Our Team

Jay Knower

M.Ed., Co-Founder and Business Director

An educator and an entrepreneur, Jay brings his knowledge of teaching and higher education, combined with his business acumen, to Knower Academics, LLC. Knower Academics has given Jay a perfect venue to try out creative solutions to educational challenges, and Jay is continually striving to help mold Knower Academics into a more dynamic, more efficient, and more essential institution.

Jay runs the business aspects of Knower Academics, but he has never forgotten his training in and passion for education. Prior to forming Knower Academics, Jay was a teaching lecturer at Plymouth State University, teaching writing and literature classes for eight years. While he doesn’t teach as much as he used to, Jay is currently a Faculty Fellow in the English Department at PSU, where he works on curriculum development.

Jay is an avid writer, and his articles have appeared in The New Hampshire Journal of Education, The Canadian Alpine Journal, and Climbing Magazine. He just published a book about his childhood home in Wisconsin: A Climber’s Guide to Devil’s Lake. Jay is active in a number of nonprofits in the area, and in his spare time he enjoys running and rock climbing.

Catherine (Kayte) Knower

Co-Founder and Executive Director

Kayte’s career as an educator began as a senior in college when she was selected for participation in the McGowan Program; in this capacity she worked with students from inner city Buffalo, NY, to help them build the executive skills needed for success in college. Kayte began work for ClubZ! Tutoring as a Curriculum Specialist. Her responsibilities progressed to tutor training, and then to developing curriculum for the franchise on a national level. Here, Kayte authored numerous works, including the Learning Built to Last™ study skills series along with EZ Start SAT & ACT Diagnostic Tests and Essential Guide to the SAT & ACT.

In 2011, Catherine co-founded Knower Academics with her husband Jay. Her next publications included SAT & ACT Success, followed by our current KNOW the SAT™ and KNOW the ACT™ programs, Knower Academics’ own strategic approaches to college entrance exams. As Kayte gained widespread recognition as an instructor for test prep and executive skills, Kayte’s role expanded to include presentations, the most recent of which highlighted her expertise in supporting students with academic anxiety.

Catherine attended Canisius College in Buffalo on full academic scholarship and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in English. In addition to her love of art and teaching, Kayte is a passionate rock climber.

Heather Kasper

Director of Studies

Heather Kasper joined Knower Academics in 2012, and currently serves as our Director of Operations. As an educator, Heather specializes in multi-sensory approaches to teaching and supporting students with learning disabilities. Her positive attitude and tenacious problem solving skills inspire and motivate her colleagues as well as her students. Heather’s 2015 study “The Effect of Test Preparation on College Entrance Exam Scores” was recently selected as an exemplar at Southern New Hampshire University. She has been a member of the National Guard for 14 years. Heather volunteers each summer at the Maine National Guard Youth Camp, a camp that exposes children to exciting outdoor activities. Heather attained a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Maine, and she is completing a degree in curriculum design. She has extensive experience in alternative education, having worked in many therapeutic and alternative educational environments. In her free time, Heather enjoys playing the French horn, being outside, and reading.

Ann Spencer

Lead Instructor, Individualized Academics

An educator for over 30 years, Ann brings passion and expertise to her work with students, parents, schools, and colleagues. Ann started her educational career as a writing tutor at Kenyon College, where she graduated summa cum laudewith high honors in English. She soon moved into the high school classroom, where she stayed for twelve years teaching reading and English to students in grades 7 – 12.

At the same time, Ann explored higher education, teaching American Literature and freshman composition at the local community college, eventually leaving the high school classroom to teach full time at Morrisville College, part of the State University of New York system.

In 2007, Ann completed a doctorate in education from Binghamton University with a focus on writing education and curriculum. After moving to New Hampshire, Ann worked as a school administrator before returning to higher education to teach in writing and teacher preparation programs at New England College, Granite State College, and Keene State College. Eventually, she administered teacher education programs at Granite State College and the University of New Hampshire along with consulting with several New Hampshire schools to provide faculty development.

 Having met her career goals in higher education, Ann has returned to her true calling – helping students step into their potential as learners and thinkers. Ann’s work at Knower Academics combines her background in curriculum, teaching, and administration – along with her love of teenagers – to ensure each student receives individualized instruction best designed to help them thrive academically.

Ryanne Dennis

STEM Lead Instructor

A New Hampshire certified math teacher, Ryanne holds a BA in Mathematics from Emmanuel College. She joined Knower in late 2018 after spending 7 years as a high school math teacher and department chair. With experience teaching both students and colleagues alike, Ryanne quickly assumed the role of Lead Instructor for STEM. As such, she works not only with students but also serves as a mentor and supervisor for other STEM instructors and a liaison between instructors and cooperating faculty.

