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 husband, Chuck, have been married for over 30 years. They have ten children, 6 boys and 4 girls, and so far, are the proud grandparents of 6 granddaughters and 4 grandsons. 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 during years that she was not home schooling, and her 8 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. 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.
Mr. Brian Muth
Director of Marketing
Brian’s roots in classically-based Catholic education go deep. His parents are one of the founding couples of Kolbe Academy. Over his vigorous protests (but with his eventual acceptance and even enjoyment), he attended Grades 7-12 at Kolbe. In the first year, there were a total of eight students. There were two students in his graduating class. It was great telling people that he graduated first in his class, though, until they inevitably asked “Out of how many? No prom, though…
Brian graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Dallas with a BA in Politics. He also met and married his wife, Deana, at UD. After college, he dabbled with law school and then got down to the business of supporting his family. He and his family lived in Southern California and in the Dallas area after college. While in Southern California, Brian received his MBA with an emphasis in Marketing from the University of Southern California. He has held a variety of positions over time, from Paralegal with a leading pharmaceutical company to Director of Marketing for the premier legal publisher in the country.
With many experiences that would prove helpful and feeling God’s call, Brian and his family relocated to Napa in 2003 to direct the efforts at Kolbe Academy, both the day school and the home school program. In 2008, Brian accepted the position of Principal at the combined Kolbe Academy & Trinity Prep day school. After eight years of toiling in that field, he returned to Kolbe Academy Home School as Executive Director in May 2016. He and Deana are the proud parents of nine—six girls and three boys—three of whom have graduated from Kolbe Academy & Trinity Prep.
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.
Mrs. Janet Bakh
Bookkeeper and Standardized Testing Coordinator
Janet, another daughter of Kolbe Academy founders Dianne and Jerry Muth, came to Kolbe as the full-time bookkeeper in 2012, although she has volunteered and worked part-time for the home school throughout the years. She and her husband Mike have been married for 23 years and have 7 children. The three oldest have graduated from Kolbe Academy and Trinity Prep Day school and are attending the University of Mary in North Dakota. Her next three are currently attending Kolbe-Trinity and her youngest, who is severely autistic, is in a special needs program.
Mrs. Sue Arend
Sue Arend was born and raised in Novato, California and attended both Catholic elementary and high school. She and her husband have been married 30 years and moved to Napa 10 years ago. They have seven children and seven grandchildren. Sue home schooled her three oldest children for five years prior to attending Trinity Grammar and Prep in Napa. Her four oldest children graduated from Trinity/Kobe and three are still attending. Sue joined Kolbe Academy in the fall of 2012 to assist with inventory and shipping, both areas in which she gained experience during employment after graduating from high school and before she started raising children.