Full-Year Program 2021 Cohort
PSL '21 Cohort
Jumana Abu-Hassan holds a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. She has worked across various industries including consulting, aerospace engineering, telecommunications, and education. Most recently, Jumana worked in the privately held venture capital fund, Dash Ventures, where she helped evaluate start-ups and managed existing investments. In parallel, Jumana also worked as a university and careers counselor at The Ahliyyah School for Girls and Bishops School for Boys, in Amman, Jordan, where she helped high school students apply to their dream universities.Outside of work, Jumana is an artist and a yogi.
Lily Ahn has taught ELA and ELL as lead teacher since 1996 at Prestige Institute, a premier test-prep academy headquartered in Palisades Park, NJ. Prior to joining Prestige, she served as an associate director in the Consumer Products Group of the Investment Banking Division at UBS Warburg. Lily holds an MBA from Georgetown University. Outside of work, Lily has served as simultaneous translator for the Board of Education in Wayne, NJ, and youth counselor and Bible study teacher at her local church.
Ashley Augustin has taught math, coached middle school robotics, and advised the yearbook club at The Spence School, an all-girls day school in New York City, since 2017. Prior to working at Spence, she was member of Uncommon Schools where she served as the computer science lead coordinator and 11th grade dean. Ashley has a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Dartmouth College and a Master of Science degree in secondary education from Johns Hopkins University. After earning her undergraduate degree, she served as a math teacher, an ACT and End of Course Assessment (ECA) coach, and a health and wellness instructor in Gary, IN as a Teach for America corps member.
Leigh Bulkeley has worked in education for 15 years, both domestically and internationally, as an ESL teacher, advisor, program manager, and assistant dean. She currently works at an international boarding school in Switzerland where she has been for the past three years. Leigh is looking forward to new challenges and furthering her education at the Klingenstein Center. During her free time, she enjoys exploring new places, swimming, live music, yoga, and spending time in nature.
Jen Chassin is an educational consultant, administrator, and teacher. She currently works with New York City Admissions Solutions, a boutique consulting practice, helping families to navigate the independent and public school admissions processes in NYC. She has held a variety of roles at Hannah Senesh Community Day School, a pluralistic Jewish school in Brooklyn, having served most recently as director of the humanities department and outplacement. She has also taught English at Hackley School, a private school in Tarrytown, NY. Jen received her master's degree in English and comparative literature from Columbia University and her bachelor's degree from Tufts University.
Brian Kaufman has served in education since 2010 in schools in New York and Boston, including with City Year, at charter schools, and the past six years in independent schools. He currently teaches 6th, 8th, and 11th grade History and Constructing America at Riverdale Country School in the Bronx, NY. He has coordinated curriculum for several history courses and one interdisciplinary course, and in 2018 served as founding Academic Director for Summer Study at Riverdale, a summer program that focused in its first year on building metacognitive skills in math and writing. His primary passions are for educational equity, anti-racism, and making schools more inclusive spaces. He has a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard in Comparative Religion and a Master of Arts in Teaching from the Relay Graduate School of Education..
Sodaksh Khullar is currently completing the MBA portion of the MA/MBA at Columbia Business School. He helped to start and manage Marshmallows Kindergarten Schools around the New Delhi Capital Region in India. He has also worked for ConsenSys in Delhi as a part of their educational initiatives program, and wrote a research paper on the public-private initiatives in the education sector for the Indian government think tank, Niti Aayog. He graduated in 2017 from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, majoring in public policy, finance and business economics. He was born and brought up in New Delhi and is fond of soccer, fitness and nutrition, and technology.
Tristan Kishonis has served as an English teacher, coach, and dorm parent since 2017 at Cushing Academy, a co-ed boarding school (grades 9-12) in Ashburnham, MA. Along with teaching English during the academic year, Tristan has also spent his summers as a math instructor for Cushing's summer session. Prior to working at Cushing, Tristan attended the University of Virginia, where he earned his B.A. in Cognitive Science, with a concentration in neuroscience, while also working in the Office of Undergraduate Admission and Office of Housing & Residence Life.
Brian Konzman is a Jesuit priest, living and working at the Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola in New York and is currently completing the MBA portion of the MA/MBA program at Columbia Business School. He has served in various capacities at Jesuit schools along the East Coast, including having taught at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C. He has a bachelor's in chemistry from the University of Scranton, a master's in philosophy from Fordham University, and a Master of Divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University. He enjoys coding, swimming, and conversation at the crossroads of theology and modern life.
