TEALS Staff

Kevin Wang, Founder && Ringleader

Kevin has an undergrad in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley and a graduate degree in Education from Harvard University.  He built and taught a 7-12 Computer Science curriculum for three years at a San Francisco Bay Area high school and additional years part time at a local Seattle area school, robotics summer camp, after school at the Community Charter School of Cambridge, and online at UMass Boston.  He was a member of the MIT Teacher Education Program‘s StarLogo programming language team, where he published a paper on kids programming games using a block programming language.  Kevin was also an engineering fellow specializing in knowledge transfer at Lockheed Martin and Toyota.  Kevin was a software engineer in the Microsoft Office 365 group when he founded TEALS in 2009.  He now runs TEALS full time generously supported by Microsoft Philanthropies.  Kevin spends what little of his free time trying to not be outsmarted by his dog while watching British panel quiz shows.

Kip Fern, Sr. Operations Program Manager (TEALS 2012)

Kip graduated from MIT with B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science. While at Microsoft, Kip was the very first program manager on the Microsoft Live@EDU program (now known as Office 365 Education), and he has also been a TEALS volunteer since 2012 teaching the Intro to CS course. A couple of other highlights in Kip’s career were being the Development Director on the very first Wii game (Madden ’07) while at EA Sports, and being the 4th employee at Concur, the worldwide leader in travel and expense management. When not teaching or helping to spread the word about TEALS, Kip can usually be found watching his Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins or Patriots winning a world championship.

Nathaniel Granor, Regional Manager Lead, East (TEALS 2010)

Nathaniel attended Yale University where he tried to major in a cappella singing, but was told it didn’t count. Instead, Nathaniel picked up a B.S. in Computer Science and graduated in 2009. He spent 3 years as a program manager at Microsoft helping to create gorgeous and engaging experiences for SharePoint. During that time, he volunteered with TEALS as an Intro CS teacher at Cleveland High School in South Seattle. Nathaniel believes computer science teaches critical thinking and problem solving skills that are essential to understanding and participating in the modern world. All students deserve the opportunity to learn these skills.

Anupama Shekhar, Regional Manager Lead, West

Anu graduated from Wharton with an MBA and has an undergraduate degree in Information Systems Management from Singapore Management University. Anu brings her experience as Program Head for Vocational Training at Pratham Education Foundation, reaching over 70,000 young adults annually, in areas including Digital Literacy, Hospitality and Construction. Anu has also worked at Microsoft in Enterprise Sales and at Citibank as Product Manager. When she’s not working, Anu loves to travel, hike and sing (Jazz and Broadway are her favorite styles) – don’t be surprised if you see her burst into song at unexpected times.

Anthony Papini, Volunteer Manager

Anthony brings over ten years of experience with education administration and nonprofit volunteer management. He received a B.A. from Western Washington University and M.A. from Bowling Green State University. Anthony helped scale and grow volunteer programs across five states while at Pride Foundation and increased volunteer and community engagement while at Illinois Safe Schools Alliance. He also worked with student leadership programs at University of Washington. He believes that it is vital for young people to understand the foundations of computer science in order to be thriving participants in a global economy and to promote social change and educational equality. When not thinking about TEALS volunteer retention or recruitment, Anthony enjoys theatre, cooking, and travel.

Kenney Chan, Curriculum Manager

Kenney has a B.S. in Computer Science from Cornell University.  He worked in industry for 17 years as a software engineer for a variety of companies ranging from startups to large multinational corporations.  Kenney left industry to pursue a M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  After graduation, he taught computer science at Phillips Exeter Academy, an independent secondary boarding school.  Kenney has worn a variety of hats at the Academy including academic scheduler, yoga instructor, and dormitory head, to name a few.  Kenney joins TEALS as the Curriculum Manager to inspire the next generation of computer science teachers.

Brett Wortzman, Instruction and Training Manager (TEALS 2010)

Brett is excited to officially join the TEALS team after six years of working with the program in various capacities. Brett was “volunteer zero” for TEALS in 2010, joining as a volunteer AP computer science teacher at Issaquah High School. The following year, he was hired full-time at IHS, eventually growing the CS program to include over 200 students annually. He also advised the FIRST Robotics Competition team for four years. While teaching at Issaquah, Brett continued to work with TEALS, assisting with training, mentoring, curriculum development, and many other projects. Brett holds a B.A. in Computer Science from Harvard University and an M.Ed. from the University of Washington. He was previously a software engineer at Microsoft working on Visual Studio Code Analysis tools. In his spare time, Brett is a high school football official, avid theatre-goer, and active volunteer with FIRST.

