Our People

At the heart of any good company is good people. Choice is no exception. Our people come from all over the state and have a wide array of educational, professional, personal, and cultural backgrounds. We are all brought together by the shared passion of helping the children entrusted to us achieve the American dream.

The American dream is a living, breathing reality for our team. While our main focus is on creating the conditions of success for children to achieve their dreams, we also focus on developing one another through meaningful relationships, challenging work, constructive feedback, sound professional training, and a true commitment to nurturing the career path of each team member.


sid

Sidney L. Faucette, Ed.D.

Founder

Dr. Faucette created Choice Schools Associates, LLC in 1998 after 10 years as a Principal, 14 years as a public school superintendent, and two years as an educational consultant.

Sid Faucette received his bachelor’s degree from High Point University and his master’s and doctoral degrees in Educational Leadership and Policy Study from the University of Virginia. His list of publications include the Everyday Etiquette program created specifically for implementation in elementary classrooms, journal articles in such professional publications as American Educational Research Association, Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, and ERS Spectrum. His doctoral dissertation titled School Board Chairmen and Superintendents’ Perceptions toward Merit Pay in Virginia was also published and has received noteworthy attention from scholars and professionals in the field of Education.

Connect with Sid on LinkedIn

sarahSarah K. Wildey

Vice President

Sarah joined Choice Schools Associates in 2001 as the Director of Human Resources and transitioned to the executive leadership team as Vice President in 2013. Sarah’s main role is to keep the company focused on the core values and pillars that have given Choice Schools a strong track record of success. Sarah operates in the absence of the President and oversees all function areas within Choice Schools Associates and MIChoice.

Choice Schools is more than a job to Sarah; it is a family business that helps strengthen other families by providing meaningful work, a strong academic foundation, and an environment of excellence so children can pursue their dreams.

Sarah received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the School of Education and Human Development at Brenau University and is a candidate for the Senior Professional of Human Resources Certification through her membership in the Society for Human Resource. She is a member of the Family Business Alliance, Cornerstone United Methodist Church, Chi Omega Alumnae Association, and the Junior League. Sarah lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband Mike and their three young children Katherine, David, and Andrew.

Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn

mike_wMike Wildey

Vice President

Mike Wildey joined Choice Schools in 2012. Mike is responsible for communicating with all department leaders within Choice and has part ownership in MIChoice.

A major goal of Mike’s is to give kids hope and nourish their dreams in a safe environment. Growing up, owning a business was a far stretched idea of Mike’s, however; when a mentor came along that believed in him and gave him the hope to overcome those obstacles, Mike knew he needed to spread that belief to others.

A graduate from Western Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree, Mike is currently attending Grand Valley State University to obtain his master’s in Business Administration. Although Mike joined Choice in 2012, he joined the Choice family in 2006 when he and his now wife, Sarah Wildey, married. Together, Mike and Sarah reside in Byron Center with their three children, Katherine, David, and Andrew. In his spare time, Mike enjoys golfing, attending sporting events, fishing, golfing some more, and spending time with his family.

Connect with Mike on LinkedIn

ronRonald L. Wiens, MA, LMSW, ACSW

Chief Strategic Operations Officer

Ron joined the Choice Schools Associates team in April 2006, after being a manager, and a clinician, in the field of social work for over 30 years. As Choice’s Chief Strategic Operations Officer, Ron’s role includes overseeing grants and grant compliance, School Nutrition Program grants and compliance, Academy Compliance and Accountability, Early Childhood Programs and licensing, parent involvement and training, and multiple student services.

Ron’s career has included being active in numerous community service organizations including Rotary International, where he has served as Club President and Assistant District Governor. He was also President of a public school academy board. In addition to his volunteer service, Ron served as a Peer Reviewer and Team Leader for the Council on Accreditation, helping to improve the quality of human service organizations across the United States. He earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Arts in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago. Ron is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers and has jointly published health services textbook chapters and journal articles. Besides being involved in Rotary for community service, Ron is also a Deacon at his church, and is a Track and Field Official for the University of Michigan.

Ron has been married to his wife Kathy for over 30 years, and together they have three adult daughters who are college graduates and professionals in the areas of dental hygiene, speech and language pathology, and retail brand management. Ron’s goal for the students he services is to assist them in achieving excellence in their academics character. As for the Academies serviced, Ron’s goal is that they reach excellence in everything they do.