Alice Laskin has taught French, served as the world languages department chair, advised, coached tennis, and led international trips since 2016 at Seattle Academy, a co-ed, grades 6-12 day school in Seattle, WA. Before joining Seattle Academy, Alice taught swimming and French at Ascend International School in Mumbai, India. She earned her master's degree in French literature from Middlebury College School in France in 2015 and her bachelor's degree French studies from Scripps College in 2010. Passionate about French literature, Alice has developed and presented on literacy practices in the world language classroom. Alice loves swimming, gardening, and the black Labrador she shares with her husband.
Sharon Migdal began her teaching career at Springfield Prep Charter School in Springfield, MA in 2017. During her three years, she taught kindergarten, second grade and was the founding middle school science teacher. She is passionate about teaching and using education as a tool for student empowerment. Sharon grew up (mostly) in Queens, NY and graduated from NYU with a bachelor's degree in secondary English education in 2017.
Mary-Patricia Moynihan, known to her students as "Profe," has taught Spanish at the Peabody School, a pre-K-8 day school in Charlottesville, VA, since 2012. She has also served as chair of the Professional Development Committee whose mission is dedicated to educating advanced learners. Prior to her time at Peabody, she taught Spanish for eight years at Chaminade High School in Mineola, New York. At Chaminade, she took on many roles, including division coordinator, coach and activity moderator in an all-boys Catholic school setting. Between these posts, Mary-Patricia joyfully spent a year traveling around the world, during which she visited all seven continents.
Megan Nuxoll taught English and served as the director of faculty recruitment and special assistant in the Head's Office at The Field School, a co-ed independent school serving grades 6-12 in Washington, D.C. She worked at Field for eight years prior to applying to the Klingenstein Center. Before that, Megan worked at her alma mater, Earlham College, supporting undergraduate students in the peace studies department. Megan and her husband Jacob, also an independent school teacher, are excited about a new adventure in New York with their fantastically large dog, Hank.
Since 2016, Kurt Prescott has served as a department chair and instructor of philosophy and religious studies at Phillips Academy, a co-ed boarding K-12 school in Andover, MA. He has also taught religious studies at Phillips Exeter Academy and the Northfield Mt. Hermon School. Before teaching, Kurt attended Dartmouth College, where he majored in anthropology and religion, and Harvard Divinity School, where he concentrated in comparative studies. Kurt is an avid cook, traveler, and track and field fan, and is very much looking forward to his time at the Klingenstein Center!
Oviya Saravanan was a 2015-17 Teach for India fellow and that's when her journey in the field of education started. Since then, she has worked in various areas of education, ranging from teaching, to teacher training, to content creation, and school leadership. She currently works as a school transformation lead at an Indian non-profit organization called Mantra4change. As a part of her role, she works with the faculty and leadership teams at two affordable private schools, and enables them to lead and drive whole-school transformation.
Caroline Savage has been an associate director of admission at The Masters School since 2019. TMS is a co-ed, day and boarding school, serving grades 5-12 in Dobbs Ferry, NY. Previously, Caroline served as an associate director of admission, coach, and dorm parent at Deerfield Academy, a 9-12, co-ed boarding school in Deerfield, MA, from 2011-2019. Caroline grew up in California and earned her bachelor's degree from Columbia University. She currently lives in southern Westchester with her husband and two sons. When she is not working and parenting, Caroline enjoys painting, traveling, and seeking out good food with great company.
Cansu Şenocak Hersch has taught mathematics since 2016 at Robert College, a co-ed, day and boarding, 9-12 school in Istanbul, Turkey. She has served as the ninth grade level leader and advisor on the boarding students council for two years. Cansu graduated from Boğaziçi University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics.
Matt Spotts taught history and religious studies from 2013-2016 at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, a co-ed, 9-12 school, in Indianapolis, IN, where he also served as a track coach, a debate coach, and an admissions committee member. A member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), a Catholic religious order, Matt also worked at the Catholic chaplaincy at San Quentin State Prison for three years and as an associate pastor in Wilmette, IL. In July of 2021, Matt will begin his new role as President of Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, NE. Matt graduated from Fordham University and holds a Master of Arts degree in History from Saint Louis University and a Master of Divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, CA.
