Meet Our Staff

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Executive Team & Directors

Chris Rowles, Chief Operating Officer

Steven Hayden
Senior Development Director
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Steven received a BA in the Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College and a BS from the University of Wisconsin - Platteville and is a professional civil engineer in the state of California. Steven has worked in administration in Catholic, classical, distance education since 2006 and joined Kolbe Academy as Development Director in 2021. Steven, his wife Maggie, and their 5 children live in the southern Ozarks in Arkansas.

Josh Beckman
Director of Marketing & Communications
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Josh Beckman is experienced as Communications and Marketing Director and has a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry. He specializes in Digital Marketing, Strategic Communications, and Event Management. Joshua has worked with Fortune 100 companies as well as numerous Catholic organizations. He is a great fan of writers such as Chesterton, Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis, and hopes to use his talents to encourage a new generation of prolific writers and thinkers.

Dianne Muth
Founder & Office Volunteer
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Responsibilities: Curriculum Development, Academic Advising Dianne and her late husband, Jerry, are one of the three founding couples of Kolbe Academy. Dianne taught grades 1 through 4 for many years at Kolbe Academy’s Day school and could always humbly assert that most of her students read, comprehended, wrote and did math at least one full level above their grade. After 20 years of teaching, she served as principal of Kolbe Academy’s Day School until 2003 when she “retired” to become a full time volunteer academic advisor for the Home School program. As an early proponent of the need to focus on phonics, Mrs. Muth wrote the Ignatius Speaks and Writes English program used in Kolbe Academy Home School’s program for first and second grade, and is currently working on the third grade edition. She has also authored the Kolbe Academy guides to the Catholic National Reader and was instrumental in preparing the daily lesson plans for the majority of subjects in Kolbe’s grade school program. Dianne has always enjoyed traveling in her spare time, and use this passion to help Kolbe out by representing at many home school conferences in the spring. She and her husband successfully reared 10 children, the youngest three of whom all graduated from Kolbe’s Day school, 45 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren.

Steve Dilly
Chief Financial Officer
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Steve is from Eastern Washington and a graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in Accounting. He worked for the Deloitte firm out of college and has been self employed for 22 years owning gas and convenience stores. He and his wife Tonja have 8 children, of which the 6 oldest were home schooled for several years. They have one graduate of the Kolbe Academy & Trinity Prep day school with 5 children currently enrolled there.

Mary Rowles
Executive Director
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Mary has been with Kolbe Academy Home School since the program’s inception. She has contributed to the growth and development of the home school program over the years as home school manager (2002 – 2004), head of academic advising (2004-2007), registrar (1996-1999, 2005-2008) Assistant Executive Director (2017) and Executive Director (2008-2016, 2018-) of Kolbe Academy. Mary and her late husband, Chuck, had been married for over 30 years. She has ten children, 6 boys and 4 girls, and so far, is the proud grandmother of 16. Mary has home schooled several of her children off and on over the last 20 years, three of whom have mild to moderate learning disabilities. All of her children have attended Kolbe Academy’s Day School or online school during years that she was not home schooling, and her 9 oldest have graduated from Kolbe thus far.

Megan Lengyel
Chief Academic Officer
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Megan received her BS in Physics from the University of Dallas and her MS in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma. She began at Kolbe in 2004 as Kolbe’s Math and Science Curriculum Advisor and later helped to get the online school off the ground in 2013. She continues to serves Kolbe's mission on the Executive Team as the Chief Academic Officer, or as Kolbe's students typically call her, "The Principal." Megan and her husband live north of Atlanta, Georgia, and have four children, two of whom are currently homeschooled with Kolbe Academy.

Chris Rowles
Chief Operations Officer
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The oldest grandson of founders Dianne and Jerry Muth, Chris Rowles graduated from Kolbe Academy before attending University of Dallas and studying Economics. He spent 10 years in Mortgage Servicing and Call Center Operations before moving back to Napa, CA, to join Kolbe as Chief Operations Officer. His wife Maureen is presently teaching with Kolbe Online and their 5 children have begun enrolling with Kolbe Academy.

Jordan Almanzar
Director of Alumni & Public Relations
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Jordan has been with Kolbe since 2013. He was homeschooled back in the 1980s and 90s and eventually earned a PhD from Göttingen University in Germany. He is the author of two books, "When the Earth was Flat" and "He Whom a Dream Hath Possessed" as well as numerous book reviews and articles. He is the father of five kids and lives in New Hampshire where he also teaches Greek and Latin at Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts.

