About Léman

Leadership & Faculty

Instructional excellence is a foundational pillar of the Léman experience. As a team of educators, our goal is to ignite children's passion for learning through superior teaching. Through one-on-one, small group, and differentiated instruction, our faculty members know and appreciate each student's unique interests, strengths, goals, and learning styles.

In addition to our nurturing and accomplished faculty, more than 80% of whom possess advanced degrees and credentials, Léman benefits from the expertise of experienced administrators, department chairs, and esteemed members of our advisory board. We approach our practice with a shared mission: to help every child grow and succeed, and to build a community of the highest caliber teaching.

Our Teachers

Léman teachers do not simply provide superior instruction — our teachers lead, inspire, excite and relate to students in a caring, supportive manner.

We place intense focus on every child's learning experience, encouraging curiosity, accomplishment, and growth. Teachers at every grade level ensure that students engage deeply in content, build critical thinking skills, make connections between their work and the world, and enhance their skills to the greatest extent of their aptitudes and abilities.

Our team of educators is highly collaborative, working in grade level, department, and cross-curricular teams to cultivate best practice teaching methodologies and ensure curriculum is vertically articulated across grades to support each student's continuous growth. Léman teachers create nurturing, inclusive learning environments and teach to each child's interest and ability level every day, in each lesson, to achieve progress benchmarked to individual goals.

Léman teachers are energetic professionals who care deeply about their students and their own professional growth. They participate in professional development opportunities for continuous improvement throughout the year, and are committed to honing their craft to enable our students to benefit from innovative educational practices. Léman teachers do not simply provide superior instruction, they lead and inspire students in a caring, supportive manner to help them realize their full potential.


Maria Castelluccio

Head of School

Ms. Castelluccio was named Head of School at Léman Manhattan in October 2015 and began her term in July 2016. A proven educational leader and visionary, Ms. Castelluccio has dedicated her career to driving student performance and building community in PreK-12 schools in the U.S. and internationally for more than 25 years. She joins Léman after four years as the Head of School at Marymount International School of Rome, also an International Baccalaureate School, where she developed and carried out a strategic plan that increased IB scores to 98% pass rate and 45% of students scoring in the top 20th percentile worldwide.

From 2009-2012, Ms. Castelluccio served as Marymount Rome's Elementary School Principal, where her accomplishments included introducing Columbia University Teachers College Reader's and Writer's Workshop and Responsive Classroom, and advancing the academic rigor of the educational program. For more than a decade prior to Marymount Rome, Ms. Castelluccio held senior administrative roles at high-performing elementary schools in Westport and Stratford, Connecticut. She began her career as a 3rd and 4th Grade teacher. Ms. Castelluccio holds a Bachelor of Arts in Intermediate Education, Magna Cum Laude, from Southern Connecticut State University; a Master of Science in Science Education from Southern Connecticut State University; and a Sixth Year Degree in Administration and Supervision from Sacred Heart University. Originally from the Bronx, Maria raised her four children in Fairfield County, Connecticut. She is an avid reader, and when she has the time, loves to travel, walk and practice yoga.

Jerry Maraia

Assistant Head of School
Head of Lower School

Mr. Maraia serves as the academic dean of the school across PreK-12 with a focus on four major areas: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment; Teacher Recruitment, Retention and Development; Student Support Services; and Accreditation. In partnership with the Head of School, divisional leaders, and department heads, Mr. Maraia leads the development of curriculum to best support measurable student outcomes and Léman's mission, vision, and values as an International Baccalaureate school that equips students to be global citizens.

Since joining Léman in the 2013-14 school year as Head of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Mr. Maraia has advanced the learning experience at Léman in the Middle States accreditation review process, the curriculum renewal cycle, and English language and student support services. He was named Assistant Head of School in January 2016 and in 2017, he took on the additional responsibility of Head of Lower School, where he leads the academic program for grades 1 through 5, focusing on developing children's skills in reading, writing and mathematics, and building fluency across fine arts, science, and world languages. Working collaboratively with the Upper School Leadership, Mr. Maraia also spearheads the transition process to Middle School to support the academic, social and emotional success of every child.

