Meet the Asheville Team

Lynne Porter

Lynne Porter

Zaniac Asheville Campus Director & Co-Owner

“Zaniac has a business philosophy that could be my personal mission statement: ‘Let’s give kids the confidence to be curious again.’ I want to empower young children to strengthen their self-esteem and self-confidence through a world of science and discovery.”

Campus Director and Co-Owner Lynne Porter, graduated in business from Yorkshire Coast College in the UK. She has extensive experience in education, banking, and corporate finance. She is fluent in English and Spanish. She has 2 sons, one a senior at college and the other a freshman at college.

After experiencing three vastly different educational systems in three different countries, Lynne constantly heard comments like, “She's not great at English.” “He's more a math guy.” “John's the clumsy one.” Even worse, she heard comments from the kids themselves: “Oh! I'm more art than science.” Lynne thinks kids are labeled far too easily. Kids often internalize that label and become that label. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. A huge personal motivator for Lynne to bring a Zaniac Learning Center to the children of Asheville is to break down those labels and show kids they have the ability to achieve whatever they want. With constant support and empowerment, it is Lynne’s hope that all the children who come through the Zaniac Asheville campus door will leave with the tools they need to explore their future with confidence.

Prior to making Asheville their home 9 years ago, Lynne and her family lived in Barcelona, Spain. It was there Lynne identified a need for good quality English instruction for children, as this was missing in the school curriculum. Lynne went back to school and studied ESL (English as a Second language) with the University of Cambridge’s CELTA program. Once qualified, Lynne taught at an English Academy where she quickly gained a reputation for being an excellent teacher, with an innate ability to tap into each student’s unique personality to find out what motivates them.

Lynne started her own English Academy and Translation Services in Barcelona. Classes were always at maximum capacity with waiting lists for the after-school classes.

Lynne started out in banking as a Team Leader in a Credit Control department responsible for maintaining sub-prime mortgage books of third party lenders. She worked directly with clients through litigation, and spearheaded an overhaul of reporting methods to senior managers.

Lynne is married with two boys. She enjoys an athletic lifestyle with her family in the great outdoors and mountain fresh air of Asheville.


Denise Waycaster

Denise Waycaster

Campus Manager

I’m a native to Asheville, and I come to Zaniac after many years of experience in the retail management space. I believe children should always feel supported through positive reinforcement and feedback. Zaniac provides a challenging, safe environment for children to explore and spark a passion in STEAM that opens doors for their future. I am excited to be part of the Zaniac team and help lead a positive environment where children can learn, grow and experiment. Through STEAM skill development, Zaniac gives children a foundation to becoming confident, young adults. My hope is, that in turn, children at Zaniac will develop a passion for paying forward their experiences to help others. IA little bit about me: My grown daughter Kaylan lives in Pittsburgh, and I recently adopted a new pet, a dachshund named, Brulee. My favorite things include spending time with my family, reading, enjoying the beautiful WNC scenery, watching movies and listening to music. Random fact about me: My favorite food is watermelon.

Noemi Causseaux

Noemi Causseaux

Manager STEM Learning & Development

I've been living in the mountains of North Carolina for 13 years, moving here from Miami. I worked as an educator for more than two decades, and my passion is to create engaging learning environments for students through STEM education. I am excited to be a part of the Zaniac team to impact children's lives by creating engaging learning environments for students through STEM education. I have a particular interest in science and enjoy researching new experiments. My favorite STEM activities to lead include exploring liquid nitrogen and combining calcium chloride and sodium alginate to create polymer shapes. I was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, and I am fluent in Spanish. Lastly, I love playing basketball, singing and exploring the outdoors in my free time. Fun Fact: My son Max encouraged me to learn how to skateboard.

Dana Harris

Dana Harris

Zaniac Asheville Marketing & Co-Owner

“Zaniac provides me with the opportunity to combine two of my passions—providing children with educational opportunities and fostering community outreach through STEM awareness. I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of Zaniac Asheville and to tell everyone about this fun educational resource.”

Marketing Director and Co-Owner Dana Harris, studied accounting and financial management at the University of North Carolina, Asheville. Dana is a licensed real-estate broker, philanthropist, as well as an expert event planner and fundraiser. She is passionate about advocating for children and their education.

