Learn Who's Who

Faculty and Staff Directory


B.S., Mathematics UNC-Asheville

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.

B.A., Art History Washington and Lee University

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.

B.A., History University of California at Berkeley

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., Business Administration University of North Carolina-Charlotte

B.S., Accounting University of North Carolina-Charlotte

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.

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.

B.A., Psychology Wake Forest University

M.S., Communications Virginia Commonwealth University

“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.

Learn more about College Guidance

B.A., English and Literature Sewanee: The University of the South,

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.

B.A., Broadcasting Huntington University

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.

Music has always been essential to the education and development of boys at Christ School. St. Joseph’s Chapel comes alive each year with notes sang or played by Greenies.

This tradition spoke to James Cassarino, who is joining the school community as Organist and Choirmaster. Mr. Cassarino recently completed a 20-year tenure as Professor of Music and Music Department Chair at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity at Christ School,” Mr. Cassarino said. “Before I applied, I did a lot of research into the school. I love the mission of the school and I am certainly looking forward to teaching and doing music ministry. I encourage the students to pack their instruments (upon returning for the 2019-20 school year) and know that there will be plenty of opportunities to make music.”

While at Green Mountain College, Mr. Cassarino helped create and oversee a vibrant program that included course work in music and performing opportunities in both instrumental and choral ensembles. He also served as Music Director and Organist for Trinity Episcopal Church in Rutland, Vt. Mr. Cassarino previously filled those same roles for St. Mary’s Church in Newport, R.I., as well. His educational background includes degrees in music and in theology from Castleton (Vt.) University, Ball State University, St. John’s University, and the University of Wales.

B.A., Literature and Language University of North Carolina, Asheville

Kendra Castle has served as Director of Digital Marketing since 2015. Before coming to Christ School, Ms. Castle worked at Malaprop’s Bookstore as Web Content Manager and a member of the Events Team. No stranger to working in education, Castle spent six years at Currituck County Schools in the Outer Banks of North Carolina before making Asheville her home.

Ms. Castle received her B.A. in Literature and Language from University of North Carolina at Asheville in 2015.

In her free time, Ms. Castle spends her time dancing, lifting weights, and making her way through her vast home library.

B.A. Mass Communications Fu Jen Catholic University, Taipei, Taiwan

Shao Ting Chung teaches Mandarin Language and Culture. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Fu Jen Catholic University in Taipei and also studied in the teacher licensure program at the University of North Carolina-Asheville. She has taught at Carolina Day School and T.C. Roberson High School in Asheville.

Christ School alumnus Matt Cioce '13 was named Head Varsity Basketball Coach in April 2019.

Cioce previously served as assistant coach for the Greenies during the 2018-2019 season, helping lead the team to a Carolinas Athletic Association Tournament championship and an appearance in the NCISAA 4-A state-championship game. Cioce attended Christ School for four years and was a member of the 2011-2012 and the 2012-2013 varsity teams. Following his graduation from Christ School, Cioce matriculated to Stetson University where he was also a member of the varsity team for three years.

Cioce comes from a family of coaches which includes cousin, Fran Dunphy, who was a head coach at the University of Pennsylvania and then Temple University; cousin John Griffin, an assistant coach at St. Joseph's University; and cousin Matt Griffin, who is head coach at Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia.

"We are excited to have Coach Cioce take the reigns of a program that he has been a part of not only as a player, but also as a coach this past season," Athletic Director Eric Thorp '01 said. "Matt understands the expectations on the student-athletes as members of the Christ School community and his emphasis on discipline and skill development blends very well with his player-focused approach."

B.S., Biology Catawba College

M.S., Biological Sciences Auburn University

Mallary Clay graduated from Catawba College in 2014 with a B.S. in Biology and minor in Chemistry. A member of the Honors College and the basketball team, Ms. Clay stayed busy, but her name never dropped from the Dean’s List. She earned the Stephen H. Wurster Sportsmanship Award, presented to one female and one male athlete who is well rounded and succeeds not only as an athlete but also has outstanding character, and the Dean N. Grove Award, presented to one senior female and one senior male athlete who excels athletically and academically above others. Ms. Clay was also the Vice President of the honor council. Her undergraduate research, concerning a burrowing crayfish species, was published in 2017 in Behaviour, a peer-reviewed scientific journal focusing on ethology. She is currently working on another paper dealing with the phylogenetics of burrowing crayfish species in south Alabama, which will be submitted to the scientific journal Conservation Biology.

After graduation, Ms. Clay immediately enrolled in a graduate program at Auburn University, researching the genetics of aquatic macroinvertebrates (think crayfish, clams, snails, and worms) for conservation purposes. In 2016, Ms. Clay received her Master of Biological Sciences from Auburn. She then worked at Montgomery Academy and at the Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga, teaching Biology and coaching track and field. At Christ School, Ms. Clay teaches biology and is the head coach of the JV basketball team. She also teaches kayaking after a summer of working on the Ocoee River as a raft guide.

When in doubt, Benjie Colberg draws on his background as a former NCAA Lacrosse player for the discipline he brings to many different roles at Christ School.

