Meet Our Staff

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Executive Team and Directors

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.

Dianne Muth
Founder and 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.

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.

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.

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.

Jordan Almanzar
Director of Alumni and 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 part time at Magdalen College.

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.

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! She thrives when providing support to elementary teachers in the classroom or when teaching preschoolers how to grow in fine motor and pre-reading skills. She has taught for Kolbe for the past 5 years in the English and Literature department, and now serves as the Director of Online Elementary Learning. Nicole and her husband live in Orange County, California, and have three daughters.

Academic Services

Everett Buyarski, Director

Celeste Cuellar​
Academic Advisor/Dean of Students (Grades 9-12)
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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-8)
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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 Advisor
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Erica received a BA in psychology from Biola University in Southern California. She has worked in many fields from social work to tech support, but her most important work has been homeschooling her two boys and supporting her military family as an Air Force wife. Erica and her family currently call the Rocky Mountains of Colorado home. She and her husband have been married for twenty-two years, nineteen of those years have been in the Air Force. In 2006, Erica and her husband entered the Catholic Church on Easter Vigil. She is now in her thirteenth year of homeschooling and her sixth year as a Kolbe Academy parent. In her spare time, Erica enjoys reading, long walks, and traveling with her family. She feels blessed to serve and support other Kolbe families.

Joan Claire Fitzpatrick
Academic Advisor
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Anthony Guzzaldo
Academic Advisor
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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.

Therese Huston
Academic Advisor
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Therese was raised on a farm in northwest Oklahoma. She received a bachelor of science degree in elementary education K-8 from Oklahoma State University. With the exception of one year as a missionary in the states, she has been teaching ever since. Therese spent six years teaching other families’ children in both Catholic and public schools before having her children and educating them at home. She has also long served on the youth ministry team at her parish, led Bible and book studies, and mentored other home-educating parents. Therese enjoys reading, running, and her active life with four sons: a newly engaged college graduate, a sophomore at Benedictine College, and a Kolbe high school freshman and sixth-grader.

Claire Murray
Program Assistant
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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!

Chris Bates
Academic Advisor
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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.

Admissions

Steven Hayden, Sr. Director

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.

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.

Therese Navarra
Registrar
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Therese is originally from Portland, Oregon but has lived up and down the west coast and now considers California home. Therese attended private Catholic school for most of her education until switching to homeschool in her sophomore year of high school. she graduated from Sonoma State University in 2014 with a B.A and began working for Kolbe Academy the following year as a program assistant.

Curriculum & Product Development

Steven Hayden, Sr. Director

Deana Muth
Curriculum Development Manager
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Deana was born and raised on Air Force bases in both the United States and Europe until her father retired from the military when she was 15 years old. She attended the University of Dallas, where she earned a BA in English. Immediately after graduating from college in 1990, she married her college sweetheart (and fellow UD alum) Brian Muth at the Chapel of the Incarnation on the campus of the University of Dallas. They have been blessed with nine children. Deana has spent most of her adult life in California (both Southern and Northern), although she has always considered Texas her home. Deana and Brian currently live in Heath, TX, with their school-aged 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.

Ari McBride
Graphic Designer
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Arí spent the first several years of her career working as an Art Director in the Atlanta advertising industry. After the birth of her first child she quickly realized that motherhood is a full-time job and the late hours and weekends of the Advertising world just wouldn’t do. She then went on her own to develop BoyMeetsGirl Creative, a 15- year design partnership that allowed her to work from home and also be Mother & Wife. Now having joined the homeschooling ranks, she gets to be part of the Kolbe family as both homeschooling parent and graphic designer. Originally from Puerto Rico, Ari’s been married 20 years and is blessed with a testosterone-heavy household, a messy house and farm fresh eggs from 7 very noisy hens every morning.

Christina Say
Copy Editor
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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.

Operations

Chris Rowles, COO

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.

Toni Williams
Office Manager/Bookkeeper
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Nancy Nelson
Customer Service Manager
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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.

Sue Arend
Fulfillment Draft Specialist
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Technology

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, four of whom attend Kolbe Academy.

Brianna Boyce
Ed Tech 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 husky dog and fiancé.

Lauren Hoang
Technical Assistant
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Lauren is originally from Seattle, WA and earned her BA in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. She was homeschooled until attending the local Catholic high school her junior and senior years. She attended Franciscan University of Steubenville upon graduating high school but left to discern a religious vocation with the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia. She returned to Franciscan where she finished her degree and met her husband. She currently resides near Atlanta, GA with her husband, daughter and baby on the way.

Sean Ryan
Technical Assistant
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Brigid Tebaldi
Technical Assistant
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Development

Steven Hayden, Sr. Director

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