Connect with Ron on LinkedIn

adamAdam M. Holcomb, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

Adam has been a part of the Choice Schools Associates team since May 2008. Adam is a certified public accountant and serves as Chief Financial Officer. Adam oversees all financial activities including budget preparation, audit lead, grant management, reporting, and federal/state/authorizer liaison.

Prior to joining Choice Schools, Adam worked as a tax accountant and auditor for a well-respected Lansing-based CPA firm. During that time, he received vast experience in auditing school districts and tax preparation for non-profit entities and corporations. Adam received his B.S. in Accounting from Central Michigan University. He is currently a member of the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

In May of 2013, Adam and his wife Tonya welcomed their first child, Bryce. Aside from “daddy-duties,” Adam enjoys golfing, fishing, camping, and spending time with his friends and family. Adam may also be found taking hunting trips at the Holcomb cabin.

Connect with Adam on LinkedIn

beth_sBeth Spaman

Director of Human Resources

Beth joined Choice Schools Associates in 2008 as the Human Resources Generalist. She previously worked at West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science as a bookkeeper. As the Director of Human Resources for Choice Schools Associates and MIChoice, Beth is responsible for compliance reporting to the state, employee relations, performance management and improvement tracking systems, along with other responsibilities. Beth received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development from Central Michigan University.

Connect with Beth on LinkedIn

chris_rChris Ruiter

Director of Educational Leadership

Chris Ruiter serves as the Director of Educational Leadership for both Choice Schools Associates and MIChoice. He comes to us from Byron Center Public Schools where he was the Principal at Marshall Elementary.  Prior to that, Chris served as a special education teacher for 14 years in Wyoming Public Schools (MI) and in Union City Community Schools.  Chris received his Bachelor’s in Special Education from Calvin College, his Masters in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University, and went on to earn his Special Education Administrators Endorsement in 2012 from Grand Valley State University.

Chris lives in West Michigan with his wife Beth, and their four children; Addison, Holden, Weston, and Judson. A few of his favorite things are spending time with his wife and children, serving at their church, relaxing at the family cottage up north, hobby farming and reading.

When asked about his new role, Chris said, “Coming to Choice was a great opportunity to serve students in need. In this position I want to have an impact on the students who might otherwise get overlooked or left behind. Those students need to have every opportunity to receive the instruction that meets their needs.”

“Being able to work with staff and school leaders to collaborate will help us to create an environment where kids can get everything they need,” Chris concluded.

Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

tonya_2Tonya Holcomb

Chief Communications Officer

Tonya began her role as Chief Communications Officer at Choice Schools Associates in October 2009. Tonya provides leadership and oversight of the Marketing department. She is responsible for ensuring effective communication and marketing planning for Choice Schools and their Academies. Prior to joining Choice Schools, Tonya worked for a Grand Rapids based automotive group developing and maintaining their marketing campaigns. Tonya received her B.S. in Public Relations from Ferris State University.

Aside from her duties with Choice Schools, Tonya enjoys learning and participating in health and nutritional practices and has received her certification as a Holistic Health Coach. An avid “foodie,” she lives a natural and simplistic life and enjoys cooking and creating delicious dishes with organic and high-quality ingredients. She also enjoys running, hiking, and kayaking. In May of 2013, Tonya and her husband Adam welcomed their first child, Bryce.

stan

Stan Rathbun

Area Superintendent

Stan Rathbun came to Choice Schools Associates in July 2009 from Mt. Pleasant, MI after serving for five years as Executive Director of the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation. Previous to his role with the Community Foundation he had served the Mt. Pleasant community for eleven years in the role of Executive Director for United Way of Isabella County. Working with executive level boards and collaborating with community organizations through the United Way and Foundation grant making systems afforded him experience in bringing people together to address community needs. Included in this experience was working with public schools to develop school foundations and creating permanently endowed funds to benefit their educational programs.

Connect with Stan on LinkedIn

chris_mChris Matheson

Area Superintendent

Chris Matheson comes to us from another management company where he was most recently the leader of a school in Saginaw.  Prior to that, he served in various leadership roles since 1999 at a high performing school in Flint, MI.  Chris earned his Bachelor’s degree and MBA from the University of Michigan-Flint, his Masters in History from the University of Alabama, his Ed.S. from Oakland University, and is currently wrapping up a doctorate in educational leadership at the University of Michigan-Flint.

