Alex Ragone transforms schools by empowering students, teachers, and parents to solve authentic problems in their communities and beyond. He brings 18 years of experience leading and teaching in independent schools in New York City. Prior to AltSchool, he worked at City and Country School as their director of middle and upper school where he rebuilt the electives program and expanded their field trips.
Alex serves on the NAIS Innovation Task Force where he worked on principle as of good practice around technology use and online learning. He has chaired various NYSAIS conference planning committees and worked on a number of school accreditation teams. Alex holds a master’s degree in Instructional Design and Media from Teachers College and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from George Washington University.
“I'm passionate about the idea of bringing student-centered, project based-learning to a wider audience with AltSchool's micro-school model. AltSchool Union Square will be a school where adolescents are empowered to become lifelong learners, critical questioners, and solution finders.”
With a decade of teaching experience, Claudia has had the pleasure of teaching a wide range of grade levels and subjects, from elementary grades through high school, both domestically and internationally. Most recently, she spent three years as an elementary and middle school teacher in Brooklyn.
A lover of language learning and global citizenship, Claudia credits her two years of service with the U.S. Peace Corps working with youth in Ukraine as her inspiration for becoming a teacher. Claudia holds a B.A. in History and Romance Languages from NYU. In 2010, she completed her M.A. in Social Studies Education as a Peace Corps Fellow from Teachers College, Columbia University.
“I’m passionate about being an educator and believe that student learning and potential are best realized in an inclusive and individualized classroom environment where every child feels a sense of belonging.”
Jaqi joined the AltSchool team in 2014. She taught as an Upper Elementary Educator and is currently the Humanities Lead at AltSchool Union Square. Jaqi creates caring school communities through teaching social-emotional learning, specializing in mindfulness, restorative practices, conflict resolution and social thinking. She also works across the network to develop best practices and curriculum around diversity and cultural competency. Jaqi created partnerships with educator teams to cultivate and maintain healthy class cultures based in SEL curriculum, strategies, and mindful language.
Prior to AltSchool, Jaqi taught as a full inclusion educator at Brightworks and The Little School. She has also worked with Sensory Social Playgroups to foster self awareness, regulation strategies and pro-social skills in children. Jaqi received her B.A. in Sociology from San Francisco State University. She recently attended professional development workshops at Harvard’s Principal Center for New and Aspiring School Leaders and the Writing Institute at Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project.
Jordan grew up in Sydney, Australia, with parents who were both educators, inspiring an early interest in teaching. Jordan has a B.A. and an M.A. in education and has experience teaching in both rural and urban environments. As a student, Jordan studied abroad in Sweden. More recently, he spent two years in London as an educator in a range of school settings, including behavioral schools.
Jordan is fluent in Swedish, has been playing classical violin for nearly 20 years and is an avid cyclist. Now based in New York City, Jordan rides for InTandem, a nonprofit biking organization that uses tandem bikes to help the visually impaired stay active.
“I am excited about the opportunity of being part of the driving force behind educational change. I look forward to working with many diverse colleagues to unlock student potential, creativity, and agency.”
Melody has been working as an educator for nearly a decade in various capacities as an experiential STEM teacher. Throughout her career, she has worked in museums, zoos, classrooms, and even in the backcountry, creating meaningful educational experiences for students. Through her career, Melody has led various STEM educational initiatives and teamed up with other New York City institutions to enrich the student experience.
A former New York City Teaching Fellow, Melody previously worked for four years as a math and science educator in a Spanish and English dual-language middle school. She holds an M.S. in education and a certificate in bilingual education. Prior to joining AltSchool, she was a program leader for a Bogota-based outdoor education company and also worked as an after school program educator, a bicycle instructor, and as a trail crew leader leading conservation projects on the Appalachian Trail.
“I am excited to be part of a large-scale effort to transform the educational experience. I look forward to creating many ‘ah-ha!’ moments throughout the year.”
Geoffrey has been an educator for six years in a variety of different roles inside and outside the classroom. He believes in empowering students, and creates learning experiences that facilitate the discovery of character and instill habits of excellence and resilience. His expertise is in learning disabilities, reading and writing instruction, and diversity.
Geoffrey received his bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and his master’s degree in curriculum and teaching from Boston University. He began his teaching career as a Teach for America corps member where he taught 10th grade as a full inclusion special education teacher and English teacher at Salem Academy. Throughout his career, he has served in many roles, including as a founding team member at Achievement First University Prep High School, Dean of School Culture, and a 9th grade literature teacher. He also trained and mentored new educators in a variety of coaching roles—most recently as curriculum specialist at Teach for America’s regional institute in Massachusetts.
“I’m excited about the unlimited possibilities that come with harnessing technology to facilitate the complexities of individualized education and create wonder. The people at AltSchool are friendly, curious, and inventive, and I am grateful to be part of this team.”
Kenny worked as a fourth grade teacher in public schools in Austin, Texas and private schools in Manhattan. He was Head of Lower School at the Brearley School, a k-12 girls school in Manhattan before turning his hobby into a dream job as a fine furniture maker and business owner at Creed Furniture. He has a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Bank Street College of Education in New York City and a B.A. in Journalism from Louisiana State University.
Prior to working as an educator in schools, Kenny worked at Lotus Development Corporation in Cambridge, Massachusetts and at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and two children.