Our Team

Jay Knower

M.Ed., Co-President and Co-Founder

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-President and Director of Curriculum

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.

Jenna Gosselin

Office Manager

Jenna Gosselin graduated in the summer of 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from Plymouth State University. She comes to Knower after four years of working with School Specialty Inc. in Nashua, NH. There, she served in multiple departments, including customer service and merchandising.  When not in the Knower Office, Jenna enjoys spending her free time with her friends or reading, drawing, and taking photos.

Melania Lavric

Academic Coordinator / Instructor

Melania is a two-time graduate of Ohio University, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in French and a Master’s degree in French Literature. After completing her studies, Melania earned a position as a language assistant in Clermont-Ferrand, France, where she taught English. She returned to the US and left the field of education for a few years, working for YBP Library Services and CARMA’s CustomScoop before arriving at Knower Academics. Melania is an avid knitter, foodie, and reader and loves spending time with her retired racing greyhound and her husband.

Maggie Carr

Instructor

Maggie has been an editorial freelancer for 30 years, working for New York trade publishers. She grew up on the South Shore, in the Boston suburbs, and later lived in the city; when she had had enough of city life, she moved to the North Country of New Hampshire. Maggie earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Additionally, she has written for local newspapers from time to time and has published several articles in magazines. She enjoys walking and wood fires.

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

Instructor

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.

Stephen Lines

Test-Prep Specialist / Instructor

Stephen Lines joined Knower Academics in 2017 as an SAT/ACT specialist. Having graduated with a BA in History from Trinity College and an MBA from Harvard Business School, he began a twenty-year career as a strategy consultant. Upon retirement from that field, Steve began instructing students for the SAT and ACT, embarking on a decade of providing test preparation for students at both public and private schools. Throughout his years working with students, as well as many years parenting, Steve continually educated himself about ADD and its associated learning disabilities. He applies that knowledge in instructing all students, regardless of their position along the continuum of these conditions. Steve has recently moved to New Hampshire as a long-overdue return to his roots in the countryside. He relishes the opportunity to hike, canoe, ski, and generally commune with nature. Steve is the proud father of three sons and the delighted grandfather of one girl and two boys.

Alec Bastian

Instructor

Alec is a recent graduate of Plymouth State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a concentration in Secondary Education. While attending PSU, Alec worked as a math tutor for college level courses and developed a love for education through practicum and student-teaching experiences. He has always been inspired by the positive impact a strong student-teacher relationship can bring. Alec enjoys spending time with his family, girlfriend, and friends in his free time, and just might possibly be the best disc golfer in the Northern Hemisphere.

Lauren Baron

Instructor

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

Instructor

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.

Lucy Randall-Tapply

Instructor

Lucy is a third-generation teacher. She studied theater education, writing, literature, Romance languages, and linguistics at The New School and Sarah Lawrence College. She then spent six years teaching Spanish, Italian, English, History, Geography, and Civics at Waterville Valley Academy. She currently works at the Gordon-Nash Library in New Hampton and in the after-school program for Newfound Area School District. She sits on the board of Advice to the Players, a Shakespeare company in Sandwich, NH, and can often be seen treading the boards, hosting performing arts events, and working as a teaching artist. Her hobbies include reading, fiber arts, and watching Netflix with her cat.

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.