Ronald J. Taylor has taught world, American, and Africana history in public, charter and independent schools in New York City since 2014. He currently teaches middle division history and serves as the co-faculty program lead for the STEPS program at the Horace Mann School, a co-ed, N-12, day, independent school, located in the Bronx. As co-faculty program lead, he is responsible for building efficient mentoring programming to support students of color enrolled in the STEPS program to ensure that they thrive during their middle school and upper school experience. In addition to this work, Ronald has been commissioned by the school to develop and implement an N-12 wrap-around service model to support students with financial need. Ronald holds both a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science & Policy and a Master of Science in Social Studies Education from Syracuse University, where he studied education and the intersection of black male achievement under the guidance of asset-based mentoring programs.
Sharena Taylor, a Michigan native, has worked in education for the last seven years. Her journey began as a Bay Area Teach For America corps member. After teaching English for four years, she continued her commitment to education by addressing its challenges at a systems level. Sharena has worked in the non-profit sector tackling college access, readiness, and success for underserved youth. She has also supported students who attended schools in underperforming districts and sat at a competitive disadvantage to their peers. Most recently, she served as a public policy fellow with Leadership for Educational Equity conducting education policy work in Jersey City, NJ. In addition to her passion for educational equity, Sharena also has a love for basketball. She played Division I collegiate basketball for Georgia Tech (2009-2013), where she received her Bachelor of Science in Science, Technology, and Culture. She later went on to play professionally in France before deciding to settle in New York City, which has been her home for the last two years.
Leah Tong has served as founder and director of Bunny Hill Preschool since 2014. She has rich background in early childhood education and is fiercely dedicated to the success of every student. As a passionate and caring teacher, she focuses on providing the best curriculum that fit all children's development physically, artistically, and academically. She is a NYS certified teacher and special education teacher, as well as a certified Professional in Human Resources® (PHR®) from the HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®). She also holds master's degrees in early childhood education and special education, a master's degree in Human Resources, and a bachelor's degree in economics and English literature. Before opening her own school, she worked at various preschools, public schools, and law firms. Her international background from China and South Korea made her believe in bilingualism and equipped her to help young children thrive and achieve global success.
Haley Vander Linden is currently attending Columbia Business School to complete the MBA portion of the MA/MBA. Prior to beginning the program last fall, she served as dean of scholars since 2018 at Uplift Williams Preparatory, a co-ed, day school in Dallas, TX. She began her career in education as a Teach For America corps member. She started at Williams, her placement school, in 2015 as a middle school mathematics teacher. Haley is a graduate of Texas Christian University, where she earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing.
Najee Warner is a Teach for America alumna who has been involved with the organization since 2016. Najee has taught ninth grade for three years at Democracy Prep Charter School and one year at a founding charter school, Comp Sci High in New York City. Najee earned his bachelor's degree in political science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Najee was born and raised in New York City and enjoys bike riding, politics, and writing.
Arnelle Williams taught eighth grade English and dance, and served as a 2017 Teach for America Corps member, and youth mentor at W.A. Higgins Middle School, a co-ed 7-8th grade public school in Clarksdale, MS for three years. While teaching, Arnelle created a blog titled, Her Diaries, for middle school girls to articulate their experiences about growing up in the Mississippi Delta. Arnelle worked to raise over $3,000 to sponsor three participants from Her Diaries to attend the 2019 Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. In addition to teaching and mentoring, Arnelle loves to volunteer, read, and empower youth. Arnelle earned her bachelor's degree in anthropology with honors from Wesleyan University in 2017.
Amy Wilson is currently completing the MBA portion of the MA/MBA dual-degree program at Columbia Business School. Before beginning the program last fall, Amy taught at various grade levels for six years. While at Sewickley Academy, a co-ed preK-12 day school outside of Pittsburgh, Amy taught kindergarten, second grade, and fifth grade. Prior to entering the independent school world, she taught for three years at Brooke Charter Schools in Boston, MA. There she taught fourth grade, sixth grade math, and eighth grade language arts and social studies. Amy earned her Bachelor of Arts in History and Musical Theatre from American University in 2013. Amy is also an alumna of the Klingenstein Summer Institute 2018.
Aaliyah Zeng has been a collaborative teacher at TriBeCa Community School, a private preschool in New York City, for the past year. She has worked at a diverse range of schools and welfare institutes in China and in the U.S. She is passionate about inclusive education, and her experiences reflect her commitment to bringing diversity and inclusion to more schools. She holds master's degrees in early childhood education and early childhood special education from New York University.