School Administrators & Teachers
Archpriest Serge Lukianov
Fr. Serge was born on April 7, 1958 in New York City. He was baptized by his grandfather – Archpriest Peter Mocharsky. When his family moved to Sea Cliff, he began studying at the parish school and serving in the altar at St. Seraphim Church under Archpriest (later Bishop) Mitrophan Znosko-Borovsky. In 1969, the family moved to Lakewood, where he graduated from Russian School in 1974 and high school in 1976. From 1976-1978, he studied humanities and music at Ocean County College. In September 1978, he enrolled at Holy Trinity Seminary, from which he graduated three years later in June 1981 with a Bachelor of Theology.
On September 18, 1977, he tonsured a reader in St. Alexander Nevsky Church by Bishop Laurus. On August 9, 1981, he married Lubov I. Afanasenko. On February 15, 1982, he was ordained a subdeacon by Metropolitan Philaret, and on May 23 of the same year, ordained to the diaconate. On June 1, 1986, he was elevated to protodeacon. In 1981, he began teaching at the Russian School. On August 29, 2000, he was ordained a priest by Archbishop Laurus. He has five children.
In March 2009, Metropolitan Hilarion appointed Fr. Serge secretary of the Eastern American Diocese. On September 12, 2014, Metropolitan Hilarion was appointed dean and administrator of St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral and principal of the Russian School.
Matushka Lubov Lukianov
Lubov I. Lukianov (née Afanasenko) was born in the United States and grew up in Nyack, NY, where she attended the parish school at Holy Virgin Protection Church. She was a spiritual child of Archpriest Seraphim Slobodskoy. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Russian from Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY. Matushka Luba went on to complete a Master’s Degree from the Russian School at Norwich University in Northfield, VT, and 60 credits toward her Doctorate at Columbia University in New York City.
Matushka Luba taught Russian for two years at Manhattanville College, and for two years at Barnard College and Columbia University. She created the Russian language program and taught for 25 years in the schools of the Freehold Regional High School District. For seven years, she was the administrator at St. Alexander Nevsky Parish School. Matuska Lubov is the spouse of Archpriest Serge Lukianov; their five children all graduated from the Parish School.
Archpriest Seraphim Chemodakov
Fr. Seraphim was born on April 9, 1976 in New York State. From 1978-1998, he lived in Australia, where he was educated and graduated high school. From 1995-1998, he studied at the University of Western Sydney, which he graduated with an Associate Degree in Biological Sciences. From 1998-2002, he studied at Holy Trinity Theological Seminary in Jordanville, NY. On June 25, 2002, he was ordained to the diaconate by Metropolitan Laurus. From 2002-2005, he worked as a laboratory assistant at Bassett Healthcare Clinical Laboratory in Cooperstown, NY. On August 19, 2005, he was ordained the priesthood by Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan. From 2005 to the present, he has been a cleric at St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
Katya lives with her family in Princeton, NJ. She is a Russian Language & Literature teacher. She has an M.A. from Yale University in Slavic Languages & Literatures. She teaches at three schools: Princeton Adult School, Princeton Academy of Sacred Heart, and St. Alexander Nevsky Parish School. She has taught at the Russian School in Lakewood from the first year that their family moved to New Jersey in 2001. (With a brief interval when she moved to Providence, RI, where her husband was studying at graduate school.) Her husband Ivan is a doctor, specializing in pediatrics and pediatric gastroenterology. They have three sons. The oldest is in his sophomore year at Boston University, the second is studying at Princeton Day Prep. School, while the youngest is in sixth grade at St. Paul School of Princeton. Both Katya and her husband have dedicated their lives to working with children. She loves her work precisely because it allows her to work with children. Teaching children brings her much joy and fulfillment.
Elena A. Gracheva
Elena was born and raised in Kursk, Russia. In 1993, she received her diploma as an Elementary School Teacher from the Kursk State Pedagogical Institute. From 1990-1993, Elena taught grades 1-3 at Pushkin High School From 1994-1998, she taught at Massachusetts General Hospital Children Center in Boston, MA. From 1998-2002, she worked as assistant director in a laboratory at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY studying the molecular structures of retinal disease. Mrs. Gracheva has been teaching at St. Alexander Nevsky Parish School since 2004.
Reader Gregory Levitsky
Reader Gregory Levitsky was born in 1985. He graduated from East Brunswick High School in 2003, Rutgers University in 2007 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Russian, and graduated with honors from St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in 2014 with a Master of Divinity. Gregory was tonsured a reader by Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan in 2007. He has worked for the Eastern American Diocese of ROCOR since 2009 as an administrative and media assistant, translator, editor, and – since 2014 – diocesan treasurer.
Rdr. Gregory’s family has attended St. Alexander’s Church since the 1950s, when they arrived from France via Brooklyn. His great-great-grandfather is the Holy Hieromartyr Joachim, Archbishop of Lower Novgorod, killed by the Bolsheviks in 1921. His grandparents, Vsevolod and Victoria, were actively involved in the organization of the Rodina Cultural Society. His uncle, Alexander V. Levitsky, has served for 15 years as parish warden at St. Alexander’s, while he and his brothers Andrew and Nicholas, and cousin Paul, have served in the altar for many years. Gregory graduated from the St. Alexander Nevsky Parish school with honors in 2005 and has been a teacher at the school since 2014. His dream is to see St. Alexander’s grow into a full-time Orthodox school.
Anna G. Molenhoff
Anna Molenhoff graduated from the 2nd Kiev Medical School as a paramedic and from the A. Bogomolets National Medicinal Institution, as well as from Brookdale Community College and Rutgers University with a major in Biological Sciences. She was born on the banks of the Dniepr River, in view of the Kiev Caves Lavra, and is especially indebted to her parents for who she is today. She began her spiritual education at the Lavra’s Sunday school. A hard worker, she fondly remembers her active childhood, which included hikes, visits to local museums, theaters, the philharmonic, botanical gardens, and the old City. She has been teaching and assisting at St. Alexander Nevsky Parish School for since 2006, attending the parish with her sons.
Natalia N. Safarian
Natalia was born and raised in Kyrgyzstan, and graduated from Kyrgyz State University with a degree in Law. In America, she received a Master’s Degree in Legal Research and is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. Natalia has taught periodically at the parish school since the year 2000. She is married with five children and one grandson, and enjoys reading and gardening in her free time.
Olga Szasz was born in St. Petersburg, Russia Родилась в гор. Санкт-Петербург (Россия). She graduated from the Pavlov First Saint Petersburg State Medical University. After moving to the USA, Olga continued her medical education and received a Bachelor’s degree in dietology and a master’s degree in Health Management from Brooklyn College. Before moving to Manalapan in 2014, her family attended St. Michael’s Orthodox Church Paterson, New Jersey, for ten years.
Olga is a mother of three children – Ivan (12 years), Xenia (9 years) and Constantine (2 years) – all of whom attend the parish school. It is very important to Olga and her husband that their children are brought up in the Russian Orthodox community, so that they know and love the Orthodox faith, Russian language and culture.