Our Team

 
  Craig Vezina,   Executive Director   As a life-time international educator turned  social entrepreneur, Craig launched Z School with the conviction the the skills and mind-frames of entrepreneurship empower youth to both imagine and create their preferred futures.  For nearly two decades, Craig served as a history teacher, guidance counselor and administrator in leading international schools, most notably the American School of Paris.  Though now removed from brick & mortar education, Craig is one of the most enthusiastic voices around the Future of Learning and how technology can be leveraged to "level the playing field" in global education. Craig is also a huge advocate for youth to have an introduction to emerging technologies such as AI, AR/VR, Blockchain, IoT, Drones, 3D printing and more so that these powerful tools may be harnessed for good.   As an entrepreneur, Craig has founded or co-founded several leading educational startups, including testme.com and realcast.io. Craig received his Ph.D in international diplomacy from the Centre des Etudes Diplomatique et Strategique in Paris after earning his BA at Bowdoin College and MA at Columbia University.

Craig Vezina, Executive Director

As a life-time international educator turned  social entrepreneur, Craig launched Z School with the conviction the the skills and mind-frames of entrepreneurship empower youth to both imagine and create their preferred futures.  For nearly two decades, Craig served as a history teacher, guidance counselor and administrator in leading international schools, most notably the American School of Paris.  Though now removed from brick & mortar education, Craig is one of the most enthusiastic voices around the Future of Learning and how technology can be leveraged to "level the playing field" in global education. Craig is also a huge advocate for youth to have an introduction to emerging technologies such as AI, AR/VR, Blockchain, IoT, Drones, 3D printing and more so that these powerful tools may be harnessed for good.   As an entrepreneur, Craig has founded or co-founded several leading educational startups, including testme.com and realcast.io. Craig received his Ph.D in international diplomacy from the Centre des Etudes Diplomatique et Strategique in Paris after earning his BA at Bowdoin College and MA at Columbia University.

  Rob Lake, President   Rob is one of education's great forward-thinking leaders. After beginning his career in advertising and investment banking, he has spent close to the past 25 years in education. As an educational futurist, Rob writes extensively about the future of education, the brain science behind how people learn, future trends in learning, and how emerging technologies will impact learning.  Rob is especially insightful in understanding the potential impact of converging technology, learning, and business. For the last eight years, Rob served as the Headmaster of Head-Royce School (CA) as well as the the Collingwood School in Vancouver (Canada).  Rob began his career in the admissions offices of Middlesex (MA) and Saint Paul's (NH) before becoming Dean of Students at Millbrook (NY) and the HS Director of Wilmington Friends School (DE). Rob has also recently served on the Board of Trustees of the Kipp Bay Area Schools & Global Online Academy.  Rob earned his BA with a major in English Literature at Williams, MA in Liberal Studies at Dartmouth and an advanced certificate in Artificial Intelligence at MIT. 

Rob Lake, President

Rob is one of education's great forward-thinking leaders. After beginning his career in advertising and investment banking, he has spent close to the past 25 years in education. As an educational futurist, Rob writes extensively about the future of education, the brain science behind how people learn, future trends in learning, and how emerging technologies will impact learning.  Rob is especially insightful in understanding the potential impact of converging technology, learning, and business. For the last eight years, Rob served as the Headmaster of Head-Royce School (CA) as well as the the Collingwood School in Vancouver (Canada).  Rob began his career in the admissions offices of Middlesex (MA) and Saint Paul's (NH) before becoming Dean of Students at Millbrook (NY) and the HS Director of Wilmington Friends School (DE). Rob has also recently served on the Board of Trustees of the Kipp Bay Area Schools & Global Online Academy.  Rob earned his BA with a major in English Literature at Williams, MA in Liberal Studies at Dartmouth and an advanced certificate in Artificial Intelligence at MIT. 

  Thom Markham, Head of Global Learning   A PBL pioneer, thought leader, global educator, and founder of PBL Global, Thom has shared his expertise in project based learning with over 6000 teachers worldwide. He is the author of two best-selling books on project-based learning, the Buck Institute for Education’s Handbook on Project Based Learning and the Project Based Learning Design and Coaching Guide: Expert Tools for Innovation and Inquiry for K – 12 Educators, as well as Redefining Smart: Awakening Students’ Power to Reimagine Their World, which forecasts the attitudes and beliefs necessary for young people to build a positive vision for the future. In addition to providing strategic leadership for ZSchool learning worldwide, Thom also facilitates the partnership between ZSchool and PBL Global, the leading training resource for online and onsite professional learning for schools focused on project based learning, inquiry, and 21stCentury skills. Thom holds a PhD in Psychology from Saybrook University and an MA in International Relations from UCLA.