Becky Howsmon, Student Success & Engagement Manager

Becky Howsmon has a BS in molecular biology from the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in infectious disease and immunity from UC Berkeley. She has led science outreach activities with students of all ages in schools, in after-school and summer programs, and has built and implemented a high school internship program at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Over the years she has developed an appreciation for the similarities between biology and computer science and is passionate about helping students use computer science as a launching point to understanding the world around them. In order for students to realize their potential, Becky believes that students need opportunities to experience STEM careers first-hand. She is excited to work with the TEALS students to help them find their passion and connect them with the opportunities they need to realize their academic and career goals. When she’s not helping students, Becky enjoys baking and spending time with her family.

John Jannone, Regional Manager, South Central

John graduated from the University of Scranton in 2009 with his B.S. in Neuroscience. Throughout his undergraduate work, John focused his elective credits in computer science and technology. In 2007 John became involved with iD Tech Camps as a summer instructor, teaching Java, C++, robotics engineering, and game design. Over the next 6 years John grew into a full time Regional Manager role with iD, planning, staffing, and managing STEM summer programs for teens at universities across the nation including Yale, MIT, and UNC. While at iD, John remembers multiple students wanting computer science education in their high schools, and is thrilled to be a part of an organization dedicated to making that happen. When not tirelessly promoting technology education, John can be found computer gaming with friends across the country or on a golf course looking for his lost ball.

Christal Thompson, Regional Manager, Houston, TX

Christal has a heart for students interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), but computer science is in the center of her heart. Working to develop our next generation of computer programmers is her passion. She received a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of North Dakota and an M.Ed. from Grand Canyon University. She taught computer science, math, and science for 13 years spanning grades 7 – 12. Most recently she has supported STEM AP teachers in a suburban Houston school district through their Advanced Academics department. Prior to education, Christal worked 15 years in the Oil and Gas Industry as a computer programmer working her way up to a project manager and Sr. IT Consultant. She has been on international teams, award winning corporate teams, coordinated science fairs, coached computer programming teams, and presented at state and national conferences. In her free time when she isn’t reading, she enjoys spending time with her family and cooking wonderfully bland food from her rural roots.

Patrick O’Steen, Regional Manager, Pacific Northwest

Patrick graduated with a B.A. in Mathematics-Physics from Whitman College in 2006.  The following year, he was a team lead and service member with AmeriCorps in Walla Walla, WA where he volunteered in a local elementary school.  After moving to Washington, DC for a Master’s degree in Secondary Science Education from the George Washington University, Patrick began working in DC Public Schools at Woodrow Wilson High School as a physics and engineering teacher.  Through his experiences teaching and working with the school’s FIRST Robotics team, he learned that his true passion is working to ensure that students everywhere have equal access to high-quality STEM education and teachers.  Patrick is inspired and motivated by the TEALS mission and excited to bring his background and experience to help the program grow.

Joe Smith, Regional Manager, Pacific Northwest

Joe brings to TEALS his passion for working with HS students to motivate and inspire. Joe is a graduate of Brigham Young University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Design Engineering Technology. With over twenty-five years’ experience in the technology industry, he has worked for some of the nation’s leading companies, including Microsoft in Redmond, WA. In his most recent role at Microsoft, Joe headed up the creation of a new database-driven interactive interface for The Find Album Information Feature on Windows 7. In the community, Joe has been working with youth track and field volunteers for more than two decades. He is active in the United States Track and Field Association and recently won the 2016 National Master Championship in the Triple Jump. Joe is ranked second in the world for the 2016 Indoor Track and Field season, but at this juncture in his career, he is most interested in developing young people and ensuring they have the tools they need to succeed.