Prior to joining Léman, Mr. Maraia was a curriculum consultant and staff developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University where he consulted in private and public schools across New York City, the United States, and around the world. Previously, Mr. Maraia taught English at the Clinton School for Writers and Artists. He is a frequent presenter at national conferences and universities on curriculum and instruction. He received his Bachelors from Skidmore College, followed by a Masters in English Education and Educational Theatre at New York University, and a Masters in Educational Leadership at Bank Street College of Education. Currently, Mr. Maraia is a doctoral student in Educational Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania.

Kate Sylvain

Head of The Center for Early Childhood Education

A seasoned New York City preschool director and nursery and elementary school teacher, Ms. Sylvain leads The Center for Early Childhood Education at Léman, serving children in grades PreK 3, PreK 4, and Kindergarten. Ms. Sylvain joined Léman in August 2016 after 10 years at The Mandell School, where she most recently served as Director of The Mandell Preschool in Lincoln Square since 2012. In this role, Kate led all aspects of the school's operations, including admissions and kindergarten exmissions, management and professional development of faculty, and ongoing parent communications. In addition, Kate successfully drove enrollment growth and supported Mandell's expansion to a third preschool location.

Previously, Kate was Director of New Program Development at Mandell, where she led the opening of individual preschool locations. From 2006-2011, Kate held positions of Nursery Program Director, Nursery Head Teacher and Associate Teacher, where she created a developmentally appropriate, experiential, science-based curriculum for young children. Prior to Mandell, she was a 1st Grade teacher for the New York City Department of Education. Kate holds a B.S. in Child Development and an M.A. in Curriculum and Teaching from Michigan State University. Outside of school, Kate enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her husband and young son.

Robert Spezzano

Head of Upper School

Mr. Spezzano directs the academic program for grades 6 through 12. An experienced international educator with more than 25 years experience in the classroom and as an administrator on a global scale, Mr. Spezzano joined Léman in August 2016 after having worked at schools in the U.K., Germany, Switzerland and the U.S. Mr. Spezzano joined Léman after four years as Upper School Assistant Principal at the Washington International School (WIS), one of the world's premier co-ed private international schools, where he led the daily operations of a 280-student high school that shares a mission similar to Léman's: build critical thinking skills within a rigorous academic program and prepare students to be engaged and effective members of a global community.

At WIS, the first school in the D.C. area to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and whose IB scores have consistently exceeded world averages, Mr. Spezzano oversaw grade-level coordinator and advisory programs, student government, and service programs to provide students with practical opportunities to apply their global curriculum locally. Prior to joining WIS, Mr. Spezzano served as a mathematics teacher and homeroom advisor at the International School of Stuttgart. Previously, Mr. Spezzano was interim middle school head, chair of the mathematics department and middle school mathematics teacher at Shady Hill School in Cambridge, MA. Mr. Spezzano began his career as a mathematics teacher and dormitory advisor at The American School in Switzerland (TASIS). Mr. Spezzano holds an A.B. from Brown University with a concentration in Italian Studies and an Ed.M. from Harvard University with a concentration in Administration, Planning and Social Policy. Outside of school, he enjoys hiking and cycling.

Eric Hawthorn

Assistant Head of the Upper School

In his role as an Assistant Head of the Upper School, Mr. Hawthorn has a focus on working with middle school students (grades 6-8), and serves on the upper school leadership team to build community across grades 6 through 12, spearhead new initiatives and special projects, and develop programming that supports students academically, socially and emotionally.

Mr. Hawthorn joined Léman in Fall 2014 and taught both Middle School and High School Social Studies and launched a new Student Ambassador program. After one academic year, he was promoted to the Assistant Head position. Prior to joining Léman, Mr. Hawthorn taught Social Studies, P.E, and Health in charter and private schools in the New York City area. Originally from the U.K., Mr. Hawthorn holds a B.A. in Education with specialization in History and Physical Education. Outside of school, Mr. Hawthorn enjoys exercising, reading, watching and coaching soccer, listening to music, and spending time with his three godchildren.

Deborah Dannatt

Assistant Head of the Upper School

In her role as an Assistant Head of Upper School, Deborah Dannatt has a focus on grades 9-12. Prior to Léman, Deborah was Director of Student Success at Avenues The World School in Chelsea, where she supported both faculty development around instruction and assessment as well as ensuring the well-being of all learners both academically and on the social emotional side.

