STAFF

ALAN HIBBARD

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

BS/MBA in Finance and Consulting, Minor in Mathematics, University at Buffalo
ahibbard@theacademybuffalo.org

Buffalo born and raised, but I’ve traveled to over 20 countries. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s the fact that every person is full of limitless potential, and education is the key to unlocking that potential. My 8 years at the Nichols School developed my passion for lifelong learning and teaching. I’ve attained an MBA in Finance, Consulting and Mathematics from the University at Buffalo, where I currently teach Statistics and Excel in the School of Management. In the past, I’ve worked 3 years as a tutor for SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT prep. I’ve also worked 3 years as a portfolio manager for institutional clients totaling over $1 billion in assets under management; I would love to establish and manage an Endowment for The Buffalo Academy of Scholars.

In my free time, I visit nature, I listen to books and podcasts, and I play football, softball, and guitar.

JESSICA COTY

ENGLISH TEACHER

B.S. in Secondary English Education, Buffalo State College
M.A. in Differentiated Instruction, St. Bonaventure University
Certification in Special Education Grade 7-12
Certification in Gifted Education Grade K-12
jcoty@theacademybuffalo.org

My passion for teaching started as a child in my playroom where I would line up my stuffed animals and teach them what I had learned in school that day. Even at a young age I realized the immense value of an education and the impact teachers can have on students. I’ll never forget the teachers that took extra time to work with me and make sure I was being challenged appropriately in the classroom. Teachers have the ability to help students realize their fullest potential, and I knew for a long while that I wanted to help students in that journey. As I studied in college to become a teacher, my passion for education grew. Working in the field has been further affirmation to me that I made the right choice of profession, and I appreciate the opportunities I have every day. English has been a true passion of mine from the beginning as well. I was always getting caught up in a book or traveling the world in stories of my own creation. It seemed there was no other path in life for me than to become an English teacher.

A school like The Academy was not something I thought to be possible as I studied to become a teacher. Throughout my undergraduate and graduate studies, I often thought that individualized instruction is what so many students needed but rarely received. Working at The Academy has provided me with the opportunity to see this idea come to fruition.

In my free time, I enjoy being outdoors in all the seasons that Buffalo offers. I am an avid sports fan of our local teams and hold Buffalo Bandits season tickets. Traveling is a passion of mine as well – even through reading a book!

HOLLY KIRKPATRICK

ENGLISH TEACHER

B.A. (Hons) English Literature and Theater Studies, University of Leeds, UK
PGCE with outstanding, University of Warwick, UK
hkirkpatrick@theacademybuffalo.org

I am an English teacher from England! I arrived in Buffalo in September 2016 to work at the Academy of Scholars. Like most educators, I have a love of learning that began when I was at school. Throughout my education in the UK, I was guided and supported by teachers with real passion for their subjects and with their help, I thrived in a learning environment. Moreover, the study of seminal authors – such as Shakespeare – was supplemented by field trips to the Globe Theater in London and Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-Upon-Avon (just 45 minutes from the school), which prompted a passion for theater as well as literature. At University, I pursued my interest in the relationship between literature and performance, studying English Literature and Theater Studies at the University of Leeds, UK.

After University, I worked in a professional Theater in Leicester, UK, and quickly realized that I loved the interpersonal and staff training elements of the job, and so teacher training beckoned. Teaching English Language, English Literature and Media Studies to students aged 11-19 in UK schools means that I am used to learning something new each day! Teaching Language Arts at the Academy of Scholars is a real thrill for me, not only because of the unique, progressive ethos of the school, but because it is my first time teaching in the US. For me, relocating to the US means another opportunity to learn and to further my cultural experiences; I am eager to share my knowledge and enthusiasm to develop young people’s understanding in ELA here at the Academy.

Outside of teaching, I enjoy running, cycling, baking, and learning the rules of American Football and Ice Hockey.

STEPHEN KELLY

SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER

B.A. in History, University at Geneseo
Ed.M. in Adolescent Social Studies Education, University at Buffalo
skelly@theacademybuffalo.org

My passion for history began in high school. History was my favorite class, and my teachers were excellent instructional role models. I helped my peers understand historical topics. Doing this led me to realize that I could combine my enjoyment of history, with my ability to help others understand it, by becoming a teacher.

I have served in both public and private school settings. These settings provided me with a wealth of experience teaching students from various backgrounds and educational levels.

Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” In traditional school settings, students compare their academic levels to those of their peers. This often discourages students having different processes of learning and growth. The Academy provides an environment for students to learn at their own pace, and achieve deeper content understanding.

In my free time, I enjoy traveling, learning, kayaking, playing the guitar, and hiking with friends (and my dog, Stan). I am a Buffalo sports teams fan, and a Bills season ticket holder. 

MATTHEW LARDO

SCIENCE TEACHER

B.S. in Biology, Canisius College
M.S. in Biomedical Sciences, Midwestern University
M.S. in Science Education, Buffalo State College
mlardo@theacademybuffalo.org

Growing up, I was fascinated with all things science and math. I have always yearned to explore the unknown, and to understand how the world works. After spending some time in medical school, I realized my passion was in education. As a teacher at the The Academy, I have the ability to share my passion for the sciences with students, and to bring my knowledge of the discipline into their lives. Whether they are budding scientists, or simply interested in the world around them, I am dedicated to opening the eyes of the student to the world of science.

ALYSSA PAULI

SCIENCE TEACHER

B.S. in Physics Education, Minor in Mathematics, Buffalo State College
M.S. in Physics Education, Buffalo State College
apauli@theacademybuffalo.org

I discovered my passion for science and teaching when I was a high school student. Since that time, I have regularly participated in opportunities for professional development in my field. I enjoy finding ways to improve my teaching techniques to create an environment for students that is more conducive to learning.

I particularly enjoy teaching physics because it helps students develop a strong link between hands-on experiments and mathematical representations. I often volunteer to help with science education events.

Outside of school, I sketch, research, or hike with my husband and two dogs.