Helen Henry, Regional Manager, Pacific Northwest

Helen started her computer science education at the age of 8 when her father installed the first-ever, computer classroom in her family’s garage in the 1970s. After graduating from UC at Davis in Computer Science and Mathematics, she became the youngest Systems Engineer every hired by Hewlett Packard.  Helen’s obvious love for education and computer science shows up in her educational background (Master in Teaching with endorsements in both high school math and elementary education), her volunteer experience (PTA President, Mountains to Sound Greenway, Future Business Leaders of America), and her professional experience (System Engineer, math teacher, and AP Computer Science TEALs teacher).  After 11 years of teaching, Helen is excited to reach a much larger student audience and share her love of computer science!

Caitlin Derr, Regional Manager, Southwest and Mountain West (TEALS 2013)

Caitlin has an undergrad in Computer Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology and graduated in 2012. She then joined Amazon’s Fulfillment Technologies org and worked on the software that ensures your Amazon purchase is picked off the shelves both as efficiently as possible, and in time to get to you. While at Amazon, she volunteered with TEALS as a teaching assistant for the AP Computer Science class at Nathan Hale High School in Seattle. She would’ve loved the opportunity to take computer science at her high school and is thrilled to help make that a reality for others. When she’s not promoting CS education, Caitlin can usually be found playing video games or taking her dog on adventures.

Chris Rudder, Regional Manager, Northern California

Chris attended the University of Scranton majoring in physics and philosophy, but after a few years he realized his real passion was programming so he switched to Albertus Magnus College to get a B.S. in Computer Science. When Chris was a teenager his grandfather, a previous NASA programmer, rigorously trained him in C++ programming. Chris taught with iD Tech camps for 8 years where he taught Java, C++, robotics, app development, and 2D/3D Game Design with the Unreal Engine. Chris went on to become a full time curriculum developer designing a plethora of classes for schools and summer camps. Then Chris heard about TEALS and was blown away by how few high schools offer computer science. Through TEALS Chris hopes to make a meaningful impact on as many students as possible.

Lauren Penney, Regional Manager, Northern California

Lauren has a B.S. in Computer Science from CU Boulder a Ph.D. in the Learning Sciences at Northwestern University. Before joining TEALS, Lauren spent her time creating opportunities for youth to engage in informal STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math through Art & Design) activities. She has worked as an educator and curriculum developer for various Boys & Girls Clubs, a Girl Scout summer camp, and, most recently, helped to develop FUSEstudio.net at Northwestern University. Lauren thinks everyone should know how to code and is excited to be part of an organization that focuses on getting more computer science classes in schools.

Jennifer Ward, Regional Manager, Southern California

Jennifer has a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Wisconsin and an M.A. in Education from the University of Michigan. After teaching AP Physics in Michigan, she moved to Los Angeles to work at a start-up school called The Archer School for Girls. At Archer, she developed the science department and FIRST Robotics team and taught Earth & Space Science, Conceptual Physics, and Robotics. In addition, Jennifer helped grow the FIRST Robotics program in Los Angeles and earned her M.B.A. from Pepperdine University. Most recently, she taught robotics and programming to 2nd through 7th graders using the LEGO EV3 platform. Jennifer is excited to bring TEALS to the kids of Southern California so they can grow up and make the world a better place.

Tracey Wilson, Regional Manager, Southeast

Tracey has a B.S. and M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of West Georgia and also holds a Master’s degree in Education.  She has worked as a Network Engineer and in tech support before spending 13 years teaching high school computer science courses at The Central Educational Center in Newnan, GA. She also volunteers as a mentor for UCode @ UWG, an organization that brings CS opportunities to kids 7-17 one Saturday a month. Tracey strongly believes the problem solving and critical thinking skills CS classes teach are important for all students no matter what their future may hold. When not working to promote CS in all schools Tracey spends her free time playing video games with her boys and reading.

Ada Ibe, Regional Manager, NY (TEALS 2013)

Ada taught history with a graduate degree in education for 12 years.  When she moved to New York in 2012, she became a sponsor for the school’s Girls Who Code club.  Then the school joined forces with TEALS and Ada became the partner teacher. She helped grow the CS program at her last school from one class of 6 students to multiple filled-to-capacity Intro and AP Comp Sci A classes.  Ada sought to join TEALS because she really enjoys computer science and believes all students should have access to trying computer science.  She believes that while there are potential economic benefits to students who pursue computer science, the biggest benefits the skills and confidence students gain that will help them throughout their lives.