Joining the Choice family as an Area Superintendent, Chris serves our east side schools. He and his wife Miranda live in Grand Blanc with their two children, Sloane and Sawyer. His hobbies include spending time with his family, running, reading, and cheering on the Alabama Crimson Tide!

When asked about his goals for the schools and students he will serve, Chris said, “I want students to know they have an array of choices available to them – whether it’s a career, college, University, or technical school. It is my duty to make the school leader and staff’s jobs easier and more enjoyable so we can make a difference on a bigger level!”

Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

lisa_kLisa Key

Area Superintendent

Lisa Key is an Area Superintendent based out of the central office in Grand Rapids. Lisa comes to us from Lighthouse Academy where she served as Principal.  Prior to that, she served as a Principal with Grand Rapids Public Schools at a school specializing in special education, and as a social worker for Pine Rest Christian Services.  Lisa earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University and her Masters of Social Work & Masters in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State University. 

She enjoys spending time on the beach in California with her son, Jordan who resides in Los Angeles, and her daughter Jasmine who is a student at Michigan State University. Lisa also enjoys dressage, horseback riding, and cheering on the Michigan State Football Team!

When asked why she chose the Choice family, she said, “My values as a person and as an educator align well with Choice and their core values. I am a servant leader who believes that all children have the capacity to grow and learn so that they can become contributing members of society. I believe society has often fallen short of that goal in a lot of ways, especially as it relates to our inner-city youth. Choice, like myself, believes that all children should have equal access to incredible educational opportunities and Choice has a track record of offering that through the school partnerships that they form and the support that they provide their schools.

Connect with Lisa on LinkedIn

shatara_mShatara Morris

Executive Assistant to the Leadership Team

Shatara joined the Choice Schools family in April of 2012. She comes to us from National Heritage Academies. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Jackson State University and a Masters in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. She serves as a gatekeeper within the organization, managing multiple projects that relate to the operations of the company. She values Choice Schools’ core principles and values the integrity, service, and support that we provide to the schools we manage.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and serving in various outreach activities and ministries with New Hope Baptist Church where she is a member.

Connect with Shatara on LinkedIn

michelle_eMichelle Edson

Bookkeeper

Growing up in West Michigan, Michelle attended Davenport University and studied Fashion Merchandising and Business. After earning her degree, she worked in retail until she decided to pursue a future in the accounting field.

Michelle has worked for a Certified Public Accountant for 30 years and has been employed with Choice and MIChoice for the last 15 years. Currently responsible for all Central Office accounting, including Accounts Payable/Receivable, and payroll, Michelle also does the bookkeeping and payroll for the Second Home Child Development Center.

Michelle is married to a golf pro and together they have a daughter who currently resides in sunny southern California. She enjoys being outside and golfing in the summer!

Connect with Michelle on LinkedIn

adamAdam M. Holcomb, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

Adam has been a part of the Choice Schools Associates team since May 2008. Adam is a certified public accountant and serves as Chief Financial Officer. Adam oversees all financial activities including budget preparation, audit lead, grant management, reporting, and federal/state/authorizer liaison.

Prior to joining Choice Schools, Adam worked as a tax accountant and auditor for a well-respected Lansing-based CPA firm. During that time, he received vast experience in auditing school districts and tax preparation for non-profit entities and corporations. Adam received his B.S. in Accounting from Central Michigan University. He is currently a member of the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

In May of 2013, Adam and his wife Tonya welcomed their first child, Bryce. Aside from “daddy-duties,” Adam enjoys golfing, fishing, camping, and spending time with his friends and family. Adam may also be found taking hunting trips at the Holcomb cabin.

Connect with Adam on LinkedIn

Liz Thompson

Assistant Director of School Finance

Liz joined Choice Schools Associates in 2015 as Assistant Director of School Finance. Her duties include, but are not limited to preparing monthly financial reports, coordinating vendor payments with the school bookkeepers, monitoring cash flow, and assisting the Directors of School Finance and CFO with annual audits. Liz comes to Choice with a strong background in finance. Having received her BBA in Finance from Grand Valley  State University, Liz worked for 16 years in a local public school district, handling various financial duties.

