Our Team

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 children.

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.

HR and Payroll Compliance Specialist Rachel Sterchele
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Rachel Sterchele joined our team in 2022 as our new HR and Payroll Compliance Specialist! Rachel earned her bachelor’s degree at WMU, majoring in Advertising and Promotion and minoring in Business Management. A little about Rachel, during the pandemic, she…
HR Generalist Autumn Hernandez
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Autumn Hernandez joined us in 2022 as the HR Generalist supporting the Montessori model (FCMA, MMA, BCMA, SHCDC, and CMA)! Autumn completed her bachelor’s degree at GVSU in K-8 Education, and obtained a Professional HR Management certificate at MSU! She came…
Director of Payroll Jacob Allen
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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 Economic Theory. 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 Lake Isabella.
Area Superintendent Kerri Barrett
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Kerri Barrett joins the Central Office team as an Area Superintendent. She is responsible for supporting our Montessori model schools. Kerri earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Michigan. A year later, she joined the Choice family at West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science as a high school social studies teacher. While teaching, she earned her master’s at Michigan State University in educational leadership. In October of 2012, she was given the opportunity to lead the elementary at West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science.  Kerri is eager to partner with school leaders and boards to achieve their visions for their schools. Kerri lives in the West Michigan area with her husband Colin and their two beautiful children.
Director of School Finance Brian Beaudrie
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Brian Beaudrie is the Director of School Finance at Choice Schools Associates. He has been a member of the Choice family since 2014. Prior to joining Choice Schools, Brian worked with charter schools as an auditor and finance director. Brian graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in accounting. He became a CPA in 2003. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and children, volunteering in his community, playing golf and watching sports, especially football.
HR Generalist Abby Cervone
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Abby joined Choice Schools Associates in 2021 as a Human Resources Generalist. She came to us from another large charter school company, where she worked as a Senior Talent Acquisition Consultant. Abby received her Bachelor's degree from Grand Valley State University in Human Resources Management with a minor in Hospitality and Tourism Management. She has worked in the education industry of HR for over five years and truly enjoys having a positive impact on our employees and students. Abby enjoys cooking, golfing, and spending time with her husband and two dogs Niko and Nora!
Director of Scholar Education and Development Amey Dryer
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Amey Dryer joined the Choice family in May of 2019. She previously worked as a Montessori teacher, Montessori school leader, and then Curriculum Consultant for charter schools throughout the state of Michigan. Amey has a Bachelor's in Elementary Education from Eastern Michigan University and a Master's in Education with a Montessori Emphasis from Chaminade University in Honolulu, Hawaii. She is excited now to join the Strategic Operations Team at Choice and support all of our wonderful office staff in the many processes and procedures they have in place. Amey and her husband Todd live in Brighton, MI with their two energetic boys Cole and Noah and their mischievous dog, Ruby. The boys keep them both very busy with baseball, ninja warrior, swimming, and gymnastics.
Area Superintendent Ali DuBois
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Ali Dubois joins the Central Office team as an Assistant Area Superintendent supporting our Environmental model schools! Ali comes to us from Muskegon Montessori Academy for Environmental Change where she served as the School Principal for 6 years. Ali was instrumental in growing the school as well as improving their test scores. Because of the MMAEC team’s efforts, the school is one of the highest-ranking schools in Muskegon County! Ali is a two-time Michigan Charter School Administrator of the Year finalist. 
Director of Technology Paul Ezel
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Paul will partner with each school to support their technology and data needs. Paul earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Central Michigan University and began teaching at Dove Academy. During his 17 years at Dove, he served as a teacher in multiple grades, including second, third, fourth, fifth grade, and the media center teacher before launching into leadership as the Dean of Students and most recently a Vice Principal. Just last year, Paul earned his master’s degree in teacher leadership from Oakland University with an education specialty. Paul lives in Grosse Pointe Woods and is married to his wonderful wife Carey and has two dogs.
IT Help Desk Technician Michael Gorham
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Michael joined our Central Office team in 2021 as the IT Helpdesk Technician. He has nearly 18 years of experience in an educational setting, his most recent role being the Network Specialist at ​​Saint Johns Public Schools where he managed the technology support for everyone in the district. Michael has a strong talent of tailoring his way of communication with users which not only helps them with their respective issues, but develops a rapport with staff that will easily streamline technology support and communication. Outside of work, Michael enjoys spending time with his family, consisting of his wife and five sons, as well as pursuing his passion for music. He sings and plays the guitar and loves the joy creating music brings to other people.
