Verathon Academy Advisors

We're a group of educators, entrepreneurs, pastors and investors partnering with parents to design the ultimate education and formation experience for all of our children.

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John Filingo

Patti Bisenius - Portland, OR

Patti has been a teacher for over four decades.  She home schooled her two children for eight years, taught in the public schools for 30 years and also taught in a private dyslexic school. Her expertise is in helping teachers utilize best practices in their classrooms and to create differentiation for children.  She is skilled in curriculum development and assessments.  Patti has held many leadership roles throughout her teaching career which include being the Talented and Gifted Coordinator, Mentor Teacher to many new teachers, Outdoor School Director and grade level Chairperson.  Patti won Teacher of the Year in her school district.

Patti holds a BA from Seattle Pacific University and her MA from George Fox University.  She majored in piano and elementary teaching while also getting a Reading Endorsement and receiving Slingerland training for dyslexic learners.

Outside of the classroom, Patti thoroughly enjoys spending time with her adult children and four grandchildren.  She likes to read, work in her yard, and spend time serving at her local church.

Keith Nix

Alex Portino

Mr. Keith Nix - Richmond, VA

Keith Nix has served as the Head of School at Veritas in Richmond, Virginia since 2010 and serves on the Board of Academic Advisors at the Classical Learning Test. He is the Vice Chairman of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS) and was the prior Chairman of the Society for Classical Learning. He has served on the Board of the Virginia Council for Private Education since 2013. Prior to moving to Veritas in 2010, Keith was a board member, and then later Head of School at The Westminster School in Birmingham, Alabama from 2004 - 2010. He is a founding Arête Fellow and has facilitated the Arete Fellowship gatherings since 2009.


John Filingo

Pastor John Mark Comer - Portland, OR

John Mark is the former pastor for teaching and vision at Bridgetown Church in Portland, OR. He recently launched a non-profit called Practicing the Way to create resources for discipleship and formation in local churches in post-Christian contexts. He is the co-host of “This Cultural Moment” a podcast about following Jesus in a post Christian world. He is the author of Live No Lies, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, My Name is Hope, Loveology, Garden City, and God has a Name. John Mark is dedicated to practicing and teaching the way of Jesus. His life ambition is to be with Jesus, become like Him, and do what He did - and help others do the same.


John Filingo

 Mr. Brian Sullivan - Minneapolis, MN

Mr. Brian Sullivan has served as Principal and Head of School for Maranatha Christian Academy (MCA) for 31 years. Maranatha has been recognized regionally and nationally as a school of innovation focusing on design-thinking, courageous change-making, exploration, and community building. The school was most recently cited by the International Christian Accrediting Agency at Cognitia, formerly advanced as a “Flagship School.” Mr. Sullivan serves on the board of the Minnesota Independent School Forum, was the Oral Roberts University Educational Fellowship Administrator of the year and was recognized in Minnesota as an outstanding educator in 2019.

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John Filingo

Richard Okello - Johannesburg, S. Africa

Richard is a Co-Founder and Partner at Sango Capital. Prior to co-founding Sango, Richard, was a Principal at Makena Capital, a large private endowment, where he was responsible for allocating over $15 billion into more than 300 funds and direct investments. Prior to working at Makena, Richard was a Partner at Bridgewater Associates, a US$150 billion global hedge fund. Richard was educated in Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States, receiving an MBA Hons. from Pace University and a BA (Honors Program) Economics & Public Policy from Swarthmore College. He sits on several fund advisory boards, portfolio company boards as well as the boards of the African Leadership Foundation and Human Horizons Foundation.

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Alex Portino

Deborah J.A. Miller, Ed.D. - Vancouver, WA

Deborah J.A. Miller comes to Verathon equipped with 35 years of teaching, administration and leadership roles in private Christian education. This includes serving as high school principal and assistant superintendent at King’s Way Christian School, as Head of School at Westside Christian High School and as co-founder serving multiple leadership roles at Vancouver Christian High School. She has also served as the Northwest Regional Director for the Association of Christian Schools International, where she oversaw ACSI schools in a five-state region. Previously, Deborah founded and led the undergraduate and graduate teacher education programs at Multnomah Bible College. She holds a B.S. in Social Studies Education, a Master’s in Education, and a Doctorate in Education from George Fox University.

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John Filingo

Bryan Pereboom - Portland, OR

Bryan serves as legal council and is part of the management team at Black Rock Coffee Company, which owns and operates more than 100 stores across the western half of the US. Formerly, Bryan helped create efficient investment structures for entrepreneurs, developers and investors from the West Coast of the US to the frontier markets of Africa and Asia.