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Our Team

Meet our Leadership Team and Teachers

Our Leadership Team

Sarah Hofstra, Cofounder

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Prior to co-founding Constellation Learning, Sarah created the Hybrid Learning Consortium and served as its Founding Director for eight years, creating a network of independent schools offering online learning. An MA, Ed from Michigan State with an emphasis in technology and learning, along with teaching first and third grades, led her to explore how technology could elevate human-centered pedagogy. She served on the Blended Learning Competencies writing team for iNACOL and continues to connect with organizations identifying impactful learning practices. She speaks at national conferences and symposia, presents and leads workshops at schools around the country. Sarah is inspired by learners of all ages who have the confidence to ask questions and courage to try something they have not before. She looks forward to bluebird sky days, whether in Kansas City or Chapel Hill, NC.

Christopher Mullis, PhD, CoFounder

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Christopher Mullis earned a BA from Columbia University in New York and a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Japanese) and PhD in History from the University of Melbourne in Australia. He has taught Music, English, Humanities, and Social Sciences to secondary and tertiary students on three continents. Before co-founding Constellation Learning, he served as the Associate Director of the Hybrid Learning Consortium, where he supported teachers in planning and teaching online courses. Chris is passionate about using technology to connect and empower learners across boundaries of time, space, and culture. He lives in Kansas City, but his heart is in Honolulu.

Teachers

Tim Buli

Tim Buli, originally from New Jersey, has lived and taught in several different states and countries throughout his career. In addition to education, he also has a background in Space Sciences and worked for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Tim uses his past experiences to incorporate hands-on activities and engaging real-world applications into the lessons he teaches.

Matt Davison, PhD

Dr. Matthew Davison has for the past 13 years been a Latin instructor at Friends Academy, where he loves teaching students about the ancient world. He especially enjoys showing students that Latin, far from a "dead language," is in everyday use as a prominent feature of the English language, as well as Romance languages, such as French and Spanish. Matt, who has 20 years’ experience teaching at the university and secondary school levels, earned his M.A. in Classics from the University of Maryland College Park, and a Ph.D. in Classics (Latin and Greek) from the University of California, Irvine.

Ivy Lan-Chi Gauler

Ivy Lan-Chi Gauler, who is originally from Taiwan, is called Ivy by her colleagues and her students like to call her “Ivy Laoshi (老师/teacher)”. Before Ivy came to America 15 years ago, she was an English teacher for many years. This is her 13th year teaching high school Mandarin Chinese at Maumee Valley Country Day School. Ivy enjoys teaching and interacting with young souls and hopes to make a difference in the lives of her students, with an interactive approach that lets students know they are unique and precious and can achieve anything, if they believe they can.

Matt Hanne

Matt Hanne is the Director of Fine Arts at The Independent School in Wichita, KS, where he teaches a variety of classes and enjoys seeing students grow and develop. Matt serves on the National Board of the Organization of American Kodály Educators as the Secondary Education Advisor and Past President of the KS chapter. He teaches graduate-level courses in music pedagogy and musicianship for Kodály. Matt also serves on the board of Music Theatre for Young People in Wichita, directing over 15 musicals. Active in his community, as Director of Music at Pleasant Valley United Methodist church, directing the Wichita Broadway Singers, and a past section leader for the Wichita Symphony Chorus.

Rachael Sanguinetti Hayes

Rachael Sanguinetti Hayes is a passionate educator who lives and teaches music in Upstate New York. She has experience teaching musicians ages six months through adulthood and loves the variety of ages she gets to teach on a daily basis. She loves watching students of all ages develop their own musical skills in a wide variety of ways. Rachael has degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Ithaca College and is currently pursuing a PhD in Music Education.

Michelle Holcman

Michelle Holcman has taught in the social sciences for more than 25 years, in middle and upper schools, as well as college, with the goal of helping students understand the importance of their history and having fun while learning it. She points to Ziggy Marley’s lyric –– “You don’t know your past, you don’t know your future” ––as part of what drives her as a teacher. She says about her work, “What also “drives” me as a teacher, and it sounds a bit clichéd, is when the student I have been trying to reach all year, finally has that ‘Aha’ realization – and I know that I have reached them. It is a beautiful moment. “

Samira Hussein

Samira Hussein has been in higher education for more than 20 years, where she uses her professional training in clinical psychology and business administration to teach a variety of courses, but more importantly build a rapport with her students. She has taught overseas in different countries and strives to provide her students with a global outlook. Engaging her students in lively discussions. and making them stakeholders in their learning provides her fresh perspectives when delivering course content. As a lifelong learner, she aims to instill the same in her students.

Charlotte Kelly

Charlotte Kelly is a National Board Certified science teacher who lives and works in Cary, North Carolina. With 30 years of teaching experience, Charlotte believes that the best way to learn science is by participating in science. Her classes are rich in investigation and inquiry. In addition to doing science, Charlotte’s classes are authentic experiences that are tied to real life situations. Through her courses, students learn the scientific principles that govern the universe and begin what will hopefully become a lifestyle, using that information to tackle real life problems.