Director of Communications and Branding Nicole MacEachron
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Nicole joined the Choice Schools family in January 2018. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management with a minor in Biology from Grand Valley State University. Prior to coming to Choice, she worked at Annis Water Resources Institute as a technical assistant. Coming from a background of diverse interests, Nicole loves serving such unique schools and being able to provide all of their digital marketing needs.  In her free time, Nicole loves to be outdoors, spending time with her family and friends and coaching volleyball.
Office Manager Laura Helder
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Bio Coming Soon!
Director of Human Resources Sara Hogle
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Sara joined the Choice family in 2017 after working 10+ years in the non-profit sector. Sara has worked with both adults and youth on career and educational exploration, attainment, and retention. She holds a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice from Grand Valley State University and a Master’s in Youth Development from Michigan State University. Sara is passionate about creating and ensuring safe, empowering, and intentional places for children to learn and grow academically and personally. Sara enjoys working for Choice because she aligns with the company goal of the overall well-being of the students the highest priority. Outside of the office, Sara enjoys playing volleyball, reading, and spending time with her animals. She also loves to travel anywhere with a good beach or where a good adventure could be had.
Branding and Design Specialist Bayleigh Ivan
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Bayleigh comes to us from Grand Valley State University, where she served as a social media graphic designer, and brings with her a tall list of multi-faceted experience of design throughout many industries. Bayleigh has great experience in child care and children services which will support our student-focused lens through her creative designs. Take a look at her website to see some of her amazing work! When off the clock, Bayleigh enjoys taking her dog to the dog park and finding new hiking spots to explore.
Receptionist Cathy Jager
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Bio coming soon!
Director of School Operations Mitch Jager
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Mitch is our Director of Operations. He partners with each school to support their operational needs, including but not limited to, health and safety, school nutrition, maintenance, capital and building projects, risk management, transportation, and so much more! Mitch comes to us from SpringHill Camps, where he served as the Director of Registration, Guest, and Health Services. Mitch earned his master’s of social work from Grand Valley State University and earned his bachelor’s of social work from Calvin College. Mitch loves to spend time on the courts playing pickleball and tennis, and spending as much time as possible with his nephews.
Director of Montessori Education & Development Amanda Konopaska
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As the Director of Montessori Education and Development, Amanda works with both the Area Superintendent and Academic Excellence Team for Choice Schools Associates. As an undergraduate, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from Wayne State University and a 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 and has had formal training for Elementary I. Amanda’s Montessori journey began in 2009, as an Upper Elementary classroom teacher and emerged into leadership where she took on both active and interim Principal roles for two Montessori academies. Currently, she is the program coordinator and trainer of our Montessori Experience for all new teachers and works directly with Instructional Coaches at multiple academies.
Payroll and Benefits Coordinator Stacey Maycroft
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Stacey Maycroft joins the Central Office team as the Payroll and Benefits Coordinator on the Human Resources Team. Stacey works to ensure timely and accurate pay for all Choice employees. Stacey earned her bachelor's degree in corporate & industrial accounting from Baker College of Muskegon. Before joining Choice, she was a payroll assistant at TrueNorth where she became the "go-to" person for all topics. She assisted with employee benefits and participated in the onboarding process for new staff. Stacey’s daughter encouraged her to apply for the position because she works at New Branches Charter Academy. Stacey and her husband will be celebrating 30 years of marriage this year.
Academic Support and Childcare Specialist Katie Mueller
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Katie joins the Choice family with over 14 years of experience in early childhood and holds an associates degree in child development. She is passionate about serving others and exudes Choices’s core values in her everyday work. Outside the office, you can find Katie enjoying the summer weather with family, camping, riding her side-by-side, or out on the lake. In the winter months she enjoys watching the Detroit Lions, and always enjoys a good book and running.
Area Superintendent Laura Moellering
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Laura Moellering has spent nearly all of her career in education working in charter schools. She started her career with Choice in May of 2017. Starting her journey as a High School English and Psychology teacher, she moved into leadership roles first as a Curriculum Director and then as a charter High School Principal. After that, Laura moved to a Central Office position where she oversaw curriculum and instruction and mentored school leaders within a diverse portfolio of charter schools. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at Eastern Michigan University, and it was during her master’s program in Curriculum and Instruction that Laura truly came to appreciate the opportunity that charter schools presented for students and families who desired a different educational experience. Laura finds great satisfaction in designing programs that met student’s educational and emotional needs. She is excited to be with Choice where she is able to be part of a community that genuinely respects families and believes in every student’s ability to achieve at high levels. When she isn’t engaged in work, she can be found on Lake Michigan, ideally with one of her three daughters, or curled up with a good book or podcast.
