Kathy M. Michaels, Executive Director and Co-Founder
Ms. Michaels holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Science Education from Buffalo State College. She retired from teaching in 2005 after 37 years at Maryvale Union Free School District in Cheektowaga where she was also planetarium director. Her passion for science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) subjects led her to bring the Challenger Learning Center to Lockport where she continues to share her love of learning with students of all ages.
Paul J. Krupinski, Planetarium Director/Astronomer and Co-Founder
"Mr. K," as he is known to his students, has been hooked on astronomy since his first planetarium experience in 8th grade at the Maryvale Junior High School Planetarium in Cheektowaga, NY. He holds a Bachelors degree in Geoscience with a minor in Astronomy and a Masters in Earth Science Education with a concentration in planetarium program development.
Michael Schian, Assistant Director
Mission Commander, Planetarium Presenter, after school program Coordinator and Instructor
Michael is a physicist and astronomer, with experience in teaching and science communication. His research has focused on stellar evolution and star clusters. Michael has designed and designed and led a variety of unique educational programs for the CLC including camp activities and custom planetarium presentations.
Krissy Reetz, Mission Commander, Planetarium Presenter, after school program coordinator and Instructor
Krissy is a physicist and astronomer, with experience in teaching and science communication. She was perviously a telescope operator at Kitt Peak National Observatory. At the CLC, she designs and runs a variety of educational programs including Space Missions, camps, and custom planetarium presentations.
Andrew Spragge, Mission Commander
Andrew has worked as a corporate trainer for over 14 years, and taught 6th, 7th and 8th grade Math and Science. He is currently 1/2 of Defiant Monkey Improv, spending his time as a teaching artist and facilitating professional development for companies all across Western New York (including the Challenger Learning Center!)
Jeff Welton, Instructor for LEGO Robotics, and Mission Commander
Jocelyn Welton, Mission Commander
David Chatt, Mission Commander