About Ready4K

Ready4K is a community of learners who are passionate about supporting families to ensure that all children have the opportunity to thrive in life. 

Our Team

Our team members bring together expertise in child development, family engagement, content and curriculum, product, technology, research, and leadership, with decades of experience serving millions of students across the country and beyond.

In addition to our core team, we are honored to work with a large set of nationally-recognized advisors to ensure our continuous improvement.

Megan Gallagher

Megan Gallagher

Director of Partner Success

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Megan Gallagher

Megan is the Director of Partner Success at ParentPowered. After teaching lower elementary for nine years she moved to the edtech world, where she has worked in customer success at various edtech startups (Hapara, Nearpod, and Handshake). She holds a B.A in Child Development from Michigan State University, a M.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Michigan, and a M.A. in Instructional Technologies from San Francisco State University.

April Hawkins

April Hawkins

Marketing Manager

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April Hawkins

April is the marketing manager at ParentPowered. She was previously a public school district leader, developing and implementing public relations plans to inform and engage diverse communities. She has a passion for equity, and has worked with a global nonprofit advocating for LGBTQ+ workplace equality, as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She holds a M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from Tel Aviv University, and a B.A. in French Literature from the University of Houston and the Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour.

Rebecca Honig

Rebecca Honig

Chief Content and Curriculum Officer

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Rebecca Honig

Rebecca is the Chief Content and Curriculum Officer at ParentPowered. She has authored numerous curricula, parent guides, and children’s storybooks for Sesame Workshop, Scholastic, Disney, Compass Learning, PBS, WGBH, HITN, Nickelodeon, Mo Willems, and The Norman Rockwell Museum. She has also served as a Curriculum and Content Specialist for Sesame Street and spent ten years teaching in public, private, and after school programs. Rebecca has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street.

Weezie Hough

Weezie Hough

Director of Strategic Partnerships

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Weezie Hough

Weezie is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at ParentPowered. She has spent over a decade of her career cultivating and managing relationships that support financial sustainability and bolster social impact. Weezie has worked for businesses, public benefit corporations and nonprofits, including Giving Assistant, GreatSchools, and Sesame Workshop. She holds a B.A. in political science from Louisiana State University.

Francoise Lartigue

Francoise Lartigue

Senior Content and Curriculum Specialist

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Francoise Lartigue

Francoise is the Senior Content and Curriculum Specialist at ParentPowered. She began her career teaching kindergarten in the South Bronx through Teach for America, and has ten years of experience working in both the public and private sector. Most recently, she worked with the Flying Cloud Institute to design and implement STEM and STEAM based units for elementary classrooms. Francoise has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College.

Susanna Loeb

Susanna Loeb

Academic Advisor

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Susanna Loeb

Susanna is an Academic Advisor of ParentPowered, and a Professor of Education and International and Public Affairs at Brown University. She is also the Director of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown, and was previously the Director of the Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford University. Susanna holds a doctorate in economics and a master of public policy from the University of Michigan, and a bachelor’s in political science and civil engineering from Stanford.

Kirk Maxfield

Kirk Maxfield

Head of Partnerships

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Kirk Maxfield

Kirk is the Head of Partnerships at ParentPowered. For more than two decades, he has worked on growing solutions for social good, such as electric vehicle charging stations, healthcare data analytics, and classroom management software. In his free time, Kirk enjoys chasing around his 6-year old daughter, Ella. He holds a B.A. in International Relations from San Francisco State University.

Steve Midgley

Steve Midgley

Technical Advisor

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Steve Midgley

Steve is a Technical Advisor of ParentPowered and a founder and managing director of Learning Tapestry, an educational innovation company. He has served in government as Deputy Director of Educational Technology at the US Department of Education, and as the Director of Education at the FCC. Steve also ran the technology consulting firm Mixrun, providing CTO services to organizations including the CA Department of Education, Pearson, Amplify, and the Gates Foundation. He holds a BA in Anthropology from UC Berkeley.

Matthew Nelson

Matthew Nelson

Chief Operating Officer

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Matthew Nelson

Matthew is Chief Operating Officer for ParentPowered. Before joining ParentPowered, Matthew served as president of GreatSchools. He began his career in education and social impact work in various operations leadership roles at Aspire Public Schools and Tides. Previously, Matthew spent several years in digital media as a co-founder of Organic and founding management team member of Wired magazine’s online venture, HotWired. Matthew has a B.A. from Earlham College and an MBA from The Wharton School.

Alex Nizamov

Alex Nizamov

Senior Software Engineer

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Alex Nizamov

Alex is the Senior Software Engineer at ParentPowered, responsible for the design, development, and maintenance of the technical side of the Ready4K program. He is an IT specialist with a focus on web development, and has helped build numerous web apps and services. Alex holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI in Moscow, Russia.

Lorena Sernett

Lorena Sernett

Director of Strategic Partnerships

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Lorena Sernett

Lorena Sernett serves as the Director of Strategic Partnerships for ParentPowered PBC, home of Ready4K. In her role, she facilitates partnerships with education providers to improve family engagement efforts for children from birth to 5th grade. 

Lorena supported the early childhood learning community at Teachstone Training and Teaching Strategies and was instrumental in the global expansion of CLASS®, The Creative Curriculum®, and GOLD®. Ms. Sernett holds bachelor degrees in International Business and Spanish, and has over 20 years of experience in the education and technology fields.