Mr. Colberg is Assistant Director of Admission, Head of House for Gardner House, a Form Advisor for the 11th grade, a Faculty Advisor to the Honor Council, and helps lead the YoungLife ministry. Mr. Colberg’s plate is full in athletics as well: he was an Assistant Coach for the Greenies’ first state-championship Lacrosse team and serves as an Assistant Coach for varsity soccer.

Mr. Colberg received a B.A. in Economics from Denison University in 2015. There, Mr. Colberg was part of three conference-championship Lacrosse teams, two of which reached the NCAA quarterfinals.

Mr. Colberg likes to travel to visit friends and family, “any competitive game,” reading, and photography. Mr. Colberg considers The Lord of the Rings Trilogy to be “the greatest movie trilogy of all-time.”

B.A., History Appalachian State University

Now in her 13th year of teaching, Julia DeLaney is ready to bring her rich experience to Christ School.

Mrs. DeLaney is originally from Statesville, NC. She received a degree in history and secondary education from Appalachian State University, where she met her husband, Glenn.

She began her career in the North Carolina public school system, teaching middle school social studies, science, and English, and then spent five years teaching 6th grade U.S. History at Ravenscroft School, an independent day school in Raleigh. When she and her husband moved to Vermont Academy, Mrs. DeLaney taught history and Learning Resources, coached girls’ soccer, served as a dorm parent, and supervised the winter recreation ski program. After four years in Vermont, she moved back to North Carolina when her husband became director of the Outdoor Academy in Pisgah Forest.

Mrs. DeLaney enjoys traveling, and has skied on three different continents, with a goal to add two more in the next few years. She and her husband have a son, Elem, and a “crotchety” border collie, Meg.

B.A., Psychology University of St. Thomas

M.A., Literature Bread Loaf School of English

Mary Landingham Dillon teaches World Literature, Honors World Literature, Journalism, Film as Literature, and English as a Second Language (ESL). She is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas and the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. She also serves as a frequent director and executive producer for student theater productions.

Mrs. Dillon on Christ School Theater

B.A., American Studies Montreat College

Ben Dowling has been at Christ School since 2005, and one of the things he enjoys most is coaching the Quiz Bowl team. Mr. Dowling is the History Department Chair and teaches the freshman World History course Empires & Encounters.

In addition to sponsoring several clubs, Mr. Dowling initiated the Journeymen program in 2015. It is an after school activity that passes on Mr. Dowling’s personal interests in woodworking and shop skills to Christ School students. Mr. Dowling earned a B.A. in American Studies from Montreat College, along with a History department award. Before entering into education, Mr. Dowling was part of an internship program with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce.

B.S., Business Northeastern University

B.A., Manufacturing Engineering NHTI

Beth Duhaime came to Christ School in 2015 and is a member of the Mathematics Department, where she teaches Pre-Algebra and Algebra. She also teaches Publication and Design, where she guides students in the creation of the Angelus, the school yearbook.

Beth graduated from Northeastern University in 1987 with a B.S. in Business; she earned her B.A. in Manufacturing Engineering from NH Technical Institute in 1997. Mrs. Duhaime’s pastimes include walking the family dog, Bella, kayaking small lakes and ponds, boating at nearby Lake James, traveling the world, and designing and sewing handbags from recycled animal feed bags.

Prior to coming to Christ School, Mrs. Duhaime taught at three schools in New Hampshire: Bishop Brady, Bow, and Brewster Academy.

B.S., Mathematics U. S. Coast Guard Academy

M.S., Information Systems Management Northeastern University

Marcel Duhaime spent a decade in the U.S. Coast Guard, service that laid the groundwork for his educational career. Mr. Duhaime came to Christ School in 2015 with more than two decades of teaching experience. He is a science and math instructor and works with the Outdoor Program.

Mr. Duhaime was a four-year baseball and football player for the Coast Guard Academy. He earned a B.S. in Mathematics in 1986 before going on to get his M.S. in Information Systems Management from Northeastern University in 1993. Prior to coming to Christ School, Mr. Duhaime taught at Bow High School and Brewster Academy in New Hampshire

Mr. Duhaime’s interests outside of school are reading, hiking, sea kayaking, and mountain biking. His wife Beth is also part of the Christ School faculty. Their son, Sawyer, graduated from Christ School in 2018.

B.A., English UNC Greensboro

Director of Advancement Betsy Ellis is no stranger to Christ School. She previously worked in our Advancement office from 2002 to 2004 to assist with fundraising for the renovation to St. Joseph’s Chapel. In 2004, Ellis became Director of Advancement at Evergreen Charter School in Asheville. After the birth of her son Ben, Ellis joined Pisgah Legal Services, where she worked for 11 years. Her job grew to Director of Philanthropy, managing a talented team, 1,600 donors and increasing the Annual Campaign from $200,000 to over $1.4 million a year. Ellis was ready for a new challenge, and the opportunity to return to Christ School came at the right time.

Ellis, her husband James, an attorney in Black Mountain, N.C., and their three sons moved into Van Every House over the summer. When she's not working, Ellis loves to travel, cook, and entertain. She also enjoys spending time at their family place on Lake Champlain in Vermont.