Dana is a real-estate investor and a member of The Women’s Society of The Mission Foundation, an organization that connects the caring community with opportunities to improve the lives of others through better health care.

Dana is a mom to three. Her daughter Avian attends Carolina Day School and her daughter Yasmine attends Valley Spring Middle School. Her son Kealey attends TC Roberson High School. Dana loves to travel and to be able to call the beautiful mountain-town of Asheville her lifelong hometown.


Dr. Stephen L. Page

Dr. Stephen L. Page

Zaniac Asheville Educational Advisor & Co-Owner

“As a superintendent of schools and as a principal, I’ve dedicated my career to educating and mentoring our youth. Zaniac offers an inspiring environment of school outside of school, where kids can develop a thirst for learning and discover how math and technology can be fun, shaping our future for generations.”

Educational Advisor and Co-Owner Dr. Stephen L. Page, has more than 35 years of experience in education as the former superintendent of Henderson County Public Schools and Associate Superintendent of Buncombe County schools. He is a former principal and school teacher. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences and a Master of Arts degree in American History from Western Carolina University, as well as a doctorate degree in education, specifically public school administration.

Stephen has earned numerous accolades, including Principal of the Year several times.

He served as a First Lieutenant and Combat Engineer Platoon Leader in the U.S. Army and earned a Bronze Star Medal.

He currently serves as the chairman on the administrative board of the Central United Methodist Church. Stephen has served as the Council President of the Boy Scouts of America Daniel Boone Council and on the Board of Directors for the United Way of Henderson County. Stephen is married with three children.

He loves to spend time with his family, especially his nine grandchildren. He also loves to golf and backpack.


Jack Henley

Jack Henley

Instructor

I currently attend AB Tech and plan on transferring to UNC-Asheville or Western Carolina University for engineering or chemistry. I’m passionate about math and I enjoy writing. I play violin, hike, camp and snowboard. I’m passionate about working at Zaniac because I want to make a difference in the lives of the kids I teach. Random Fact About Me: I’m originally from Louisiana.

Laney White

Laney White

Instructor

Hi, I’m Laney! I go to Nesbitt Discovery Academy and I’m very interested in biology and medicine. I love sewing, skiing, and playing basketball. I also enjoy playing oboe in symphony and saxophone in marching band. I wanted to join the Zaniac team because I am a former student and I loved it so much I just had to come back! A random fact about me is that I have two cats named Bellatrix and Malfoy.

Roman White

Roman White

Instructor

I go to Nesbitt Discovery Academy and study biology, college physics and AP computer science. One of my favorite things to do is make my brother laugh and inspire him. I enjoy teaching him new things that make him discover new mysteries about the universe. I can’t wait to learn how to inspire other younger students and fuel myself into becoming a stronger student. My favorite subject is chemistry! I like to play tennis, video games and soccer with friends. Random Fact About Me: My brother is more than 9 years younger than I am.

Wakefield Behrmann

Wakefield Behrmann

Instructor

I attend Nesbitt Discovery Academy and my favorite subjects are chemistry, English and art. My favorite activities are drawing, making puppets and studying game design. I love the hands-on learning and STEM curriculum at Zaniac. The variety of classes offered at Zaniac is amazing, making me want to learn as much as I can. Random Fact About Me: My favorite holiday is Halloween.

Quinn Graham

Quinn Graham

Instructor

My name is Quinn Graham and I attend the Nesbitt Discovery Academy. My favorite subjects are computer science and math. I enjoy playing around on the computer by going through the code of a game or creating something new in python. I love STEM because I enjoy creating something new or changing something that exists through the use of code. I like engineering and creating new computers. I also love figuring out math problems. STEM has changed my life because I try to solve any problem I’m faced with using math or computers. Random Fact: I really like penguins.

Adam Porter

Adam Porter

Instructor

Adam Porter is a senior at TC Roberson who plans to attend East Carolina University for nursing in the fall. Adam loves to travel and play most sports, including swimming, soccer and football. STEM is a crucial component for the jobs I'm interested in, so mastering STEM will greatly benefit my future. I love Zaniac because it runs in my family and I love interacting with people--especially kids. In the past, I've had some incredible teachers who really made me want to learn, so I try and bring that same energy to the classroom. Random fact about me: I was born in England, but American football is my favorite sport.

