Michael Bernstein, CEO
Before starting PenPal News, Michael was an educator of sorts; he worked as a journalist and producer for NPR's "On The Media." Doing this work made him think about how news could be used to connect people around the world. After surveying the limited options available for teachers to connect classrooms nationally and internationally in an easy, user-friendly way, Michael set out to build a platform that would do just that. He holds a bachelor's degree in Media Studies from Pomona College.
Marisa Kaplan, Curriculum Development
Marisa is an educator, curriculum consultant, and learning architect. She previously taught at The Equity Project Charter School and the Manhattan School for Children. She blogs about Ed Tech and other topics at EdGeeks.com. Marisa holds a Master's of Science in Learning Disabilities from Hunter College and a Bachelor's Degree from NYU.
Gaelen Hadlett, CTO
Gaelen writes computer programs and builds technology projects with kids. Before joining PenPal News, he built publishing tools for top tier news publishers at Daylife and next generation training systems for the military at L-3 Link Simulation & Training. In 2008, he started teaching free engineering art classes in public schools. He holds a master's degree in Computer Science and is currently completing a master's degree in Neuroscience and Education at Teachers College.
Joe Troyen-Schwartz, International Outreach
Joe leads PenPal News’ effort to expand across the globe. He holds a Bachelor's degree in International Relations from Pomona College.
Holly North, User Experience and Interaction Designer
Holly is a user experience strategist and interaction designer with over 12 years experience. She specializes in the design of convergent experiences across connected devices, enabling multiple devices and services to work together, seamlessly. Holly focuses on the design of social, commerce, media and informational experiences across mobile, tablet, desktop, television and wall/kiosks and brings a strong understanding of the business principles and practices that underpin creative projects.
Ross Klettke, Animator
Ross is an animator interested in the efficient communication of ideas. He graduated from UW-Madison with a B.S. with honors in Computer Science before heading to Vancouver to study animation. Since then he's worked with clients around the world and had short films play in festivals and on TV. He's interested in pretty much everything.