Meet the Staff
Mrs. Mary Rowles
Mary has been with Kolbe Academy Home School since the program’s inception. She has contributed to the growth and development of the home school program over the years as home school manager (2002 – 2004), head of academic advising (2004-2007), registrar (1996-1999, 2005-2008) Assistant Executive Director (2017) and Executive Director (2008-2016, 2018-) of Kolbe Academy.
Mary and her late husband, Chuck, had been married for over 30 years. She has ten children, 6 boys and 4 girls, and so far, is the proud grandmother of 16. Mary has home schooled several of her children off and on over the last 20 years, three of whom have mild to moderate learning disabilities. All of her children have attended Kolbe Academy’s Day School or online school during years that she was not home schooling, and her 9 oldest have graduated from Kolbe thus far.
Mr. Steve Dilly
Senior Director of Business Operations
Steve is from Eastern Washington and a graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in Accounting. He worked for the Deloitte firm out of college and has been self employed for 22 years owning gas and convenience stores. He and his wife Tonja have 8 children, of which the 6 oldest were home schooled for several years. They have one graduate of the Kolbe Academy & Trinity Prep day school with 5 children currently enrolled there.
Mrs. Megan Lengyel
Senior Director of Online Learning
Megan received her BS in Physics from the University of Dallas in Irving, TX and her MS in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK. She served as Kolbe’s Math and Science Advisor until helping to get the Online Academy off the ground in 2013. She now serves as Kolbe’s Senior Director of Online Learning. Megan and her husband now live near Atlanta, Georgia, and have four children.
Mr. Everett Buyarski
Director of Academic Services
Everett was born and raised in Southeast Alaska. He received his B.A. in Philosophy from Gonzaga University, where he spent two years in the seminary before discerning he wasn’t called to the priesthood. He is married to his beautiful wife Melissa, and has five sons, Nathaniel, Aaron, Peter, Matthew and David.
Before joining Kolbe Academy in 2008, Everett worked as a high school teacher in math, science and computer literacy at a small private Catholic school in Cottonwood, Idaho. In addition to his work as Director of Academic Services, Everett servers as the Dean of Students. He has taught Kolbe’s 10th grade Sacramental Theology & Church History I course online, and taught classes on sacramental theology and catechesis for the Diocese of Santa Rosa’s catechist formation program.
Mrs. Jeanne Anne Ford
Director of Admissions
Jeanne Anne is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. Her father was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army which meant her family had to move all over the United States every two or three years. Her conversion to Catholicism at the age of 21, she attributes to listening to Archbishop Fulton Sheen on tape. She graduated from the University of San Francisco while working and taking care of small children and thus understands the struggles of juggling motherhood, working and teaching. After home schooling her eight children for over 16 years, she now resides in Napa with her youngest three children who attend Kolbe Academy Trinity Prep Day School.
Mrs. Nicole O’Connor
Director of Online Elementary Learning
Nicole received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Composition and a Master of Science degree in Online K-12 Education through Franciscan University of Steubenville. She has worked both in the classroom and online with students ranging from Pre-Kindergarten to 12th grade. Writing has always been her passion; however, she is even more passionate about helping young students learn to read, write, and love grammar! She thrives when providing support to elementary teachers in the classroom or when teaching preschoolers how to grow in fine motor and pre-reading skills. She has taught for Kolbe for the past 5 years in the English and Literature department, and now serves as the Director of Online Elementary Learning. Nicole and her husband live in Orange County, California, and have three daughters.
Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Saint Teresa of Calcutta, and Saint Brigid, Ora Pro Nobis!
Mrs. Nancy Nelson
Inventory Control Manager
Nancy, also a daughter of the founders of Kolbe Academy, has been with Kolbe since 2001. She and her husband Dave have been married for 25 years and have 4 children and 5 grandchilden.
Academic Advising Department
Mrs. Dianne Muth
Academic Advisor for Grades 1-6
Responsibilities: Curriculum Development, Academic Advising
Dianne and her late husband, Jerry, are one of the three founding couples of Kolbe Academy. Dianne taught grades 1 through 4 for many years at Kolbe Academy’s Day school and could always humbly assert that most of her students read, comprehended, wrote and did math at least one full level above their grade. After 20 years of teaching, she served as principal of Kolbe Academy’s Day School until 2003 when she “retired” to become a full time volunteer academic advisor for the Home School program.
