Our Executive Management Team

Members of our executive management teams have roles in managing and guiding our organization in addition to their teaching roles.

Michael Hu

Michael Hu

Founder • Debate/Public Speaking Instructor

Michael is a sophomore at Montgomery Blair High School's magnet program. He grew up in Montgomery County, MD and he’s done debate and public speaking for four years. He qualified for the Tournament of Champions in Public Forum Debate (top 2% nationally) and he reached Top 16 in national level debate tournaments, such as the Capitol Beltway Classic and the 45th Annual University of Pennsylvania Tournament. He also loves to play soccer, chess, and piano, and enjoys volunteering for the community.

Steven Su

Steven Su

Website and Platform Development Lead • Introduction to Programming in Python Instructor

Steven is currently a sophomore at Montgomery Blair School’s magnet program. He previously attended Takoma Park Middle School's magnet program, as well as Cold Spring Elementary School's GT program. He is highly experienced in various fields of computer science, including full-stack application development, cybersecurity, data science, and machine learning. In his free time, Steven enjoys working on DIY projects, gardening, flying drones, and riding his bike.

Michael Hu

Michael Hu

Founder • Debate/Public Speaking Instructor

Michael is a sophomore at Montgomery Blair High School's magnet program. He grew up in Montgomery County, MD and he’s done debate and public speaking for four years. He qualified for the Tournament of Champions in Public Forum Debate (top 2% nationally) and he reached Top 16 in national level debate tournaments, such as the Capitol Beltway Classic and the 45th Annual University of Pennsylvania Tournament. He also loves to play soccer, chess, and piano, and enjoys volunteering for the community.

Steven Su

Steven Su

Website and Platform Development Lead • Introduction to Programming in Python Instructor

Steven is currently a sophomore at Montgomery Blair School’s magnet program. He previously attended Takoma Park Middle School's magnet program, as well as Cold Spring Elementary School's GT program. He is highly experienced in various fields of computer science, including full-stack application development, cybersecurity, data science, and machine learning. In his free time, Steven enjoys working on DIY projects, gardening, flying drones, and riding his bike.

Instructor Team

Members of our instructor team are in ongoing teaching terms.

Julia Babula

Julia Babula

Introduction to French Instructor

Julia is a junior attending Damascus High School and takes honors level French 4. She is a tutor in her school’s Foreign Language Honor Society. Holding a passion for the French language after being exposed to her aunt, uncle and cousins speaking French fluently around her over many years, Julia began taking French freshman year. In her free time, she loves playing piano, drawing painting, being involved in school clubs, reading Harry Potter, caring for the environment, exercising and eating healthy, and loves learning. This summer Julia will be pursuing two programs at Tufts university, an astrophysics course as well as a med school high school intensive program.

Neel Jay

Neel Jay

Introduction to Chess Instructor

Neel is currently a sophomore at Montgomery Blair High School's magnet program. He learned how to play chess in third grade, and has been playing competitively ever since. Neel is currently a USCF Expert. He has placed highly in many Maryland scholastic, as well as national open tournaments such as the Continental Class Championships and the Washington Chess Congress.

Jason Liu

Jason Liu

United States History Instructor

Jason is a sophomore at Montgomery Blair High School, studying in the STEM Magnet Program. He has previously studied in the Takoma Park Middle School STEM Magnet Program. However, Jason firmly believes in the virtues of a well-rounded student and has thus focused much of his attention towards the study of history and the fine arts. Apart from his academics, Jason is an award-winning pianist, Quiz Bowl and History Bowl player, and Wikipedia editor. His career in History Bowl has spanned almost 4 years, having worked extensively with Albert as part of a national-ranking team in the junior varsity division.

Eric Chen

Eric Chen

Introduction to Astronomy Instructor

Eric Chen is a rising senior at MBHS. His hobbies include basketball, debate, web development, and listening to music. He is a captain of the Astronomy Club at Blair and enjoys reading about anything astronomy related. He is currently doing a machine learning internship at the University of Maryland.

Jacob Katsifarakis

Jacob Katsifarakis

Introduction to Biology Instructor

My name is Jacob "Tiny Titan" Katsifarakis. I am a sophomore at Kenwood Academy High School in Chicago, Illinois, and I've always loved biology and animal sciences. In my lifetime, I have had six cats and a dog, which is most likely a cause of my interest in zoology. I have taken Honors Biology, I am currently taking AP Biology and Human Body Systems, the second year of a three year medical program. I have worked in a garden at the Bridgeport Art Center in 8th grade. Both last year and this year, I am working at a farm in Washington Park, cultivating fruits and vegetables to sell locally. I genuinely enjoy biology, which I most likely inherited from my mom, who has a PhD in virology, and currently works in a research lab.

Anna Tovchigrechko

Anna Tovchigrechko

Art Instructor

Anna is a current sophomore at Sherwood Highschool. She has competed at Regional and National dance competitions through out middle school and early highschool. She loves to learn, and has made the Straight A's Honor Roll all through out highschool. Her love for Biology has gotten her into the Barnard STEMinsts and the NHAS summer programs. Anna has created art all her life, learning drawing concepts through the Internet and highscool art classes. She hopes to show kids how to stay creative by teaching art through Kindling Curiosity. In her free time, Anna loves to read, hangout with friends (when not in quaranine), and help the elderly through various projects.