Deborah has held a number of leadership positions in the UK, including work as a consultant for the Department of Education. It was during this time that she developed her passion for assessment and student centered instruction. She spent time working with principals on how to develop school culture and she is looking forward to bringing this experience to Léman.

Originally from the UK Deborah holds an honors degree in Literature and a postgraduate in Education from Kings College, London. She was co-author of a series of textbooks that were used in Upper division English Classrooms, and has spoken at local conferences in the UK.

Deborah's three children, who are Léman students, keep her busy outside of school and they enjoy exploring the city, watching sports and travel. She is an avid follower of Twitter and has made many connections with other educators all over the world.

Matthew Colpitts

Director of Residential Life

Mr. Colpitts has served at Léman Manhattan Preparatory School as the Director of Residence Life since August 2017 leading the educational, operational, and student support aspects of the boarding program. Mr. Colpitts has been an educator, administrator, and leader in higher education and K12 independent schools for over 10 years serving in the areas of residence life, university housing, student conduct, campus safety and security, emergency management, enrollment management, and student affairs. Mr. Colpitts has also served in educator-leader roles at diverse educational institutions including Clark University, Landmark College, Southern Oregon University, Utah State University, and Interlochen Center of the Arts. Most recently, he was the Dean of Students for the Academy at Interlochen Center for the Arts. He is also the co-founder of the Center for Student Affairs Policy and Law and does independent risk and safety management consulting.

A first-generation college student from rural Maine, Matthew is a proud graduate of Clark University in Worcester, MA with a B.A. in English and Philosophy. He is also an Ed.D. doctoral candidate finishing his dissertation in emergency management in educational institutions. Outside of school, Mr. Colpitts enjoys reading, traveling, and learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Lucy Alexander

IB Diploma Programme Coordinator

In her role as IB Coordinator, Lucy Alexander supports the IB Teaching team in the delivery and assessment of the school's IB Diploma Programme. She also collaborates with faculty and staff throughout the school (pre-K to 12) with the implementation of the IB Educational Philosophy and is an Upper School teacher of TOK. Originally from Canada, Lucy has undergraduate degrees in both History and Education and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from the Open University in the UK. She comes to Léman from Italy where she worked with the IB Program for many years at an international school in Rome. Outside of school, she enjoys travel, urban walking, and beach camping.

Patrick Kane

Director of Learning Support

Mr. Kane oversees the Learning Support Services team, whose goal is to ensure Léman provides an inclusive PreK 3 through Grade 12 multidisciplinary student support system that respects learner differences, facilitates attainment of Léman Manhattan's high educational standards, and promotes the development of lifelong learners. He also oversees the English for Speakers of Other Languages program (ESOL), which ensures that all of Léman students acquire proficiency in the English language, reach academic success, and confidently participate and integrate as an active member of the Léman community.

Prior to joining Léman Manhattan, Mr. Kane was the ESOL Coordinator/Supervisor for the Anglo-American School of Moscow. Mr. Kane's other international teaching experience includes a Middle School assignment in Damascus, Syria. Prior to his international experience as an educator, he spent his first eight years teaching at public schools in New Jersey. Mr. Kane holds a Post-Master's in Educational Leadership from The College of New Jersey, a Master of Education in TESOL and a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies/English from Rutgers University. Outside of school, he enjoys world travel, the arts and being anywhere by the sea.

Lisa Nowicki

Director of Fine Arts

Lisa Nowicki oversees all curricular and extra-curricular programs in Visual Arts, Music, Theatre, and Film for Léman Manhattan. Prior to coming to Léman in 2011, Ms. Nowicki served as the Performing Arts Department Chair at the Sanford School in Hockessin, DE, where she worked for 19 years and produced award-winning music ensembles and a nationally recognized Theatre program. In Theatre, Lisa has worked as a musical director, producer, and conductor. She is the co-founder of Delaware All-State Theatre ®, the nation's only All-State Theatre organization for students, and serves on their Board of Trustees. In addition, she is a former chairperson of the DAIS Music Educators group, which involves 23 schools in DE, PA, MD, and NJ. Outside of education, Lisa has worked in corporate arts administration and has served as an Associate Producer for “Lisa Howard: Songs of Innocence & Experience, The Songs of William Finn” (Ghostlight/Sh-K-Boom Records). Ms. Nowicki received a B.S. in Music Education from West Chester University and a Masters in Educational Psychology from Widener University. She has graduate credits in music history from the University of Salzburg in Salzburg, Austria. Apart from her interests in music, theatre, and film, she enjoys reading, baking, and travel.

