Meet our committed staff who work each day to fulfill our mission.
Stacy supports Classroom, Inc.’s Executive Director, the Leadership Team, and the Board by providing a high level of organizational and administrative support. She recently graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges (HWS) with a B.A. in Anthropology. At HWS, she was a varsity squash player for four years and interned at various nonprofit organizations such as Donorschoose.org, Teach for America, and the Squash and Education Alliance. During her free time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with her parents and younger siblings, and reading a good book.
Vice President, Product Strategy
Kevin spearheads digital strategy and product development, leveraging Classroom Inc.’s efforts across marketing, engineering, research, and analytics to build effective and compelling learning opportunities for young people. He is passionate about educational equity and youth development, and believes technology can play a powerful role in transforming education and unlocking human potential. Having led product initiatives at notable education companies, including Kaplan Test Prep, Macmillan Higher Ed, and Amplify, among others, Kevin gained extensive experience delivering mobile, web, and blended learning solutions, and developed a deep perspective of the education technology landscape and marketplace. Kevin holds a B.A. in Sociology from Cornell University and is a proud Brooklyn native and resident.
Chief of Staff
Matt works closely with the Leadership Team and Executive Director to ensure strategic alignment and increase organizational efficiency. Before serving as Chief of Staff at Classroom, Inc., Matt worked as the executive assistant to the President. He holds a B.A. in English from Andrews University, as well as an M.A. in English from Syracuse University. In his spare time, Matt enjoys attending the theater, reading, and traveling.
Phil Firsenbaum is a coach and consultant with Classroom, Inc. and has been so for the past decade. He is a former district-based educational technology facilitator and staff member of the then-NYC Board of Education’s Technical Assistance Center. Upon his retirement, he worked as a consultant in a District One database project and at Teaching Matters. He taught educational technology courses at Iona College and Bank Street College of Education as well as for the New York City DOE After School Professional Development Program. He holds a Master’s degree in Computing in Education from Teachers College. Prior to his retirement he was a middle school computer lab teacher where he taught programming for 11 years in the NYC school system.
Ivan Xavier Garcia Jr. has had the opportunity to work on public, private and charter school literacy teams. Through various roles he has delivered personalized learning and differentiated instruction by becoming adept at implementing various educational technologies. He has provided personalized professional development to new teachers entering the field, as well as coached veteran educators on the incorporation of technology into their classrooms. Ivan has also taught international ELL students from the Middle-East, Western and Central Africa and all of Latin America.
Nicole started working with Classroom, Inc. as a summer intern before joining full-time. She works in the Research department analyzing the effectiveness of Classroom, Inc.’s programs and gathering youth and educator feedback to share with partners and funders. She also digs into our usage and partner data to summarize and share insights with other departments to inform strategy. Nicole earned a B.S. in Actuarial Science from CUNY’s Baruch College. In her free time, she enjoys adrenaline rushes, concerts, and video games.
Managing Director of Development
Nick leads Classroom, Inc.’s fundraising efforts, building partnerships with the individual, foundation, corporate, and government supporters who make impact possible. He enjoys working at the intersection of education and technology to empower students in underserved communities. Before joining Classroom, Inc., he held development roles at PowerMyLearning, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and St. John’s University. Nick earned a B.A. in History from the University of Richmond and an MBA in Marketing from St. John’s University. When he’s not at work, he’s most likely reading, brewing beer, or spending time with his family.
Manager of Institutional Giving
Jane is responsible for writing proposals and donor reports, and collaborates with the team to identify new prospects. She also researches policy and philanthropic trends in education, youth development, and workforce preparedness. She has held diverse positions in nonprofits such as the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Commonwealth Fund, Americans for the Arts, and Boys & Girls Harbor. Over the course of her career, she has raised millions of dollars to bring education, social services, and the performing arts to low-income children and their families.
As the Executive Director, Christina leads the Classroom, Inc. talented team to bring literacy and leadership skills to middle school youth across the United States through the Read to Lead learning games. Prior to joining Classroom, Inc., Christina contributed her talents to key education reform organizations including The Urban Assembly and ReadWorks.org, where she gained a deep understanding of school organization, programmatic models, and rigorous curriculum development. Christina also taught at J.H.S. 56 in Manhattan and at Bronx Preparatory Charter School. She graduated from the University at Buffalo with a B.A. in History and Secondary Education and holds a Master’s degree in Education Policy and Public Management from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughters, and loves to go on leisurely bike rides with her family whenever possible.
Program Marketing Manager
Emily supports the organization’s marketing and programmatic efforts to expand Classroom, Inc.’ reach and impact to classrooms across the country. Before joining Classroom, Inc., she worked as a production assistant at Meltzer Media Productions and interned at Liberty Studios, NYC’s longest-running multimedia production house. She graduated with a BFA in Film and Animation from Pratt Institute. Emily loves to travel, and by age 21 she reached the ambitious goal of visiting all seven continents.