Everett Buyarski
Academic Services Director
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Everett was born and raised in Southeast Alaska, aka “God’s Country.” He studied Philosophy at Gonzaga University (Go Zags!), and spent two years in the seminary before discerning he wasn’t called to the priesthood. He and his wife Melissa live with their five sons in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Before joining Kolbe Academy in 2008, Everett worked as a high school teacher in math, science and computer literacy at a small private Catholic school in Cottonwood, Idaho. In addition to his work as Director of Academic Services, Everett teaches for the Maris Stella Institute in their catechist formation programs and is a Little League board member and umpire.

Nicole O'Connor
Elementary Online Learning
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Nicole received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Composition and a Master of Science degree in Online K-12 Education through Franciscan University of Steubenville. She has worked both in the classroom and online with students ranging from Pre-Kindergarten to 12th grade. Writing has always been her passion; however, she is even more passionate about helping young students learn to read, write, and love grammar! In 2018, Nicole served as vice president on the board of a non-profit preschool and helped develop their pre-reading program. Serving as their reading instructor for many years, she found her true passion in working with families in the early years. Whether she is in the classroom working through grammar drills or playing Play-Doh with preschoolers, Nicole loves the gift of assisting children and families discover their hidden talents and passions. Nicole taught for Kolbe for 6 years in the English and Literature department before moving into various administrative roles. She now serves as the Director of Online Elementary Learning. Nicole and her husband live in Orange County, California, and have three daughters.

Tony Guzzaldo
Middle & High School Online Learning Director
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Tony is a happily married husband to Kate and proud father of two daughters. He holds a bachelor's degree in History from the University of Iowa and a master's degree in Instructional Technology from Northern Illinois University. After graduating from college, Tony spent six years on and off active duty while a member of the Air National Guard and then pursued a career in education. His professional experiences include classroom teaching at the junior high and high school levels and assessment and program evaluation work in higher education. He began at Kolbe as an academic advisor and taught middle school history during the 2021-22 school year before stepping into this role in April of 2022. Tony resides in the Chicagoland area and in his leisure time enjoys spending time adventuring with his family in the outdoors, gardening, cooking, and his Catholic men's book club.

Academic Services

Everett Buyarski, Director

Jamie Coelho-Kostolny
Academic Advisor
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Jamie was raised in Sacramento, California and received her Bachelors in Elementary Education from Franciscan University. After discerning with the cloistered Dominican nuns, she moved to Napa to work for Kolbe during the 2020-21 school year. She took a break to teach in a Montessori classroom before returning as a Kolbe Advisor. She now resides in Steubenville, Ohio with her husband Peter.

Abigail Howard
Asynchronous Teacher
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Abigail was born and raised at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Idaho. She was given the gift of a classical homeschool education by her wonderful parents, and after high school, she chose to more thoroughly study the classics through reading the Great Books of the Western World. In 2016, Abigail acquired a Liberal Arts degree from the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in New Hampshire. In the years following college, she spent her time living out of a backpack, traveling from country to country to visit pilgrimage sites. In 2018 she settled down as a teacher in the Diocese of Boise where she became quadruple certified in secondary education. Abigail is grateful to be a part of Kolbe Academy and looks forward to devoting her time and energy to the world of classical Catholic education.

Julie Meyers
Academic Advisor
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Julie was raised in the desert region of Southern Nevada and was homeschooled, along with her two sisters, from 5th to 12th grade. Her experience with homeschooling was very positive and so she is eager to bring her experience to Kolbe Academy. Her Bachelors is in Fine Arts and she has worked in a variety of educational settings and grade levels. One of her favorite jobs was as a kindergarten teacher. Outside of work, some of her favorite activities are painting, camping, and discussing fine literature in a book club.

Krysten Pizzurro
Academic Advisor
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Krysten was raised as a Navy “brat”, moving every few years; but, spent much of her childhood in Hawaii. She received her Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 2004. She holds an MBA from Touro University as well. After 5 years active duty she hung up her uniform to raise her growing family. She currently resides in Washington, DC with her husband and 5 children. She has been homeschooling with Kolbe Academy since 2013. As the mom of special needs children, helping families find ways to make homeschooling work for them is important to her.

Agostina Cavasotto
Academic Advisor
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Agostina grew up homeschooling with Kolbe and Mother of Divine Grace in San Diego, CA, Houston, TX, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is completing a degree in Literature and Linguistics at the Catholic University of Argentina, and has worked several years as a tutor and college teaching assistant, in addition to legal marketing. When she isn’t reading or studying new languages, she’s probably exploring the city and other interesting places around Buenos Aires.

