We’re a small team of teachers, designers, and software people in Los Angeles. We're on a mission to help millions of children, parents, teachers, and others who struggle with learning every day.
We work closely with Teachers, Educational Psychologists, Child Development Experts, LAUSD School Board Members, and Principals at Public and Charter Schools.
Karen M. Caruso, CEO
Karen M. Caruso earned her bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts at the Hartford Art School, then went on to complete a master’s degree in Education at UCLA and another master’s degree in Psychology at Antioch University.
As a classroom clinician, mother and stepmother of three, and veteran National Board Certified LAUSD classroom teacher, Karen specializes in bridging the gap between school and home for her students. Karen has been a relentless researcher informed by her real-world experience in the classroom and as a teacher of teachers in the UCLA Graduate School of Education, Teach LA and Pacific Oaks College Teacher Education Programs.
Erlend Wilhelmsen, Product
Partner Fabric, Software entrepreneur
Erlend came to California from Norway in 1997 and started a company within a year of arriving in Los Angeles. He now has 15+ years startup and CEO experience including building a multi-million dollar software services company and leading work with Pearson Education, IKEA, and Redbull. He has led product, design, and engineering teams on more than 100 projects over the past fifteen years. “I’m a creator and a builder. I’m committed to inventing a better future for our kids. That's why I work in health, sports, wearables, and education.”
Caprice Young is the CEO & Superintendent of Magnolia Science Academies, a group of 11 California charter schools providing a high quality STEAM education to nearly 4,000 students in grades kindergarten through high school. Dr. Young serves as a corporate director of Itslearning and Savvy Source (Schoola.com).
Marlene Canter has spent the majority of her career in education. First as a classroom teacher, then co-founding and helping to run a teacher training company for 25 years, and, finally, serving 8 years on the LAUSD School Board as a policy maker. She retired in 2009. She now attends the Academy for Jewish Religion, California and is in her third year as a chaplaincy student. At the same time she is the Board Chair for the Greendot Public Schools and serves on the board at City Year Los Angeles. Marlene divides her time between her chaplaincy studies, her leadership roles in education re- form, and being with family and friends.
Since her first teaching job in 1967, Kaye Ragland, Ed.D, MFT, BCET has been working with children, adolescents, and adults in education. She holds a BFA and an MFA in Dance from the University of Utah, an MA in Marriage, Child, Family Counseling from Pacific Oaks College, and an Ed.D in Educational Leadership and Change from the Fielding Graduate University. In addition, she holds a California Education Specialist Credential, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and is a Board Certified Educational Therapist.
After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential at Occidental College in California, Barbara Elson began her long and distinguished career as an educator in 1993 at the Coeur d’ Alene Elementary School teaching in the School Readiness Language Development Program and remains there to this day.
Lauren Gregor currently serves as a Program and Policy Development Advisor for Los Angeles Unified School District’s Talent Management Division. As part of the Supporting All Employees initiative, she works closely with teachers, principals, and other stakeholders to ensure there are effective employees at every level of the organization focused on improving student outcomes. Lauren has taken leadership on development of an online technology platform to support these District initiatives for all 80,000 employees, and provides policy guidance, labor support, and recommendations on the implementation of the new teacher evaluation system.
Bill Merkelson After Bill Merkelson received his bachelor’s degree from UCLA, he began his career teaching grades 5 and 6 in the LAUSD. During these years he also served as president of Computer Using Educators, Los Angeles, and was involved in training teachers and administrators to use computers in their classrooms or schools. Bill currently runs a Technology Center in an elementary school where he enables students to create interactive projects to better prepare them for the future.
Teacher Training Leads
Stacey began her teaching career in 1998 in Los Angeles, where she holds both multiple subject and single subject (history) credentials. A faculty member at Third Street Elementary for the past 16 years, Stacey has taught Special Needs children in full inclusion classrooms for 3rd, 4th and 5th grades; she has also taught Special Day class.
She is grateful for her experience working with children of all abilities.
Christopher is a seasoned teacher and mentor. With a degree in Business Administration and the Creative Arts, he has been teaching and helping students understand the world around them with an organic approach for over 20 years. A father of two, a photographer, an actor and a teacher, Christopher’s many facets allow him to have a rounded perspective that is constantly changing and evolving.