Keith Sequeira

Director of Athletics

Keith Sequeira leads athletic opportunities for students school-wide at Léman, including team sports in grade five, to elite level varsity sports at the high school level. During his time at Léman, Mr. Sequeira has grown the athletic program significantly, from 8 teams in 2009, when he joined the school, to 36 teams today. In his leadership of the athletic program at Léman, Mr. Sequeira builds a culture of community, sportsmanship and physical well-being across the school community. Mr. Sequeira brings a wealth of knowledge of New York City school athletic programs, from his Adjunct Professor position at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, as well as his positions as Athletic Director, Physical Education Chair, Admissions Director, Summer Camp and After School Director at schools in New York and New Jersey. Mr. Sequeira earned a B.A. in Physical Education from Hofstra University and a Masters in supervision from Adelphi University. Outside of his duties at Léman, Mr. Sequeira is on the board of the Old Bridge Girls Soccer League, where his daughters participate in the soccer program. He enjoys quality time with his wife and two daughters, as well as the most recent addition to their family, "Bubba" the mini pincher.

Steve Levin

Director of After-School and Summer Programs

With over 20 years of experience developing children's programming in New York City, Steve Levin leads Léman's after school and summer programs. With a broad array of offerings ranging from chess to math club to tennis, our after school programming compliments the Léman academic program to harness the interest of every child. In addition, Camp Léman, for both Léman students and children in the community, is one of Lower Manhattan's premier program for children, enrolling over 270 children each summer. Prior to joining Léman in 2008, Mr. Levin served as the Director of Camp Programs at the 92nd Street Y, and as camp director in the Poconos. Mr. Levin spent four years on the adjunct faculty of Fordham University's Graduate school of Social Service and has been a speaker and co-chair for various regional and national camping conferences. Mr. Levin has a B.A. in Psychology from Northwestern University and a Masters in Social Work from Hunter College. Outside of his work at Léman, Mr. Levin enjoys travel, running, exploring New York City, and the New York Times crossword puzzle. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two daughters.

Christopher Coleman

Vice President Finance

In his role as Vice President of Finance, Christopher Coleman is responsible for multiple departments including Finance and Accounting, IT and Facilities. He joined Léman with 20 years of experience in divisional and corporate roles in a variety of industries which consisted of working in accounting and finance departments. He primarily focused on monthly closes, budgeting/forecasting and integrating companies that were acquired. Mr. Coleman also has extensive experience rolling out new financial systems at previous companies.

Mr. Coleman graduated from the University of Miami with a Master of Professional Accounting (MPRA) and Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting (BBA). Mr. Coleman also is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) registered in the State of Florida. He currently resides in Northern New Jersey with his wife and enjoys traveling, running and attending sporting events.

Paige Murphy

Head of Marketing, Admissions, and Communications

In partnership with Léman administrative leadership, faculty and parents, Mrs. Murphy leads the marketing, admissions, and communications department to attract talented students to Léman and build the school community. Since joining Léman in 2014, Mrs. Murphy has helped establish Léman as a leading Manhattan private school and grow enrollment to 750 students. In her role, Mrs. Murphy has worked closely with thousands of parents to help them navigate the admissions process and find the right school for their child. She oversees collaboration with partner preschool and K-8 schools, community outreach, events, public relations, and social media, and works closely with the Léman Community Association (LCA) to drive parent engagement across the school.

Mrs. Murphy joined Léman after more than 15 years in education communications, both in K-12 and higher education. For nearly a decade, she was a marketing executive at Kaplan, one of the world's leading providers of educational services, where she oversaw global brand development. Previously, she was Assistant Director of Communications at Columbia University. She began her career in public relations. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and French from Colgate University. Mrs. Murphy is a proud Léman parent with a son in the Early Childhood program, and outside of school enjoys cooking, travel, and architecture.

Ryan Hannon

Director of Admissions

Mr. Hannon has the pleasure of working with prospective families from Early Childhood through 12th Grade to discover the distinctions of a Léman education. He is proud to lead a team of admissions professionals who expertly guide families through the seemingly complex world of independent and boarding school admissions. Mr. Hannon has served in his role at Léman since April of 2015.

