Adam Fachler

Adam FachlerAdam has dedicated his career to helping students and fellow educators unlock their learning potential. He has served as an educator, department chair, team leader, staff developer, instructional coach, and intern principal at a Title 1 middle school in the Bronx, and as a consultant to elementary through high schools and entire school districts.

Integrating a wide body of research, Adam has designed and facilitated workshops on student engagement, feedback systems, peer observation cycles, unit and lesson planning, argumentative writing, and classroom dialogue. His original work on the teaching of writing has been featured nationally and internationally by award-winning education author and researcher Jeffrey Wilhelm, and through Top Scholars, the premier college preparation and consulting company in Thailand.

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Andy Matthews, Ed. D.

Andy MatthewsAndrea "Andy" Matthews (Ed.D., University of Georgia (UGA) in Educational Leadership; MS, UGA in Child and Family Development; BA, Albertus Magnus College in Psychology, Spanish and Art Therapy) has worked as an Educational Consultant since her retirement in 2011, following 28 years as a full-time educator. Andy's educational career in Georgia includes work with students from birth to grade 12 as well as support for educators at all levels and across virtually all areas of instruction.

Her 10 years as a classroom teacher were spent teaching moderately and profoundly intellectually disabled students, students identified as at-risk for failure at the middle school level, and general education students in the area of science. Andy also served as a special education consultant and Child Find coordinator for an eight county region in Georgia. Andy concluded her career with administrative experience at the elementary school level and nearly fifteen years as a district level leader in the areas of human resources and professional development.

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Ayesha McArthur

Ayesha McArthurAyesha has extensive experience in educational leadership, and teaching and learning for 25 + years. Beginning her career as an elementary school teacher, she has served as a Supervisor of Middle Level Instruction, Assistant Principal, Principal, and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. She earned a Master of Education in Curriculum and Teaching, and a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Teaching with a concentration in School Leadership, from Columbia University, Teachers College. Throughout her career, Ayesha has designed courses, workshops, and retreats to build leadership capacity and provide professional learning in a wide variety of topics inclusive, but not exhaustive of: equity and inclusivity, leadership, effective teaming practices,best practices in literacy, curriculum development and comprehensive school improvement. She is passionate about transforming organizational cultures, nurturing teacher leadership and navigating leadership through change.

Carol Elk

Carol ElkCarol Elk (M.S. in general and special education) works as an educational consultant supporting teachers, principals and district leaders within the New York City Department of Education. She has been the director of special education leading the work in supporting the special needs populations at the schools in her district. Carol has successfully worked with teachers and school administrators to establish a school and classroom environment that supports the needs of all children. In her current role as educational consultant she specifically works with teachers to meet the needs of students who experience educational and behavioral challenges. In addition she teaches undergraduate and graduate students at Queens College on foundations of special education and the strategies of working with students with disabilities.

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Daisy Concepcion

daisy concepcionDaisy served for 32 years in the NYC Department of Education before retiring. During her tenure at the school building level, she worked as a teacher and an Assistant Principal at the elementary, middle and high school levels. During that time, she developed skill in crafting and implementing K- 12 curriculum and built expertise at teacher development. At the central office level, Daisy served as staff developer and Achievement coach for Literacy, English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities before becoming a Network Leader for 25 schools. As an Administrative Assistant Superintendent and member of the School Accountability Department, Daisy’s last position was Director of School Quality. She conducted over 50 Quality Review across NYC helping principals understand how to use school evaluations as a tool for school improvement.

Estee Lopez, Ed. D

Estee LopezAssistant Professor at the College of New Rochelle and Assistant to the Center of Education Policy, and Innovation. She is also the CEO of the Lopez Consulting Group, where she engages school districts in processes for reform. She is a national consultant in the field of Thinking Maps and Language Development.

Estee is a retired school district administrator, principal and staff developer. She works with numerous school districts to help the reconnect with the mission of education: Teaching and Learning. She has taught courses about cognitive and education; child development, school and family partnerships, education policy, and teaching methods for diverse learners, leadership courses. Her dissertation research focused on the use of Thinking Maps and the academic language development of English language learners.