When she’s not a Choice, Liz can be found baking and reading, or taking part in a new activity. Liz is happily married to her best friend, and together they have two grown daughters. Their youngest daughter has blessed the family with two happy and lovable grandsons who are roughly two years apart.

Liz’s vision is to be a positive fiduciary steward for Choice and MIChoice. She appreciates that Choice is  founded on family, trust, integrity, respect and faith. Her mission is to uphold the values and characteristics of Choice Schools Associates by completing her job and allowing the administrators and teachers to educate our students without the burden of financial matters.

Connect with Liz on LinkedIn

ryanRyan Racine

Finance Account Manager

Ryan joined Choice in June 2012 as an accounting intern and joined the team full-time in 2013 as the Finance Account Manager.  He is a graduate of Grand Valley State University, where he received his Bachelor in Business Administration in Accounting and Finance. Prior to joining Choice, Ryan worked as a customer service representative with Huntington National Bank.

Connect with Ryan on LinkedIn

ben_mBen Mercer

Finance Account Manager

Ben earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Accounting from Grand Valley State University. As a previous tax intern at Spartan Stores and finance intern here at Choice Schools, Ben was able to gain much experience in finance. Ben is now the Finance Account Manager and is responsible for any important financial obligations at Choice.

Ben enjoys spending his leisure time golfing outdoors, hanging out with his friends and family, and being with his wife, Maria, and their son who they welcomed in 2015.

Connect with Ben on LinkedIn

chris_rChris Ruiter

Director of Educational Leadership

Chris Ruiter serves as the Director of Educational Leadership for both Choice Schools Associates and MIChoice. He comes to us from Byron Center Public Schools where he was the Principal at Marshall Elementary.  Prior to that, Chris served as a special education teacher for 14 years in Wyoming Public Schools (MI) and in Union City Community Schools.  Chris received his Bachelor’s in Special Education from Calvin College, his Masters in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University, and went on to earn his Special Education Administrators Endorsement in 2012 from Grand Valley State University.

Chris lives in West Michigan with his wife Beth, and their four children; Addison, Holden, Weston, and Judson. A few of his favorite things are spending time with his wife and children, serving at their church, relaxing at the family cottage up north, hobby farming and reading.

When asked about his new role, Chris said, “Coming to Choice was a great opportunity to serve students in need. In this position I want to have an impact on the students who might otherwise get overlooked or left behind. Those students need to have every opportunity to receive the instruction that meets their needs.”

“Being able to work with staff and school leaders to collaborate will help us to create an environment where kids can get everything they need,” Chris concluded.

Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

kristinKristin Molyneux

Curriculum Instruction & Assessment Specialist

Kristin joined the Choice Team with a background in teaching. In 2004, she was a Kindergarten Aide with West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science, and then took a teaching position with the academy and taught for eight additional years. In 2013, Kristin became Choice’s Curriculum and Instruction Specialist. Her role is within the teacher mentoring program, Great Start Readiness Program, and curriculum.

Kristin graduated from Grand Valley State University with a bachelor’s in Elementary Education and emphasis in Group Science. Currently, she is attending GVSU for her master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. Kristin and her husband have been married for over 11 years and have two blissfully beautiful children. She is involved with her church and teaches GEMS for her daughter’s class. She loves taking her family to different parks, traveling, and visiting exciting places. It is always a learning moment in the Molyneux household.

Connect with Kristin on LinkedIn

mandy_pMandy Patouhas

School Improvement/State and Federal Programs Coordinator

Mandy has been with Choice Schools Associates since 2009, starting as a Title I coordinator. Today, she oversees the School Improvement team, assisting with State and Federal Programs. A graduate from Ohio University with an undergraduate degree in Organizational Communication, Mandy offers support to the various schools within Choice in regards to Title I, Title II, 31A, school improvement documentation, homeless populations, and compliance with state and federal requirements. Mandy also received her teaching certificate and master’s degree from Wayne State University. After a brief career in Organizational Development, Mandy spent many years as a secondary English and speech educator. In her spare time, she creates memories with her husband, Paul, of twelve years, and their two sons, Max and Leo. Mandy’s vision and mission for Choice is to assist schools in building programs and systems that make great schools produce life-long learners.

