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Rockbridge Academy Board of Directors

The School Board of Rockbridge Academy is entrusted with the protection and preservation of the mission, vision, and values of Rockbridge Academy. Specifically, the School Board serves the school by setting policies that define and maintain the mission and goals of the school. The School Board examines the school’s goals, policies, programs, and curriculum in light of biblical principles and those of classical education. As a corporate body, an individual board member has no authority over the school in any capacity.

AM indicates appointed member, EM indicates elected member.

Meet Our Board Members

Chairman of the Board

Ken Trovato (AM)

Ken Trovato is a consultant for the security industry and one of the founding members of Christ Reformed Evangelical Church of Annapolis where he has served as an elder since 2002. Ken and his wife, Jana, were married in 1985 and have five children, who have graduated from Rockbridge Academy (Horace, class of 2007; Kristen, class of 2009; Kelly, class of 2009; Karoline, class of 2018; and Katie, class of 2021). Ken and Jana have been a part of the Rockbridge community since 1997, and Ken has served on the board since that time. Ken now has the joy of being a grandfather, and, since his early days at Rockbridge Academy, he has been invested in providing a Christ-centered education that aims to give the tools for learning and a love for learning not only for his children, but for his children’s children and generations to come.

Ken's email address is

Vice Chairman

Stephen Kaiss (AM)

Stephen Kaiss has been employed with Metro Maryland Youth for Christ for over 25 years where his mission is to reach non-Christian, non-churched young people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. His job involves directly evangelizing and discipling teenagers, as well as training and equipping adults to fulfill the great commission. Stephen received a Bachelor of Science degree from Towson University and holds a master's degree in Human Resource Development from the same institution. Stephen is a founding member and elder at Day Spring Presbyterian Church, a new PCA church plant in the Linthicum area. His wife, Melanie, currently serves administratively and teaches physical education to grammar and upper school students at Rockbridge Academy. They have three sons, Elijah, Caleb, and Noah, and one daughter, Hannah. The oldest three have graduated from Rockbridge Academy, while Hannah currently attends. The Kaiss family feels blessed to be a part of the Rockbridge community and is committed to continue partnering with the staff, board, and families to further its mission of providing an excellent classical and Christ-centered education, to the glory and honor of our Lord Jesus Christ and the furtherance of his kingdom.

Stephen's email address is


Luke McDowell (EM to 2023)

Luke McDowell is married to Sophie, and they currently have two children at Rockbridge Academy: Noelle (12th grade) and Amelia (7th grade). Their oldest son, Ryan, graduated from Rockbridge in 2020. Luke first learned about classical Christian education in 2007, which quickly prompted them to switch Ryan to Rockbridge for first grade. Since then, all the McDowell children have started at Rockbridge as early as possible. Luke is especially thankful for how their education has integrated Christ into all subjects, provided robust academic rigor and preparation for the future, and done so in a way that inspired many dinner-time discussions related to all that they were learning. Luke is a member of Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Annapolis, where he is involved with the high school ministry and with hosting and teaching a weekly small group Bible study for families. Luke is a professor of computer science at the U.S. Naval Academy. He has taught there for 15 years and served for the last four years as the associate chair of the department; he hopes that this education experience might be useful background for serving on the Rockbridge board. Luke holds a BSE degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University and a Ph.D. degree in computer science from the University of Washington.

Luke's email address is

Heidi Stevens (EM to 2024)

Heidi has been involved in Rockbridge Academy since its inception when she and her husband, Rick, were members of the founding board of directors. Besides teaching at the school for twenty years, Heidi has been privileged to see her two daughters (Ellie, class of 2009, and Madeleine, class of 2013) benefit from K-12 education at Rockbridge Academy.

A native of Michigan, Heidi studied at Concordia University Ann Arbor and later earned a graduate certificate in theology from Covenant Seminary in St. Louis. She is a member of Annapolis Evangelical Presbyterian Church where she has previously been involved in leading bible study and teaching ESL. A painter by avocation, Heidi has a particular love for helping believers explore and enjoy the bounty of both Creation and creative culture; she currently serves on the board of the Eliot Society, a local organization dedicated to enriching the church and fostering spiritual formation through the arts. 

Heidi and Rick live on a small farm in Crownsville with a little flock of sheep, a few noisy chickens, and a rambunctious puppy. Besides painting, Heidi loves reading, travel, and good conversation.

Heidi's email address is


Matt Ball

Matt Ball is a member of Christ Reformed Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Laurel, Maryland, where he has been the music director for 18 years. Matt lives in Crownsville with his wife of 21 years, Mandy (Upper School Principal at Rockbridge), and his children: Hannah (class of 2016), Elizabeth (class of 2019), Leah (class of 2021), and Andrew (10th grade). Matt was a small business owner for several years before joining Skyline Technology Solutions as director of IT services in 2014. He holds a BM in music performance from Louisiana State University and a MS in information and telecommunications systems for business from the Johns Hopkins University. He served as the Rockbridge Academy varsity boys' basketball coach for seven years before being named vice-chair of the Capital Campaign Committee in 2016. He has enjoyed watching his children grow and mature through all three stages of the trivium and is committed to supporting classical Christian education and serving the students, parents, administration, and faculty of Rockbridge Academy.

Ted Atsinger (AM)


Ted's email address is

Stan Smith (AM)

First and foremost, Stan is a disciple and lover of Christ, husband of Johanna, and father of Rockbridge Academy students, Thomas (7th grade) and Emma (6th grade). Over the years, Stan has served as a board member for several Christian organizations, including 10 years as an elder at his previous church in Los Angeles. Professionally, Stan has spent the last 10 years working for an early stage media, communications, and technology venture capital firm where he has served as the lead investor and board member for a number of technology start-ups. Prior to his work in venture capital, he spent 15 years working in various corporate development, strategic planning, and investment banking roles for companies located in Los Angeles and New York. Stan is a firm believer and passionate advocate for the classical Christian approach to education and welcomes the opportunity to help Rockbridge Academy assist parents equip their children with the requisite framework and tools to be divinely deployed as “thinking Christians” into a world desperately in need of “salt and light.” Stan graduated from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor of Arts.

Stan's email address is

Cliff Hull (AM - Sabbatical)

Cliff is a member of Christ Reformed Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Laurel, Maryland, where he has been a ruling elder for over 25 years and the clerk of session for over 20 years. He enjoys teaching a variety of adult and teen Sunday school classes, especially in the areas of apologetics, calling, and vocation. Cliff came to personal faith in Christ through the witness of a high school friend in July of 1973. He has a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of South Carolina. He worked as a research chemist for W.R. Grace & Company in Columbia, Maryland, from 1987-1998. He then joined the Department of Defense where he now works in the Research Directorate in a variety of areas including fuel cells and advanced batteries. Cliff has been married to Joan since 1992. They have had the benefit of a Rockbridge education since 2000 for two daughters, Alexa and Rachel.