Patti Marin, M.S.Ed., has been working in education for over 20 years. Her work as a classroom teacher focused on early childhood/elementary students from the age of 2 up to 5th grade. Working in an independent school setting Patti supported a variety of students with a range of learning styles. The small class size and integrated approach to learning allowed her to hone in on the specific needs of her students. She has worked alongside learning specialists, behavioral therapists, and neuropsychologists to implement in-school strategies to help students progress along the learning continuum. Working in collaboration with students, families, therapists, and administration Patti is experienced in modifying curriculum and adapting goals to ensure the growth of all students. She has also worked as a math coach for teachers pre-k to 5th grade to support differentiated instruction and the development of teachers and their practice. Patti has also provided in-home Executive Functioning services for families and children. This work has included structuring daily routines, modeling language and building positive sibling relationships. Currently, Patti is a Coach Manager and Senior Internal Curriculum Specialist at Educate. Patti’s passion for teaching and learning alongside others has driven her to seek out ways to connect with stakeholders in many different facets of education. She feels strongly about bridging communication between everyone involved in bettering the experience of all students so they too can lean on their strengths and find their passions in life.
Elaine Avinoam has worked as an educator for over thirty years in public schools, universities and museums on three continents. Certified in both social studies and art, Elaine spent the past thirteen years teaching social studies and digital art in Hastings on Hudson, New York. Prior to that she was a founding teacher at the High School of Contemporary Arts in the Evander Childs complex in the Bronx, where she taught for three years. Her work in both schools focused on the use of digital media in the classroom to catalyze literacy and content comprehension. Elaine has also been engaged in professional development for many years. She has coached teachers and led numerous K12 workshops in the USA, Brazil and Europe. Originally trained as an art historian, Elaine’s US experience also includes work as a museum professional at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Elaine lived abroad for fifteen years, during which time she held the position of Cultural Programmer at the Carl Schuz Haus Deutsch Americanisches Institut in Freiburg, Germany, taught at universities and published, and even worked as an architectural historian in Sao Paulo State, Brazil.
Elaine also enjoys writing and occasionally publishes an article or presents at a conference about art, history, or both. A strong believer in experiential learning, Elaine has also written site-specific curriculum and led countless field trips and tours to museums and historical sites in the USA and Europe. In her spare time she can often be found in NY museums talking about art to small groups or cooking for family and friends. She is a proud graduate of Oberlin College and the Courtauld Institute of the University of London.
She loves children, art, history, music, New York City and a good laugh. She once saw a sign that said: “Use the light in your soul to illuminate the dim places on earth” and thought that it made a good motto for her!
In her free time she often visits museums, galleries, or artists’ studios. Travel and exploration have always been a big part of her life, and she hosts a lot of international visitors — showing them around, giving her a chance to practice her various languages, and always results in a good meal. She also enjoys cooking, hiking, reading, and doing yoga. Mostly, she is happiest spending time with her family and friends. She has three wonderful boys, and they all share her love of history and travel!
Chris is motivated by his desire to bring good into the world and truly believes in the power of education to do so. He uses his years of teaching experience to support other educators who are working to provide a quality education to all students. Chris understands the importance of honoring all forms of intelligence and believes that technology can be a powerful support when integrated effectively into instruction.
Chris looks back on his own school days in Union County, NJ fondly, where he learned the importance of diversity and grew to be the person he is his today. He often remembers his favorite teacher and continues to be inspired by his unique ability to make learning personal. Chris’ teacher also taught his students to embrace failure as an opportunity to learn. This belief, along with his ability to adapt to all situations follow Chris into his professional life.
When not coaching in schools, Chris enjoys spending time with his wife, Megan, who is also an educator, and their small “zoo” of pets. Chris also has a special place in his heart for soccer, having coached multiple seasons over the past ten years.
Adam grew up in a small town in central New Jersey. He doesn’t remember many of his teachers as especially interesting or helpful, but his 6th-grade teacher made a lasting impact. She taught him about everything from tofu to manners to getting through dense crowds of people. Many of her sayings still ring in his head today. Knock yourself right out.
Adam is motivated to help teachers work more effectively and efficiently through the innovative use of technology. He believes that 21st century teaching and learning should be fun, and it’s his goal to make them that way.
He believes also that the best learning happens in the context of rich projects, real problems, and deep thinking. In some ways, a great class is so immersed in learning that it is surprised by the bell.
Outside of coaching, Adam enjoys spending time with his wife and son. His strangest talent is being able to play songs by flicking his throat. He also plays drums and loves to write.
