School Experience: These Folks Know What You're Talking About

September 22, 2014 Mark Christensen

Around here, we have a lot of passion and love for K-12.

All of our experience working in actual schools has helped us build stronger connections to teachers, parents, and students. Watch the quick video and then check out this amazing group of people who bring their experience to you each and every day.


Jake Spirek, Customer Solutions Specialist
I worked as a high school teacher and communications director for seven years at Alma Heights Christian High School in Pacifica, CA. There’s no getting around the fact that education is already more technology-intensive and will continue to stay this way. I believe the schools who will prepare students the best are the ones who embrace this new time that we’re in with inquisitive minds rather than skeptical ones, and look to creatively solve problems with the tools we have, rather than dig their heels in and try to do things the way we’ve always done.



Will Redway, Senior Account Executive
I worked at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, MA. In all the schools we work with, there is one common thread. No one wears only one hat. It is both the biggest pleasure and biggest pain of everyone who works at private schools.



Emily Liu, Software Consultant
I was the Assistant Website Editor at Cranbrook Schools for almost two years and then the Website Editor for 4+ years from 2007 to 2013. I was the Platform Manager with the institutional knowledge about WhippleHill. I launched website redesigns, oversaw content, and trained co-workers!



Whitney Donnelly, Sales
I worked as the Director of Technology at Far Hills Country Day School for 14 years. I have also taught Math and Science to Lower, Middle, and Upper School students for over ten years at a variety of schools. I understand what it is like to work in the dynamic and demanding school environment where everyone wears multiple hats simultaneously. I also relate to the passion of the profession and the people drawn to that calling. When I am talking to a school about making a major change in software, I understand the complexity of that task for the school. I have experienced this first hand.



Laurie Holbrook, Web Consultant
I was a middle school registrar for 5 years!



Mark ChristensenMarketing Manager
I’ve worked in K-12 in various roles throughout my career from classroom teacher, to school administrator and marketing communications. I earned a CAGS in Educational Leadership and my Ed.D. in Education Curriculum/Technology.



Jonathan Wilkinson, Success Coach
I was a middle school teacher, special ed teacher, and a technology coordinator in several different schools.



Peter BaronSenior Product Marketing Manager
I’ve been working in or with schools my entire career. First at Wolfeboro, The Summer Boarding School. From there I went to Pine Ridge School in VT and followed that up by getting my MAT down at Tufts University. Today, I’m excited to keep one foot in schools by being on the Board of Directors at Wolfeboro.



Jenny RobinsonSenior Account Executive
I sat on the board of Charlestowne Montessori School for 3+ years. I was the Fundraising Chair and planned an entire Spring Gala with volunteers from the school. I headed the prospect research project for the school and did major donor asks as well. I also supervised the budget and assisted in the school purchasing the property they now own. It was a big job!



Zach Limoges, Software Consultant
I spent 3+ years at Bedford High School in NH as a Media Specialist and part-time educator. I worked with students, teachers, and staff to provide technical equipment, expertise, and training. I also spent time coaching Football, Basketball, and Baseball. I’ve been fortunate to blend my experiences here at WhippleHill to assist educators and students get the most out of their technology.



Sarah Bienvenue, Software Consultant
I have an M.Ed. in School Counseling and a CAGS in educational leadership. I have also worked as a guidance counselor, health teacher, ELO coordinator, and residential counselor.



Jessica C. Osaki,
 Senior Consultant
I previously worked for Metairie Park Country Day School in the Development office running both their Blackbaud and WhippleHill systems from 2003 to 2005. My experience in independent schools as a staff member, as well as a graduate and current parent, has shown me how vital communication is to the livelihood of the school and how much data the school holds. A plan should be in place for how to use, share, and store this wealth of information in a way that allows for clear and concise communication between the appropriate groups. Whether it is parents planning a carpool, a teacher sending a weekly newsletter or you are managing a crisis situation, there is nothing more important than being able to confidently get your message out to the right people.



Zach Zimmerman, Account Executive
I worked at New Hampton School as the Director of Financial Aid and Assistant Director of Admission.



Heather WoolfreySoftware Consultant
I taught fifth grade for 5 years in a public school in Massachusetts. My previous teaching experience has helped me, especially when training in onCampus. I love talking to teachers and hearing about all the cool things they are planning to do in their classrooms. Building course pages and creating topics is so fun! I enjoy hearing the excitement in people’s voices when they create something that they’re proud to show off to parents and students.



Maria O’Dwyer, Account Executive
I coached Varsity Cheerleading at Washington Lee High School in Arlington, VA.



Todd DeSchuiteneer, Software Specialist
While at Second Baptist School I managed all of the LMS, SIS, and CMS data, while delegating certain tasks to other departments. I worked closely with other members of the staff to create new and exciting communication strategies on the website and via social media, and also worked closely with teachers and administrators to train the staff and troubleshoot any issues they had with software or hardware. I was also responsible for hosting weekly meetings at the beginning of the school year to train parents on how to use the website in the most efficient way. While at Second Baptist School, I also received my certification as a Mac Technician.



Bryna Gleich, Senior Technical Writer
I taught high school English for three years in South Carolina. I started in a traditional, public, high school in a small town. I then worked for two years as a high school teacher in a virtual, public K-12 school. Some of the most important elements of educating students have little to do with what happens in the classroom. Personal and family lives are vital to each student’s academic future. The more teachers can learn, track, and use this information, the greater the chance of success becomes.



Carolyn Davy, Interaction Designer
I was a high school math teacher before coming to Blackbaud. I have a math education degree.



Maura Webster, Marketing Communications Manager
I spent my first year after college working as the Assistant Director of the Annual Fund for my alma mater, St. Mark’s School, in Southborough, MA. I loved being on the other side, raising money, hosting events, and getting involved with the students by helping out coaching the field hockey goalies and working with the Cats’ Meow. It was “almost” like being a student again…



Jake Tingley, Software Consultant
I have an M.Ed and still hold my teacher certification for New Hampshire. I worked for a couple of years as a Special Ed. Aide and for a couple more as a High School Math Teacher.



Stephanie Carberry, Customer Support Representative
I worked as a substitute teacher in several districts in NH. Prior to that, I worked for education in museums.



Kimberly Merrow, Account Executive
Working in K-12 previously gives me an insight to the challenges faced by our K-12 schools as well as an understanding of how significant and rewarding the victories can be. Challenges such as: not having enough time in a day, week, or academic year, not having a good platform to help communicate things to parents and students once they leave the school building at the end of the day, needing something more to help with communication between teachers and administrators, or using 1,400 index cards to try and schedule students into classes (and countless more to try and schedule pull-out instruction and special area classes).  Victories such as: when a student finally has a light bulb go on, when a club or activity comes together to truly shine in a performance or with an end of year project or activity, or when a family gets fully involved in their child (children)’s educational experience.



Catherine Laughlin, Project Manager
I worked at Mentor Christian School in Ohio from 2001 to 2003. Education is a process that continues both inside and outside the classroom. Junior high students are enthusiastic and energetic, and faculty members that are excited about what they do have an amazing opportunity to channel that energy. I love running into former students and hearing about all they’ve accomplished since high school.

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