness Group Leader, encouraging self-reliance and support to military spouses during deployments and established Comfort Care Teams to assist families in crisis due to tragic events during deployments. Stephanie is the recipient of the Army Commanders Award for civilian service. She is a vocal artist for the Center for American Military Music Opportunities (CAMMO), whose mission is to create music-based therapeutic programming and outlets for service members, veterans, and families suffering from PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury. Stephanie has a first grade and third-grade son attending Nativity Catholic School. She serves as a Cougar Comrade, welcoming new families to the school and helping with their transition throughout the year. She is a homeroom angel and regular volunteer at Nativity, an assistant basketball coach for i9 sports and the Assistant Den Leader for the Tigers in Nativity Pack 89. Stephanie hopes to bring a parent perspective to the committee and assist with the Nativity Catholic School mission.
Facilities Maintenance and Management: Richard Kolhoff is the Director of Construction for the Diocese of St. Petersburg. He holds a Bachelor’s in Architecture from The Ohio State University. He has extensive experience in school design and construction from early childhood to the university level, and from both the designer’s and owner’s perspective. Some of Richard’s favorite projects from his current role at the Diocese include the Bethany Retreat Center, the renovation and remodeling of the Cathedral of St. Jude, St. Anne, St. Catherine and St. Stephen Catholic churches, the dining hall replacement at Good Counsel Camp, and the remodeling and renovation of Nativity Catholic Church. His previous position was with the public school system on the programming side which is the most important phase to produce an effective and efficient project. Richard is currently a Eucharistic Minister for Espiritu Santo Parish in Safety Harbor, a volunteer for the Dunedin Public Library, and a member of the Professional Selection Committee for the Pinellas County School District. He’s been married to his wife Malla for more than 35 years and they have a son and daughter who attended Catholic school. Richard is looking forward to bringing his architectural expertise to the School Advisory Council to help Nativity with its facilities planning.
Finance: Kelly Peeples owns and operates Yates & Hagan, a specialty boutique in Lakeland, with her mom. They started the business in 1995 and continue to grow and change. Their store was named Polk County’s “Best Gift Store” in 2017. Kelly has extensive experience in all aspects of running a small business, including marketing, budgeting, managing personnel, regulations, purchasing, and planning. Her two sons, Kyle (28) and Derek (21), attended Resurrection Catholic School and Santa Fe Catholic High School in Lakeland. Kelly’s experience in business and in Catholic education as a parent gives her a base of knowledge she hopes can contribute to the success of Nativity Catholic School. She is thrilled to serve on the Nativity Catholic School Advisory Council and to work with Father Tapp, Mrs. Ringley, and the rest of the council members.
Long Range and Strategic Planning: Donna Rayburn is married to William (Woody), and they have been Nativity parishioners for the last 16 years. All four of their children attended Nativity Catholic School through eighth grade. Donna is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and has been on the advisory board for Nativity Catholic School for 16 years. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s in Accounting and started her career at the Tampa office of Deloitte, a public accounting firm. She also worked in finance at the Walt Disney World Resort. After leaving the workplace to raise her four children, Donna restarted her career by opening Rayburn Business Strategies in 2014 to provide solid, affordable financial consulting to small business owners. She has enjoyed raising her children in the Brandon community and has volunteered her time at a variety of local nonprofit board of directors such as the Tampa YMCA, the Newsome High School PTSA, and the Small Business Resource Network.
Public Relations, Marketing, and Communications: Louis and Kristin Ricca (Secretary) have been members of Nativity Catholic Church for more than 10 years. Kristin graduated from Nativity Catholic School (class of ’94), and their daughter Haley is a fourth grader at the school. Louis works for an environmental engineering consulting firm in Riverview where he assists with marketing and business development support. He is an accredited business communicator (ABC) and has experience in internal and external communications for Fortune 500 companies in the Tampa Bay area. He holds a degree in Public Relations from the University of Florida and is currently a member of the Tampa Bay chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Louis is the ministry leader for the Job Search & Preparation Ministry at Nativity. Kristin is an active volunteer at Nativity Catholic School in roles, including homeroom angel, classroom volunteer, and she assists with the Novemberfest raffle distribution. She has experience working in the marketing/communications departments for a hospitality resort and a large law firm in the Tampa Bay area. She has a degree in Business Administration with a marketing major. Louis and Kristin are looking forward to participating in strategic discussions and using their communications and marketing experience to strengthen the future of Nativity Catholic School.
Nominating: Dennis Maningas has been an active volunteer at Nativity Catholic School for the past four years and has served in many capacities, including classroom volunteer, technology lab assistant and Vacation Bible School leader. Currently, he serves as a coach for one of Nativity's Robotics Jr. League teams. He is also the public relations committee chair for Nativity Cub Scout Pack 89. Dennis graduated from United States Marines Corps boot camp at Parris Island, SC and proudly served in the Corps for eight years. He has degrees in Culinary Arts, Food Service Management and Health Information Management. In addition to the food service industry, he has experience in the healthcare field working as an emergency room clinical technician at the Medical Center Navicent Health Hospital in Macon, GA. He is married to Michele who is a charge nurse at St. Joseph's Hospital South. They live in Apollo Beach and have been parishioners at Nativity for the past four years. They have a third-grade son who attends Nativity Catholic School. Dennis is looking forward to assisting and contributing to the School Advisory Council.