Senior Director of Academic Excellence and Environmental Education Kristin Molyneux
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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 at the Academy and then taught for eight years. In 2013, Kristin became Choice’s Curriculum and Instruction Specialist. Her role involves multiple facets of curriculum: Oversight of the mentoring program, author and oversight of the Character Choices program, oversight of all of the preschool programs (both tuition and Great Start Readiness Program), supports and sets up training for curriculum, and compliance oversight of the Teacher and Administrator Evaluation system. Kristin graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and earned her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. Kristin and her husband have been married for over 14 years and have two blissfully beautiful children. Her family is very involved in their church and loves to spend time with family and friends. She enjoys taking her family to different parks, traveling, and visiting exciting places. It is always a learning moment in the Molyneux household.
Chief Communications & Development Officer Sara Mooney
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Sara Mooney joined Choice Schools Associates in July 2018 as the chief development and communications officer. In this role, she oversees central office communications, marketing, development and strategic planning. Sara comes to us from Davenport University where she was the assistant director of alumni communications and development. Prior to Davenport, she was at Van Andel Institute, where, as an intern in 2008, she established the grassroots fundraising program ‘Purple Community,’ which empowers individuals to raise awareness and money for cancer and Parkinson’s disease research. Sara earned her master’s degree in business administration and her bachelor’s degree in business administration in international business and sports management from Davenport University. She is in the process of completing her second master’s degree in education with an emphasis in adult learning and higher education at Grand Valley State University. She was a recipient of the 2014 Davenport University Outstanding Young Alumni award. In her free time, Sara enjoys spending time with her husband, family, friends, and her dog Woody.
Director of Board Governance and Compliance Shatara Morris
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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 by managing multiple projects that relate to the operations of the company and the school boards we serve. 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.
Area Superintendent Kurt Naber
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Kurt has lived a life of serving kids in charter schools. He started his career teaching in 2001 at a charter school in Big Rapids. After serving as a middle school and high school math teacher and a K-8 principal and executive director, he has come to Choice with an enthusiasm to lead our classical schools. He is the newest member of our area superintendents team and started in July of 2019. He received his bachelor’s degree from Ferris State University and his masters from Jones International University. In Kurt's spare time, he loves spending time with his wife Kathy and 2 sons (both of whom are attending WMAES).
Executive Assistant Ashtyn Overweg
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Ashtyn joined the Choice Schools family in May of 2019. She received her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Grand Valley State University. Ashtyn serves as a support for all departments within Choice Schools. She is excited to learn and grow within the Choice community. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, training for triathlons and being in the outdoors.
Director of Literacy Carrie Paddock
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Carrie Paddock graduated from Manchester University in N. Manchester, IN with a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education. She went on to receive her Master’s in Education with an emphasis in curriculum from Indiana Wesleyan University. She taught elementary for eight years in Indiana prior to moving to Michigan. In 2005, she took an elementary position at Creative Technologies Academy, a charter school in Cedar Springs. During her time there, she obtained her K-12 Administrative Certificate in 2013 and became the Principal for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for her last five years at CTA. She is so excited for the opportunity to be part of the amazing Choice team and to be able to impact so many students through curriculum and literacy. Carrie and her husband, Burt, have been married for 17 years and have two daughters, Hannah and Rylee. They enjoy basketball in the winter and beach time in the summer!
Director of State and Federal Programs Specialist Mandy Patouhas
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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 of 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 are to assist schools in building programs and systems that make great schools produce life-long learners.
Area Superintendent Cheryl Paull
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Bio Coming Soon!
Communications and Marketing Manager Kelsey Peterson
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Kelsey joined Choice Schools Associates in June 2020. She comes to Choice from SeyferthPR, where she specialized in community engagement and strategic communications planning as an assistant account executive. She is a graduate of Hope College where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with minors in Communications and Political Science. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys volunteering with Special Education Ministries in Holland, Michigan, as well as spending time with her husband and mini Goldendoodle Milo.