Connect with Mandy on LinkedIn

naomi_cNaomi Carlyle

Director of Technology Services

Naomi Carlyle, a native of Seattle, moved to Michigan and began working with Choice Schools in 2005 as a Technology Coordinator. She also worked and contracted with Learn Charter Schools in Chicago as an Application Support Specialist. She is currently responsible for planning, purchasing, installing and maintaining technology systems, as well as implementing technology plans in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations and requirements.

Naomi attended the School of Communications at her father’s alma mater, Northern Caribbean University in Jamaica. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Oakwood University in Alabama, as well as a second Bachelor’s degree from Western Governor’s University. Naomi is also a Master’s degree candidate in Education at Western Governor’s University.

When not working, Naomi volunteers for her church and spends time with her husband and 5-year-old son. They enjoy creating Lego puzzles, riding bikes, traveling around the country, and walking barefoot on the white sandy beaches of the islands. Naomi is an avid fan of Dr. Who.

Connect with Naomi on LinkedIn

amanda_newAmanda Konopaska

Curriculum and Communications Specialist 

As a Curriculum and Communications Specialist, Amanda works with both the Marketing and Curriculum departments for Choice Schools Associates and MIChoice. As an undergraduate, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from Wayne State University and has recently earned her Masters in School Principalship with a concentration in Charter School Leadership from Central Michigan University. Additionally, she also holds an Elementary II Credential from the American Montessori Society.

Amanda’s Choice journey began in 2009, as a classroom teacher and emerged into leadership where she took on both active and interim Principal roles for two of our academies. Currently, she is leading a Montessori curriculum alignment team as well as serving Creative Montessori Academy as their Communications Specialist. Additionally, Amanda continues to show her love for Montessori as the face behind “Montessori Rocks!” a vibrant community of parents, educators and students that are excited to share with one another their love of all things Montessori. Prior to joining the Choice and MIChoice family, Amanda worked at a private Montessori school as an upper elementary teacher.

Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn

chris_rChris Ruiter

Director of Educational Leadership

Chris Ruiter serves as the Director of Educational Leadership for both Choice Schools Associates and MIChoice. He comes to us from Byron Center Public Schools where he was the Principal at Marshall Elementary.  Prior to that, Chris served as a special education teacher for 14 years in Wyoming Public Schools (MI) and in Union City Community Schools.  Chris received his Bachelor’s in Special Education from Calvin College, his Masters in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University, and went on to earn his Special Education Administrators Endorsement in 2012 from Grand Valley State University.

Chris lives in West Michigan with his wife Beth, and their four children; Addison, Holden, Weston, and Judson. A few of his favorite things are spending time with his wife and children, serving at their church, relaxing at the family cottage up north, hobby farming and reading.

When asked about his new role, Chris said, “Coming to Choice was a great opportunity to serve students in need. In this position, I want to have an impact on the students who might otherwise get overlooked or left behind. Those students need to have every opportunity to receive the instruction that meets their needs.”

“Being able to work with staff and school leaders to collaborate will help us to create an environment where kids can get everything they need,” Chris concluded.

Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

Sarah Vander Baan

Special Education Supervisor

Sarah Vander Baan is the Special Education Supervisor for Choice Schools Associates and MIChoice. Previously, Sarah was at National Heritage Academies as a middle school Resource Room Teacher and West Michigan Special Education Content Leader. Her teaching experience included early childhood through high school general education and special education. Sarah received her bachelor’s degree from Aquinas College in Learning Disabilities and Early Childhood Education. Sarah also received her Masters degree in Learning Disabilities from Grand Valley State University. Currently, Sarah is receiving her Educational Leadership-Special Education Administrator degree endorsement from Grand Valley State University. Sarah lived in Hong Kong for three years and taught at The American School there. She has traveled all over Asia, including Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Free time for Sarah includes traveling, yoga, and spending time with her family relaxing in Northern Michigan. West Michigan is where Sarah calls home. Volunteering is important to Sarah as she serves on the Executive Board of Family Hope Foundation.

Sarah is excited to work at Choice and collaborate with general education and special education staff to meet the needs of all students.

Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn

tonya_2

Tonya Holcomb

Chief Communications Officer

Tonya began her role as Chief Communications Officer at Choice Schools Associates in October 2009. Tonya provides leadership and oversight of the Marketing department. She is responsible for ensuring effective communication and marketing planning for Choice Schools and their Academies. Prior to joining Choice Schools, Tonya worked for a Grand Rapids-based automotive group developing and maintaining their marketing campaigns. Tonya received her B.S. in Public Relations from Ferris State University.

