About Us > Staff

Our Staff


The Rev. Jeff Barz-Snell is the thirty-first minister of the First Church in Salem and was ordained here in December of 1998.  His responsibilities include planning our weekly religious services, pastoral counseling, outreach and managing the staff and programs for our growing congregation.  Jeff works to develop ongoing programming including children's religious education, adult discussion groups, lectures and social functions like our Pancake Breakfasts and Family Fun Nights.  While he always finds enough to keep himself busy, he makes it a priority to be available for conversation and discussion about the various faith issues and/or challenges that inevitably arise in one's life.  
Paul Madore is in his 31st year as Director of Music and organist at the First Church in Salem. He is founder and continuing director of the Paul Madore Chorale, has performed throughout the Boston and North Shore areas as solo pianist and organist, with various chamber groups and orchestras, and as accompanist to well-known singers and instrumentalists. He has given concerts in several of the major French cathedrals, including Bayeux and Chartres. A man with several professions, he is retired from Salem State College where he was a professor of French for many years, and he has worked in choral conducting under such well-known conductors as the late C. Alexander Peloquin, the late Robert Shaw and Lorna Cooke DeVaron. He maintains a vocal coaching studio in Salem for professional singers.  
Deborah DiGiulio has served as the RE Director at the First Church since 2006. She grew up in Salem and studied at the Art Institute of Boston, North Shore Community College and Salem State College. She has completed Renaissance Modules on both the History and Philosophy of Unitarian Universalist Religious Education, and is certified in Spirit Play. She lives in Salem with her husband, their two teenage children, and two pugs.   (coming soon)
Catherine Bertrand, church administrator, was born and raised in Lynn, MA and has lived in Salem for the last 10 years. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Theatre Arts from Salem State University and is an award winning stage director whose work has been seen in Boston and on the North Shore. Catherine was the previous Artistic Director and President of the Salem Theatre Company and is a current director with the company. She has also been honored by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and is a member of the Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab. Credits and passion for the theatre aside, she loves living and working in Salem. She and her partner, Caroline, also a theatre lover and actress, have a home here and had a son, Gavin, this past fall.
 
Kris (Kobi) Kobialka, First Church archivist, was born in Salem but grew up partly in Chicago. Upon her family’s return to New England she attended Governor’s Academy in Boxford, MA. She received her BA from Boston University and a Master’s degree in Library Science from Simmons College. In addition to having served as archivist of the First Church since 1999, she is also the archivist for the Boston Architectural Center and is a consultant for the Beverly Archives Project. She has been a certified archivist since 2004 and is a member of the Society of American Archivists and New England Archivists. She lives in Beverly, MA with her longtime boyfriend and spends much of her time as a singer, bass guitarist, and violinist.


Kerry Martin, Director and Lead teacher of the Henny Penny Nursery School, worked for over a decade as an elementary teacher in Danvers, Massachusetts. Prior to that, she spent several years teaching in the inner city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Kerry holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Westfield State College and a Master’s in Education from Cambridge College. As a Fulbright Scholar, she studied abroad in Spain and Japan. She is currently serving her third year on the School Committee for Salem Public Schools. Kerry lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband Brad and their four boys, Alex, Sam, Calvin and William.
Barbara B. Hermann, teacher at Henny Penny Nursery School, grew up in Reading, MA and studied Early Childhood Education at Fisher College and Salem State College. She was a professional singer with the “Sweetest Sounds” dinner theater group in Framingham, and was also in many community theater productions in the North Shore. But Barbara’s passion has always been working with children and she is proud of her work at Henny Penny Nursery School for the past 23 years. She lives in Lynn with her husband Paul, and has two children, Kenneth and Kimberly, ages 29 and 27.