2009 Teach for America Corps Member (NYC)
8 years teaching experience (including founding two third-grade cohorts and leading a grade team)
Program Manager at Practice Makes Perfect
B.A., English, University of Connecticut
M.S.Ed., Hunter College
As an Instructional Technology Coach, Stephanie helps talented teachers master digital tools to deepen their teaching repertoire. With a rich career as an instructional specialist, educational coordinator, and as a teacher herself, she encourages educators to inspire a love of learning in those they teach. Also an active student, Stephanie is currently writing her dissertation at Hofstra University. Her research explores how teachers can support student development of executive function in the classroom.
Digital tools revolutionized Stephanie’s approach to teaching–inspiring her to advocate for more technology in the classroom. She values edtech for its ability to enhance collaboration, provide immediate feedback, and allow students to drive their own progress as independent learners. Stephanie grew up outside of Philadelphia; she now lives in Queens, NY, with her husband and two dogs. When not exploring New York City or visiting family in Philly, she loves taking road trips, hiking, and visiting wineries in upstate New York.
Education & Experience
- Instructional Strategies Specialist, IDE Corp (2015-2016)
- Middle School Coordinator, Growing Up Green Charter School (2014-2015)
- Curriculum Implementation Specialist, Mosaica Education Incorporated (2011-2014)
- Teacher and Instructional Specialist, The School District of Philadelphia (2005-2011)
- EdD in Learning and Teaching, Hofstra University (2014-2018)
- MA in Educational Administration and Supervision, Chestnut Hill College (2008-2010)
- BA in Early Childhood/Education, Temple University (2000-2005)
Bob founded Educate with Frank Hardart because they shared a vision and saw a problem. The vision: every child in every school deserves a chance to succeed. The problem: teachers were equipped with technology, but lacked the support to use it and transform education. Digital tools are more affordable than ever—but schools need guidance to realize their potential. As one of two partners at Educate, Bob works with school leaders to realize these goals and define the process of tech coaching, while supporting coaches and managing the company’s internal organization.
Coming from the corporate finance worlds of Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan, Bob knows that teamwork is essential to accomplishing anything meaningful. As a father of four freewheeling children, he knows that every single student is someone’s beloved child. Raised in Westchester County, Bob lives there today with his wife and kids, where he enjoys hiking, fishing, camping, and exploring the outdoors.
Education & Experience
- Founded advisory boards for several South Bronx parochial schools
- Chairman of The Curran Principal Academy
- M.M., Finance and Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
- B.A., History, Dartmouth College
A seasoned and accomplished educator, Stacey combines a rich set of teaching skills with a contagious enthusiasm for learning. She believes in fostering equity in the classroom; Stacey recognizes that each student has different needs, feels more engaged when the curriculum reflects their culture, and deserves to be challenged in their learning. She promotes this mindset among other educators in her role as an ITC.
As Manager of Curriculum Design, Stacey develops courses to help teachers and coaches integrate technology into teaching in meaningful ways. She loves guiding teachers to reach their personal goals and motivating students to engage deeply in their own learning. Stacey grew up in Philadelphia and now lives in Brooklyn with her husband, their three kids, and their border collie.
Education & Experience
- Co-Founder, Focus Educational Coaching, Brooklyn, NY (2014-Present)
- Teachers College, Columbia University, Inclusive Education Coach (2012-2016)
- Teachers College, Columbia University, Adjunct Professor in Curriculum and Teaching (2012-2015)
- Middle and High School Special Education Teacher, Inclusion Coordinator and Director of Special Education, NYC DOE (2002-2012)
- M.S. Ed Childhood Education, College of Staten Island, NY (2005)
- M.S. Ed Special Education, College of Staten Island, NY (2005)
Growing up in New York and moving often, Sharon Johnsen’s early school years were a blur. One memory sticks out: her high school guitar teacher patiently encouraging her, emphasizing self-guided learning, and letting each student progress at his or her own pace. That approach left an indelible impact on Sharon, as she saw the power of differentiated, individualized instruction to meet the needs of every student.
Now, in her role at Educate, Sharon is a champion of instructional technology, always searching out new tools and strategies to share with her schools. She relishes those moments when the faces of the principals, teachers, and students she works with light up—all because the technology helped something click and made a difference in their lives. A New York City native and former public school teacher, Sharon also manages the Staten Island team, coordinating with the regional superintendent and instructional leaders. Married to the love of her life, Sharon spends her spare time reading novels, watching TV and movies, and playing trivia games in preparation of her lifelong dream of being a contestant on Jeopardy.
Education & Experience
- Teacher, Sylvan Learning Center (2002-2009)
- Teacher, New York Public Schools (2003-2008)
- B.S. Education, New York University
- M.S. Instructional Technology, New York Institute of Technology
For Nick, education is about empowerment. In his management role at Educate, he creates internal training programs that encourage educators to direct their own learning. Nick champions strong instructional practices, where teachers learn in the same environment as their students. He knows experts flourish when allowed freedom; while he sets clear expectations of his team, he urges them to adopt the best learning approach for their individual style.
