The Bootstrap team brings decades of research and classroom experience to our work. Most of our team holds doctorates in Computer Science or Education, and nearly our entire frontline staff has been in the trenches, teaching in rural and urban public schools. But the Bootstrap community is larger than the core team - it's hundreds of teachers who share their lesson ideas, feedback and bug reports. It's college CS majors and professional engineers, teaching Bootstrap to young people in their communities.
Meet our Team
Chief Executive Officer
With a personal mission to unite humanity by eradicating inequities, Marie-José (JoJo) Bahnam has dedicated her life to dismantling oppression. Ms. Bahnam launched her career as an educator in Boston Public Schools, and has since continued to focus her professional and personal endeavors on building a more just and equitable world. Her professional experience includes teaching, education reform, management consulting, crowdsourced innovation, and advising startups. Ms. Bahnam holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, an M. Ed. from Northeastern University, and a B.A. in Mathematics and Art History from Boston University.
Founder, Chief Product Officer
Dr. Emmanuel Schanzer spent several years as a program manager and developer before becoming a public high school teacher and middle school academic coach in Boston. He is the founder and co-director of Bootstrap, which he first designed as a curriculum for his own students. He has long been involved in connecting educators and technology, connecting parties at the Computer Science Teachers Association, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and at universities across the country. He holds degrees in computer science and curriculum development, and completed his doctoral studies at Harvard with a research focus on using programming to teach algebra.
Founder, Board Member
Dr. Kathi Fisler is a Research Professor of Computer Science at Brown University, with a PhD in Computer Science from Indiana University. Active in computer science educational outreach for twenty years, she often draws insight from childhood conversations with her parents, both public school teachers and administrators. Her research looks at the interplay between human reasoning and logical systems, including how people learn to program. She has won WPI's Moruzzi Award for innovation in undergraduate education as well as WPI's Exemplary Faculty prize.
Founder, Board Member
Dr. Shriram Krishnamurthi is a Professor of Computer Science at Brown University, with a PhD in Computer Science from Rice. He has done research in programming languages, software engineering, security, networking, and human factors. He has also been leading computer science outreach for twenty years, starting with the Program by Design project. He is a (co‑)author of two widely‑used textbooks—How to Design Programs
and Programming Languages: Application and Interpretation
—and is now writing Programming and Programming Languages
. He has won numerous awards, including SIGPLAN's Robin Milner Young Researcher Award, SIGSOFT's Influential Educator Award, and SIGPLAN's Software Award (jointly).
Dr. Benjamin Lerner is a lecturer at Northeastern University's College of Computer and Information Sciences, with a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Washington. His research interests and teaching both currently focus on helping novices learn computer science: he teaches the undergraduate introductory programming courses, and is currently co‑developing Pyret, a new programming language aimed at supporting computer science curricula. In the past, he has worked for Microsoft and Microsoft Research, and has taught at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Program.
Dr. Joe Gibbs Politz is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Computer Science at UC San Diego. He received his PhD from Brown University, where his research focused on programming languages, web security, and computer science education. The intersection of these interests led to (co—) designing the programming language Pyret. Previously, he has taught courses at Swarthmore College and at Brown, and worked as a web security intern at Google.
Dorai Sitaram is a system developer with Bootstrap. Previously, he worked for Verizon, devising methods for the extensive and rapid testing and fault isolation of in-use telecommunication circuits. Before that, he has also worked for robotics and software-based modeling companies. He has contributed widely to PLT-branded Scheme and related programming tools and documentation. He has a PhD in Computer Science from Rice University, in the area of programming-language semantics.