Director of Software Engineering
Nick leads our technology projects, including maintaining and creating features for our digital platform that delivers our learning games across desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones.
Visiting Senior Fellow
As Visiting Senior Fellow, Mary Ross plays a crucial role in Classroom, Inc.’s fundraising efforts and has previously held numerous public policy and foundation executive positions. She raised $26 million in new funds for the national expansion of Gilder Lehrman Institute’s document-based programs. As Vice President and Director of Programs for the International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics (IFREE) and the University of Arizona’s Economic Science Lab, Mary created IFREE’s programs with 2002 Nobel Laureate Vernon L. Smith. Previously, she was a Claremont Institute of American Statesmanship Research Fellow, executive consultant to the National Center for Policy Analysis, and Director of the Federal Mandates Project for the Goldwater Institute. From 1983-94, Mary was Executive Director of the Achelis and Bodman Foundations. She is a Trustee of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and serves on the Barker Welfare Foundation Grants Committee.
Director of Marketing and Communications
Rachel leads our marketing and communication strategy. Her vision is to help educators find, use, and enjoy Classroom, Inc. products and works with the team to create fresh and relevant content to share our story with the world. Before Classroom Inc., Rachel worked for TIME for Kids, a K-8 current events magazine. She also piloted Amazon Art’s marketing and merchandising program. Rachel graduated with honors from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. In her spare time, she writes a blog about faith, culture, and identity.
Peter manages the daily finances of the organization, including maintenance of the books and records, cash management, and payroll. He also works with the Director of Finance on budgeting and the year-end audit. He joined Classroom, Inc. following his studies at Baruch College, where he earned a B.B.A. in Accounting. In his spare time, Peter enjoys sports, reading, and watching movies.
Marquis Smalls achieved great success in his first ten years teaching in Paterson and Maplewood, New Jersey. Working diligently to close the achievement gap in reading and math, Marquis was selected to work on a team with Harvard University Professor Ronald Ferguson committed to analyzing and providing solutions to teachers and students for innovative and practical ways of raising achievement levels. As an early adopter of computer based and blended learning approaches that incorporated games, music, art, dance, performance and real life problem solving skills, Marquis guided his students to the top of the district in state test scores while instilling an authentic love of learning into a vast majority of students. In Brooklyn, New York, Mr. Smalls helped build a successful new school M.S. 354 in Crown heights that is now one of the model New York City public schools. By focusing on literacy and reading through social studies and writing, Marquis established a culture of success that spread throughout the school and provided a foundation for success at every middle school grade level. In Harlem, Mr. Smalls took on the challenge of helping another new school, Frederick Douglass Academy II out perform their goals and establish a positive learning environment for all students. Working with and supporting teachers as UFT chapter leader, Marquis coached teachers into successfully integrating computer based innovative teaching strategies into their daily practice.
Director of Content and Curriculum
Ali helms Read to Lead’s curriculum design, helps iterate and expand Classroom Inc.’s products, and develops partnerships with districts and CBOs through high-quality training and support. Ali has more than a decade of experience in education where she’s served high-need schools across the US as a classroom teacher for Achievement First charter network, an educator mentor for Teach for America, a curriculum writer for Amplify, as well as a Fulbright teaching scholar in Cyprus. In her most recent role at Advancement Courses, she managed the creation and distribution of accredited professional development courses for K-12 educators with a special focus on literacy instruction and social/emotional learning. She is a New York University graduate with a Masters in Elementary Education from the University of South Florida. She lives in Austin with her husband, two kids, and rescue pup. You can find her at ACL and SXSW EDU!
Managing Director of Programs and Partnerships
Kwamara leads the strategic vision for partner acquisition and retention; thought leadership and professional development; and works to elevate our community of educators across the country. With a Masters in Education Leadership and a Bachelor’s from New York University, Kwamara brings over a decade of experience as an administrator, teacher-leader, coach, and mentor in schools and platforms on the district, state, and national levels. In her previous role as the Director of Professional Learning and School Support at Classroom, Inc., she built and administered an achievement-centered system that charted the progress of both her team and Classroom, Inc.’s national partner organizations. Kwamara also sits on several boards, helping those organizations think through, strategize around, and implement their education programming initiatives. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, reading, hiking, and biking.
Sharon has over 15 years of experience in office management and works closely with our Human Resources and Finance Departments to ensure compliance, as well as managing the physical needs of the office. Before coming to Classroom, Inc., Sharon worked for Bruce Phillips Staffing where she was in charge of hiring temporary/permanent receptionist and mailroom positions.