Faculty and Staff Directory
Michael Amato enters his fourth year at Christ School as an Instructor of Advanced Functions and Pre-Calculus. Outside the classroom, Amato is the Head Coach for the Ski and Snowboard team and an Assistant Coach for the JV Soccer team.
Amato played NCAA Division III soccer for the University of Scranton for three years, and stays active in the sport with an adult league in Asheville. Other leisurely pursuits for Amato are mountain biking and recreational hiking.
Amato received a B.S. in Mathematics from UNC Asheville and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2009. He and his wife, Janna, have one daughter, Elise.
Going on a decade at Christ School, teaching is in Jamie Auch’s blood. He is a third-generation independent school teacher and Math Instructor at Christ School. Outside the classroom, Auch is a member of the JV Lacrosse team’s coaching staff and formerly worked with the Greenies Football and Wrestling teams.
Auch received a B.A. in Art History from and minor in Mathematics from Washington & Lee University, making him the product of a single-sex education from middle school through college.
In his free time, Auch likes to camp, bike and kayak. He is also a big fan of vintage Volkswagen vehicles. Auch and his wife Christina have two daughters, Casey and Emma.
Sarah Baldwin earned her bachelor’s degree in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College. While attending Wofford, Sarah worked as a resident assistant at the college, as an intern with the Hub City Writers Project, and with the Spartanburg Art Museum. She also co-founded the Wofford Artisan Market and Free the Artist, a service project to raise awareness of Wofford’s studio art program. Sarah teaches studio art and assists in the fall and spring drama productions.
M.Ed., Columbia College
Marshall Baltazar teaches Spanish and assists with theater. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Literature from the University of Illinois-Chicago, and his Master’s in Education from Columbia College in Chicago. Marshall has taught for many years at schools in Chicago, Florida, Costa Rica, and Spain. He also taught Spanish and directed the drama program at Asheville School. For many years, Marshall lead student travel groups on a study abroad summer program in Salamanca, Spain.
Jonathan Barnard joins our World Languages department, under the mentorship of his former director of curriculum at the King Language School, Christ School’s Shao-ting Chung. From 1987-1991, Jonathan taught English to native-Chinese speakers in Taipei. Since then, Jonathan has worked as a translator for Taiwan Panorama magazine, but began freelancing in 2001. Though he continues to translate general-interest stories – politics, tourism, culture, social trends – for Taiwan Panorama, he expanded to short stories and literary essays for The Taiwan P.E.N. quarterly and promotional materials and book excerpts for publisher Locus, including works by the best-selling author Jimmy Liao. Jonathan has also written and edited stories for Asheville’s weekly, the Mountain Xpress.
Jonathan graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, class of 1985, with a B.A. in History. He is also a graduate of Collegiate School (NYC), an all-boys independent school founded in 1628, so Jonathan is no stranger to single-gender education.
B.S., Economics, Centre College
After a short stint at The Webb School (Bell Buckle, TN) as a substitute teacher, an assistant soccer coach, and an Alumni and Development Associate, this 2015 Centre College graduate will join Kirk Blackard in our College Guidance office as Assistant Director of College Guidance. Thomas Becker finished his Master of Education in Leadership and Organizational Performance at Vanderbilt University in May 2017, and he is excited to support the college application process, while also teaching the Entrepreneurship course this fall.
A lover of sports, Becker insists that he “will watch just about any sporting event, either in person or on TV.” As an assistant JV Soccer and Baseball coach, Thomas will have plenty of opportunities, and when, as a house parent, he finds himself surrounded by 8th and 9th graders in the Cuningham House commons, his love of televised sports will serve him well. Additionally, Thomas looks forward to mastering his culinary chops and hiking through the Pisgah National Forest.
B.S., Accounting, University of North Carolina-Charlotte
School: (828) 684-6232 ext. 126
Kathy Belk has fulfilled a number of roles throughout a decade and a half in Christ School’s Advancement Office: Office Manager, Annual Fund Coordinator, Constituent Relations and Special Events Coordinator, and Advancement Services Coordinator. She now serves as Annual Fund Director.
Belk received her B.S. in Accounting as well as a B.S. in Business Administration in Management from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1997.
She devotes her time outside of Christ School to being Co-Leader for the Girls Scouts Troop 30437 out of Hendersonville. She also enjoys camping, working in her yard and spending time with her dogs. Belk has one daughter, Jennifer (16).
School: (828) 684-6232 ext. 106
Jennifer Bird has her hands full most days at Christ School, and says she wouldn’t want it any other way. Bird multi-tasks as Registrar and Assistant to the Headmaster. She has been at Christ School for 14 years and spent the 10 of those years in Admissions.
Bird enjoys puzzles, reading, cooking, gardening, snowboarding and traveling. She plays recreational kickball and volleyball.
Bird’s son, Trevor ’18, is a Christ School senior. Her daughter Julie attends nearby T.C. Roberson High School.
M.S., Communications, Virginia Commonwealth University
School: (828) 684-6232 ext. 110
“Traveling often on two wheels” is a pastime for Kirk Blackard and he means it. The Director of College Guidance has cycled approximately 4,000 miles to colleges in 22 different states during his 14 years at Christ School. Blackard, in turn, imparts the knowledge he gains onto Christ School families looking to find a college destination for their son.
Blackard has been involved in college admissions and college counseling since 1991. A graduate of St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, Va., Blackard received his B.A. from Wake Forest University in 1989 and an M.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1995.
When he is not pedaling away on his bike, Blackard’s interests include basketball (he is an Assistant Coach for the Little Greenies program), tennis and cooking.
M.A., German & Literature, University of Virginia
Master, Divinity, Virginia Seminary
School: (828) 684-6232 ext. 108
The Rev. David C. (Kirk) Brown arrived at Christ School in 1995 after serving three years as associate rector of St. John's Episcopal Church in Roanoke, VA. He is among the school's Master Teachers.
Kirk began teaching at Virginia Episcopal School (VES) in Lynchburg, VA in 1977. Over the next 12 years at VES Kirk had opportunity to serve as chairman of the Foreign Language Department, English teacher, college counselor, dorm master, Assistant Dean of Students, yearbook advisor, and JV tennis coach.
In 1989 he left VES to attend Virginia Theological Seminary where he graduated with a M.Div. cum laude in 1992.