Heer Shaikh

Heer Shaikh

Program Success Manager for Distance Learning

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Heer Shaikh

Heer is the Program Success Manager for Distance Learning at ParentPowered. She began her career designing a mobile public education program for the government in Pakistan and teaching in underserved areas in Karachi. More recently, she worked as the Tech & Data Lead responsible for Pre-K for All Outreach in New York City. Heer has a Masters in Education Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Maya Sussman

Maya Sussman

Senior Director of Product

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Maya Sussman

Maya is the Senior Director of Product at ParentPowered. Before joining ParentPowered, she developed an English coaching platform for adult immigrants, and helped students and teachers get easy access to online learning at Clever. Maya holds a B.A. from Tufts University, and an M.A. in Learning, Design, and Technology from Stanford’s Graduate School of Education.

Mary Westervelt

Mary Westervelt

Director of Marketing & Communications

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Mary Westervelt

Mary is the director of marketing & communications for ParentPowered PBC. She is passionate about helping great ideas take flight. A life-long member of the mission-driven entrepreneurial world, she has worked across industries and sectors, with the last 7 years in edtech. She holds an MBA in Managing for Sustainability from Marlboro College and a B.A. from the College of William & Mary in Anthropology.

Jon Witort

Jon Witort

Chief Technology Officer

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Jon Witort

Jon is the Chief Technology Officer of ParentPowered. A lifelong lover of technology, Jon spent his early career helping to build the mobile Internet, and most recently worked at Jawbone as a Software Architect helping people to take control of their fitness and health through award-winning wearable technology. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

Ben York

Ben York

Founder of Ready4K & CEO of ParentPowered Public Benefit Corporation

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Ben York

Ben is the founder and CEO of ParentPowered, the home of Ready4K, an advisor to the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement, and the first male in his immediate family to graduate from high school. Prior to founding ParentPowered, he was the Executive Director of CEPA Labs at Stanford University. His career spans education technology, education research, public education, philanthropy, and finance. Ben has a B.A. in economics from the University of Colorado, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, as well as an M.A. in political science and a Ph.D. in education from Stanford. He enjoys spending his free time going on adventures with his wife Shelly and daughter Ellie.

Ready4K Family Workshop Crew

Meet the Ready4K Crew, who help bring your Ready4K tips to life! Want to learn more about Ready4K Workshops? Start here.

Françoise Lartigue

Françoise Lartigue

Professor Eureka!

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Francoise Lartigue

Françoise is the Content and Curriculum Specialist at Ready4K. She has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College and began her career teaching kindergarten in the South Bronx through Teach for America. Francoise has spent over a decade working in the public and private sector of education including designing and implementing STEM and STEAM based curricula in elementary classrooms.

The character Professor Eureka! combines her love of Science & Math with her passion for creating and inventing.

Julianna Luna

Julianna Luna

Señorita Luna

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Julianna Luna

Julianna Luna is an Afro-Dominican actor, singer, and performer hailing from New York City and CT. Julianna studied vocal performance and dance at Hunter College in New York City. During her time in NYC she hosted and curated open mic shows called Wildfire Open Mic in the Lower East Side and Brooklyn, while having an acting career and singing lead in a funk band called the Simple Lovers. Julianna has been featured in productions shown on Netflix, HBO, and live theater productions. She is now finishing her degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and Arts Management at MCLA and will graduate in 2022.

Señoria Luna loves to learn through moving her body.

Kiya Mirmozaffari

Kiya Mirmozaffari

Mr. Busypants

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Kiya Mirmozaffari

Kiya is an educator, musician, writer, poet, little brother, big brother, son, husband, part-time-nuisance, AND Mr. Busypants, too. There are many more things he loves to do, and the driving force behind all of them is also the reason working in education matters: We live in a world full of wonder, and every child should have a real opportunity to explore and discover it.

Kiya studied at the University of Maryland to receive his BA in political science and M.Ed. He has worked with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, ParentPowered (Ready4K), and is am currently an ESOL teacher for Baltimore City Public Schools.

Kiya is honored to serve families as Mr. Busy Pants and sees every educator, parent, caregiver, and child as a valued member of this community.

Melissa Ferrer

Melissa Ferrer

The Big Fancy Word Lady

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Melissa Ferrer

Melissa is a writer, poet, performer, musician and educator living in Kansas City, MO. She loves to read and uncover all the things that can help us remember how to be happy. She LOVES to find words for the things that are hard to say. So, she studies poetry in Randolph College’s MFA program and never runs away from tension! Most importantly, she loves to have fun, and smile as often as possible, and she loves to do that with you!!!

Rebecca Honig

Rebecca Honig

Ms. Rebecca

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Rebecca Honig

Rebecca is the Chief Content and Curriculum Officer for Ready4K. She has numerous curricula, parent guides, and children’s storybooks for Sesame Workshop, Scholastic, Disney, Compass Learning, PBS, WGBH, HITN, Nickelodeon, Mo Willems, and The Norman Rockwell Museum. Her background also includes performing in New York and Boston theaters, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. She has voiced characters on dozens of nationally broadcast cartoons. Rebecca has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street.

As Ms. Rebecca, she is always ready with her banjo and friends Popcorn, DJ Sound, (and more) to lead the Ready4K Workshop Crew through an hour of learning fun.

Sunhwa Reiner

Sunhwa Reiner

Ready4K Workshop Producer

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Sunhwa Reiner

Sunhwa is an educator, designer, musician, freelancer, and all around jack-of-all-trades. She started her educator’s journey with a degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and continued on to be a successful elementary and middle school teacher for several years. Currently, she is learning and growing through creative opportunities from freelancing and contracting with amazing companies such as Ready4K. Sunhwa plans to continue helping the world become a better place, whether it’s through writing songs, teaching kids, creating effective graphics or resources for people, or baking warm and delicious cookies.

Want to join us?
We’re Hiring

ParentPowered PBC, the home of Ready4K, is hiring! If you’re interested in helping to build a rapidly-growing organization that is supporting families in new and innovative ways, check out our open positions.

(Joining the hikes is optional).

West coast team hike
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