Andi Jones

Andi Jones

Instructor

My name is Andi Jones and I am a rising junior at Asheville High School. My favorite subjects are science, especially biology, math and art. I play basketball and volleyball for my high school team, but I also like to make crafts and play around with digital design. I went to Zaniac when I was younger and I have always thought of it as an exciting place to be. I'm really interested in getting to teach and learn from the kids. Random Fact About Me: I take classes at UNCA's STEAM Studio to learn about tools.

Avian Pertiller

Avian Pertiller

Instructor

I am a junior at Carolina Day School. I love singing, playing video games, photography and writing! I love STEM because it allows me to use my creativity to solve problems. I chose Zaniac because it gives me an opportunity to teach the subjects that I love and can't do at school. I would like to be someone who kids can rely on when they need it and to be a good role model for them. Random fact about me: I am currently learning Korean along with Spanish.

Azalea Jerez

Azalea Jerez

Instructor

I attend Nesbitt Discover Academy and my favorite subject is science, especially chemistry and biology. My favorite activities include video games like Minecraft, Celeste, Hollow Knight and Dungeons & Dragons. I love working at Zaniac because I can help people learn in fun and engaging ways! I also went to Zaniac when I was younger and I love it! Random Fact About Me: I have 100-percented (obtained all achievements) in the game Celeste and it only took 15,439 deaths.

Christi Whitworth

Christi Whitworth

Senior Instructor + Library Programs Manager

I’m Christi Whitworth and I graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a degree in Elementary and Early childhood curriculum and instruction. My favorite subject is astronomy and my favorite activity is mountain biking. I love STEM because it helps explain the world I live in! I hope to inspire children to try something different and share it with everyone they know. Random Factabout me: I don’t like bananas.

Eli Ingram

Eli Ingram

Instructor

I'm Eli Ingram, I go to TC Roberson and I'm in the 10th grade! My favorite subject in school is either math or science. Some of my favorite hobbies include playing soccer with my friends, playing video games, sleeping, and watching TV. I chose Zaniac because I think it is very cool, especially when I went to Zaniac as a kid, and took a course. It was super fun and I want to spread that enjoyment to other kids as they come into Zaniac. Random Fact About Me: I have a Welsh Terrier named Evie.

Emmie Berry

Emmie Berry

Instructor

My name is Emmie Berry and I’m a sophomore at TC Roberson. I will explore architecture and engineering when I go to college. I love math because I love solving with repeatable formulas and because math branches out into many different parts of study. Exciting learning experiences at Zaniac is part of my most vivid childhood memories. My favorite activities include marching band, drawing, painting, playing piano and drums. I also love hanging out with my cats and dogs and participating on my school’s track team. Random Fact About Me: I can slackline and was passionate about it for a long time!

Henry Shaw

Henry Shaw

Instructor

I graduated from TC Roberson High School. My favorite subject is science. I love hands-on activities where I get to hold what I'm working on. In my free time, I really enjoy tinkering with random objects in my garage. STEM subjects where I get to solve and work on a problem never fail to entertain me. Zaniac is a wonderful opportunity to help kids get a head start on their STEM knowledge. I love helping! A good foundation in STEM education can take you almost anywhere you want in life. Random Fact About Me: I volunteered at a train car museum helping rebuild the cars.

Jack Carver

Jack Carver

Instructor

I go to Christ School and my favorite subject is math. I enjoy baking, robotics, disc golf, fly fishing, and hiking. A random fact about me: I am learning to speak 5 different languages,: Italian, French, German Russian and Chinese.

Jeremy Bush

Jeremy Bush

Instructor

My name is Jeremy Bush and I attend IC Imagine. My favorite subject is math and I also enjoy mountain biking. Overall, I love anything that has to do with MATH! I decided to become a Zaniac Instructor because I used to go to Zaniac as a student and I totally enjoyed it. Random Fact About Me: I make art using math through the Desmos graphing calculator.