Aside from her duties with Choice Schools, Tonya enjoys learning and participating in health and nutritional practices and has received her certification as a Holistic Health Coach. An avid “foodie,” she lives a natural and simplistic life and enjoys cooking and creating delicious dishes with organic and high-quality ingredients. She also enjoys running, hiking, and kayaking. In May of 2013, Tonya and her husband Adam welcomed their first child, Bryce.

lanaLana Henrickson-Ritter

Internal Communications Specialist

Lana joined the Choice Marketing team as an intern in 2012. In 2013, she accepted a full-time position with Choice Schools, becoming a Marketing and Communications Coordinator and internal communications specialist.

A graduate of Grand Valley State University, Lana received her bachelor’s in Social Work, and is planning on returning to Grand Valley for her masters. With her masters, she plans on becoming a child and family therapist and working closely with school-age children. Lana enjoys spending time with her wife Kristen and their daughters Charlee and Carsen. They enjoy going for walks, rollerblading, cooking, and going to the beach.

Connect with Lana on LinkedIn

ally_pAlly Henderson

Communications & Social Media Specialist

Ally began her career at Choice Schools in January of 2013. Coming from a diverse public relations and marketing background, Ally has worked with professionals, children, and even animals. She earned her Bachelor of Applied Arts in Integrated Public Relations from Central Michigan University with a minor in American Sign Language. Ally intends to use her sign language within her current communications role someday.

Ally has a great passion for people and enjoys making connections with those involved with Choice Schools and its Academies, which makes her an asset to the Marketing team. In her free time, Ally enjoys spending time with her husband and their families, vacationing at the lake, and traveling.

Connect with Ally on LinkedIn

beth_sBeth Spaman

Director of Human Resources

Beth joined Choice Schools Associates in 2008 as the Human Resources Generalist. She previously worked at West Michigan Academy of

Environmental Science as a bookkeeper. Beth assists the Chief Personnel Officer with compliance reporting to the state, employee relations, performance management and improvement tracking systems. Beth received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development from Central Michigan University.

Connect with Beth on LinkedIn

naomi_riceNaomi Rice

Human Resources Generalist

A graduate of Grand Valley State University, with a bachelor’s in Social Work, Naomi Rice joined our team in 2012 as the office receptionist. Quickly afterwards, Naomi’s vast experience in customer service, administrative support, planning, and grant writing, as well as her incredible work ethic, led to her becoming our Human Resources Generalist. Adapting rather smoothly to her new role, Naomi has shown her dedication and support to Choice. She enjoys spending time with her husband and family consisting of nine siblings and seven nieces and nephews and is an outdoor enthusiast. With all work she accomplishes, Naomi loves encouraging and supporting others as they grow.

Connect with Naomi on LinkedIn

courtney_k

Courtney Kingma

Human Resources Generalist

Courtney joined Choice in February of 2012. She works alongside the Director of Human Resources to ensure compliance with State and Authorizer regulations. She came to us from Chicago, where she worked with an office supply company as their administrative assistant. Courtney received her degree in Organizational Communication from Western Michigan University. She enjoys working for Choice because of their core values and high-level focus on education.

Connect with Courtney on LinkedIn

erinjeffreyErin Jeffrey

Human Resources Compliance Specialist

Erin joined the Choice Schools Associates and MIChoice family in 2015 as the Human Resources Compliance Specialist. Here, she is responsible for ensuring that all employee paperwork is completed and on-file, while also making sure the company is in compliance with the State and Department of Education guidelines.

Erin comes to Choice with a major in Interdisciplinary Health Services and a minor in Management with a Human Resources focus from Western Michigan University. Over the past few years, she has worked as a recruiter for a Kalamazoo staffing company. Within this position, Erin worked to staff positions all over the country.

When she’s not assisting our Choice staff, Erin can be found refurbishing furniture, traveling with her wonderful boyfriend, Tony, and spoiling her two pit bull dogs – Link and Gertie. Erin has a true desire to provide the best possible experience, and is grateful to have the opportunity to learn from the State’s best teachers and support staff!