Aimee Rosato, Regional Manager, NY/NJ

Aimee was always interested in computer science and math as a high school student, and took her first CS class in C as an undergraduate.  Her other interests led her to getting a B.A. degree in Anthropology from the University of Vermont in her home state, and eventually she found her new home in Queens, NY.  Aimee gained a M.S. Ed degree from the Bank Street College of Education after being a TFA Corps Member, and taught for five years as a special education teacher at charter and private schools in NYC while teaching herself to code on the side.  She is a passionate advocate for making curricula accessible to all types of learners, and is excited about expanding Computer Science to students throughout schools in NYC.  In her free time, you can find her cooking, keeping up with changes in JavaScript, and biking the occasional metric century.

Andrea Russo, Regional Manager, Rhode Island

Andrea Russo is an experienced educator for the past 15 years in both the formal and informal settings. She comes to TEALS from the National Council of Technological Literacy. Before that she taught grades 6-12 in the largest school district in the country, NYC. During that time, she received grants from the NYAS to implement best practices in STEAM. She participated in the Scientist in Residence Program. She has worked on curriculum development projects through the American Museum of Natural History and the NY Hall of Science in Queens, NY. She participated in teacher educator training in Huntsville, Alabama in the Honeywell sponsored NASA educator camp. Prior to her teaching career, Andrea worked at the New York Botanical Garden in the continuing education department. Andrea holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction in STEM and an M.S. in Science Education.

Michael Shia, Regional Manager, Massachusetts

Michael Shia has a BA in chemistry from Reed College, a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Boston University, and post-doctoral work in cell and molecular biology at MIT.  So what is he doing at TEALS? Michael is passionate about science and STEAM education and believes that knowledge of computer science is the gateway to all STEAM activities. In his view, understanding and fluency in Computer Science is critically necessary for our children to become engaged successful contributors in our new technological society. His experience includes science curriculum and course development, as well as, teaching at the middle school and graduate school level. He is also involved in the Boston maker community as member, administrator, and volunteer at the Artisans Asylum in Somerville, MA.

Courtney Hodge, Regional Manager, Virginia/DC

Courtney has a B.S. in Mathematics from North Carolina State University. In her sophomore year she began working with a summer program designed to expose elementary school students to the joys of math and science through experiential learning. Upon graduating she decided her efforts would be best spent at her former high school, teaching Geometry in the very classroom were she studied Geometry years before. Prior to joining TEALS, Courtney was a high school math teacher in Washington, DC and used Computer Programming in her math classes to help her students develop their critical thinking and problem solving abilities. Courtney is excited to be apart of TEALS and furthering the mission of having Computer Science in Every High School.

Greg Teschner, Regional Manager, Midwest / Kansas City

Greg is a performance-driven leader with more than 25 years’ experience directing systems, projects and teams in both the military and academia. For the past four years, as an instructor in CAPS (Center for Advanced Professional Studies), Greg supervised more than 150 students in collaboration with a diverse group of Kansas City technology partners including Cerner, Garmin, Sprint, and Perceptive Software. As part of CAPS, Greg bridged the worlds of business and academics, helping students build the professional skills necessary for them to succeed even before they enter college or work force. In the classroom, Greg was instrumental in integrating technology and software that vastly improved efficiency and the ability to differentiate instruction. Greg has a B.S. in Human Resource Management, a B.S. in Mathematics (Summa Cum Laude) and a M.S. in Education (top 5%). Greg is married to Debra Niewald, a CEO Coach. In his spare time, Greg enjoys playing golf, traveling, and cooking.

Rachel Brown, Administrative Assistant (West coast)

Rachel is a graduate of Western Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Journalism. Because she never had the opportunity to take computer science classes in high school, Rachel taught herself basic CS skills using online learning programs. She believes basic computer science skills are integral to functioning in our ever-growing technological world and is excited to be part of such an inspiring program. In her free time Rachel can be found watching Seinfeld and failing at Pinterest projects.

Tania Zatz-Gilman, Administrative Assistant (East coast)

Prior to joining the TEALS team, Tania handled catering and event planning for the Facilities team at Microsoft in New York. As the tech industry continues to develop and grow, she thinks it’s very important for current high school students to have the option to learn Computer Science, and be made aware that this could be a potential career path. Since she never had the opportunity to learn Computer Science in school herself, she is very excited to transition over to TEALS, and to use/expand her skill set to assist the program succeed and grow.

Emily Gamache, Operations Assistant