Lillian Bodenheimer

Lillian Bodenheimer

Instructor

I currently attend Catawba College and am majoring in environment and sustainability. I love everything that has to do with science! My favorite areas of study include biology and ecology, but I love it all, especially when I can run experiments of some sort. In my spare time I can be found making whatever random craft I'm currently obsessed with, listening to music, participating in some sort of silly shenanigan, playing outside, or catching frogs (I love amphibians!). I love science and working with kids! I am excited to share cool knowledge and participate in fun activities with the children! This is the type of place I would have loved when I was little. Random fact about me: Despite living in Asheville my whole life, I have never seen a bear in the wild. I think they are hiding from me.

Lisa Ferris

Lisa Ferris

Senior Instructor

My favorite subject is English and I have a secondary education and linguistics degree from State University of New York (SUNY) Oswego. My favorite activities include home redo projects, home decorating, movies and reading. I also love animals! STEM allows children to expand on hidden potential and introduces new opportunities for kids of all ages and skill levels. I enjoy the welcoming atmosphere that Zaniac offers, and I am glad to be a part of it. I'm happy to help keep kids on track with school and make a difference where I can. Random Fact About Me: I've moved seven times and I've lived in seven different states.

Maddie Crawford

Maddie Crawford

Instructor

I go to TC Roberson High School. I like to roller skate, play the viola and read. I love STEM because it has always been a part of my life, and it has benefited me in many ways by giving me new knowledge about the world. I went to Zaniac as a kid and I loved all the activities and mentor instructors and how much fun I had. I wanted to experience it again by being an instructor! I enjoy giving kids new knowledge about the world and helping them have fun while learning. Random fact about me: I love roller skating!

Maria Eduarda Silva

Maria Eduarda Silva

Instructor

I'm Maria and I'm double majoring in data science and international business at UNC Charlotte. My favorite subject is math. My favorite hobbies include volleyball, sewing, reading and rollerblading. I love helping kids develop their love for STEM and getting to teach them cool things about the world around them. Random Fact About Me: I love learning different words and phrases in new languages. If you speak a language that I don't know, I will try my hardest to learn at least a little bit of that language.

Nicolas Loftin

Nicolas Loftin

Instructor

Hi! I am Nicolas Loftin! I go to North Carolina State University, and I'm in the Science Technology Society. My favorite subjects include engineering, computer science, or sociology. I like to play card games, help at animal shelters, and I also love to draw. STEM is just the best part about any good school subject. STEM has visual, auditory or actual hands-on experience as learning tools. STEM and computer science have allowed me to think much more critically in life, helping to deepen my understanding of the world. I love teaching people things I'm passionate about. I also love seeing people approach the answer of a problem. I love seeing people get that aha moment all on their own. I just want to have at least one person learn something. I want to make learning just a little bit more fun for kids, and feel like I have accomplished something. Random Fact About Me: My favorite color is pink.

Oliver Porter

Oliver Porter

Instructor

Hi everyone, I'm Oli! I'm a Yorkshire lad who just graduated from Queens University of Charlotte with a major in Business Administration. My favorite subject is snack time or nap time, depending on how I'm feeling that day. I love to hike, workout, explore new places, do photography and cheer on my favorite sports teams, the Panthers and Chelsea FC! The reason why I love STEM is because of how impactful it is. STEM can help develop new electric cars, help businesses become more sustainable, and help find ways to protect the environment. I chose Zaniac because I want to teach kids STEM and hopefully inspire them to be in STEM one day in the future. FUN FACT: I was Homecoming King my senior year in college!

Paul Curran

Paul Curran

Instructor

I'm Paul Curran and I attend Nesbitt Discovery Academy. I'm focusing on coding and chemistry, but I I'm also learning Spanish and biology. My favorite subject is chemistry, because I love discovering how the world works, but I enjoy anything science related. I enjoy playing chess and other logic games. I run cross country and track, and even though it takes up a ton of my time, I really enjoy it. I also enjoy programming robots and just coding in general. STEM has made a huge difference in my life. I've always enjoyed science and math in school. When I was younger, I took a few camps here at Zaniac, which really sparked my interest in STEM. Later, I went to Nesbitt, which is a STEM-focused school and joined the robotics club where I learned how to program in Java and Python. It also sparked my love for chemistry and other sciences. STEM has been a part of my life basically forever. I want to spread the joy and love of science, technology, engineering, and math to the younger generation. The people before me sparked my interest in STEM, and I want to help spark that interest in kids as well. Random Facts About Me: I know about 50 digits of pi, and I can roll my eyes all the way up in my head!