Andrew Malcom

Andrew Malcolm is a veteran STEM teacher with 15 years of experience in independent schools and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. Science has been a passion of his for as long as he can remember, growing up with NASA’s Space Shuttle Program as a backdrop to his childhood and adolescent years. He studied mechanical engineering at University of Pittsburgh and learned coding through his work as a webmaster before becoming a teacher. Now, he continues to share his love for all things science, engineering, space, and geek with students through his work as a Solar System Ambassador and online instructor.

Jared Magee

Jared Magee has been moved by stories since growing up with tales told on the front porch of his grandparents’ houses in rural Mississippi and Arkansas. He went on to earn degrees in English and history and taught English Literature, Composition, and Rhetoric courses for several universities for over a decade before relocating to Massachusetts to teach at The Winchendon School. Still teaching at Winchendon, but now on the Brooklyn campus, he also writes, produces, and builds All Things Prose, his podcast of short fiction. The true aim of Jared’s teaching is to “Read critically. Write consciously. Speak clearly. [To] tell [their] truth,” as Clint Smith stated in his “The Danger of Silence” TED Talk.

Cory Park

Cory Park works for the University of Hawaii and is an American Sign Language Lecturer at Honolulu Community College. Earning his master's degree in Instructional Design and Technology through Bellevue University, he is applying that knowledge in his Constellation classes. Cory also is an ASL interpreter, holding Hawaii state credentials, and was the ASL tour guide for the Polynesian Cultural Center. Cory is a CODA (Child Of Deaf Adult). He was raised in a signing environment surrounded by the Deaf community, using ASL and English. Cory studied ASL at Brigham Young University-Hawaii. Working there as an ASL tutor, he understands the learning experience for non-native signers.

Sorela Schultz

Sorela Schultz believes all students can learn and grow, and she sees her task as supporting and stimulating them as needed. She is a lifelong learner, and an enthusiastic, experienced and dynamic teacher with a master's degree in French from the University of Chicago. Her teaching interests and experience encompass French, ESL, and popular culture. Sorela says of her work, “For me, teaching is a calling, a passion, a joy, an opportunity, and a great responsibility.“

Jennifer Short

Jennifer Short has been teaching art and art history in both traditional classroom and museum educational settings for the past 12 years. Inspired by the human need for visual communication, Jenn finds art to be a means of creating connections between individuals, cultures, and generations. As an educator, Jenn loves sharing her passion for creativity and visual expression with her students. She hopes her students can glean inspiration while furthering their understanding of how humanity has shown its creative "voice" from ancient cultures to contemporary times.

Nicolas Shump

Nicolas Shump is a native Kansan who studied at Reed College, then went on to earn a B.A. in Comparative Literature and an M.A. in American Studies from the University of Kansas, and will graduate in Spring 2021 with an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Nic, who writes a bi-monthly opinion column for Gannett, is a voracious reader and film buff whose wide-ranging interests support his teaching a variety of courses. When he is not teaching, reading or writing, he enjoys watching and studying sports.

Marvine Stamatakis

Marvine Stamatakis lived and taught in Greece for 20 years, then returned to the United States when her sons decided to study here. She first started teaching with the collective that is now Constellation Learning Institute while at Interlochen Arts Academy, where she taught for 22 years, and from where she recently retired to spend time with her two young grandsons who live in southern California. She reports she is delighted to teach “the wonderful students who take courses with Constellation Learning.”

Maiyen Sulera Freyre

Maiyen Sulera Freyre, who has taught for 20 years in high schools and universities in Cuba, Spain, France and the United States, considers working with bright, thoughtful young people from different countries a privilege. Before coming to the United States, she spent three years teaching Spanish in France. She holds a Master's Degree in Education from the Pedagogical University of Havana and two postgraduates diplomas in Teaching (French and Spanish).

Will Thayer

Will Thayer has worked in independent schools since graduating from Connecticut College with a degree in mathematics, which he later followed up with a Masters in School Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. He has taught all levels of high school math and coached soccer, basketball, and lacrosse, while also working as the master carpenter for the theater department. Will is an avid runner and reader, whose favorite book is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

Lesley Tye

Lesley Alicia Tye is a writer and instructor of screenwriting and film critical studies at Interlochen Center for the Arts. Previously she worked in Los Angeles in film and television after graduating from University of Southern California with a degree in screenwriting. Lesley also writes and produces original theatre with her nonprofit company, Mashup Rock & Roll Musical.

Brian Webster, PhD

Dr. Brian Webster, who holds advanced degrees in mathematics and law, is a high school teacher with seven years of professional experience in education. For the past five years, he has taught computer science at the middle school and high school level. Dr. Webster is passionate about working with students to prepare them for the real challenges they will face upon their exit from academia into the adult world.