Our team is committed to making a product that helps
school communities thrive.
While we're experts in our fields, we believe a community-minded tool
greatly benefits if real community-minded people are behind it.
We've each spent years building community in our neighborhoods and
our hometown of San Francisco -- supporting schools and non-profit organizations, particularly in education.
Deena Minwalla, Product
Deena started her career as a teacher and has over 17 years of experience specializing in interactive educational products for preK-12 grades. She has worked with a variety of edtech companies, including Leapfrog, Pearson, Education.com, Nearpod, and AltSchool. She was Program Director of co.lab, an edtech accelerator that worked with startups leveraging the power of playful learning to build transformative technologies for preK-12 students and teachers.
Deena donates her time and talent as the Communications Chair of New School of San Francisco, a Parent Leader of Innovate Public Schools, a local chapter board member of First Books, and an advisor to Ludibuk, a digital literacy product.
Jonathan Wilson, Engineering
Jonathan built his first computer at age 11 and never looked back. For 30 years, he's been designing, coding, and managing software development. Jonathan has developed systems -- ranging from industrial control, scientific publishing, and telecoms to social media and games. Serving as a founding member and manager of multiple engineering teams, he has worked for many companies that you've probably never heard of but were part of - or acquired by - some you might: Crossaig (Thompson Reuters), Ceon (Convergys), Iperia (Genband).
Jonathan donates his expertise to San Francisco's Sunnyside Elementary as Chair of the Tech Committee, introducing Hour-of-Code and running their annual talent show of 100 young performers. He's also a mentor with WEST, an organization that helps women enter and flourish in technical roles.
Michelle Magat Williams, Marketing
Michelle has over 18 years of experience in marketing and communications. She has worked with two of the leading global communications agencies - Weber Shandwick and Edelman. Michelle co-founded Current, a consumer lifestyle marketing firm with five locations nationwide, and ran her own consulting business for three years. She has counseled brand teams at dozens of companies, including The Clorox Company, Burt's Bees, Samsung, Kraft, and Nestle.
For 10 years, Michelle has volunteered for La Cocina, a business incubator for minority and immigrant women food entrepreneurs, and serves as an advisor. She created curriculum and taught kindergarten computer lab. She donates her time to San Francisco Schoolhouse and SFMOMA where she is a museum guide for grades 3-8.
Amy Henning, Engineering
Amy is a full-stack software developer who also brings more than a decade of leadership experience in education to her work at HEARD. She has taught elementary, middle, and high school in Santa Fe (NM) and Chicago.
For the past five years, she has led national curriculum work at OneGoal, a college access and success program serving over 10,000 students nationwide. Her research on the student experience at OneGoal and her belief that educators must center and build on student, family, and community strengths led the organization to redesign its program model to ensure a more student-driven, equitable program experience for teachers and students alike. As a developer and an educator, Amy loves to dig into the logic behind complex problems and use human-centered design to generate solutions.
Sean is Co-Founder and CEO of STRATIM, the intelligent logistics platform for mobility companies. He previously served in leadership roles at Adap.tv (acquired by AOL) and most recently, as SVP of Global Operations. Before Adap.tv, Sean held various management roles at Shopping.com (acquired by Ebay), including roles in HR, sales, product management, and strategy development. Sean volunteers his talents with Working Solutions, a CDFI helping underserved entrepreneurs in the San Francisco Bay Area to start and grow thriving local businesses.
Steven is Co-Founder and COO at Prepared Learning, digital study aids that give underprepared college students the foundational support they need to take on college-level coursework. He began his career in economic modeling and forecasting, programming, and custom software application development. Steven spent 15 years as a technology entrepreneur of an IT consulting firm and later a knowledge management software company. He later moved into education, doing corporate development, M&A, technology and media partnerships for Pearson Education. He is member of the faculty at the New School in NYC.
Christina has over 16 years of experience in family engagement, youth development and education policy work both in the U.S. and abroad. She is Director of Community at the New School of San Francisco where she leads work on family and staff recruitment/retention, positive school culture and climate, and community partnerships. Previously, Christina worked with Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center and Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth where she was Director of Parent Organizing and Education Policy.
Amber Maria Levinson
Amber is a Research Associate at Stanford Graduate School of Education as part of the TELOS Initiative (Technology for Equity in Learning Opportunities). Amber earned a Ph.D. in Education at Stanford in the Learning Sciences and Technology Design program and was a Post-Doctoral Scholar with the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. Amber began her career as a classroom teacher and has worked as a writer and associate producer on films for the BBC, National Geographic and others. She has authored multiple publications in the field of technology and learning.
Marcia Russell, EdD
Beginning her career as a teacher, Marcia has served over 20 years in public education and in educational consulting. She has engaged teachers, instructional coaches, and principals in professional development in all subjects from PreK-12 and leadership development with the Van Loan School, Bellevue Union School District, Contra Costa County Office of Education, and Teacher Created Materials. Over the past 15 years, she has led administrative, editorial and research teams with Harvard Graduate School of Education, Education Matters, and as the President and Chief Education Office at edTech company Smarty Ants.
Liz has spent the last 18 years in the classroom as a history teacher, writing mentor, advisor and college counselor. She taught history at the Pingree School (Mass.) and as a teaching assistant at Brown University before moving to Drew School in San Francisco, where she taught history, English and served as a college counselor. Liz holds a B.A. degree from Harvard University and an M.A. degree from Brown University. She volunteers her time and talents as chair of Friends of the Library at Marin Primary and Middle School and as a founding board member of Eaglemere Foundation, supporting charitable organizations in areas of environmental protection, education and social justice.