Cecilia Dugyon Byers
Academic Advisor
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Cecilia grew up homeschooling with Mother of Divine Grace in Sacramento, California. She graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a concentration in ethics from the University of Dallas in 2020. Since graduating from the University of Dallas, she married her husband, Stephen, and gained professional experience working in higher education. In her previous role, she worked as an Admission Counselor guiding homeschool students in their college decision process. She is excited and blessed to have the opportunity of working in education again, serving families in their homeschool journey.

Karen Allgood
Academic Advisor
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Karen was born and raised in Georgia and received her B.A. in Special Education from Elon University in 2006 and her M.A. from Georgia State University in Special Education in 2011. She spent 8 years as a special education teacher working in public schools in the Atlanta area before she decided to embark on homeschooling with her own children. She now resides in Roswell, GA with her husband and 4 children. Karen is excited to be a part of Kolbe academy and to help families navigate homeschooling with their children.

Christina Say
Asynchronous Teacher
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Christina received her B.S in Chemistry from the University of the Philippines and her M.S . in Chemistry from Virginia Tech. She and her husband are blessed with 8 children, whom they homeschooled for several years. After living in California for 24 years, they moved to Texas in 2019. Christina is very active in the Respect Life Ministry at their parish.

Kristin Crook
Asynchronous Teacher
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Kristin earned her degree in Elementary Education, with a Theology minor from Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. After graduating in 2011, she began teaching high school religion, history, grammar, and composition online. She later worked in administration and curriculum development. She loves helping students become more confident in their reading and writing skills. Kristin currently resides in Maryland with her husband and four children. She enjoys homeschooling, reading, crafting, and spending time with family and their parish community.

Celeste Cuellar​
Academic Advisor (Pre-enrolled families)
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Celeste was first employed at Kolbe Academy in 2006-2008 as an academic advisor. She left to help her parish establish a classical Catholic school that used Kolbe’s curriculum. In 2013, with the advent of online courses, she was asked to return to Kolbe as a mentor for the online teachers. Celeste has served Kolbe Academy in many capacities over the years including Dean of Students, Dean of Faculty, and Special Needs Advisor. Prior to working at Kolbe Academy, Celeste spent a number of years working as a preschool teacher, classroom teacher for K-8, mental health therapist, school counselor, and adjunct faculty instructor. Her BA is in Liberal Arts, her MA is in Counseling, and she is also a certified K-8 teacher.

Ashley Massey
Academic Advisor/Dean of Students (Grades K-5)
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Ashley was homeschooled herself as a high school teen and is excited to bring her love of at-home learning to support Kolbe Academy families. She has a B.A. in English (UNLV) and a M.A. in Pastoral Studies (HACS) Currently she is completing her M.S. in Social Work (UNR). Her work experience is varied and includes university and public libraries, substitute teaching in both virtual and brick and mortal schools, volunteering and working for NET Ministries, and previously serving in a local parish as youth ministry coordinator for middle school, high school and young adults. The main goal of her life in her education, work and married life is to strengthen the domestic church, that of the family unit. She enjoys kayaking, reading, renovating her home, and spending time with her husband and extended family. She resides in the mountainous state of Nevada.

Erica Treat
Academic Dean
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Erica has two decades of experience in classical education. As a military spouse and home educator, she has been active in homeschooling communities throughout the country. Before joining Kolbe Academy’s advising staff in 2020, Erica worked in diverse fields for non-profit and multinational organizations. She has interests in creative writing, clear and beautiful communications, and organization.

Rylan Buchanan​
Academic Advisor
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Rylan grew up homeschooling in Wenatchee, Washington until her junior year in high school at which point, her family moved to Napa, CA and she attended her last two years of high school at the Kolbe Academy and Trinity Prep day school. She graduated with her BA from the University of Mary in North Dakota in 2017 and then returned to her hometown in Washington. Since finishing college, she married her husband Tony, and they have a one-year old daughter. Rylan also works at her local parish. She was the Religious Education Director then moved into the Youth Ministry program where she currently serves as the Youth Minister for the high school youth group and confirmation programs.

Chris Bates
Testing Coordinator
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Chris Bates is originally from Oregon. She has a BA in Business from University of Portland, a MEd in Teaching & Learning from Liberty University, and is currently working toward her MA in Theology & Educational Ministry from Catholic Distance University. Chris is an Army veteran and served as a Signal Officer. Chris and her husband Jon have five girls at home, all of which are Kolbe students.

