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.

Academic Excellence Support Specialist Jessica Carey
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Jessica works at Choice Schools Associates as the Administrative Assistant for the Academic Excellence Team. Jessica has years of administrative experience in the finance, higher education, and technology sectors. Prior to Choice, Jessica worked at Grand Valley State University, providing administrative support to planned giving, endowments, scholarships, and major gifts.
Director of Behavior Intervention Kristen Crawford
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Kristen Crawford is our Director of Behavior Intervention. Kristen leads efforts to develop and implement effective strategies for behavior intervention across our organization. With a focus on fostering a positive and supportive learning environment, Kristen collaborates with staff, students, and families to promote positive behavior management practices. She joined the Choice Schools family in January 2020 as the assistant principal at New Branches Charter Academy and transitioned into her current role, as director of of behavior intervention, in August of 2023. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology from Liberty University, her Masters in Educational Administration and Supervision from Southern Wesleyan University, and has recently finished up her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Liberty University. Prior to coming to Choice, she served at Success Virtual Learning Centers, opening and running learning centers in Grand Rapids and Lansing. Her transition to leadership came after a decade of teaching Health and Physical Education in both private and public schools. Kristen has a great passion for finding ways to support, engage, and meet the unique needs of all students so that they can grow to their greatest potential.
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 Academic Excellence 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.
Director of Technology Paul Ezel
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Paul Ezel is our Director of Technology, Data, and Online Solutions. He partners 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, a Choice Schools Academy, he served as a teacher in multiple grades, including second, third, fourth, and fifth grade, and as the media center teacher before launching into leadership as the Dean of Students and most recently a Vice Principal. Paul earned his master’s degree in teacher leadership from Oakland University with an education specialty. Paul watches over all things related to the student information systems and the tools related to instruction, technology, and data.
Early Childhood Services Rebeka Hays
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Bio coming soon!
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.
Chief of Academic Excellence and Director of Environmental Education Kristin Molyneux
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Kristin Molyneux serves as our Chief of Academic Excellence and Director of Environmental Education. In her role, she is responsible for ensuring exceptional academic programming and resources across all our schools. Kristin's responsibilities encompass various facets of academics, including curriculum development, instruction, mentoring, professional development, communication of Character Choices, support for preschool programs, curriculum analysis, testing support, data analysis, and compliance with the Teacher and Administrator Evaluation system. She joined the Choice Central Office Team with a background in teaching. In 2004, she was a kindergarten aide at West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science, and then she took a teaching position at the Academy and taught middle school for eight years. In 2013, Kristin became Choice’s Curriculum and Instruction Specialist, and in June of 2022, she became Senior Director of Academic Excellence and Environmental Education. Kristin graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and earned her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction, as well as her Educational Specialist Degree from Central Michigan University with her Central Office Administrative Certificate.
Director of Literacy Carrie Paddock
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Carrie Paddock is our Director of Literacy. She 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. Her mission is focused on providing support to schools that increase the effectiveness of the instruction happening in the classroom, with a specific focus on all students reading at or above grade level.
Director of State and Federal Programs Mandy Patouhas
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Mandy Patouhus is our Director of State and Federal Programs. Mandy offers support to the various schools of Choice in regard to Title I, Title II, 31A, school improvement documentation, homeless populations, and compliance with state and federal requirements. She will manage and drive the programs related to federal grants and state-level programs so that those dollars and plans can positively impact student outcomes. She is a graduate of Ohio University with an undergraduate degree in Organizational Communication. 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.