Kathy Ochsankehl

Kathy Ochsankehl

Department: Payroll & Benefits
Kathy comes to us from the healthcare world, where she worked for 27 years as Director of HRIS Admin. Her focus was always on customer service, inclusion, and collaboration. She is excited to be in a support role as part of an organization that fosters and encourages excellent customer service, whether for internal or external customers. Kathy’s main responsibilities as Payroll and Benefits Customer Service Coordinator are to ensure that employees are consistently treated with empathy and care and that their concerns are addressed. She will support the payroll and benefits department and maintain a transparent and user-friendly system to track employee concerns, payroll/benefit-related errors, and payroll changes to take corrective action quickly.

Outside of work, Kathy’s favorite thing to do is travel. She also enjoys hiking and running with her 13-year-old husky mix, Molly, and relaxing with her rescue kitten, Joey.

Pam Behling

Pam Behling

Pam comes to us from the traditional public school setting where she spent the last 24 years helping numerous schools in their finance departments. Pam just retired from the traditional public system as the Director of Finance from Lakewood Public Schools and will be bringing a great knowledge and skillset to our finance team!
Jake Allen

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.
Kerri Barrett

Kerri Barrett

Position: Superintendent
Kerri Barrett is with the Central Office team as an Area Superintendent of 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 school 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.

Matt Bazen

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.
Brian Beaudrie

Brian Beaudrie

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.

Jessica Carey

Jessica Carey

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.
Jackson Carmoney

Jackson Carmoney

Department: Human Resources
Position: HR Generalist
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.

Abby Cervone

Abby Cervone

Department: Human Resources
Position: HR Generalist
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!

Kristen Crawford

Kristen Crawford

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.