ARIANA ABADIAN HEIFETZ
Mentor – Social Emotional Learning
Author and Consultant on Leadership Development, Empowerment and Gender Discrimination
Ariana is the creator of the Human Framework, and works with adults and children at all levels of the school community to foster emotional intelligence, leadership, conflict resolution skills, and mindfulness of social-conditioning through workshops and curriculum development. She formerly worked for the Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojana in Uttar Pradesh as a Program Expert on Leadership and Communications where she led trainings for young women on menstrual hygiene and discriminatory social myths. She has authored a graphic novel, ‘Spreading Your Wings,’ to inspire mindset shifts around menstrual hygiene and the female body, which is published by Zubaan Publishers. She has been a visiting faculty for I am a Teacher for the last 5 years, in addition to working as the Deputy Director at The United State of Women, Washington, D.C. While Deputy Director she collaborated with the Obama Administration’s White House Council on Women and Girls to launch the first United State of Women Summit. She is a graduate of Carleton College, USA.
Dennis is the co-founder and co-director of The Met School, co-founder of Big Picture Learning and founder and President of College Unbound. He is known in the US for his extensive work in secondary education in urban, suburban, and rural settings, spanning over 40 years. As an educator, Dennis has a reputation for working up against the edge of convention and out of the box, turning tradition on its head and delivering concrete results.
He holds a double Ph.D. in psychology and education from the University of Michigan. In 2003, Dennis was recognised as a leader in education and awarded the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education. Fast Company ranked Littky #4 among the top 50 Innovators of 2004, and the George Lucas Educational Foundation recently selected Dennis as part of their Daring Dozen. Most recently, Dennis was awarded the New England Higher Education Excellence Award in 2011.
Jon, EL Education’s Mountain Region Director, has worked for over 25 years in education in Colorado. He was a founding teacher, and eventual Executive Director, of the Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning. Jon’s career experiences also include working as the Director of Welby New Technology High School, Program Director for College Summit Colorado, Principal Leadership Facilitator with the Public Education and Business Coalition, Director of Education for Colorado Ocean Journey, teaching science, math and technology at various schools, and establishing a local chain of restaurants in the Denver area.
NOORA FATIMA NOUSHAD
Mentor – Design & Technology
Specialist in Digital Literacy and Maker – Centred Pedagogy
Noora joins us from The University of Pennsylvania where she holds an M.S.Ed in Learning Sciences and Technology. At Heritage Xperiential Learning School, she pioneers Design Thinking and Maker Mindset as part of the curriculum, further driving the school’s experiential and project-based pedagogy. She is a published learning scientist who has led multiple initiatives on imparting mobile computing skills to middle school students across public and private schools in the United States of America. She has led research on the Milken-funded project, Code for Philadelphia, a curriculum that focused on building students’ engagement in STEM through the creation of mobile apps. Her work has been presented at Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Conference in London and published in the International Journal of Learning Sciences.
Smriti is the co-founder of I am a Teacher (IAAT), a not-for-profit organisation which aims to prepare a critical mass of teachers that can lead change in and through classroom. She headed the Middle School at HXLS, leading a team of 50 teachers. She stepped into this role at a critical stage where the Middle School was being transformed from a conventional programme to a more experiential, progressive, relevant and child-centred programme. In the last few years, she has worked extensively with teachers and facilitated several workshops for teachers. Smriti is an alumnus of Harvard University.
Based out of Boston, USA, Steven has been HXLS’ inspiration in experiential learning. His association with the school began in 2010 when he conducted training for 40 Heritage educators. He works with Expeditionary Learning Schools Outward Bound (ELS) which is a national, non-profit organisation that specialises in Project Based Learning (PBL). With almost 200 schools in the US and 25 years of experience in PBL, ELS is probably the most experienced organisation in this field. Steven is helping HXLS implement PBL as a part of its curriculum.
HXLS works closely with Dr. Ravindran, a renowned counselling psychologist and trainer, on behavioural and discipline related issues.
He has been involved in counselling, counsellor training and teacher education for over two decades with many reputed educational institutions in India and abroad. He is the Director of Institute of Counsellor Training Research and Consultancy (ICTRC). He is also the chief mentor of Eduexel India and chief consultant of The Helping Hand.
Rayna has been a teacher, school founder, principal and school consultant for over 30 years. Since 2013, she has been working with EL Education, one of the leading K-12 education organisations in the US, supporting teachers and school leaders across the US and in India.
She is a contributor to the EL Primary Literacy curriculum, in addition to two EL Education books, Management in the Active Classroom and Learning That Lasts. Rayna also created and currently directs an award-winning community service literacy programme with middle and high school student tutors.
Rayna works closely with the HXLS Middle Programme teachers on strengthening the already existing strong groundwork of the expeditionary pedagogy.
*Member names are arranged in alphabetical order