Adam Weissbarth - Founder and President
Adam Weissbarth has taught thousands of children to play chess in New Mexico, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Virginia. Many of his students have won local, state, and national championships. Adam has won numerous scholastic and adult tournaments all over the country, including two New Mexico High School Championships. Adam earned his National Chess Master title in the winter of 2006 and became a U.S. Chess Federation-certified Senior Tournament Director in 2009. He has appeared on the Howard Stern show and been profiled in Chess Life magazine. Adam has an M.S. in Statistics from the University of Washington, where -- in a preview of his future career -- he enjoyed being a TA far more than taking classes or doing research. Adam lives in Falls Church with his wife, daughter, and son.
Daniel Weissbarth - Director of Operations
Daniel has been playing chess for as long as he can remember (see picture), and achieved the title of Expert in 2009. After working for Silver Knights as a teacher for a year near Philadelphia, Daniel moved to Northern Virginia in the summer of 2009 to be the Program Director for the new branch of the company. Over the last few years he has overseen Silver Knights' growth in the DMV area from 10 locations and 200 students to more than 3,500 students all over the region - look at the map! He's taught a few state champions, a bunch of players in the top 100 in the country for their age group, and thousands of kids who love playing chess!
Sharon Buttram - Curriculum Developer
Sharon Buttram has worked with area youth for over 15 years as a PTA officer and after school enrichment instructor. She has spent the past 9 years volunteering for Odyssey of the Mind, first as a coach and more recently as a judge. She has also been an after-school chess instructor in Fairfax-area elementary schools for more than 10 years. Sharon joined Silver Knights in 2012 as an after-school chess instructor and moved into a full-time office position later that year. Since then, she has held a variety of positions with the company. Currently, she spends her time developing and teaching Silver Knights’ STEM programs. Sharon is married and lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, two sons and two dogs Bo and Pippa.
Chris Goudey - Program Manager
Chris is the Program Manager for western Fairfax, Prince William, and Loudoun counties. He began working for SKE in 2013 as a part-time instructor and loved the company so much he wanted to make it his full-time job! Before coming to SKE, Chris also worked for Fairfax County for 14 years as an elementary teacher and in their administrative offices. A huge sports fanatic, Chris was the highest-ranked fantasy sports player in the world in 2002, winning ESPN's Uber competition.
Ali Thompson - Tournament Manager
Ali comes from a family of educators where chess was played regularly at the dinner table. He started working for Silver Knights in 2014 and started playing rated chess frequently as a result! As the Tournament Manager, Ali works with local schools and facilities to set up and promote chess tournaments and chess tournament training classes.
Alanna Bocchino - Office Manager
Alanna's previous career included work in law enforcement for city and federal governments. Her experience in teaching includes frequently being a guest police academy instructor for classes ranging from “Advanced Investigative Topics” to “Statement Analysis”. She also worked with the NJARNG in the Operations division and was responsible for a multi-million dollar budget and combat readiness for our soldiers. After leaving law enforcement, Alanna found a love for teaching, so she joined SKE as a chess coach in 2015. She enjoyed her time at SKE so much, she decided to join our staff full time! Outside of work, Alanna's hobbies include sailing, archery, target practice and martial arts.
Katie Strzeszewski - Program Manager
Katie started with Silver Knights as a chess coach in October 2017 and was promoted to Program Manger in April 2018. She has a wide range of experience in teaching including a Bachelor’s degree in English Education. Katie's other interests include teaching West Coast Swing in Montgomery County and being a huge Ren Faire nerd. You can occasionally find her cosplaying as a gypsy or a pirate and shooting at the archery range in Germantown.
Sarai Colón - Program Manager
Sarai (rhymes with hi!) studied at the University of Maryland, where she did an internship with America Reads*America Counts (AR*AC), a nonprofit focused on supporting children in math, reading, and writing skills. You'll find her primarily working out of our Columbia office. She is an enthusiastic plant mom, loves alpacas, wants an alpaca farm in her golden years (yes, we're mentioning this twice to emphasize how much she loves alpacas), and comes from a huge Puerto Rican family.
Jacqueline Narvaez - Program Manager
Jackie Narvaez graduated from Salisbury University in 2013. She is very passionate about helping youth grow and develop to their fullest potential. In her career prior to Silver Knights, Jackie connected youths to resources in workforce development, obtaining a GED, getting help for substance abuse, and facilitated extracurricular activities.
Outside of work, Jackie loves the outdoors and being cheerful. She enjoys hiking, kayaking, snowboarding, dancing, travelling, and smiling.
Derek Schaberg - Program Manager
Derek grew up in the distinguished state of North Carolina, where he graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology. Most of his professional career was working in corporate wellness for a hospital system in Wilmington, NC where his team helped hundreds of employees change their lives. He also coached and competed in Olympic Weightlifting.
His journey towards rated chess began during a hurricane where Derek and his future wife picked up a chess board for the first time. After that weekend, he was hooked on the game, playing in rated events in Missouri and Virginia. He was thrilled to discover that he could coach chess with Silver Knights and is thrilled to be a Program Manager!
Ashley Smuirthwaite - Program Manager
Ashley has always had a passion for both STEM and early childhood development. As an undergrad she studied Biology at Utah State University and practiced teaching at the Edith Bowen Laboratory School on campus. She has many years of experience with after school programs and directing summer camps! In her free time, Ashley loves to travel, explore new places, and scrapbook her adventures.