The Team


Mara Pauker
Head of School

Mara was a Founding Teacher at the Blue School in Manhattan and the Founding Head of School at the AltSchool Brooklyn campus. For four years, Mara contributed to AltSchool Brooklyn's design and build out, established a vision, recruited teachers and students, built a school-based community, supported families, and overseen school wide pedagogy. She graduated from the University of Vermont where she focused on Early Childhood Education and has a Masters in Educational Leadership as a School Building Leader from New York University.


Cate Han

Cate is the founder of Hudson Lab School. She has helped startups raise over $100M in early stage capital and worked with entrepreneurs to build company value through mentoring, strategic planning, practical problem solving, and fundraising. Cate began her career as a Quantitative Analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, she co-founded Launch Collective, and she set up and managed the finances for Managed by Q. Cate is a Chartered Financial Analyst. She earned an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA from Barnard College. Cate was inspired by Bayswater Maria Montessori School, Little Leaf Forest School and Portfolio School. She enjoys surfing, yoga and TED talks. 


Stacey Seltzer

Stacey is a partner at Prehype, a group of entrepreneurs who help established companies and VC’s facilitate spin-outs, incubation and venture partnerships. Prehype runs programs for companies such as LEGO, Newscorp, Verizon, Kaplan and Coca-cola identifying new innovation and business opportunities and creating new adjacent businesses through a proprietary lean incubation process. A startup junkie, Stacey has also worked with numerous startups from Managed by Q to Barkbox, CuteCircuit, Joost and others. Stacey received an MBA from Columbia Business School and a bachelor's degree from Brown University.


Kim Mishkin
Upper Elementary Teacher

Kim is celebrating her 25th year as an educator and school leader. For seven years, she was the Assistant Head of Lower School at The Spence School in Manhattan. Kim has also worked in public and independent schools in both urban and rural settings serving grades K-12. Also an entrepreneur, Kim founded SAS for Women, a consultancy helping divorced women. Kim holds a BA in Education from Miami University, a MS in Science Education from Wright State University and is licensed in Educational Leadership through The Ohio State University.


Keith Phillips
Upper Elementary Teacher

A life-long learner and superb storyteller, Keith has engaged students’ interest and progressed their learning in math, science, technology, psychology, research and social studies for the past 35 years. At Karafin School, Crossroads School and Longview School, Keith has taught science and math at all levels through active inquiry and “hands on” laboratory experiences. Keith has dedicated the past 33 summers to Camp Hillcroft working with 4-14 year olds in adventure play.

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Kate Williamson
Lower Elementary Teacher

Hailing from Alabama, Kate has taught at both museums and schools across New York City. For the past three years, Kate has taught at AltSchool and currently co-teaches with Nick Johnson. Kate received her Masters in Museum and Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education and brings a passion for experiential learning and education through hands-on, minds-on investigations of objects and materials. Her own enthusiasm for learning and exploration informs her joy-infused, inquiry-based classroom practice.

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Nick Johnson
Lower Elementary Teacher

With over ten years of teaching experience, Nick believes in cultivating sensitive and observant students who think deeply about themselves and the world around them. He seeks to create authentic learning experiences by engaging students in projects that are meaningful to them and provide the context through which they grow academically and emotionally. This could lead to designing, prototyping, and building a small-scale neighborhood, tracking animals to study their behavior, or conducting a survey of emotional states in the classroom and examining the data to look for trends.

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Joanne Corrigan
Intergenerational Coordinator

Joanne has 15+ years teaching in both preschool and elementary schools in New York and California. She majored in Child Development and Liberal Studies and earned her Teaching Credentials from Dominican University in CA. She has taught in both public and private schools including Innovative Learning Community in Marin County, CA, with a focus on project-based learning.


Robert Berkman
Math Specialist

Robert Berkman was raised on the North Shore of Long Island and has lived in Brooklyn for the past 35 years. He has been teaching mathematics, science and technology to pre-K through college level for over 30 years, both as a classroom teacher and program coordinator. He has spoken at conferences hosted by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and the Association for Curriculum and Development (ACSD), and his work has been published in teaching journals. He is currently the math coordinator at the Manhattan Country School and publishes his mathematics materials under the SamizdatMath imprint. He has three grown children and a grandchild.


Muhammad Abdul-Matin
Play Worker

Known as “Mo,” Muhammad supports kids at play at Hudson Lab School. Kids love Mo because he is kind, fun and empathetic, and he’s always up for a game of tag, a front handspring, or a long Pokemon discussion. Mo spends his free time working on films, including a documentary with the Mount Vernon Doles Center.


Mentors & Advisors


Theresa McCaffrey
Little Leaf Forest Nursery School

Theresa is the Founder and Director of Little Leaf Forest School. She is also a NY state licensed elementary school teacher with six years of teaching experience in inclusive classrooms. Theresa has a Masters of Teaching and a Masters of Fine Arts, is a Harvard grad, and a Teach for America alum. She has spent time studying Waldorf Early Childhood Education at Sunbridge Institute. She is a Hastings-on-Hudson resident and mother of three young children. Theresa can often be found on family adventures, in yoga class or bustling about in the rivertowns. She revels in a good nap whenever she can find the time!


Portfolio School

Babur Habib, Doug Schachtel and Nancy Otero, the founding team of Portfolio School, have been incredible mentors leading the way. Portfolio School is a project-based K-12 school in Tribeca that opened in September 2016.


Educators in Residence


Francesca Rosella & Ryan Genz
Founders of Cute Circuit

CuteCircuit is a fashion brand and a pioneer in the field of wearable technology. Founded over a decade ago, CuteCircuit sparked the fashion and technology revolution through the introduction of groundbreaking designs and concepts that merge the worlds of fashion, design and telecommunication.

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Steven Dean
Professor, Entrepreneur & Designer

With a broad entrepreneurial, design and product development background, Steven has designed and built new ventures, products and services for some of the most innovative consumer health and wellness brands. A leader in the field of behavior change, personal infomatics and health innovation, he is a frequent speaker at industry forums. Steven is an adjunct professor at New York University's graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) and has taught courses on service design and innovation at Parsons The New School for Design and the Rhode Island School of Design.


Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg
Author & Innovation Lecturer

Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg is the co-author of "Innovation as Usual", a Harvard Business Review Press book on the art of driving innovation in regular organizations. His research has been featured in Harvard Business Review, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, BBC Radio, Bloomberg Businessweek and the Financial Times. Recently, Britain’s HR Magazine included Wedell-Wedellsborg on their list of “Top 20 International Thinkers”.


Kim Druce Sava

Kim Druce Sava studied costumes, fashion and textiles at the Art Institute of Chicago. Prior to motherhood, she worked in costume design and fashion styling in theatre, film, television and advertising. She now designs costumes for the Hastings-on-Hudson school theatre and is delighted to join Hudson Lab School. “Children have the most wonderful ideas! I love teaching the art of craft. It helps them bring their ideas to fruition.”


Berk Ilhan
Product & Experience Designer

Berk Ilhan uses innovation as a pillar to cultivate delightful experiences via novel and meaningful interactions. His design work has been recognized by 15 international design awards including the prestigious iF Design Award, International Design Excellence Award (IDEA), Red Dot Best of the Best Award, International Design Award (IDA), and A’ Design Award. His design recipe involves rigorous primary research, holistic system modeling, latent need identification, participatory design, empathy, play, minimalism, and chasing wild dreams by pushing against accustomed constraints.