Keli Bryan co-founded ZigZag in 2015. Her dream and mission has been to create a space for children to thrive, to be themselves, to discover and pursue what inspires them and gives them fulfillment. She loves playing with kids and learning more about everything they are into. She loves being a resource for kids and teens as they pursue their own goals.
Keli's professional background includes work as an elementary Art teacher, and later as a high school Biology, Art, and English teacher. She has been a consultant to school districts in NJ to implement service-learning and social-emotional learning programs. She has worked as a school psychology researcher, and taught intro level statistics and psychology classes at Rutgers University. She has also been a parenting coach and workshop facilitator for topics such as compassionate communication with children, play-based learning, peaceful parenting, self-directed education, and power-with relationships.
Keli has a Masters in Education and a Masters in Clinical/Community Psychology. Since moving to Asheville 9 years ago, she co-founded Asheville Adventure Play, a group that offers free child-led play events to the community, and then ZigZag ALC. More recently, she completed a coding bootcamp and has been teaching kids and teens to code online and at ZigZag.
Hany Nagib co-founded ZigZag in 2015. He's big on power-with liberation, a practice centered around the simple idea that everyone's needs truly matter. He's in the business of creating a New Culture wherever he goes, to replace the current dominance/power-over culture we live in. He is a facilitator of all things that help people connect more deeply to this work, and to each other - from working with kids, to coaching parents, to mediating conflicts, and leading workshops.
Hany has a passion for kids of all ages, and loves spending time playing, sharing curiosities, and facilitating experiences. Inspired by his own kids, he co-started ZigZag based on principles of kindness, respect for children's autonomy, and the joy of gentle non-coercive guidance.
Hany is trained in Agile Learning, Non-Violent Communication, facilitation, and community mediation. He previously taught high school classes in Racial Justice, Compassionate Communication, and Debate. He holds a Masters in Computer Science, and had a prior life as a Director and IT Executive at AT&T, Lucent Technologies, and Merck.
Chelsey Jones has a passion for seeing children live and grow freely. It’s important for her that every child sees their value and importance in the world. She loves meeting kids where they are, and helping them get where they want to be.
She likes nature, family adventures, yoga, tea, coffee, eating to nourish, cyclical living, making simple things into sacred ritual, finding the magic, the sun, the ocean, house plants, baths, meditation, hiking, painting, and seeing people find their joy.
Chelsey has worked with kids for over 15 years in various capacities, including babysitting, nannying, and teaching. She co-founded an Agile Learning Community in Georgia, and found this model to be the perfect fit for her and her family in liberating children. She found ZigZag when she moved to Asheville, and feels totally at home facilitating there.
Matthew Colombo came to ZigZag in 2022 after a year of zigzaging through the American Southwest and the inner landscapes of Soul Canyon. A friend recommended he come to ZigZag, and he never left! Matthew shared his skills of basket weaving, friction fire making, drumming, improvisational singing, and animal processing/hide tanning. He continued to show up because he wanted to and because people kept asking, "will you be here next week?"
He holds and navigates space for kids to explore their own paths and directions, not pretending that he knows how it is done. At ZigZag he continues to be more himself, so as to invite others into their genuine greatness, and everything else that they are. ZigZag is one of the places that he can do his work in the world and the world can do its work on him.
Matthew enjoys singing and making music, growing/preparing food, writing, practicing acrobatics and improvising life. He has had former lives dwelling in a wigwam for one year, as a Scientist and Organizational Development Specialist at the Environmental Protection Agency, and a University researcher studying mercury pollution.
Anna Pleskow is an artist, facilitator, and mediator, Through work and solo travel, she has experienced and admired many different ways of living. Working at an ALC in New Orleans was life changing for her. As a young kid, Anna had trouble focusing in school, but could spend hours and hours being creative in her free time. Being part of an ALC was the first time she found a space where young people's interests were put first and celebrated.
Anna loves supporting young people by following their lead and noticing what uniquely sparks their curiosity and excitement.
Ken Vallario comes to ZigZag by way of many years at a summer camp where he runs an arts and crafts program. There, he discovered the profound power of childhood freedom in a beautiful natural environment. Alongside the arts and crafts, he organizes large events, and runs a popular philosophy program where kids explore mysteries together.
Ken has also been a professional artist for many years. He enjoy writing, jiu jitsu, and making circular Peace gardens. He's interested in technology, games, and culture.
Scott Voloshin is very excited to begin his adventures as a facilitator with ZigZag. While he has always been an advocate for the autonomy of children and their boundless imagination, he has yet to work together with children in an agile learning environment. He is eager to learn more.
Last year, he served as a substitute teacher for Lucy S. Herring Elementary school and Hanger Hall middle school for girls.
Before that, he was an ESL tutor for 4 years. He is actively involved in theater in Asheville and enjoys playing music. He is also a soccer coach with ABYSA this year. He holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Copenhagen.