Katerina Watson

Co-Founder, Head of School, Special Education Teacher

Katerina & StudentOriginally on track to become a lawyer, a part time job tutoring kindergarten students during her freshman year at NYU opened Katerina’s eyes to her true passion: Working with children. She immediately switched focus, earning her Bachelor’s Degree from NYU in History, Music, and Education before going on to pursue a Dual Master’s Degree from Teacher’s College, Columbia University in Inclusive Education & Teaching Students with Disabilities. Katerina has been an educator in New York City for over 10 years and has designed the curriculum and program materials for myriad special education programs across the city.

Joshua Askildsen

Co-Founder, Head of Operations
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Joshua has a passion for advocacy and a dislike of bureaucracy. Since graduating from Pace University with his Bachelors Degree in English, he has enjoyed working exclusively for organizations that provide services he finds ethically important and close to his heart. To this end, he has been a team member of All For One Theatre and the National Coalition Against Censorship, two New York City nonprofits, as well as the Chief Operating Officer of Allied Achievement, a center-based instruction program for students with special needs.

Emily Thulier

Co-Founder, Head of Administration

IMG_3818Until recently, Emily taught elementary education at a public school in Washington, D.C. She specialized in teaching children with Emotional Disturbance. After nine years of teaching, she decided to return to school to increase her capacity to meet the needs of students who require more support than academic intervention. She is currently pursuing an MA in Mental Health and Wellness counseling at NYU Steinhardt. She believes that learning should start with understanding and recognizing a person’s individual strengths as well as their needs. She is excited to work for an organization that values these beliefs as much as she does.                                  

Kathleen Cronin

Special Education Teacher

Katie BioKatie Cronin hails from upstate New York and has lived in Brooklyn for 3 years. Her passion for helping others led her to student teaching in high school before studying education at SUNY Ulster. After moving to Brooklyn she worked in the film industry before reconnecting with her love of teaching and now she can’t imagine doing anything else.

 

 

Gail Stephens

Occupational Therapist

Gail BioGail Stephens is a graduate of the Columbia University Occupational Therapy program. Her mission is to foster opportunities for children to grow into successful, empowered individuals. She is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist, and firm believer that your environment shapes your access, emotion, behavior, and participation. Gail loves working with and learning from children of all ages and abilities. She is a member of the circle of advisors for the American Occupational Therapy Political action committee (AOTPAC), and is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association Emerging Leaders Development Program 2016 cohort. Gail is a native Brooklynite. When she isn’t practicing or advocating for Occupational Therapy, you can find her riding her bike, practicing yoga, or enthusiastically rapping her favorite 90’s hip hop jams.

Theo Winston

Speech Language Pathologist

Screen Shot 2019-07-26 at 11.56.25 AMTheo is a New York State licensed Speech-Language Pathologist who holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech­Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) from the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA). He received his Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Adelphi University and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz. As a speech-language pathologist, Theo has worked with school-age children through the NYC Early Intervention Program and through private practice, specializing in expressive-receptive language development, pre-language skill, articulation and phonological disorders, and social-pragmatic skills. He speaks Japanese fluently and treats children in both English and Japanese. Theo is also an avid musician who has performed professionally and taught guitar and piano lessons to adolescents and adults.

Alexandra Buwalda 

Pediatric Physical Therapist

Alex Bio PicAlex is a seasoned pediatric physical therapist with over 25 years of experience. Having previously trained and worked in the United Kingdom and Belgium,  she moved to  New York City  more than 17 years ago. Her goal is to help children gain confidence and achieve their highest level of independence within their environment.Alex enjoys working with children and their families of all abilities and needs. During her free time Alex enjoys running, traveling, walking her dog and spending quality time with her husband and two teens.

Nora Canby

Program assistant 

IMG_5349Since graduating from Wesleyan University with a BA in English, Nora has worked for a number of educational organizations as both a teacher and an administrator. They developed an early literacy curriculum for the tutoring center Five Points Learning and are an Assistant Summer Director at the University of Virginia’s Young Writers Workshop. As a teacher, Nora has worked with students of all ages in academic, recreational, and arts-based settings, and they have a particular passion for helping children explore and express their creative voices. In their free time, Nora enjoys visiting libraries and Starbucks. 

Erin Harris

Special Education Teaching Assistant

IMG_8058Erin is a lover of kindness, creativity, and authenticity. She attended Montclair State University where she majored in Theatre Studies, then further pursued her passion
for 
the craft of Acting and continued her education at The William Esper Studio. Erin spent two years as the in house choreographer for The Saddle River Youth Theatre as well as multiple summers running the children’s acting class for the YMCA Musical Theatre Summer Camp in Bergen County, New Jersey. Erin believes in motivating all individuals to discover and embrace their own unique gifts and to exude true inner confidence through practicing understanding, empathy, acceptance, and JOY! She is ecstatic to be a part of the team at EPIC! 

Winona Lee

Special Education Teaching Assistant

Winona photoWinona Lee has been working with children for over ten years, at school including Lutheran Social Services and Our Children’s Center. Her goal is always to teach, reach, connect, and establish a trusting relationship with each of her students. She is a mother of four boys, which has taught her so much about patience and trust. 

Megan McMullen

Special Education Teaching Assistant

IMG_1216 2After earning a degree in human services, Megan discovered her passion for teaching while working at HeartWorks preschool in Montpellier, Vermont. Megan’s goal is to empower her students to make good choices inside and outside the classroom, and she loves witnessing and celebrating all their hard-earned successes. When she’s not teaching, Megan enjoys hiking, skiing, and hanging out with her dog. 

Malik Smith

Special Education Teaching Assistant

IMG_9235Malik has worked with pre-K through ninth grade students at a number of public and charter schools, including UFT Elementary Charter School and Children’s Aid College Prep. He especially enjoys assisting with math and science instruction and recreational activities. 

 

Bartosz Milewski

Operations Associate

 

Drew Lawrence

Special Education Support Professional

 

Jeremy Stone

american sign language teacher 

IMG_4889 (2)Jeremy was born and raised in New York City. He attended a school for the Deaf and his interest in language continues to guide his learning experience. He began to understand that ASL could be used as an artistic expression and simultaneously provide a different perspective. Using Social media as platform to launch his storytelling videos; the impact was evident with the growing number of followers and traffic that his page was receiving. Seeing the passion for the language, he quickly became energized to provide a comfortable and applicable curriculum that would give students on opportunity to develop language skills while maintaining the artistry and creativity of ASL. 

Jodi Karem

Music Teacher

IMG_20191008_205816311_BURST000_COVER_TOPJodi Karem fell in love with music at an early age
and has spent the last 20 years both performing Opera and teaching kids of all ages. Jodi has sung throughout the United States, Europe and the Middle East. She has also taught in schools, summer programs, and after school programs in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Louisville. Jodi loves to instill her love of music in the hearts and minds of children.

Chelsea Watson

Volunteer Fundraising Coordinator

Chelsea BioChelsea is currently a clinical Social Worker with Mount Sinai SAVI in Queens, NY.  She received her Masters in Social Work from Columbia University in 2017. Previously, she was the Director of Port Chester Cares, a community-based substance use prevention program at which she supervised over 100 volunteers.  Her responsibilities there also included managing the program’s budget as well as fundraising.