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 and daughter.
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 dog Bo.
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 shortly thereafter won his section at the World Open, winning around $7000. Ali enjoys listening to history podcasts, trivia, and bragging about his little brother being the blue raptor in Jurassic World. As the Tournament Manager, Ali works with local schools and facilities to set up and promote chess tournaments and chess tournament training classes.
Jillian Rybalsky - HR Generalist
Jillian holds a BS in Education from New York University. She has spent the last 15 years working in various educational settings, teaching both music and science. She has worked with all age groups, ranging from early childhood through college. When she's not at work, Jillian enjoys lifting weights and spending as much time as possible outdoors with her two rescue dogs.
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.