About Us

About Crossword Hobbyist

Founded in 2013, Crossword Hobbyist started as a way to make in-browser newspaper-style crosswords. After a high demand for an automated crossword puzzle maker, Crossword Hobbyist expanded. Today, the puzzle makers allow visitors to create fully-customized puzzles that are especially popular with teachers and for special events.

Crossword Hobbyist is also home to thousands of free crossword puzzles made by teachers, kids, parents, hobbyists, and professional constructors. In 2015, the word search maker at My Word Search was created as the sister site to Crossword Hobbyist. In 2019, My Worksheet Maker joined our trio of sites.

Meet the Team

Jonah Phillips started Crossword Hobbyist in 2013 because someone told him not to start a website for teachers, and he doesn’t like being told what to do. He gave Crossword Hobbyist its sister sites, My Word Search, in 2015 and My Worksheet Maker, in 2019. Before starting Crossword Hobbyist, Jonah graduated with honors from the University of Chicago in 2008 with a degree in Economics and Public Policy, and worked for four years on analytics and operations at an online lender in Chicago. He currently lives with his wife in Brooklyn, New York.


about us crossword hobbyistNoah Mormino lives in Southern Louisiana with his wife and two children. He studied digital design at Southeastern Louisiana University before starting his career as a full-stack web developer. Since 2005, Noah has been building custom web applications and now gets to turn his attention to crafting educational tools for Crossword Hobbyist, My Word Search, and My Worksheet Maker.


Staff member pictureJen Nafziger is an internationally-minded writer and marketer, who splits time between the U.S. and Lisbon with her husband.  She has a Master’s degree in Divinity from the University of Chicago, a Bachelor’s in International Studies & Writing, and certificates in Integrated Marketing, Sports Nutrition, UI/UX Design, and Mandarin Chinese. Jen brings over 15 years of diverse marketing communication experience to the team.


Picture of BrettBrett Poole is a software developer with 12 years of experience building systems from the datacenter to the browser. Learning new skills evolved into a strong desire to use those skills to benefit others. Having risen the ranks and seen the growth of a small to enterprise business, he is proud to put this experience to good use in supporting and developing Jonah’s vision as a full stack developer.


Headshot of staff member Arianna Arianna Buckalew is an award winning customer service  professional who lives in the land of record-breaking heat, Arizona. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. She has spent most of her career helping students achieve their higher education goals through her financial aid expertise. In her spare time, Arianna enjoys exploring new places, trying different restaurants, anime and Harry Potter.


Sarah Gantert currently lives in Panajachel, Guatemala. She’s a life-long educator, having spent 9 years teaching in high schools in Pennsylvania. After leaving the classroom in 2017, she began her career as a customer success/education consultant working with educational technology companies in New York City. Sarah holds a BS in Secondary Education from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, an MS in Secondary Education from WIlkes University in Pennsylvania, and is currently pursuing an MA in International Relations from American University in Washington D.C..