Dean of Students

Nicole O’Connor and Tony Guzzaldo, Directors

Mrs. Ashley Massey
K-5 Dean of Students
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Ashley was homeschooled herself as a high school teen and is excited to bring her love of at-home learning to support Kolbe Academy families. She has a B.A. in English (UNLV) and a M.A. in Pastoral Studies (HACS) Currently she is completing her M.S. in Social Work (UNR). Her work experience is varied and includes university and public libraries, substitute teaching in both virtual and brick and mortal schools, volunteering and working for NET Ministries, and previously serving in a local parish as youth ministry coordinator for middle school, high school and young adults. The main goal of her life in her education, work and married life is to strengthen the domestic church, that of the family unit. She enjoys kayaking, reading, renovating her home, and spending time with her husband and extended family. She resides in the mountainous state of Nevada.

Mrs. Elizabeth Hoxie
6-8 Dean of Students
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Elizabeth is a graduate of St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania where she earned degrees in biology and Catholic theology. She and her husband homeschool their children and, as a military family, move to a new state every few years. They enjoy connecting with Kolbe families along the way! Elizabeth hopes to inspire in her students awe of the marvelous complexity of God’s creation.

Mrs. Kelly Powers
9-12 Dean of Student
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Mrs. Powers holds a BS from the University of Georgia in Mathematics Education. While there, she received the Hooten Award which is bestowed upon the student that the faculty feels best demonstrates exceptional promise from that graduating class. She taught in the public school system for seven years, serving as a lead teacher in Geometry and AP Computer Science. Kelly was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2003. She loves that teaching for Kolbe allows for her to focus on the three most important things in her life: her faith, her wonderful husband and two children, and her never ending desire to see math “click” for a student. Mrs. Powers loves dark chocolate, math songs, dressing up in themed attire, and making people laugh.

Admissions

Steven Hayden, Sr. Director

Mary Quinn
Registrar
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Mary has been with Kolbe since 2009. She is a California native and received a BA from St Mary's College with training in Montessori. Mary and her husband have been married over thirty years and have six children and one granddaughter.

Jeanne Anne Ford
Dean of Admissions
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Jeanne Anne is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. Her father was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army which meant her family had to move all over the United States every two or three years. Her conversion to Catholicism at the age of 21, she attributes to listening to Archbishop Fulton Sheen on tape. She graduated from the University of San Francisco while working and taking care of small children and thus understands the struggles of juggling motherhood, working and teaching. After home schooling her eight children for over 16 years, she now resides in Napa with her youngest three children who attend Kolbe Academy Trinity Prep Day School.

Curriculum & Product Development

Maggie Hayden, Curriculum Director

Stasha Becher
Curriculum Developer
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Stasha Becher is from St. Paul, MN and is Catholic Youth Minister who teaches middle and high school girls at her local Parish, and most recently her son’s youth hockey team. Before joining Kolbe Stasha worked in marketing for a large corporate company but was led to continue her work in a Catholic setting. Stasha resides in a small farm town in Minnesota with her husband and three outdoor loving boys. You can find them playing football (go Vikes!), swimming in the lakes in the summer, or skating over them playing endless hours of hockey in the winter.

Joan Claire FitzPatrick
Curriculum Development Project Planner
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Joan Claire was born and raised in sunny California but currently lives with her husband Paul in southeastern Pennsylvania. She was homeschooled through high school by one of the early pioneers of Catholic classical education. She is excited to be back in education after a period in government service. Prior to government, she taught middle school and high school in the classical method and Montessori catechesis, ran a children's reading center, did graduate work in early childhood education, and managed educational mission programs in rural Cameroon. Over the past decade, she also studied portrait and figure drawing in several classical ateliers. She graduated as Class Salutatorian with a Summa Cum Laude from Christendom College with a B.A. in Literature and Language in 2009. She enjoys traveling, hiking, reading, working on her fixer-upper home, and doing fine art and illustrations. She is passionate about the mission of Catholic and classical education and honored to help create high-quality content to support your student’s learning needs.

Maggie Hayden
Curriculum Director
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Maggie received a BA in the Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College. Maggie has worked in Catholic distance education since 1998 as an administrator, educator and curriculum developer. She joined Kolbe Academy as Curriculum Director in 2021. Maggie and her husband, Steven, live in Arkansas and home educate their children.

Vanessa Delgado
Curriculum Developer
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Vanessa grew up and resides in South Florida. She received a Catholic education and became a youth group leader within her archdiocese, where she met her husband. After graduating with her BS in Civil Engineering (FIU), she began her career. Several blessed years and three wonderful children later, Vanessa felt called to transition her work into Catholic education, focusing on STEM. She started an Engineering Academy at her alma mater, and taught middle and high school before joining Kolbe Academy.

Stephanie Foley
Copy Editor
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Stephanie grew up in the beautiful state of New Hampshire and is a Kolbe grad herself! She received her BA in Journalism from Franciscan University of Steubenville and spent more than a decade doing digital communications for Catholic radio networks. Stephanie is a wife, a mother of three boys, and in her free time she enjoys reading, running, and really good coffee.