Rylin Miller

Rylin Miller

Instructor

I'm a junior at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. My favorite subject is biology. I love STEM because it creates connections across different subjects! I chose Zaniac because it offers creative and engaging ways for kids to learn about STEM topics and I want to help children discover a passion for STEM. Random fact about me: I have a rabbit named Benjamin.

Shan Patel

Shan Patel

Instructor

Hi, my name is Shan Patel and I am a junior at TC Roberson. My favorite subject in school is science. For fun I like to play tennis, watch shows and bike. I like STEM because it combines all of the core learning subjects. I believe STEM is the future of the world as technology advances every day. I chose Zaniac because it gives me an opportunity to spread STEM-based learning to our local youth community. It's critical for kids to grow up learning STEM as it promotes a new way of thinking. I want kids to feel like they learned something new every time they walk out of Zaniac. Random Fact About Me: I have a sister

Zachary Price

Zachary Price

Instructor

I am currently a high school student attending Christ School. I plan on attending Carnegie Mellon and I want to pursue degrees in both business and engineering. My favorite subject has always been math because I enjoy solving puzzles. I love playing chess and hanging out with friends. I enjoy playing soccer and tennis and spending time outdoors by walking and biking. As a young kid I came to Zaniac and had some of the best summers of my life here. I wanted to work at Zaniac so I can help other kids have the same enjoyment I had as a kid. Random fact about me: I like tinkering with things and was able to put Tetris on my graphing calculator.

Roman White

Roman White

Instructor

I go to Nesbitt Discovery Academy and study biology, college physics and AP computer science. One of my favorite things to do is make my brother laugh and inspire him. I enjoy teaching him new things that make him discover new mysteries about the universe. I can’t wait to learn how to inspire other younger students and fuel myself into becoming a stronger student. My favorite subject is chemistry! I like to play tennis, video games and soccer with friends. Random Fact About Me: My brother is more than 9 years younger than I am.

Reed Bilbray

Reed Bilbray

Chief Executive Officer, Co-Owner

“I recently read, ‘when kids look up to great scientists the way they do to great musicians and actors, civilization will jump to the next level.’ I am passionate about connecting parents with Zaniac so they can enrich and influence their children’s lives by awakening their spark for science-based learning.”

Reed Bilbray has served as President since April 2017, having been asked by the Board of Directors to take the helm after his successful launch and growth of the Zaniac Asheville campus. Reed brings 29 years of corporate business experience, 22 years at the executive level in technology, education and publishing and 6 years leading the Zaniac Asheville campus. Reed has a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree in finance from Louisiana State University.

When Reed discovered Zaniac Learning, he immediately knew he wanted to open a Zaniac Learning Center for the greater Asheville community, where he has been a Co-Owner of the campus since December 2015. Reed and his wife Sandra were actively looking for a business to start and grow in Asheville, and Zaniac Learning met their desires to enrich children’s lives, offer valuable employment opportunities, and serve as a positive model for their young girls as they grow up. Reed is committed to the Zaniac being a fun, safe and inspiring learning environment for children.

Reed owns Accelerate Media Partners, LLC, an intellectual property business specializing in book product development, licensing, marketing, and distribution services to executives, authors and publishers. Previously, Reed was Executive Vice President and Publisher of SUCCESS Media (owner of the national newsstand magazine, SUCCESS), where he led the strategic marketing of the company’s intellectual property and product portfolio. Reed has led and directed the publishing, marketing and sale of more than 500 books, audios, videos and educational CD-ROMs. Along with Zaniac Founder Paul Zane Pilzer, Reed was co-founder and CEO of publicly traded Zane Publishing, an electronic K-12 educational publishing company..

Actively involved in the community, Reed is a member of South Asheville Rotary Club and serves as Vice President of Marketing for the Boy Scouts of America Daniel Boone Council and Committee Chair for Cub Scout Pack 72. He is a member and former Director and Vice President of the Carolinas Real Estate Investment Association.