In addition to her work as a Lead, Ryanne also specializes in ACT/SAT test prep as well as individualized remedial instruction.

In her free time, Ryanne enjoys spending time with friends and family, attending local trivia and karaoke nights, playing games, reading, crocheting, and enjoying all of the wonderful things New Hampshire has to offer.

Harry Joiner, Ph.D.

Test-Prep Specialist / Instructor

With 20 years of teaching experience and a mastery of science and mathematics, Dr. Joiner is an expert at SAT/ACT and subject tutoring. He graduated Cum Laude in Mathematics and a major in Chemistry from Texas Christian University and completed his Master’s degree and Doctor of Philosophy in mathematics at Florida State University. Because of his easygoing demeanor and his sharp mind, Dr. Joiner has inspired many students toward academic success. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, hiking, traveling, and spending time with his family.

Christy Twomey

Test-Prep Specialist / Instructor

Christy Twomey joined Knower Academics in 2011, and focuses exclusively on helping students increase their SAT and ACT scores. She enjoys helping each student capitalize on his/her testing strengths and conquer his/her testing weaknesses. Most recently, she co-authored The Essential Guide to the ACT. Christy graduated Cum Laude from Colby College, where she studied Biology and Education; she also spent a semester abroad in Australia with the School for Field Studies. In the past, Christy has worked as a National Park Service ranger in Maine and as a U.S. Forest Service wilderness ranger in Colorado. She also has been an environmental educator, ridge runner, and marine educator for non-profits. In her free time, Christy enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking and skiing New Hampshire’s mountains, exploring Maine’s coastline, playing music and games, reading, taking trips, and watching her kids play sports.

Emily Thibault


Emily Thibault has been an instructor with Knower Academics for two years, and is a high school Mathematics teacher at Winnisquam Regional High School in Tilton. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Mathematics at Plymouth State University. In 2013, she graduated from Rivier University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Special Education with an interdisciplinary in Mathematics. Emily enjoys hiking and spending time with her dog Koda on the weekends.

Lauren Baron


Lauren graduated from Plymouth State University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, earning a NH Teaching Certificate to teach Preschool through 3rd Grade. She is currently an Educator/Home Visitor for an Early Supports and Services program, and she joined the Knower Academics team in October 2017. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her 7 year old daughter, watching her dance and sing. She loves all summer activities, but her favorites include spending countless hours on Lake Winnipesaukee.

Beth Benton


Beth majored in Chemistry and Dance as an undergrad at Hamilton College and holds an MAT in Physical Science Education from Plymouth State University and post-graduate certificate in Library/Media Studies from Montana State University. Beth has worked with students of all ages in a variety of settings, from the traditional science classroom to the dance studio. No matter what the subject, her goal for her students is that they become competent at acquiring and analyzing information such that they can be successful in whatever path they follow. In her free time, Beth enjoys putting her chemistry skills to use in the kitchen making candy and baking for her family.

Jennifer Creasey

Lead Instructor for Writing

Jen Creasey joined the Knower team in the fall of 2017 after working with school-aged children for the past 5 years. She graduated Cum Laude from Colby Sawyer college in 2011 with a Bachelors Degree in Child Development and a minor in Sociology. English and History have always been her favorite subjects, and she is still very close to two of her high school English teachers. Jen is also a part of the Franklin Footlight Community Theatre, where she spends most of her free time, whether acting, directing, or helping with the children’s theatre. She loves reading, making puzzles, spending time with her boyfriend and family, and traveling.

Ashley Outlaw


Ashley studied biology and secondary education at Southern Connecticut State University, graduating in 2009. While teaching at Crosby High School for 5 years, she continued her education at Lesley University and attained her masters in ecological teaching and learning, while also attaining a 200-hour yoga teaching certificate. This degree actually encouraged her to leave teaching for a while and follow a new passion of hers, farming!

Ashley moved around through different farms for a year, learning everything she could, while also teaching yoga and working with students on farms. The following year, she taught at Wamogo High School, and worked on connecting the science department with the agriculture department. After getting the spark of farming, Ashley decided she needed to move to Vermont to live on a farm permanently. In the interim, she worked at C2 Education tutoring students in science, math, and test prep while also farming and teaching yoga. Upon moving to Vermont, Ashley began working for Knower Academics, while starting her new farm life with her 11 goats and 1 steer! She is working to create a school and yoga retreat center on her farm.