Meet the mentors...
Todd has a Master’s Degree in Reading for English Speakers of Other Languages from Nova Southeastern University in Miami, Florida, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida. He has educational endorsements in Gifted Education, Reading Education, and English for Speakers of Other Languages. He holds Internet Business Associate and Site Development Associate industry certifications.
Todd is one of 30 current TED Ed Innovative Educators in the world and has presented at TED Ed Weekend. He was named one of the 15 Most Innovative and Inspiring Educators in America by Microsoft. At the Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum in Prague, Czech Republic, Todd’s learning activity placed third in the world out of 260,000 entries. His annual student letter writing campaign, Write a Letter, Save a Life, was lauded on the floor of Congress and entered in United States Congressional Record.
Todd has personally advised the current King of Spain on matters of education. He has also written ICT strategy for Learn for Japan a non-profit that works with the Japanese Ministry of Education. He is the founder of kidacademy.org, a website that showcases the best in student content creation.
Todd has been named the District Career and Technical Education Middle School Teacher of the Year as well as a recipient of the Dwyer Award for Excellence in Education Teacher of the Year in a school district of 12,000 teachers.
Todd is currently affiliated with these educational organizations:
TED-Ed Innovative Educator
Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert
BrainPOP Certified Educator
Flocabulary MC Educator
Corinth/Lifeliqe Pilot Educator
Todd also is an officer on the Board of Governors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Palm Beach and Martin Counties and advises its School to Work Program which helps hundreds of teens gain valuable real-world work experience.
Petro is a talented entrepreneur with experience in a wide range of fields, including his roles as director and project manager for global AV companies Ikatu and Bang and Olufsen. Petro’s expertise includes sales, marketing, IT software, and audio/video, his real passion is a commitment to lifelong learning and to using his skills to make a positive impact on society. Petro has a Bachelor of Administration, Management, and Marketing from Florida Atlantic University and an MBA from the Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship in Palm Beach. In addition, he has served as an Adjunct Professor at Palm Beach State College and is currently enrolled in LaunchCode, a Miami extension of Harvard’s CS50 intensive coding program.
Wes is Director of Technology and Innovation Integration at The Benjamin School, a college preparatory school in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Wes has a BA in Business and Marketing, a JD certification in Sports Law, and expects his MA in Ed. Leadership in the Spring of 2016. His classroom competencies are equally diverse, having taught World History, Government, Economics, Law, Psychology, and Civics during his nine years as a teacher. Wes specializes in innovative use of space in the classroom and designs courses that challenges students to implement technology creatively.
Simon has spent ten years as an English Teacher at The Benjamin School where he spearheaded initiatives such as the iPad program and the Mayor’s Student/City Challenge, a program designed to facilitate hands on, practical applications of education to solve some of the cities most difficult challenges. Simon has a BA from Middlebury College, and an MA from the Bread Loaf School of English, also a Middlebury program. Simon is committed to creating a space for innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship in education and demonstrating that these skills are among the most important to nurture in the 21st century.
Jill Boyd Pavich has a bachelor's degree in grades 6-12 Language Arts education from Kent State University in Ohio, and a master's degree in curriculum design from Florida Atlantic University in Florida. She obtained her National Board certification in 2009 and is both Reading and ESOL endorsed. In addition, she is course-trained in AICE General Paper, AICE Global Perspectives, and AP Seminar.
A 12-year veteran of teaching, Jill has a wide range of experiences in the classroom. Currently, she leads two, collegiately-geared programs at her high school in Boca Raton, Florida. She is the team leader for AICE General Paper, an on-demand, writing-intensive course that considers a range of contemporary, globally-relevant issues; and she also leads the curriculum for AICE Global Perspectives, a writing class that probes the deeper levels of critical thought through research. Both of these courses are offered through Cambridge International Exams. In addition, she is the Department Head for the Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone program at her school and is the team leader for the AP Seminar portion of this pioneering curriculum.
In her classroom, Jill has developed a Global Writing block that fuses these three curriculums together for a seamless, cross-curricular approach to writing instruction. She encourages a student-centered approach to learning where learners become problem-solvers and deep thinkers. Last year, she had a 100% passing rate for her AICE students in both curriculums, and a 94% passing rate for her AP students. All of her learners are freshmen.
Jessica is a veteran teacher of 11 years with experience in both middle and high school English. Her education includes a M.Ed. from California University of PA and a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Pittsburgh. She is also a National Board Certified teacher of English Language Arts Early Adolescence to Adulthood. Jessica was a dedicated basketball, track, and cross country coach for the first decade of her career. In her years spent teaching, coaching, and participating in various extra curricular programs at school, she's fostered a deep love and appreciation for the youth's impressionable mind and realized the true value of a mentor's positive impact. It wasn't until she had a child of her own and another on the way that she stepped away from the traditional educational concept and questioned its effectiveness. This ignited a new passion to change the current system and perhaps be instrumental in creating a new 21st century school that could change the face of education for everyone's future.