STARBASE Indiana-Gary

OPENED MAY 2018. Contact about scheduling your class for STARBASE sessions today!




Summer Camp

STARBASE Indiana - Gary Staff

Academy Director



Office Manager

Ava Marshall-Ligon

Angela Grayson

Jackie Lubensky

Holly Pitchford


Ava R. Marshall-Ligon -"Barika"- Academy Director

Ava R. Marshall-Ligon is originally from Chicago, Illinois but has lived in

Gary , Indiana for many years. Her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education/Consumer and Family Sciences is from Purdue University,

her graduate degree in Elementary Education is from Indiana University, K-12 Counseling License was obtained from Purdue University Calumet and her K-12 School

Administration License is from Indiana University Northwest. Mrs. Ligon is a retired teacher, counselor and principal from Gary Community School Corporation. She became very interested in STARBASE and the possibility of how students in her community and neighboring communities could be positively impacted by the hands-on, enriching activities that STARBASE offers students. Thus, her desire to see children learn and grow in STEM prompted her desire to be a part of STARBASE’s rich STEM experience for students. Ava is married to Colonel (RET) Richard Ligon. Together they have three sons and many grandchildren. They breed and raise Akita’s, presently they have Mercy, a white female Akita. She also loves gardening, growing orchids indoors, horses, cooking, listening to gospel music and decorating. She also loves traveling and has traveled to many countries as well as to many states in the US.


Holly Pitchford -“Boilermaker”- Teacher

Holly “Boilermaker” Pitchford was born and raised in Kokomo, Indiana and then moved to West Lafayette, Indiana to pursue her education.  She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education.  Holly spent 5 years teaching Kindergarten in Lafayette, Indiana before moving to Northwest Indiana where she then taught 3 more years of Kindergarten in East Chicago.  Holly has a husband and two fur babies, a Husky names Lilo and a cat named Stitch.  Her favorite sport/hobby is bowling.  She has won multiple Bowler of the Year awards, high average awards, tournament and league titles.  While living in Lafayette, Holly coached the Lafayette Jefferson High School girls bowling team to a state championship in 2014 which was the first for the program.  Holly’s overall mission in life is to be a positive role model to all people and push everyone to dream big, reach for the stars, and become the best version on themselves they can be.


Angela Grayson - “Black Swan”- Teacher

Angela Grayson grew up in Gary, IN and graduated high school from the original Emerson School for the Visual & Performing Arts.  She graduated college from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.  After over twenty years in education, one of her greatest accomplishments is seeing former students graduate and come back to visit her discussing their successes.   She has taught all grades including college courses.  As middle school administrator she worked very hard implementing STEM programs in her former school.  She even taught science to assist the STEM implementation process.  Angela is married to an Indiana State Trooper and has three sons.  Angela's role as sports mom, has helped her boys achieve high academic honors and athletic scholarships.  Her overall mission in life is to assist others in living life to the fullest.


Jackie Lubensky -“Blossom”- Office Manager

Jackie Lubensky grew up in Midwest Indiana. She moved to South Bend in her junior year of high school, graduating from Penn High School. She grew up in a household that encouraged Mathematics and Science. Her father and brother are engineers. Having an aptitude for the arts, drawing and painting, she went off to college in Indianapolis. She graduated from Herron School of Art and Design at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis with a degree in Visual Communication and a Minor in Art History. She worked as a professional custom picture framer for fourteen years, traveling and teaching in the northern region of Illinois and Indiana. STARBASE is a perfect home for her, being surrounded by STEM interests and energetic children. She enjoys engaging her creative side with some STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) activities. She has two nieces she loves spoiling rotten. Her two passions are gourmet cooking and mid-century design and her latest adventure— mastering the ukulele.


Have any questions? Email any of our locations for details:

Fort Wayne  (260) 478-3712

Indianapolis (317) 247-3502

South Bend (317) 247-3300 ext. 88834

Gary (317) 247-3300 ext. 85341


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