Prior to Léman, Mr. Hannon served as the Founding Director of Admissions for GEMS World Academy-Chicago. In this role, he was a senior member of the pre-operations and administrative teams. Mr. Hannon was charged with developing all recruitment, admissions, enrollment, and financial aid policies and practices, for GEMS Education's first and flagship school in the United States. These efforts lead to the successful opening of Chicago's first truly international school. He began his work in independent education at Francis W. Parker School, one of Chicago's most established and selective day schools.

Mr. Hannon holds a B.A. in Government from Skidmore College, and an M.A. in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University. He has been a commentator on school admissions and financial aid for a variety of organizations including Crain's Chicago, DNA Info, Neighborhood Parents Network, High Jump, and the Independent Educational Consultants Association. He enjoys international travel, skiing, and is a self-proclaimed foodie.

Joshua Anchors

Director of Global Enrollment

Joshua Anchors collaborates with the school's partners from around the world to bring talented, motivated international students to Léman Manhattan. For five years Mr. Anchors worked as director of Léman's unique boarding program and was responsible for the academic, social, and emotional well-being of 120 students from over 20 different countries. Originally from northern Maine, Mr. Anchors worked in humanitarian relief for a variety of organizations including FEMA, the Louisiana Recovery Authority, and the US Peace Corps, before transitioning into education. Prior to working at Léman Manhattan, he taught at Saint Ann's School and worked at the Brooks School as a teacher, coach, and dorm parent. Mr. Anchors holds a MA in the Teaching of English from Columbia University Teachers College. Outside of his work at Léman, he enjoys bicycling, sea kayaking, and creative writing.

Leona Mizrakhi

Director of Human Resources

Leona Mizrakhi leads the human resources department at Léman Manhattan with the goal of attracting and retaining top talent from around the world. Mrs. Mizrakhi is responsible for training and onboarding faculty and staff, as well as managing payroll and benefits, to ensure that Léman employees have the tools and resources they need to be successful in their roles. She is also a proud Léman parent, with two daughters in the lower school. She joined Léman with over 15 years of human resources and organization development experience. Mrs. Mizrakhi has extensive experience partnering with senior management to create and maintain HR policies and procedures that align with the company's overall vision while consulting and coaching employees on all levels on day-to-day operations. She has a passion for providing training, employee relations, recruiting, performance management, as well as implementing and maintaining policy and procedures. She is a member the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) national chapter. She graduated from St. Francis College with honors, enjoys international travel, cooking and playing tennis. She currently resides in New York with her husband and two children.

Department Chairs

Emma Birch

English Language Arts Department Chair

Emma Birch serves as English Department Chair at Léman Manhattan Preparatory School. She teaches both World Literature and Freshman Composition. Before arriving at Léman in 2014, she served as Assistant Head of English at St. Mary's College in Auckland, New Zealand, and her teaching experience includes middle and high school English.

Lisa Nowicki

Director of Fine Arts

Prior to coming to Léman Manhattan in 2011, Lisa served as the Performing Arts Dept. Chair for the Sanford School in Hockessin, DE, where she worked for 19 years and produced award-winning music ensembles and a nationally recognized Theatre program. In Theatre, Lisa has worked as a musical director, producer and conductor. She is the co-founder of Delaware All-State Theatre ®, the nation's only All-State Theatre organization for students, and serves on their Board of Trustees. In addition, she is a former chairperson of the DAIS Music Educators group, which involves 23 schools in DE, PA, MD and NJ. Outside of education, Lisa has worked in corporate arts administration and has served as an Associate Producer for “Lisa Howard: Songs of Innocence & Experience, The Songs of William Finn” (Ghostlight/Sh-K-Boom Records).

Jo Ann Calvanico

Physical Education Department Chair

Jo Ann Calvanico is the Physical Education Department Chair at Léman Manhattan. Since 2008, Ms. “C” has taught PreK 4 - 5th grade PE and Swim. Prior to joining Léman Manhattan, Ms. “C” spent 10 years at The Berkeley Carroll School working as a PE/Swim Teacher and coach of JV volleyball, MS/Varsity swimming and MS/Varsity softball.