Nick feels blessed to have had many amazing mentors—people who taught him to look beyond the textbook. However, his parents remain his greatest teachers. His father taught him self-discipline; his mother taught him to stay optimistic under even the hardest circumstances. Nick lives in New Jersey with his wife and daughter. He loves to read, take long walks, and discover new places.
Education & Experience
- Instructional Technology Coach, Educate LLC (2008-present)
- Assistant Director (Education), Huntington Learning Center (2005-2008)
- B.A. Journalism & Mass Media, Rutgers University (1997-2001)
Kyle believes teachers are facilitators of learning, not oracles of knowledge. As an Instructional Technology Coach, he equips teachers to help students become masters of their own education. Having seen how edtech make a real difference, Kyle skillfully harnesses that drive to help teachers reach transformational career growth. He knows how to inject technology into excellent teaching frameworks. G Suite for Education is his go-to edtech toolkit—Kyle values the way it facilitates student achievement through personalized and small-group learning.
Kyle sees education as a community of networks—a community we can galvanize through collaboration. While participating in Startup Weekend EDU, he helped create Bloop! News, a news app that inspires kids to engage with current events. Kyle is now an avid supporter of education startups. He advocates for stronger partnerships between edtech companies—perfectly positioning him to drive Educate’s growth as Manager of Strategic Partnerships. A lifelong New Yorker, Kyle lives in Queens with his fiancé. In his downtime he loves to cycle, rock climb, or simply get lost in a good book.
Education & Experience
- Co-organizer of Startup Weekend EDU, NYC (June 2016)
- Founder, Bloop! News for Kids, NYC (2013-2014)
- ELA Teacher, Harlem Children’s Zone, NYC (2011-2013)
- M.A. Instructional Technology, Columbia University Teachers College
- B.A. Secondary Education and English Literature, SUNY Geneseo
- Certifications: Google Certified Trainer, Initial Teaching Certification, NYC License
Drawing from her diverse background as an educator, Emily Kirsch approaches her role as an instructional technology coach with flexibility, patience, and creative thinking. As a teacher, Emily witnessed firsthand the impact that well-integrated technology had on the achievement of her students—promoting engagement and improving performance. She’s particularly passionate about the ways in which technological tools can level the playing field for all students, allowing them to participate fully despite adversity.
Proficient in a wide range of tools, Emily believes in the importance of developing positive, one-on-one relationships with each student, then finding opportunities to let their creativity shine. Emily is a proud aunt to two adorable nephews and an intrepid explorer of the great outdoors. A former music educator, she continues to foster her creative side through singing, piano, and guitar.
Education & Experience
- Teacher for Harrison Central School District
- Private Kindergarten Teacher for KinderCare Learning Center
- K-6 General Music and Instrumental Instructor at Marion Central School District
- Band Director and Instrumental Instructor for Canandaigua City Schools
- M.A. Elementary Education, Warner School of Education, University of Rochester
- B.Mus. Music Education, Mansfield University
Education & Experience
- English Language Arts SHSAT Teacher , Mini Ivy Tutoring Center in New York, NY (2014-2016)
- English Language Arts Teacher grades 3-8, Big Apple Academy in Brooklyn, NY (2012-2016)
- Early Childhood Lead Teacher, Jewish Community Center in Staten Island, NY (2011-2012)
M.S. in Ed, Childhood General and Special Education, Bankstreet College of Education
- B.A. Psychology, Binghamton University
Frank drives Educate’s team toward the cutting-edge of educational innovation, while never losing sight of the only goal that matters: improving education for schools, teachers, and students. As a partner, he helps hire Educate’s all-star team and works to inspire coaches to consistently perform at their best—believing that taking an active role in the team trumps individual skill.
Frank is inspired by a passion for learning—a passion he spreads to those around him. He takes an progressive view of the educator’s job: first, establish a foundation of sound instructional practice, and then get out of the way of the students’ learning.
His rich and varied business career has taught him never to become complacent—without commitment to excellence, today’s industry leaders end up as tomorrow’s old news. He applies his business acumen to directing Educate’s growth and spreading its message to new schools. Frank lives in New York City with his family; his wife keeps him together, his young daughter keeps him energetic, and his siblings keep him honest. He loves to ski, sing, and, on occasion, salsa dance.
Education & Experience
- Vice President of Business Development, MaMaMedia (1998-2001)
- Director of Business Development, NBC (1997-1998)
- Manager, Business Development, Viacom Interactive, (1995-1997)
- Account Manager, Compuserve (1988-1993)
- MBA, JL Kellogg School of Business, Northwestern University (1995)
- BS in Engineering, University of Notre Dame (1985)
- BA in English, University of Notre Dame (1985)