Connect with Erin on LinkedIn

sharon_eSharon Elderkin

Director of Payroll & Benefits

In 2013, Sharon was welcomed to Choice as a payroll and benefits specialist. With an Accounting and Business Management degree from Davenport University, and a bachelor’s in Accounting and Business Administration from Grand Valley State University, Sharon brings over 20 years of experience to the team. Before building her accounting and finance background, Sharon built and repaired computers, handled tech support, and taught classes on how to use computers and software. This led her to the human resources, payroll and benefits aspect of a business. Currently, Sharon is the Director of Payroll and Benefits for Choice. She works together with both the finance and human resources departments to ensure our systems and procedures are all within balance. Sharon works with HR regarding policies, benefits, and compliance requirements. She also handles our 401k processes including withdrawals, deferrals, and compliance.

Sharon is quite the adventurer. She enjoys being outdoors, golfing, rollerblading, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, and spending time with her family. She has two children and one grandson whom she adores! At home, Sharon is blessed to have her two dogs. Aside from her spending time with her family, she loves to travel and experience new things, and meet new people. Sharon truly believes in Choice and the process and success of Charter schools. She has seen great outcomes with children when they are given the opportunity to grow within the charter school system. Sharon also believes caring and trusting that we can make a difference is what makes dreams come true.

Connect with Sharon on LinkedIn

jake

Jake Allen

Assistant Director of Payroll and Benefits

Joining the Choice Finance team in 2013, Jacob lends his expertise as a Finance Analyst. He works closely with the finance department, implements the SDS software, and assists our new Choice employees with any payroll needs. Jacob also assists finance and payroll with special projects, and is committed to perfecting audits for Choice Schools and its Academies.

Jacob graduated from Central Michigan University, receiving his B.S. in Business Administration, and is currently working on his master’s thesis. A former U.S. Marine, he enjoys spending his time outdoors kayaking, hunting, and gardening. He also spends time on the weekends working on his family’s tree farm in Mount Pleasant. Choice Schools is thankful to have Jacob on our team.

Connect with Jake on LinkedIn

ronRonald L. Wiens, MA, LMSW, ACSW

Chief Strategic Operations Officer

Ron joined the Choice Schools Associates team in April 2006, after being a manager, and a clinician, in the field of social work for over 30 years. As Choice’s Chief Strategic Operations Officer, Ron’s role includes overseeing grants and grant compliance, School Nutrition Program grants and compliance, Academy Compliance and Accountability, Early Childhood Programs and licensing, parent involvement and training, and multiple student services.

Ron’s career has included being active in numerous community service organizations including Rotary International, where he has served as Club President and Assistant District Governor. He was also President of a public school academy board. In addition to his volunteer service, Ron served as a Peer Reviewer and Team Leader for the Council on Accreditation, helping to improve the quality of human service organizations across the United States. He earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Arts in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago. Ron is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers, and has jointly published health services textbook chapters and journal articles. Besides being involved in Rotary for community service, Ron is also a Deacon at his church, and is a Track and Field Official for the University of Michigan.

Ron has been married to his wife Kathy for over 30 years, and together they have three adult daughters who are college graduates and professionals in the areas of dental hygiene, speech and language pathology, and retail brand management. Ron’s goal for the students he services is to assist them in achieving excellence in their academics character. As for the Academies serviced, Ron’s goal is that they reach excellence in everything they do.

Connect with Ron on LinkedIn

mandy_p

Mandy Patouhas

School Improvement/State and Federal Programs Coordinator

Mandy has been with Choice Schools Associates since 2009, starting as a Title I coordinator. Today, she oversees the School Improvement team, assisting with State and Federal Programs. A graduate of Ohio University with an undergraduate degree in Organizational Communication, Mandy offers support to the various schools within Choice in regards to Title I, Title II, 31A, school improvement documentation, homeless populations, and compliance with state and federal requirements. Mandy also received her teaching certificate and master’s degree from Wayne State University. After a brief career in Organizational Development, Mandy spent many years as a secondary English and speech educator. In her spare time, she creates memories with her husband Paul and their two sons, Max and Leo. Mandy’s vision and mission for Choice is to assist schools in building programs and systems that make great schools produce life-long learners.