Albert Ho

Albert Ho

United States History Instructor

Albert is a sophomore at Montgomery Blair High School, studying in the STEM magnet program. He previously participated in the Takoma Park Middle School STEM magnet and Cold Spring Elementary GT programs. This year, Albert and his History Bowl team swept the DC-area History Bowl regionals, and he himself swept the DC regional bees. He also was a member of Montgomery Blair’s Quizbowl team this year, becoming one of three to represent Blair at the It’s Academic TV Show, where they became semifinalists. Albert prides himself on his knowledge of European and Chinese history, and regularly edits pages for Wikipedia.

Colette Kaufman

Colette Kaufman

Ballet Instructor

Colette is currently a sophomore at Quince Orchard High School and for the past three years she has been training for 6-7 days a week at The Washington School of Ballet. Colette took her first ballet class when she was only two years old and instantly fell in love with the art form. She has performed in many shows with The Washington Ballet Company including productions of The Nutcracker and she has attended summer programs at ballet schools such as Miami City Ballet School, Joffrey Ballet School, and École de ballet du Québec. In her free time, Colette enjoys calligraphy, photography and yoga.

Julia Babula

Julia Babula

Introduction to French Instructor

Julia is a junior attending Damascus High School and takes honors level French 4. She is a tutor in her school’s Foreign Language Honor Society. Holding a passion for the French language after being exposed to her aunt, uncle and cousins speaking French fluently around her over many years, Julia began taking French freshman year. In her free time, she loves playing piano, drawing painting, being involved in school clubs, reading Harry Potter, caring for the environment, exercising and eating healthy, and loves learning. This summer Julia will be pursuing two programs at Tufts university, an astrophysics course as well as a med school high school intensive program.

Eric Chen

Eric Chen

Introduction to Astronomy Instructor

Eric Chen is a rising senior at MBHS. His hobbies include basketball, debate, web development, and listening to music. He is a captain of the Astronomy Club at Blair and enjoys reading about anything astronomy related. He is currently doing a machine learning internship at the University of Maryland.

Albert Ho

Albert Ho

United States History Instructor

Albert is a sophomore at Montgomery Blair High School, studying in the STEM magnet program. He previously participated in the Takoma Park Middle School STEM magnet and Cold Spring Elementary GT programs. This year, Albert and his History Bowl team swept the DC-area History Bowl regionals, and he himself swept the DC regional bees. He also was a member of Montgomery Blair’s Quizbowl team this year, becoming one of three to represent Blair at the It’s Academic TV Show, where they became semifinalists. Albert prides himself on his knowledge of European and Chinese history, and regularly edits pages for Wikipedia.

Neel Jay

Neel Jay

Introduction to Chess Instructor

Neel is currently a sophomore at Montgomery Blair High School's magnet program. He learned how to play chess in third grade, and has been playing competitively ever since. Neel is currently a USCF Expert. He has placed highly in many Maryland scholastic, as well as national open tournaments such as the Continental Class Championships and the Washington Chess Congress.

Jacob Katsifarakis

Jacob Katsifarakis

Introduction to Biology Instructor

My name is Jacob "Tiny Titan" Katsifarakis. I am a sophomore at Kenwood Academy High School in Chicago, Illinois, and I've always loved biology and animal sciences. In my lifetime, I have had six cats and a dog, which is most likely a cause of my interest in zoology. I have taken Honors Biology, I am currently taking AP Biology and Human Body Systems, the second year of a three year medical program. I have worked in a garden at the Bridgeport Art Center in 8th grade. Both last year and this year, I am working at a farm in Washington Park, cultivating fruits and vegetables to sell locally. I genuinely enjoy biology, which I most likely inherited from my mom, who has a PhD in virology, and currently works in a research lab.

Colette Kaufman

Colette Kaufman

Ballet Instructor

Colette is currently a sophomore at Quince Orchard High School and for the past three years she has been training for 6-7 days a week at The Washington School of Ballet. Colette took her first ballet class when she was only two years old and instantly fell in love with the art form. She has performed in many shows with The Washington Ballet Company including productions of The Nutcracker and she has attended summer programs at ballet schools such as Miami City Ballet School, Joffrey Ballet School, and École de ballet du Québec. In her free time, Colette enjoys calligraphy, photography and yoga.

Jason Liu

Jason Liu

United States History Instructor

Jason is a sophomore at Montgomery Blair High School, studying in the STEM Magnet Program. He has previously studied in the Takoma Park Middle School STEM Magnet Program. However, Jason firmly believes in the virtues of a well-rounded student and has thus focused much of his attention towards the study of history and the fine arts. Apart from his academics, Jason is an award-winning pianist, Quiz Bowl and History Bowl player, and Wikipedia editor. His career in History Bowl has spanned almost 4 years, having worked extensively with Albert as part of a national-ranking team in the junior varsity division.

Anna Tovchigrechko

Anna Tovchigrechko

Art Instructor

Anna is a current sophomore at Sherwood Highschool. She has competed at Regional and National dance competitions through out middle school and early highschool. She loves to learn, and has made the Straight A's Honor Roll all through out highschool. Her love for Biology has gotten her into the Barnard STEMinsts and the NHAS summer programs. Anna has created art all her life, learning drawing concepts through the Internet and highscool art classes. She hopes to show kids how to stay creative by teaching art through Kindling Curiosity. In her free time, Anna loves to read, hangout with friends (when not in quaranine), and help the elderly through various projects.

Former Staff

Members who have completed their terms are listed in our archive.