Flannery is a passionate progressive educator, committed to making mathematics education relevant and connecting young people to their communities. She develops workshops for educators and place-based math activities for public spaces around the country. Flannery draws on 15 years of classroom teaching experience in rural, urban, public and independent NY schools, including four years of teaching Bootstrap Algebra with 7th and 8th graders. Several of Flannery's articles about her original social justice math activities have been featured in Rethinking Schools
, and one was included in the second edition of Rethinking Mathematics
Rachel is a National Board Certified math teacher with over a decade of experience--including six years teaching Bootstrap:Algebra. As an educator, she is passionate about making mathematics accessible to all learners. She is currently a PhD student in Math Education at the University of Maryland
, where she hopes to explore and examine the systemic obstacles that often stonewall learning in the mathematics classroom. Rachel holds a Masters degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin
Nancy Pfenning received her PhD in Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon, and taught Statistics at the University of Pittsburgh for more than 30 years. She is the author of Elementary Statistics: Looking at the Big Picture"
, received Pitt's highest award for teaching in the Arts and Sciences, and was honored with the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award. Since 2019, she has been involved with Bootstrap in two capacities: writing K-12 curriculum for KIPP New York City
charter schools that incorporates Data Science into Social Studies, and enhancing the materials in Bootstrap's Data Science course
Joy Straub :: California
Joy Straub is one of the leading K-12 Data Science pioneers in the US, and teaches Bootstrap:Data Science and AP Statistics at Mission Vista High School in Oceanside, CA. She launched the first HS Data Science course in San Diego County, and one of the first in CA. Her class has been incredibly successful, with enrollment increasing by 800% in the first year. In her classroom, she blends several projects from the excellent IDS curriculum at UCLA into Bootstrap:Data Science, and has added new projects and activities to the mainline Bootstrap curriculum. She has seen enormous growth in all of her students, and continues to push the envelope when it comes to engaging, rigorous Data Science instruction. Her success has garnered national attention, and she has advised numerous districts and universities on their Data Science initiatives.
Adam Newall :: Massachusetts
Adam has been teaching math and computer science to 7th and 8th graders at Pembroke Community Middle School for the past 9 years and has been teaching the Bootstrap curriculum in his classes for the past 4 years. He is one of the technology integration specialists for his district, has been a keynote speaker at MassCUE, worked on the subcommittee for the Massachusetts Department of Secondary Education to recommend statewide computer science frameworks, and presents as a Bootstrap ambassador to teachers across the country in a variety of PD events. Adam also leads an after school technology club, "The Nerds in Training", and advocates for gender equality in technology fields by organizing a yearly field trip for girls to visit local tech companies and meet with women in industry. He introduced his district to computer science with Bootstrap and is deeply invested in teaching students to make concrete connections between math, computer science, and real life.
Eric Allatta :: New York
Eric Allatta is a founding computer science teacher at the Academy for Software Engineering, a new, unscreened public high school in NYC where all students complete a four year sequence in computer science. For the past four years Eric has organized a monthly meetup for computer science educators and resource providers that has grown to over 1800 members. He is a regular presenter at teacher professional development on AP Computer Science Principles. He was a member of the AP Computer Science Principles pilot group, and is passionate about developing a CS Principles curriculum based on the Bootstrap and How to Design Programs pedagogy. He hopes to see the growth of spaces where teachers can identify themselves as professionals and where they can have a voice in shaping their own professional development.
Monique Rousselle Maynard :: Rhode Island
Monique has been teaching math to HS students at West Warwick High School for the past 15 years, and has taught Bootstrap in her Algebra 1 classes for the past 2 years. Her passion is making the study of mathematics enjoyable while helping students build a strong mathematical foundation for college and career. She is a member of the Better Math Teaching Network and is using her student work with Bootstrap as data to inform her quick-cycle research and development methods on deep engagement and quality justification. She recently worked with RI Learning Champions statewide to craft an exemplar set of proficiencies, performance indicators, and scoring criteria for cross-curricular skills and content areas. Monique introduced her district to Bootstrap Algebra 1 and, this year, co-facilitated professional development for other math teachers in the district.
Dan Thomander :: Idaho
Dan has been a math teacher at Cassia High School, a public alternative high school in Idaho since 2009. He first found Bootstrap when looking for materials and activities that would inspire his students to re-engage in mathematics. Dan began teaching Bootstrap in 2016 and has since developed courses combining Bootstrap Algebra, Reactive, and Data Science into a singular technical math course for all students at his school. The impact on his students' attitudes and effort was what drove him to that end. "My biggest challenge was getting students to want to learn math. Traditional curricula and activities only worked to inspire temporarily, and resulted in students remembering the activity. Bootstrap changed that - for the first time my students wanted to better understand the math content itself."
Mariana Hernandez :: California
Mariana holds a Masters in Education with an emphasis on English Language Learners from San Francisco State University. She has taught math for 17 years at the middle school level. Mariana had been searching for a computer science program that truly made the connection to her math class and Bootstrap fit the bill. She introduced her district to Bootstrap three years ago because she wanted to ensure that her students had equal access and opportunities to explore the real-life connections between math and CS.