Connect with Mandy on LinkedIn

kristinKristin Molyneux

Curriculum Instruction & Assessment Specialist

Kristin joined the Choice Team with a background in teaching. In 2004, she was a Kindergarten Aide with West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science, and then took a teaching position with the academy and taught for eight additional years. In 2013, Kristin became Choice’s Curriculum and Instruction Specialist. Her role is within the teacher mentoring program, Great Start Readiness Program, and curriculum.

Kristin graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and emphasis in Group Science. Currently she is attending GVSU for her master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. Kristin and her husband have two blissfully beautiful children. She is involved with her church and teaches GEMS for her daughter’s class. She loves taking her family to different parks, traveling, and visiting exciting places. It is always a learning moment in the Molyneux household.

Connect with Kristin on LinkedIn

naomi_c

Naomi Carlyle

Director of Technology Services

Naomi Carlyle, a native of Seattle, moved to Michigan and began working with Choice Schools in 2005 as a Technology Coordinator. In August 2013, Naomi became the Director of Technology Services. She is currently responsible for planning, purchasing, installing and maintaining technology systems, as well as implementing technology plans in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations and requirements.

Naomi attended the School of Communications at her father’s alma mater, Northern Caribbean University in Jamaica. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Oakwood University in Alabama, as well as a second bachelor’s degree from Western Governor’s University. Naomi is also a master’s degree candidate in Education at Western Governor’s University.

When not working, Naomi volunteers for her church and spends time with her husband, son, and new baby girl. They enjoy creating Lego puzzles, riding bikes, traveling around the country, and walking barefoot on the white sandy beaches of the islands. Naomi is an avid fan of Dr. Who.

Connect with Naomi on LinkedIn

Laura Moore

Development Specialist

Laura joined MIChoice in 2012 after serving as a founder and school board member of a public Montessori charter school in Michigan for many years. She is an integral part of MIChoice’s Strategic Operations team and supports the group as an author and editor of charter applications and federal and local school grants. Laura has now moved into the position of board liaison with Four Corners Montessori Academy.

Laura attended the University of Michigan – Dearborn with a declared major in education, but instead ended up in the field of graphic design. For over 20 years she gained skills in marketing, copy writing and editing. During this period she also became actively involved in the Montessori community. Under the guidance of her Montessori-trained mother and aunt, she combined her graphic design skills with her love of Montessori education to produce classroom support materials, which have been presented at local and national Montessori conferences. After the birth of her daughter she transitioned into the role of Montessori parent, advocate, and self-proclaimed “Montessori Groupie,” helping to organize a local founding group that was awarded a charter to open the first public Montessori school in Oakland County, Michigan.

Laura enjoys road-tripping around the country with her husband of over 20 years and their teenage daughter. Their favorite travel destinations include Maine, Boston and Florida. Laura looks forward to helping other families across the state pursue their passion for true public school choice by creating exceptional learning opportunities for children through charter school education.

Connect with Laura on LinkedIn

sherry_bSherry Brown

Director of Compliance and Accountability

Sherry joined the Choice family six years ago as the Office Manager/Bookkeeper at West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science in Walker, MI. There, she handled all forms of Federal, State, Authorizer, County and Intermediate School District Compliance Requirements.

She joined the Central Office team in 2014 as the Director of Compliance and Accountability. She now oversees all of Choice School Associates and MIChoice’s compliance requirements and insures all deadlines are met by all of our Charter Schools. Sherry has also trained office personnel at all schools in accordance with Federal, State and Authorizer Compliance Submission rules, regulations, laws and duties.

After attending Bay De Noc College, Sherry went on to attend Michigan State University, Lansing Community College, as well as completing many other forms of Independent Coursework. She has received education in the following areas: Computer Science, Business Management, Bookkeeping, Liberal Arts, Microsoft Office certified, MI Pupil Accounting & Attendance Association (MPAAA), Business Administration and English Literature.

Outside of work, Sherry enjoys spending time with her wonderful husband of over 30 years. She has three fantastic, adult children and six fun grandchildren. Sherry is a tropical landscape painter and enjoys writing. Two novels that Sherry has written have been published, she continues to write and enjoys it very much. Going on cruises, biking, snorkeling and volunteer work with their church group are some of the things she enjoys most. Sherry’s vision and mission for Choice and MIChoice is to remember everything we do is about the children. Also, to assist to the best of her ability to all of those who have the capability and talent to empower each child to reach their dreams.

Connect with Sherry on LinkedIn