Faculty and Staff Directory
Michael Amato enters his fifth year at Christ School as an Instructor of Advanced Functions and Pre-Calculus. Outside the classroom, Mr. Amato is the Head Coach for the Ski and Snowboard team and an assists with Strength and Weight Training.
Mr. 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 Mr. Amato include mountain biking and recreational hiking.
Mr. 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, Mr. Auch is a member of the JV Lacrosse team’s coaching staff and formerly worked with the Greenies Football and Wrestling teams.
Mr. 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, Mr. Auch likes to camp, bike and kayak. He is also a big fan of vintage Volkswagen vehicles. Mr. Auch and his wife Christina have two daughters, Casey and Emma.
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, Mr. Barnard taught English to native-Chinese speakers in Taipei. Since then, Mr. Barnard 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. Mr. Barnard has also written and edited stories for Asheville’s weekly, the Mountain Xpress.
Mr. Barnard 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 Mr. Barnard 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 joined the Christ School community in 2017. Mr. Becker earned his Master of Education at Vanderbilt University in May 2017. He serves as the College Guidance Office’s freshman/sophomore counselor, assists Father Brown in the Chapel Program, and teaches AP US Government Politics and Christian Theology. He is a resident houseparent in Cuningham House and coaches soccer.
An avid supporter of all things local, Mr. Becker can often be found exploring restaurants, events, and festivals in and around Asheville and Hendersonville. He is a huge fan of Tennessee Volunteers and Green Bay Packers football, loves to cook, and takes advantage of every opportunity to get outside and explore Christ School’s 500 acres with his puppy.
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.
Ms. 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. Ms. Belk has one daughter, Jennifer.
School: (828) 684-6232 ext. 102
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.
Ms. Bird enjoys puzzles, reading, cooking, gardening, snowboarding and traveling. She plays recreational kickball and volleyball.
Ms. 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. Mr. Blackard, in turn, imparts the knowledge he gains onto Christ School families looking to find a college destination for their son.
Mr. Blackard has been involved in college admissions and college counseling since 1991. A graduate of St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, VA, Mr. 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, Mr. Blackard’s interests include basketball (he is an Assistant Coach for the Little Greenies program), tennis, and cooking.
M.L.I.S., Library and Information Studies, University of North Carolina-Greensboro
With a new master’s degree in hand, Aly Bolton joined our Learning Resources Department in the fall of 2018.
Ms. Bolton received her undergraduate degree in English Language and Literature from Sewanee: The University of the South, where she rowed for the crew team, served as president of the Perpetual Motion Dance Organization, and served as a writing tutor. During this time, she also studied abroad at Oxford University. Ms. Bolton made the Dean’s List every semester following her first and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Order of the Gown honor societies. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with Honors and presented her academic work in English at three separate conferences in the Southeast.
After college, Ms. Bolton was recruited by Teach for America, a national service corps of young professionals who commit to teaching for two years in under-resourced public schools. Ms. Bolton taught English as a Second Language for two years at Albemarle Road Elementary School in Charlotte and was most recently Media Specialist for John W. Dillard Elementary School in Madison, NC. There, she coached the Battle of the Books team and taught information skills.
Ms. Bolton graduated in May from UNC-Greensboro with a Master’s in Library and Information (MLIS) and a concentration in K-12 school libraries. In her free time, Ms. Bolton enjoys hiking, reading, tea, CrossFit, and spending time with her cats, Chuck Norris and Luna.
M.A., Middle Eastern Studies, University of Michigan
Jameel Brenneman is a jack-of-all-trades and has gotten a chance to show that versatility in his first year at Christ School. Mr. Brenneman joins the faculty as an English and Arabic instructor. He also coaches soccer and tennis, along with assisting the Christ School Broadcast Network (CSBN).
Mr. Brenneman graduated in 2012 from Indiana’s Huntington University with a degree in broadcasting before getting a Master’s in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan four years later. His interest in the Middle East stems from the fact that his mother’s side of the family is from Palestine.
Mr. Brenneman’s introduction to boarding school came with two years at The Stony Brook School in Long Island. He also wore many hats there, including teacher, coach, and dorm parent.
Mr. Brenneman is excited to be moving to North Carolina, in large part because he is a big fan of barbecue, so much so that he and his brother took a ten-day culinary road trip across North Carolina and South Carolina during the summer of 2018. His other interests include sports, music, and crossword puzzles.
M.A., German & Literature, University of Virginia
Master, Divinity, Virginia Seminary
School: (828) 684-6232 ext. 108
Father 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.
Fr. Brown began teaching at Virginia Episcopal School (VES) in Lynchburg, VA in 1977. Over the next 12 years at VES Fr. Brown 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.