Stacey Jarzynka
Curriculum Developer
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Stacey has a decade of experience living and working in four different states as a Catholic school teacher and a reading intervention specialist. After having her daughter, she started looking for jobs where she could stay home while also pursuing her love of creating content that inspires young people to grow deeper in their Catholic faith. God’s answer to her prayer started with the homeschooling moms in her book club introducing her to classical education and it ended with an offer to start developing content for Kolbe. Stacey resides in a small town in Illinois with her husband and two children, Ella and Oliver.

Operations

Chris Rowles, COO

Nancy Nelson
Service Manager, Fulfillment
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Nancy, also a daughter of the founders of Kolbe Academy, has been with Kolbe since 2001. She and her husband Dave have been married for 25 years and have 4 children and 5 grandchilden.

Jon Bates
Project Manager
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Jon is originally from northwest Florida. He joined the Army after completing high school and retired from active duty after 24 years of service. Jon holds a B.A. in History from the University of Maryland United Colleges and a M.B.A. in Project Management from Grantham University. He and his wife Chris now live in eastern Virginia and have five girls at home; four of whom are homeschooled with the Kolbe curriculum.

Beth Rowles
Publishing
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Tony Sciacca
Fulfillment Manager
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Tony Sciacca was born in raised in Fairfield, California. His warehouse experience began working for his godfather at Pearson's Appliance. After moving to San Luis Obispo, he gained management experience, as well as his love of golf managing a golf supply warehouse. Tony has since worked in both the medical and wine industry, before finding a home at Kolbe Academy. Tony loves hunting, fishing, and golfing with his dad and brothers.

Sue Arend
Fulfillment Draft Specialist
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Toni Williams
Office Manager/Bookkeeper
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Brigid Tebaldi
Media & Events Coordinator
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Brigid Tebaldi earned her B.S. in Biology with a minor in Psychology from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA. While working on her M.B.A. at Youngstown State University in Ohio, she taught AP sciences at a local Catholic school. She and her husband live in western Pennsylvania and after having their first child (now three), she chose to leave teaching in a traditional setting so she could raise the little one(s). Brigid owns and operates a wedding barn venue and horse training facility in western PA.

Paola Gonzalez
Fulfillment Specialist
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Technology

Gregory Switzer, Manager

Gregory Switzer
Educational Technology Manager
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Gregory received his BS in Computer Science from Virginia Tech and his MS in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University. He began his career in software engineering but eventually transitioned to information technology with a focus on server and cloud infrastructure. He now serves as Kolbe’s Educational Technology Manager. Gregory and his wife Kelly live in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with their eight children, five of whom attend Kolbe Academy.

Sean Ryan
Technology Support Representative
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Brianna Claxton
Educational Technology Developer
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Brianna grew up in northeastern Connecticut and was homeschooled with Kolbe Academy. After graduating from Kolbe, she received her BSE in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Connecticut. She went on to work as a Software Engineer in the financial industry and to obtain her MS in Cybersecurity from Fordham University. In her free time she enjoys travelling as well as any outdoor adventures with her husband and husky dog.

Jake Lizotte
Technology Support Representative
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Ella Flores
Technology Support Representative
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Customer Service

Everett Buyarski, Director

Greta Friedlander
Academic Services
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Greta is a Kolbe Academy, Kolbe Academy Trinity Prep Day School, and University of Mary alumna. She and her husband, one of Dianne Muth's 45 grandchildren, met when they were attending the Day School and eventually both ended up in Bismarck, North Dakota for college. They got married in 2020 and just welcomed their first child in August. Greta worked in hospitality up until the birth of her son, when she decided she needed a change. She is so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to work at Kolbe and bring her baby with her. It is quite the full circle moment, as she was homeschooled by her own mother and is now returning to Kolbe two decades later as an employee! Greta loves good coffee, building puzzles and spending time with her family. She resides in Napa, California.

Collen Pilon
Phone & Chat, Admissions & Advising
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Angelica Rowles
Phone, Admissions
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Yvonne Gonzalez
Phone, Bookstore
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Claire Murray
Chat, Advising
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Claire is a graduate of Kolbe Academy, Class of 2013. She has received her Associates Degree in Behavioral and Social Sciences, as well as Arts and Humanities from Los Medanos Community College in Pittsburg, CA. She is a certified Level One catechist for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, and she assists in Level 2 as well. Having graduated from Kolbe Academy, Claire is very familiar with the curriculum and is excited be going back to her roots!