Curriculum Team

Ellen Livingston is a former high school social studies teacher, journalist, and editor, who hold degrees from Princeton and Teachers College, Columbia University. Ellen has contributed to a wide variety of curriculum projects, including Teaching the Levees: A Curriculum for Democratic Dialogue and Civic Engagement, designed to accompany Spike Lee’s documentary When the Levees Broke, about the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans. It is worth noting that this project is used in many television and literary materials, so if you need to buy written assignments on similar topics, do not hesitate to ask for help from the essay service and order essay or other types of papers. Ellen Livingston's other projects include classroom materials for teaching African-American history through music, and a study guide for the award-winning documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell, chronicling the women’s peace movement in Liberia.

Keri Crocco is a curriculum writer, consultant and teacher. A graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University, she focuses on curriculum projects that integrate creativity and artistic media with Common Core standards and technology-based applications. In addition to managing the multidisciplinary team of teachers who created the study guide to accompany HBO’s MASTERCLASS series, she has led workshops for the study guide based on the award-winning documentary Beyond Belief. Keri is dedicated to issues surrounding educational inequity, a passion ignited during her time as the co-director of the non-profit organization Breakthrough Long Island. She has taught ELA at both high school and middle school levels, and currently teaches writing at Hofstra University.

Tara Plassmann is a high school Mathematics teacher and the Mathematics Curriculum Coordinator Grades 6 – 12 for the Norwell Public Schools in Norwell, MA. Tara has also taught middle school Mathematics at Roslyn Middle School, Roslyn, NY and the Portledge School, Locust Valley, NY. Tara earned a Master of Education in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and in Communications from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Jackie Kepke has been teaching ELA at North Shore Middle school in Glen Head, New York for the past seven years. A graduate from Penn State University with a BA in English, Jackie began her career as a media buyer at Media Planning Group (MPG), where she negotiated television media purchases for national advertisers. After five years in media, Jackie left MPG to earn her Masters of Science degree in Adolescent English at Fordham University. She is dedicated to helping students understand how effective communication can empower them to make an impact in their world. Jackie is also committed to helping students discover the joy of reading and strives for each of her students to leave her classroom as a life-long reader.

Kate Nichols, a graduate of Teacher’s College Columbia University, is a teacher of English and Social Studies. Her dedication to providing students with innovative and authentic learning experiences has led to projects such as the publication of student writing in Kidsday, poetry slams and workshops, and various service learning projects. Her work with the Master Class Series further demonstrates her commitment to the creation of an arts enriched curriculum that aims to enhance the student experience.

Melissa Oddo

Project Leaders

Harold F. Abeles, Professor

Program in Music and Music Education

Co-Director, Center for Arts Education Research

Teachers College, Columbia University

Margaret S. Crocco, Professor

University of Iowa

Nate Olson, Project Manager

Program in Music and Music Education

Teachers College, Columbia University

Teachers College Press

Peter Sieger, Production Manager

Leyli Shayegan, Assistant Director

Stephanie Ricks, Associate


Paul T. Lehr, Executive Director

Rebecca M. Gentry, Vice President of External Relations

Allison Ball, Director of Education

EdLab, Teachers College Columbia University

Gary Natriello, Ruth L. Gottesman Professor of Educational Research and Professor of Sociology and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

Hui Soo Chae, Head of EdLab Development and Research

Brian Hughes, Head of EdLab Design & Media

Daniel Um, Lead Designer

George Nantwi, Innovation Fellow

Zhou Zhou, Software Engineer

Megha Agarwala, Software Engineer

Luke Malone, Lead Video Producer

Melanie Hibbert, Video Producer

Yana Kehrlein, Video Producer

Ariel Kitch, Video Producer

Wan Park, Video Producer

Basak Haznedaroglu, Designer

Pranav Garg, Solutions Architect