Jilian Reynolds :: North Carolina
After teaching high school and middle school English/language arts for 12 years, Jilian became a digital integration facilitator for the Moore County School System in North Carolina. As her students started to crave more than just drag and drop block programming, they encouraged her to find a program where they could create their own video games while typing lines of code, and Bootstrap became their absolute favorite. "When you get the opportunity to see students' eyes light up with joy because they say they 'finally feel smart'", Jilian says, "teaching becomes overwhelmingly rewarding." She is in her second year of teaching Bootstrap, and is a huge advocate for incorporating computer science into mainstream K-12 curriculum. In addition to being a Bootstrap Ambassador, she is working towards earning her PhD in Instructional Design and Technology from Old Dominion University.
Allen Antoine :: Texas
Allen Antoine, M.Ed, is the associate director of Math and CS of the Rice Office of STEM Engagement (R-STEM). In this role, he specializes in providing lesson ideas, PD, and teacher mentoring in the fields of mathematics and computer science. Some of his specific points of emphasis include culturally responsive teaching strategies, inquiry-based learning, and increasing numeracy. Additionally, Antoine works with the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) through WeTeach_CS. As the project director for the Computing Educator Diversity Initiative, he has championed equity and inclusion in CS in the state of Texas and has traveled across the country facilitating teacher preparation courses for high school computer science competency exams. Antoine holds a BS in Computer Engineering from Xavier University of Louisiana and an M.Ed in Teacher Leadership from Lamar University.
Ed holds a B.S. in Applied Math from UCLA w/a Specialization in Computing, and taught high school math for twelve years in Central Valley, CA. He is a Level 2 Google Educator, a CUE Innovative Educator, and a LEC Online/Blended Instructor. Ed is an advocate for using Twitter to expand his Professional Learning Network, and can be found at @edcamposjr. He serves on the board of directors for Global Exploration for Educators Organization (GEEO.org
) and CVCUE (the Central Valley CUE affiliate).
Jennifer Poole is the Manager of Training and Outreach for Bootstrap. Previously, she taught math and physics to grades 9-12, math and STEM for grades 5-8 (including Bootstrap: Algebra), and she also coaches after-school coding and robotics. Jen received her undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Iowa State University and is currently studying for a Masters degree in STEM Education through the University of Iowa.
From 2010-2018, Emma Youndtsmith worked with Bootstrap - first as a training manager and then as the Midwest Regional Manager at Bootstrap. She received an Associate's degree from Bard College at Simon's Rock before graduating from Northeastern University, where she began teaching Bootstrap in Boston Public Schools. After graduating from Northeastern, she joined the Bootstrap team and traveled the country running PD workshops, speaking at conferences, and developing Bootstrap:Reactive.
From 2010-2015, Rosanna taught Bootstrap to students in
Providence, RI and Philadelphia, PA. After graduating with a degree
in neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania, she joined the
Bootstrap team in New York City. As the Regional Manager of New York,
Rosanna trained and supported teachers across the five boroughs.
Danny Yoo is the architect of WeScheme
, which has served hundreds of thousands of Bootstrap students since 2009. He is currently a software engineer at Google. He currently works on its issue tracker
, where he tries to fix more bugs than he creates. In the past, he has written software for the Arabidopsis Information Resource
. He enjoys eating, cooking, doing WHM duty in FFXIV, biking. He still watches the night sky with hope for the future.
Sorawee (or "Oak", as he's known in Bootstrap circles) came to Bootstrap through his undergraduate work at Brown University. In addition to serving as the System Administrator for WeScheme
, Oak made several major contributions to the Pyret programming language
and the code.pyret.org
programming environment. He's also made major contributions to our block-programming work, porting it to ReactJS and writing the reconciliation algorithm for preserving ASTs.
We'd like to thank the following people and organizations for helping develop materials, identify bugs, build software, sharing their suggestions, and helping to improve the quality of our materials.
- American Association of Physics Teachers
- American Modeling Teachers Association
- Eric Allatta
- Allen Antoine
- Paul Carduner
- Servane Demol
- Sam Dooman
- Susan Ettenheim
- Annie Fetter
- Jennifer Geller
- Vania Gulston
- Tom Hoffman
- Jon Hoffmeier
- Rick Jennings
- Bob Khan
- Dan King
- Christine Koerner
- Karen Leonard
- Gregory Marton
- Alexander St. Laurent
- Tiina Partanen
- Nancy Pfenning
- Heather Politi
- Sorawee Porncharoenwase
- Joyce Phelan
- Ria Rajesh
- Les Schafer
- Joy Straub
- Katrien Vance
- Steve Weimar
- Leslie Wilbur
- Melanie Wiscount