Chief Executive Officer Tony Schmid
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Tony Schmid is the Director of Operations at Choice School Associates. Tony partners with each school to support their operations needs, including health and safety, school nutrition, maintenance, capital and building projects, risk management, transportation, and so much more! Tony comes to us from SpringHill Camps, where he served for more than 13 years starting as the Director of Overnight and Partnership Acquisition and Regional Director-Ohio Valley Region from 2008 to 2012, and then the Operations and Talent Acquisition Director from 2012 to 2015, and most recently as the Chief Operating Officer since 2015. Tony graduated from Purdue University with a Master's in Education and Saint Joseph's College with a Bachelor of Science in Communications & Marketing. Tony loves being outside, playing and watching baseball, and spending time with his wife and family.
Assistant Director of Finance Jennifer Shiels
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Jennifer Shiels joined the finance team at Choice Schools Associates in June 2019. In this role she supports the budget process, assists with grant management, compliance handles the financial reporting function and facilitates external audits for the charter schools. Jennifer graduated from Central Michigan University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and minors in finance and legal studies. From there she pursued a career as a public accounting professional with Deloitte, obtaining her Certified Public Accountant license in 2010 and gaining experience performing single audits on charter schools across the Midwest. Since leaving public accounting in 2012 Jennifer has ventured into several industries bringing budgeting and financial reporting experience from wealth management, not-for-profits, hospitality and wholesale food distribution companies. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids camping, hiking and biking. She also values maintaining a healthy lifestyle and seeks to incorporate healthy eating along with being active. Jennifer resides with her family in West Michigan.
Chief of Staff Caryn Slater
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Caryn joined the Choice Schools family in March of 2017. She comes to us from the non-profit sector. She has a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Kuyper College. She previously worked as a teacher and administrative assistant in an early childhood center where her love for helping children grow and develop flourished. She enjoys working for Choice because of their strong core values and vision to see each and every child succeed. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her friends, family and two dogs. She loves DIY projects, traveling, and exploring her city.
Special Education Supervisor Nicole Tuinstra
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Nicole Tuinstra started with Choice Schools as the Elementary Special Education teacher at West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science and is now the Special Education and Curriculum Coordinator at Choice Schools Associates. Nicole received her bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University in Group Social Studies and Elementary Education and also received her Master’s degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Learning Disabilities and Cognitive Impairments. Nicole also has approval to be a Teacher Consultant. Nicole likes to bowl in her spare time with her family. She also has participated in the Shadblow Theater summer concert for the past 2 years. Nicole also likes to spend time with her husband and 2 daughters as well as her extended family. Nicole is excited to make the transition to Choice Schools Central Office. "I am excited to work with the Curriculum and Instruction team and the Special Education team. My new role will allow me to work with both general education and special education teachers, which will benefit all of our students."
Senior Director of Specially Designed Instruction and Student Services Sarah VanderBaan
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Sarah VanderBaan started with Choice as the Special Education Supervisor and is now the Director of Specially Designed Instruction and Student Services. Previously, Sarah was at National Heritage Academies as a middle school Resource Program Teacher and West Michigan Special Education Content Leader. She also worked for Benton Harbor Area Schools and Wyoming Public Schools. Her teaching experience includes 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 received her Master’s degree in Specific Learning Disabilities from Grand Valley State University. Sarah also received her Educational Leadership-Special Education Administrator 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.
President Sarah K. Wildey
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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 stepped into the role of CEO in 2017 where her main role is to keep the company focused on the culture and values that have given Choice Schools a strong track record of success. Sarah oversees all function areas within Choice Schools Associates. Sarah received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the School of Education and Human Development at Brenau University and is currently completing her Master's degree from the Broad School of Business at Michigan State University.
Director of Marketing and Communications Matt Witkowski
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Matt joins Choice Schools Associates as a Director of Communications. Before joining our team, Matt worked at Lambert and Co. where he served as a senior manager providing strategic support to an array of clients across the nation. Matt has over 10 years of communications and marketing experience, including crisis management, media relations and integrated marketing strategy. He has classical education experience working with the BCSI Initiative (a Lambert client). He earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Grand Valley State University. Outside of work, Matt coaches two high school swim teams in Grandville. Matt is married to his husband Alan, and they are looking to adopt a child.
Finance Account Manager Kristen Zizio
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Kristen joined Choice Schools Associates in May of 2017 as an accounting intern. She was then promoted to associate accountant in January of 2018 where she now provides financial support to our schools as well as for Choice. Kristen received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Grand Valley State University and is excited to continue her journey with Choice and to learn and grow in the education industry. In her free time, Kristen enjoys camping in the summer and spending time with her friends, family, and two cats. Originally from the east side of the state, Kristen enjoys exploring all that West Michigan has to offer.