Nola Sessions

Technology, Library, and Information Connections Department Chair (TLIC)

Nola Sessions is the Upper School Educational Technology Coach and Pre3-12 TLIC Department Chair. She works closely with students, teachers, administration, and parents supporting educational technology in our school. Prior to working at Léman, Nola worked with PreK–12th grade students and teachers in California, Egypt, Russia, and India in various roles as teacher, coach, and coordinator of Educational Technology.

Brynn Turkish

Mathematics Department Chair

Brynn Turkish serves as Léman's Mathematics Department Chair. She is the Educational Technology Coach for the Center for Early Childhood Education and Lower School, supporting teachers, students, administration, and families with technology integration. She has worked at Léman since 2007 and has taught a variety of Lower School grades.

Bill Livingston

Science Department Chair

Bill has been an IB educator for 25 years, teaching and leading in the Sciences, Languages and IB Core at international schools in New York, Brazil, Lebanon, Guatemala and most recently Hong Kong. Raised in Brooklyn, New York, he studied Environmental Systems at Middlebury College and earned an MA in Curriculum and Instruction from Michigan State University. He has served many roles in IB schools, including DP coordinator, Assistant Principal, Academic and Department Head, before joining Leman as Head of Sciences and IB ESS and TOK teacher. His passion is environmental education, and he is excited to see more hands-on, field study in the gorgeous classroom of the Hudson Harbor and Estuary.

Michelle Venuti

Social Studies Department Chair

Michelle Venuti is the Social Studies Department Chair at Léman Manhattan Preparatory School. Since joining the Léman community in 2013, Ms. Venuti has taught and designed the curriculum for the majority of non-IB Social Studies courses in grades 9-12. Prior to teaching at Léman, Ms. Venuti taught Advanced Placement World History and Advanced Placement United States History at a public school on Long Island. Ms. Venuti holds a Bachelor's Degree in Social Studies Adolescent Education from Long Island University and a Master's in History from Queens College.

Jill Klein

Student Support Services Department Chair

Jill Klein, Ph. D. is the psychologist at Léman Manhattan. Prior to joining the school, Dr. Klein spent four years at The School at Columbia University where she provided social, emotional and academic support services. She was also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University for several years.

Jessica McCormack

World Languages Department Chair

Jessica McCormack is the French Teacher and the World Language Department Chair at Léman Manhattan. Prior to joining the faculty at Léman, Ms. McCormack taught French at a variety of schools in the NY Metropolitan Area and in France. Her diverse teaching career at a private Montessori school in Brooklyn, a KIPP NJ charter school, a NYC public school, in addition to her teaching assistantship in Bretagne, France through the French Ministry of Education, all contribute to the valuable expertise that she brings to Léman's World Language Department. Ms. McCormack's experiences living, studying, and working in other parts of the world, such as in Senegal and France, ignited her passion for studying and teaching language. Before teaching full time, Jessica studied music and played college soccer where she received her BA at Beloit College. She lead five international service and culture trips to France and Quebec through Global Works and KIPP NJ, and volunteered as a French/English interpreter for asylum seekers receiving mental health care at Bellevue Hospital in the Program for Survivors of Torture. Ms. McCormack continues to develop her competencies by pursuing a Masters in French Teaching at Brooklyn College. Through years of experience and professional development Ms. McCormack has received rigorous training on how to develop meaningful language curriculum, engaging instructional practices, and strong classroom management skills. Those valuable opportunities have greatly enhanced Ms. McCormack's understanding of the techniques and nuances of teaching and learning foreign language.

Advisory Board

Grace Ball

Esteemed Educational Consultant
Academic Excellence Scholarship

Grace Ball is the former Head of Admissions for Riverdale Country School, a position she held for almost 20 years. She currently works as an educational consultant in New York City. Grace formerly served as a board member for ISAAGNY.

John Beyrle

U.S. Ambassador
Scholarship for International Understanding - Foreign Service

John Beyrle served as an American diplomat for more than three decades, in foreign postings and domestic assignments focused on Central and Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union and Russia. He was twice appointed ambassador: to Bulgaria (2005-08), and to Russia (2008-12). During the latter assignment he led the implementation of policies leading to improved US-Russian relations, highlighted by the signing of the START nuclear arms reduction treaty, Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization and liberalized visa formalities. He retired from the Foreign Service in 2012, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the US-Russia Foundation and as a business consultant to international clients.