Reed is married, has five children and lives in Asheville, NC. Alyssa, Ally and Haley are thriving young adults living in Texas. Sydney and Riley are busy being 9-year old twins. Reed loves the mountains, outdoor adventures and foodie culture of Asheville.


Sandra Bilbray

Sandra Bilbray

Marketing Director & Co-Owner

“Zaniac takes the natural curiosity of children and turns it into a world of discovery, play, and confidence-building. I love that Zaniac will shape the future of our youth. It’s exciting to know our own girls will grow-up with Zaniac and STEAM education as an integral part of their lives.”

Sandra Bilbray has served as Marketing Director since January 2017, having been asked by the Company to bring the successful marketing strategies and execution plans from her Zaniac Asheville and Zaniac Parkside campuses. Sandra is a Co-Owner of the Zaniac Asheville and Zaniac Parkside campuses.

Sandra is a nationally-published writer and a social media content expert. She worked as the columns editor for SUCCESS magazine, and some of her high-profile interviews include Good Morning America anchor, Robin Roberts, renowned personal development expert, the late Wayne Dyer, actor Gary Sinise and CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Sandra is currently a contributing writer to the national magazine, Live Happy where she has interviewed happiness expert and best-selling author Gretchen Rubin and Parenthood actress and celebrity Monica Potter. Sandra Bilbray has a BA in English Writing Arts from SUNY Oswego

Sandra owns The Media Concierge, a company dedicated to creating professional content for thought leaders, authors, and business executives.

Sandra is married to CEO Reed Bilbray, and together they have twin daughters, Sydney and Riley, and two dog named Biscuit and Oreo. Sandra loves running, planning fun things to do with her family, and traveling.


Noah Hall

Noah Hall

Chief Technology Officer

“Success in technology depends on the belief in your own ability. Zaniac provides children with the opportunity to integrate STEM learning into their childhood so technology becomes a natural part of their growing up experience.”

Noah Hall has served as Chief Technology Officer since May 2018. He leadership has been instrumental enhancing the Company’s Learning Management System and Operating System used by Franchisees.

Noah has deep experience in web design, coding and working in Python and Dijango, our two primary platform systems. He has worked with a number of startups, with a focus on the consumer experience side.

Noah lives in Asheville, NC with his wife and two young boys.


Paul Zane Pilzer

Paul Zane Pilzer

Founder

“Zaniac is the answer to the questions kids are always asking, “How does this work?” Life is a frustrating black box for many children today. They know how to use things—like making a letter appear on a monitor when they press a keyboard—but they have no idea why or how things work. This leads to frustration when things break and limits a child’s ability to feel in control of their life. Zaniac opens the black box on how things work for K-8 students, helping children bring knowledge, order and control to their lives—which kids crave.”

In 1975, at the University of Pennsylvania, 20-year-old graduate student Paul Zane Pilzer built one of the first interactive teaching machines on a mainframe computer. Paul had a vision that technology would one day make great education affordable for everyone, the same way movies made the work of great singers and actors affordable for everyone.

Paul Zane Pilzer founded the Zaniac in 2010 when he and his wife had their own children and they realized what was missing from K-8 education: A way to assess what math concepts a child knows, so an individual child can be taught based on what they don’t know—and not blindly by grade level. Paul developed a solution—Zane Math, Zaniac’s signature program. Zaniac then expanded into a full offering of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) programs for kids in grades K-8.

Paul Zane Pilzer is an American economist, New York Times best-selling author, and social entrepreneur. He has written 11 books and is the founder of six companies, and has been profiled in more than 100 publications including on the front page of The Wall Street Journal.

Paul graduated Lehigh University in three years and received his MBA from Wharton Business School in 15 months at age 22. He became Citibank’s youngest officer at age 22 and its youngest vice president at age 25. He was appointed a professor at New York University at age 24 where he taught for 21 years and was five times voted “best teacher.”

He served as an appointed economic advisor in two White House administrations and has been featured on the cover of more than 100 publications, including the front page of The Wall Street Journal. He has a particular fascination with educating students on both sides of the bell curve.

For more on Professor Pilzer, visit Wikipedia or paulzanepilzer.com.