Meet the Staff

Dr. Janet "Barbara" Cummings

Executive Director

Dr. Janet (Barbara) Cummings was born and raised in San Francisco. She became a Christian in young adulthood and an Orthodox Christian in 2006. She and her children currently attend St. Anthony Greek Orthodox Church in Reno, Nevada. However, Janet considers Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Scottsdale, Arizona to be her home away from home, as she learned of the Orthodox faith and was Chrismated there. She still serves as the Chairman of Assumption’s Prayer Ministry.

Janet has spent considerable time in academia. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Pre-med (with a minor in Genetics/Molecular Biology) and Linguistics (with a Classical Languages minor) from the University of California, Davis. She went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Linguistics, with a Psycholinguistics emphasis, from the University of Texas at Arlington before deciding to earn a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the School of Professional Psychology at Wright State University, which she completed in 1992. During her Bachelor’s and Master’s studies, Janet taught English as a Second Language.

Janet received her second doctoral degree, an Honorary Doctor of Behavioral Health degree, in January of 2020.

While at Wright State University, Janet was awarded the university president’s annual President’s Commendation, the first to be earned by a graduate student in psychology. In 2007, she was named Wright State University’s Alumna of the Year.

Janet has supervised over 60 mental health practitioners, many of whom were involved in faith-based counseling. Under her direction, the faith-based counseling center where she functioned as a supervisor earned a national reputation for excellence.

For two years, Janet served as the Clinical Director for a Christian substance abuse treatment program for children and adolescents.

In 2010, Janet and her two children moved from Scottsdale, Arizona to Reno, Nevada in order to be close to her parents and the headquarters of The Nicholas & Dorothy Cummings Foundation, for which she served as President since its inception in 1995 until 2019. Under Janet’s direction, The Nicholas & Dorothy Cummings Foundation flourished and funded a number of worthy projects in integrated healthcare.

Janet is the author of over two dozen journal articles and book chapters, and she has co-authored or co-edited ten books. She served as adjunct professor for both the University of Nevada, Reno and the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, MO. She was Co-founding Associate Director of the Doctor of Behavioral Health (DBH) Program at Arizona State University, and served as a Professor and Co-founding Sponsor until 2014 when she decided to move the DBH Program to a different venue. She then formed The Cummings Graduate Institute for Behavioral Health Studies, an independent online college, where she teaches Pathophysiology, Neuropathophysiology, and Psychopharmacology.

Janet has started and successfully run a number of businesses, including a sewing business, two non-profit behavioral health foundations, an online college, and a psychological practice. She sees these endeavors as preparation for eventually starting St. Nicholas Orthodox Christian Academy, where she enjoys working as the unsalaried Executive Director.

Janet no longer has hobbies because, as she says, “There aren’t enough hours in a day.” Of the many jobs that she has held, she considers motherhood to be the most important and the most rewarding. She is enjoying her twin grandchildren, who were born in October of 2019, and looks forward to the birth of her third grandchild in March of 2021.

Janet is currently serving as our substitute piano and voice instructor while Mrs. Mary Denny is away on maternity leave.

Ms. Jennifer Shlicoff-Holsworth

In Loving Memory

Jennifer Shlicoff-Holsworth joined our team in December 2018 as our Administrator.  Jen was very skilled in all aspects of computer software used for business management and proved herself highly capable of managing our social media, website, staff as well as bookkeeping.  She took it upon herself to “rebrand” the Academy, and our beautiful new letterhead and PowerPoint templates are just some of her excellent work.  She brought much-needed organization to our Administrative Office, and kept it running smoothly and efficiently. It is due to Jen’s hard work that we were able to gain our Cognia accreditation so quickly and efficiently.

Unfortunately, Jen passed away in July 2022 at the age of 35 due to worsening long term health concerns. She will be remembered and missed by all, but most of all her son Nikolai. Memory Eternal!

Mr. Kent Geiser

Director of Information Technology

Kent Geiser is one of our graduates, who has been a student at St. Nicholas Orthodox Academy since we opened.  Kent is excellent with technology, including coding.  In fact, several years ago, he did much of the coding on our online learning platform.  Kent started helping Jennifer with our website, and his help was so valuable that we decided to hire him part time.  When Kent isn’t doing his school work or coding, he enjoys building elaborate Lego structures, playing video games, and playing with his German Shepherd.

Mrs. Mary Denny

Administrator & Special Subjects Teacher

We are fortunate to have Ms. Mary Denny as our piano, voice, and art teacher.  She is a recent graduate of online college, earning her Business Degree with a minor in Music Education in 2021 and her Masters Degree in business management and leadership in 2022.  This makes her uniquely suited to both teach her special subjects, as well as meet our administrative needs.  Mary is a proficient piano player, and has trained under some top vocal instructors, including Richard Lee (formerly a star performer with the San Francisco Opera).  She has also received several Music and Art awards at the national level.  Mary has also taken over the management of our social media and marketing. When she isn’t teaching at the school, Mary is busy taking care of her three babies.

Mr. Eneko Zuñiga

Middle/High School Teacher

Born in Seattle, Washington, Eneko Zuniga is a student at Western Nevada College in Carson City, pursuing a science degree. Growing up in the Basque Country in Spain, he most recently attended the EHU-UPV University (Donostia-San Sebastin, Spain). His interests include soccer, rowing and fencing. He is a very valued high school teacher at the Academy, where he teaches primarily science and math courses. He also engages the students in soccer and other athletic activities during recesses. In fact, Eneko leads our P.E. program and has taught our student’s several sports, including fencing! Eneko has risen to leadership at the Academy as well as in his local parish, as he is a lead chanter in Church and leads our opening prayer time at the Academy.

Mr. Daniel Combo

State of Nevada Licensed Head Teacher

National Board Certified Teacher in Career and Technical Education by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards

Hello!  I am originally from Montana.  I graduated from the University of Montana (Go Griz!) with a B.S. in Business Administration and Certification in Business Education.  Not long after I received a master’s degree in Educational Technology at the University of San Francisco.  I spent my professional career teaching high school in Fallon, Nevada.  I have a passion for teaching and utilizing technology in the process of learning.  I am adept at Adobe and Microsoft Applications.  Digital media is an engaging science and I enjoy sharing this passion with my students.   I am a Nationally Board Certified Teacher in Career and Technology Education.  I am an avid photographer.  I’m excited to be here at St. Nicholas Orthodox Academy.

Mrs. Halie Zimmerman

Elementary Teacher

Hello!  I have lived in the Reno area most of my life, and graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in Elementary Education.  My teaching experience includes teaching first grade in a public school, teaching writing and grammar in a co-op, and homeschooling my own children for 12 years!  I am the mother of 3 amazing kids, wife to my favorite guy, and manager of the menagerie at home, which includes dogs, cats, chickens, and horses.  I enjoy spending time with my family, being outdoors, and reading.  I love teaching at SNOA, where I can work one-on-one with students, develop learning plans specifically for them, and then watch them build confidence as they progress.

Perlix

Rodent Control Officer

Our music teacher, Mary Denny, made a trip to the humane society and fell in love with Perlix as a kitten. Mary decided to make a decision and adopt the adorable creature. Besides, there was no way that Mary was going to leave without Perlix, so St. Nicholas Orthodox Academy gained a mouser. Perlix loves people and enjoys being around our students during the day. When students and staff go home for the evening, Perlix begins the hunt!

Photos from the Academy