Christine Tridente Fahey (CEO and Owner) knew she had a “language thing” when she started correcting the grammar on the backs of cereal boxes and needed to bring a laundry basket to the library every week to get all the books home. This love of language led to two degrees in Applied Linguistics, including a Master’s from Boston University, and 17 years and counting in the educational publishing industry. At home, she specializes in answering questions like, “Mommy, why does non-fiction mean ‘true’ when non- means ‘not’?” and “Can we just tell whoever invented the apostrophe that it looks too much like a comma?” and “Who do you think would win in a duel: Rapunzel or Yoda?” (Answers may vary.)
Jennifer Strazdins (COO) has fond childhood memories of gathering her dolls around a table, not to drink invisible tea, but to complete the math worksheets she authored. Jennifer studied Mathematics at the College of the Holy Cross, where she completed the Teacher Education Program (TEP). She has spent over 15 years developing mathematics content for education. Jennifer strives to provide learners with the tools to go from “I can’t do math!” to “I can — and I did!”
Lance Deschenes (Senior Project Director, ELA) has a background in early childhood education and cognitive psychology. For twenty-plus years he exercised his creativity and honed management skills as a pastry chef in Boston, Chicago, and New York. Back in the field of education, he wants to share his passion for literature and reading with young people and create learning materials that are good food for children’s brains.
Katherine Follett (Project Director, Science and ELA) grew up in a small town in Vermont, where she cultivated loves for both reading and the outdoors. She studied English at Amherst College and received her MFA in Fiction at Emerson College. She has been writing and editing educational materials since 2002, applying her experience as an amateur naturalist into science and science-focused ELA materials. She spends her time off traveling to wildernesses around the world.
Christina Fernandez (Project Director, Math) decided to take math seriously in kindergarten, when her father encouraged her to persist with her math homework because the greatest minds in history were mathematicians. Indeed, Christina discovered that “thinking mathematically” is ideal training for cultivating a nimble and precise mind. As a career mathematician, Christina’s passion is to help little minds develop reasoning and problem solving skills, with the ultimate goal being that children will learn how to learn. In her personal life, Christina uses her mind to study equally expansive subjects such as music, philosophy, and religion.
Jessica Laroche (Project Director, ELA) discovered her passion for writing at the age of 9 when she wrote her first ghost story. After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with an English degree, she used that passion to homeschool her two children through to college, creating dynamic yearly curricula, planning adventurous field trips, and volunteering to help develop and support the rapidly-growing local homeschooling community. When her children graduated, Jessica turned her attention to a broader audience, writing and editing original passages and educational materials for a number of publishers to help children become better readers and writers. In her spare time, Jessica writes YA fiction, most recently a hair-raising tale that involves a haunted piano, a cursed ring, and a pirate’s revenge.
Stephanie Rogalin (Co-Founder, Retired) started with her science cart as Ms. Wizard in a Florida elementary school. Her passion for science and technology led her into educational publishing and software to make better learning experiences for kids and their teachers. In addition to her classroom experience, she was VP and Publisher of Math and Science at Prentice Hall and later Publisher at educational software maker Davidson/LearningWays.
Sandy Bodmer-Turner (Co-Founder, Retired) began teaching preschool, found it way too challenging, and went on to work in marketing and business development for venture-backed startups for all of her business career. She holds graduate degrees from Harvard’s Design School and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. She is thrilled to be back in education at such a pivotal moment, when change can bring so much good to so many children.