Jack Gantos

Newbery Award and Printz Honor Award-winning Author
Jack Gantos Writing Contest Scholarship

Jack Gantos has written books for readers of all ages, from picture books and middle-grade fiction to novels for young adults and adults. His latest book, Dead End In Norvelt, was awarded the 2012 John Newbery Award for the most Distinguished Contribution to American Literature for Children as well as the Scott O'Dell Award for Best Historic Fiction. His works include Hole in My Life, a memoir that won the Michael L. Printz and Robert F. Sibert honors; Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist; and Joey Pigza Loses Control, a Newbery Honor book. He developed the master's degree program in children's book writing at Emerson College and the Vermont College M.F.A. program for children's book writers. Jack now devotes his time to writing books and educational speaking.

Jinny Goldstein

President, Goldstein Education Group
Excellence in the Arts Scholarship

Recognized as an e-learning pioneer, Jinny Goldstein is President of The Goldstein Education Group, which provides strategic planning and implementation guidance at the intersection of technology and K20 education. Goldstein conceived of and launched HigherEdTECH@CES in 2010 as a unique gathering of visionaries and leaders in education and technology. She previously served as PBS Senior Vice President for Education, where she was responsible for the launching of innovative technology-based services, including TeacherLine, LiteracyLink and the Adult Learning Service; she was the founding President/CEO of PBS The Business Channel, a joint-venture of PBS and The Williams Company; and was Vice President for Education and Strategy of Smarterville, LLC, a division of Educate, Inc. She serves on the President's Advisory Council of Teachers College, Columbia University, the Steering Committee of NYU-DC, the Advisory Board of The Léman Manhattan Preparatory School and the Board of Learn/Lead.

Michael Levine

Executive Director, Joan Ganz Cooney Center
Scholarship for International Understanding - Developing Nations

Dr. Michael H. Levine is the Founding Director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, an independent non-profit organization based at Sesame Workshop. The Center conducts research and builds multi-sector partnerships to scale innovation and investment in promising educational media technologies for children. Prior to joining the Center, Michael served as Vice President for Asia Society, managing the global nonprofit's interactive media and educational initiatives to promote knowledge and understanding of other world regions and cultures. Michael previously oversaw Carnegie Corporation of New York's groundbreaking work in early childhood development, educational media, and primary grades reform and was a senior advisor to the New York City Schools Chancellor, where he directed dropout prevention, afterschool, and early childhood initiatives.

Fretta Reitzes

Director of 92Y's Wonderplay Initiative
Director of the Goldman Center for Youth & Family

Fretta Reitzes is the Director of 92Y's Wonderplay Initiative, and Director of the Goldman Center for Youth & Family. She began her tenure at the 92nd Street Y in 1980 as director of the groundbreaking Parenting Center which became a national model. More recently, she launched 92Y's WonderPlay Initiative to support the work of early childhood educators and to build a local, national, and global network and community of professionals in the field. She created the annual 92Y WonderPlay Conference, and brings 1,000 early childhood educators together with leading thinkers and practitioners from around the world for a day of professional development. In addition, she established the 92Y Vivian Gussin Paley Award for Early Childhood Excellence as a vehicle to recognize the important role of the classroom teacher. She works closely with 92Y's Paley Fellows, a cohort group of New York City master teachers who meet regularly to address today's challenges in the classroom.

Lee Stetson

Former Dean of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Pennsylvania
Academic Excellence Scholarship

Lee Stetson served as Dean of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Pennsylvania for 29 years. He resigned in 2008 and has since worked as an Admissions Consultant for his own company, Stetson College Advisory.

John Walkup

Vice Chair, Department of Psychiatry
Director, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Science Scholarship

John T. Walkup, MD is Vice Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Director, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry a New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health.

Luanne Zurlo

Founder and President Worldfund
Scholarship for International Understanding - Latin America

Luanne Zurlo is the Founder and President of Worldfund. The organization is committed to education in Latin America. Luanne founded Worldfund after a nine-year career as a securities analyst on Wall Street (Smith Barney, CSFB and Goldman Sachs). During this time, she was ranked by Institutional Investor as one of the top Latin American telecommunications analysts. Luanne has an MBA in Finance and Accounting from Columbia Business School, an MA in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins University SAIS and a BA in History from Dartmouth College.

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