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Heidi Henderson

Heidi Henderson 2Heidi Henderson entered the field of education indirectly through the sciences. She earned a B.A. in Biopsychology with an emphasis on Learning and Memory from Cornell University in 1996. Her work included identifying the physical changes that occur neurologically as a result of learning. She then earned a M. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Cross Cultural Teaching from National University in San Diego, California. In addition to the usual student teaching, she also worked with an American couple who had adopted a little girl from Tajikistan, to include both advising on child development issues and serving as a Russian language translator. She went on to teach fourth grade, first in San Diego County at a school that served largely-disadvantaged populations, and then later at a Title I school in Durham, North Carolina. After Heidi's students received top scores on the writing assessment in North Carolina, she was asked to become part of a team that focused on training and mentoring other teachers. She then served as a District Writing Specialist for two years.

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Jillian Chaiken

Jillian ChaikenJillian Chaiken spent eleven years teaching students in grades K-12 as an elementary classroom teacher, K-2nd and 6th-8th grade reading specialist, and special educator in a specialized high school for students with moderate to severe disabilities. After completing a dual certification undergraduate program in childhood and childhood special education, her passion for learning, literacy development, and inquiry led her to obtain a graduate degree in literacy education (M.S.Ed in Reading, Literacy and Reading Specialist Certification). Most recently, Jillian worked as an Assistant Director of Lower School Literacy, developing literacy instruction and providing professional development for grades K-4 across a network of schools.

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Kisha N. Daniels

Kisha N DanielsKisha N. Daniels has worked extensively in the areas of teaching and learning with children, public school teachers, administrators, and university students for over 25 years. She holds a BA in elementary education, master’s degrees in school counseling and administration, a specialist certification in curriculum and instruction, and a doctoral degree in educational leadership from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a teacher and administrator in large, urban school districts, she has devoted her work to utilizing and researching engaging curriculum that supports diverse learning styles. During her academic tenure, she was Associate Professor of Education Leadership and has held joint appointments as Director for the Office of Community Service Learning and the Office of Faculty Professional Development and was the Principal Investigator (Education Core) of a National Institute of Health P20 grant which focused on increasing underrepresented populations to pursue cardio-metabolic research careers.

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Lena Kim

Lena KimLena Kim’s educational experience spans over 30 years working as a teacher, coach, professional developer, administrator, and graduate-level adjunct professor. Prior to joining The Balance Between, Lena was an NYC elementary principal of an Exemplary High Performing National Blue Ribbon School where she led school reform that resulted in significant progress in student achievement and school improvement.

With her passion for improving the quality of daily instructional practices, Lena has focused her work on cultivating the capacity of teaching and school leadership in the areas of literacy and intervention development. She has been involved in research projects that build teachers’ capacity in teaching rigorous standard-based mathematics with the EDC and Bank Street Graduate School of Education. While she was at the NYC Division of Teaching and Learning she researched, collaborated, and authored various literacy curriculum guides that are widely used by NYC schools.

Lena had been a frequent facilitator and presenter at NYC Chancellor and Principal Conferences. She has presented at numerous national conferences for educators on the topics of literacy instruction considerations for English Learners, early literacy development, structured literacy, and promoting equity and justice. Her latest presentations were at the MA General Hospital (2022) and Urban Collaborative (2021).

Lena received her Bachelor of Science from New York University and Master of Arts from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Ramona Roth Lipka

ramona rothRamona Lipka has a masters degree in Elementary Education from Queens College and taught full day Pre-kindergarten for 26 years in a public school on Long Island.

Ramona served both her school and district as a leader at the elementary school level. In 2012, Ramona became a Thinking Maps Trainer when Thinking Maps® was introduced in her school district. As a leader in the school, Ramona worked as part of the PK and 5 teacher leadership team working to support the implementation of school initiatives. In her role as District wide Pre-K lead teacher she facilitated professional development for Universal Pre-Kindergarten teachers in the Community Based Centers as well as in the three district elementary schools.

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Virginia Rogers

Virginia RogersVirginia Rogers has worked in the rewarding field of education for the past 30 years on Long Island. She received her Bachelors in Education from the State University of New York at Old Westbury and her Masters of Liberal Studies degree at Stony Brook University. After earning her master's degree, she went on to earn an additional 60 credits towards her New York State Social Studies Certification and New York State School District Administration Certification. As an elementary school teacher, Virginia taught an integrated course of ELA and History with a targeted focus on argumentative and expository writing. Virginia's role on the secondary level has been one of a teacher, a lead teacher, and a Department Chairperson of both Middle School and High School. She has also taught as an adjunct professor at her alma mater, SUNY College at Old Westbury in the History Department.

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