Our Team


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.

Director of Payroll & Benefits Jake Allen
Jake Allen is our Director of Payroll and Benefits. Jake oversees the management of payroll processes and benefits administration, ensuring accuracy, compliance, and efficiency. He also works closely with the finance department to implement the accounting software, and assists our new and current Choice employees with payroll needs. Jake also assists finance and payroll with special projects and is committed to perfecting audits for Choice Schools and its academies. Jake graduated from Central Michigan University, receiving his B.S. in Business Administration and Economic Theory. Jake is also a proud Marine, having served in the military from 2001 to 2005. Jake will advocate for employees' needs, provide world-class benefits, and build a foundation for accurate payroll processes while rooted in our values.
Chief Human Resources Officer Matt Bazen
Matt Bazen is our Chief Human Resources Officer. With over 12 years of experience in charter school management, Matt has held diverse roles in Employee Relations, Talent Acquisition, and, most recently, Director of the HR Business Partner Team. In his latest capacity, he focused on staffing, retention, and engagement across the network of 100 schools. As the CHRO, Matt leads all HR related functions, ensuring strategic oversight and effective management across the organization's human resources initiatives. He holds a management degree from Grand Valley State University and earned his MBA at Western Michigan University. Additionally, he teaches a management class at GVSU, a role he’s enjoyed since 2018.
HR Generalist Jackson Carmoney
Jackson Carmoney comes to us from Highway and Heavy Parts, a truck supplier in Coleman, Michigan. Jackson brings with him experiences in employee engagement, benefits, retention, and recruiting. He will be supporting the Environmental Model schools, and we eagerly anticipate the fresh perspectives and insights he will bring to our endeavors. Relocating to West Michigan, Jackson is excited about being closer to his family, who also reside in the area. Jackson is also a licensed first responder and has served three years as a volunteer firefighter for Jerome Township Fire Department. He is an avid outdoorsman, loves playing sports, working out, and spending time at the beach.
HR Generalist Abby Cervone
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!
HR Generalist Autumn Hernandez
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 to us with four years of HR experience - two from the courier industry and two from the utilities industry. Autumn and her husband, Damion, have been married almost three years, and share their home with three adorable cats---Cheddar, Lilly, and Buddy. She loves fantasy related movies like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, and watching comedy shows. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with loved ones, meeting new people, and hosting dinners! Autumn is most looking forward to integrating her passion for education and human resources to support others at Choice! You can find Autumn in the shared HR workspace.
Director of Human Resources Sara Hogle
Sara is our Director of Human Resources, leading the HR policies, procedures, and training. She joined the Choice family in 2017 after working for 10+ years in the non-profit sector. Sara has worked with 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 organization’s goal of the overall well-being of the students being the highest priority. Sara will lead the human resources team assigned to the academy to develop & execute human resource best practices to ensure school leaders and employees are served well, happy, and healthy.
Payroll and Benefits Coordinator Stacey Maycroft
Stacey Maycroft is our Payroll & Benefits Coordinator. She works to ensure timely and accurate pay for all Choice employees. She effectively administers the company’s leased employee payroll and benefits programs within company and academy board policy parameters while ensuring all local, State, & Federal legal requirements are met. 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.
Employee Relations Specialist Katie Nykamp
Katie joined 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 Choice’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.
Human Resources Generalist Nadia Samaha
Bio coming soon!
Employee Relations Specialist Rachel Sterchele
Rachel Sterchele is our Employee Relations Specialist. Rachel earned her bachelor's degree at Western Michigan University, majoring in Advertising and Promotion and minoring in Business Management. As the employee relations specialist dedicated to the academies, Rachel will ensure the effective onboarding process and support of new employees, as well as compliance laws, are adhered to in the collection and retention of employee files, audits, and paperwork reviews. She will provide excellent customer service for company employees by administering human resources policies and procedures that pertain to compliance.