Leadership Team

Jacqui Byrne • Founder

Jacqui is the visionary behind FlexSchool, learning communities for gifted and 2e students. She loves all of the creative, quirky, asynchronous minds and figuring out how to reach each child is very satisfying to her. Jacqui has deep experience in education, teaching, counseling, and writing. She is the co-founder of the widely respected Ivy Ed college preparation and counseling firm. Jacqui developed her own verbal test prep curriculum and also wrote a test prep book for McGraw-Hill. She is an acknowledged expert in education: training school district guidance counselors, speaking at college parent nights throughout New Jersey and presenting at professional conferences. Prior to founding Ivy Ed, she taught creative writing to gifted students at Milton Academy, completed an operations management training program on Wall Street, and started a boutique marketing company. Jacqui earned a B.A. from Yale and has children who are twice-exceptional and gifted.

Melissa Quackenbush, Ed.S. • Head of Curriculum

Melissa’s expertise in curriculum development, instructional design and technology, and professional development supports Flex School’s mission of creating learning spaces where gifted and twice-exceptional students all over the world experience acceptance and support. With over a decade of experience as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, and district administrator in public schools, Melissa is dedicated to fostering growth for students, teachers, and communities. Melissa earned a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education, a Master’s degree in Reading Education, an Education Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and she is presently completing a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Program Evaluation. Melissa holds New Jersey certifications as Teacher of English, Teacher of Reading, Reading Specialist, Supervisor, Principal, and School Administrator. Hailing from the Midwest, Melissa now lives in the Northeast with her husband, two children, and dog. When she’s not working, you’ll find Melissa either reading, running, or writing.

Kyle Kahuda, M.Ed. • Head of School, New Haven

Transformed by gifted programs and unconventional teachers during his own education, Kyle has devoted his life to creating challenging and safe environments for students. He takes particular pride in having helped many who struggled in the more traditional schools in which he has worked. Kyle is an educator and administrator with deep and varied experience building school communities, developing curricula, and supporting holistic student development. He has worked in independent schools since 1999 as a science teacher and department chair, program coordinator, college counselor, dean of students and residential director at Chatham Hall in VA, and then as Head of Upper School at Chase Collegiate School in CT. Kyle has established and sustained programs and cultures that provide an empowering balance of challenge and support for learners of all abilities, interests, and personalities. He believes strongly in the power of experiential and student-directed learning, and grounds his work with learners, faculty, and parents in authentic and collaborative relationships. Kyle earned his B.A. in Biology from the University of Richmond, and an M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision from the University of Virginia. Deeply concerned with finding the best school environment for each of his own two unique children, Kyle identifies strongly with FlexSchool parents.

TJ Gavor, MSW • Head of School, Berkeley Heights

TJ Gavor has devoted his entire career to the academic growth of twice exceptional students and others who have had a difficult time finding their way in the conventional education system. As the first in his family to put himself through college and then graduate school, he reflects on his own experiences in school and knows he was fortunate to find mentorship and support along the way. After earning a BA in Sociology and Psychology at Rider, TJ pursued an MSW at Kean and graduated with distinction. He has deep administrative experience and has been asked to serve on many all-school committees. He has a profound knowledge of special education law for gifted and 2e students, and an in-depth understanding of IDEA and FAPE. TJ works tirelessly to ensure that each student is afforded the opportunity to thrive and be successful.

When TJ takes off his advocacy superhero cape, he enjoys reading Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons with his children and playing golf.

Lynne Henwood, M.Ed. • Head of School, Bronxville, NY

Lynne Henwood has been advocating for and serving the needs of gifted and twice-exceptional learners for over 7 years as a gifted teacher and program coordinator for Washington Township Schools in Morris County, New Jersey. In this role, Lynne designed and implemented strengths-based, student-driven programs throughout the district.

Lynne graduated from Dickinson College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and earned her Gifted Education Certificate from Rutgers University, where she serves on the Gifted Education Advisory Board. Currently, Lynne is pursuing a master’s degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Connecticut Neag School of Education with a concentration in giftedness, creativity, and talent development.

In 2018, Lynne was named New Jersey’s Gifted Teacher of the Year and is the 2019 Mensa Foundation’s Gifted Education Fellowship Award winner. She currently serves as President of the New Jersey Association for Gifted Children, where she continues to educate teachers, administrators, and legislators about the importance of recognizing and meeting the needs of our gifted population.

As a parent of four uniquely gifted children, Lynne understands that all children need to feel valued, accepted, and respected. Lynne brings her deep knowledge of the social, emotional, academic needs of gifted children along with her curiosity and passion for learning to the FlexSchool community.

Kathryn Sabol, M.Ed. • Director, Special Projects

Kathryn Sabol, M.Ed, is a lifelong Montanan whose colorful career found its roots at Montana State University where she taught English, human development and education courses for nearly two decades. Always drawn to the most challenged and disenfranchised students, she eventually branched out to serve other at-risk populations, inclusive of helping to launch a family drug treatment court in Yellowstone County. After taking time to serve as a Peace Corps health educator in the jungles of Suriname, she served as the Head of School for Montana Academy, a therapeutic boarding school serving struggling teenagers in rural Montana, which brought her back full circle into the realm of service in education.

The prospect of infusing her passion and experience into FlexSchool’s remarkable mission, coupled with the opportunity to round out her career in the company of some extraordinary students, staff and parents, has proved to be irresistible.

Susan Hemingway • Director of Technology

susan

Susan comes to FlexSchool from private IT consulting where her 30 year career included systems analysis, programming, project management and running customer service at a software start-up, heading marketing for a health care consultancy and finally going out on her own. The common thread in her career has been bridging the gap between creative types and deadlines and she looks forward to bringing that skill set to a new and more rewarding domain as Directory of Technology. Susan has a degree in French Language from Oberlin College and is the parent of a 2e daughter.