As an early proponent of the need to focus on phonics, Mrs. Muth wrote the Ignatius Speaks and Writes English program used in Kolbe Academy Home School’s program for first and second grade, and is currently working on the third grade edition. She has also authored the Kolbe Academy guides to the Catholic National Reader and was instrumental in preparing the daily lesson plans for the majority of subjects in Kolbe’s grade school program.
Dianne has always enjoyed traveling in her spare time, and use this passion to help Kolbe out by representing at many home school conferences in the spring. She and her husband successfully reared 10 children, the youngest three of whom all graduated from Kolbe’s Day school, 45 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren.
Mrs. Deana Muth
Deana was born and raised on Air Force bases in both the United States and Europe until her father retired from the military when she was 15 years old. She moved to Garland, Texas, with her family after her father’s retirement from the military, and she still considers Texas her home. However, except for a year in Charlottesville, Virginia, and five years in Wylie, Texas, she has spent her adult life in California (both Southern and Northern).
Deana attended the University of Dallas where she earned a BA in English. Immediately after graduating from college, she married her college sweetheart (and fellow UD alum) Brian Muth at the Chapel of the Incarnation on the campus of the University of Dallas. They have been married for 23 years, and have just welcomed their ninth child into the world (2013). Deana and Brian currently live in Napa, California, with their family.
Mr. Jordan Almanzar
Responsibilities: Academic Advising, Enhanced Evaluation Service, Curriculum Development
Jordan serves as our Advising Department’s newest advisor at Kolbe Academy. Jordan was born and raised in Colorado’s eastern plains where he was home schooled by an academically adventurous mother and a tremendously supportive father. After high school, he moved to California and earned a MA in Religious Studies at California State University, Long Beach. Having obtained a graduate fellowship to continue studies in Germany, he spent a year conducting research at Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen and subsequently received an invitation to complete his doctoral dissertation there. He is currently a doctoral candidate in History and Literature of Ancient Christianity and will attain a Ph.D. early in 2014.
Jordan converted to the Catholic Church in 2010 following several years of intense prayer and resistance. Jordan has given guest lectures in Germany on the New Testament and has presented papers at academic conferences in Europe on New Testament textual criticism, the social origins of the Church, and medieval manuscripts of the bilingual (Greek and Latin) letters of St. Paul. He knows Greek, Latin, Syriac and German and is a published poet and musician. He and his wife lived in Germany for three years and have three daughters and one son.
Mrs. Celeste Cuellar
Celeste was first employed at Kolbe Academy in 2006-2008 as an academic advisor. She left to help her parish establish a classical Catholic school that used Kolbe’s curriculum. In 2013, with the advent of online courses, she was asked to return to Kolbe as a mentor for the online teachers. Celeste has served Kolbe Academy in many capacities over the years including Dean of Students, Dean of Faculty, and Special Needs Advisor. Prior to working at Kolbe Academy, Celeste spent a number of years working as a preschool teacher, classroom teacher for K-8, mental health therapist, school counselor, and adjunct faculty instructor. Her BA is in Liberal Arts, her MA is in Counseling, and she is also a certified K-8 teacher.
Ms. Jamie Leatherby
Academic Service Representative
Jamie is from Sacramento, CA, and a graduate from Franciscan University of Steubenville where she studied early childhood education. She taught high school theology and was a youth minister before entering religious life. She was an extern for the cloistered Dominican nuns in Farmington Hills, Michigan for one year before moving to Napa to join the Kolbe Academy team.
Ms. Mary Moffitt
Mary was raised in the beautiful Rocky Mountains where “purple mountain majesty” colors are real. Salt Lake City was a great city to grow up in as a Catholic because the community was so close. She is the middle of five children. She graduated from Sonoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and received her master’s degree in academic leadership from St. Mary’s College.
For nearly a decade she worked in science, but before working in science she considered getting a teaching credential. The tug of returning to her original goal prompted her to return to get her teaching credential and master’s degree. She has taught science for 23 years.
She currently lives in beautiful Napa Valley, home to Kolbe Academy. She has wonderful young relatives who are a joy but has no children unless a furry feline counts….perhaps not. She had married a little later in life.
She is a member of the local Catholic St. Apollinaris Church. She loves to paint, knit and is an avid reader. She sometimes loves to ski as well but that doesn’t happen enough. Her favorite activities involve sharing meals with family and friends on Sundays, preferably on the patio.