Thom Markham, Head of Global Learning

A PBL pioneer, thought leader, global educator, and founder of PBL Global, Thom has shared his expertise in project based learning with over 6000 teachers worldwide. He is the author of two best-selling books on project-based learning, the Buck Institute for Education’s Handbook on Project Based Learning and the Project Based Learning Design and Coaching Guide: Expert Tools for Innovation and Inquiry for K – 12 Educators, as well as Redefining Smart: Awakening Students’ Power to Reimagine Their World, which forecasts the attitudes and beliefs necessary for young people to build a positive vision for the future. In addition to providing strategic leadership for ZSchool learning worldwide, Thom also facilitates the partnership between ZSchool and PBL Global, the leading training resource for online and onsite professional learning for schools focused on project based learning, inquiry, and 21stCentury skills. Thom holds a PhD in Psychology from Saybrook University and an MA in International Relations from UCLA.

  Elizabeth Peck, COO & Director, Strategic   Partnerships   Elizabeth brings to Z School a deep passion for Education and experiential learning coupled with a strong background in business and entrepreneurship. Most recently, Elizabeth served as Launch Partner and General Manager of First Aid Beauty (FAB), an innovative skincare line with global distribution, where she helped grow the business from a niche brand to an international best-seller.  Prior to FAB, Elizabeth was an Associate at Cue Ball Capital where she sourced, vetted, and provided operational support to early stage consumer businesses (most notably MiniLuxe, PlanetTran and Epic Burger). Early in her career, Elizabeth developed and taught a multidisciplinary ninth grade program at Lawrence Academy in Groton, MA where she also served as a dorm parent, varsity coach, and mentor.  She earned a A.B. cum laude from Middlebury College in Art History and Italian.  

Elizabeth Peck, COO & Director, Strategic Partnerships

Elizabeth brings to Z School a deep passion for Education and experiential learning coupled with a strong background in business and entrepreneurship. Most recently, Elizabeth served as Launch Partner and General Manager of First Aid Beauty (FAB), an innovative skincare line with global distribution, where she helped grow the business from a niche brand to an international best-seller.  Prior to FAB, Elizabeth was an Associate at Cue Ball Capital where she sourced, vetted, and provided operational support to early stage consumer businesses (most notably MiniLuxe, PlanetTran and Epic Burger). Early in her career, Elizabeth developed and taught a multidisciplinary ninth grade program at Lawrence Academy in Groton, MA where she also served as a dorm parent, varsity coach, and mentor.  She earned a A.B. cum laude from Middlebury College in Art History and Italian.  

  Laila Newton, Chief of Staff   Laila is proud to bring her 15 years of project management experience to the ZSchool team. Laila has served the financial and legal sectors in various capacities, most recently with The State Bar of California. A passionate advocate, Laila has implemented programs and identified resources to bridge the diversity gap and  promote access to justice.   

Laila Newton, Chief of Staff

Laila is proud to bring her 15 years of project management experience to the ZSchool team. Laila has served the financial and legal sectors in various capacities, most recently with The State Bar of California. A passionate advocate, Laila has implemented programs and identified resources to bridge the diversity gap and  promote access to justice.

 

  Danny Goh, CTO   Danny is a serial entrepreneur & Partner of Nexus Frontier Tech, an AI advisory business with presence in London, Geneva, Boston and Tokyo.  Danny co-founded Innovatube, a technology group that operates a R&D lab in software and AI developments in South East Asia. He advises tech accelerators including Startupbootcamp IoT London.

Danny Goh, CTO

Danny is a serial entrepreneur & Partner of Nexus Frontier Tech, an AI advisory business with presence in London, Geneva, Boston and Tokyo.  Danny co-founded Innovatube, a technology group that operates a R&D lab in software and AI developments in South East Asia. He advises tech accelerators including Startupbootcamp IoT London.

  Marc Vezina, Director of Finance   Marc has a financial background spanning over 25 years working with individuals and institutions worldwide.  He is the co-founder of Bespoke Wealth Advisors, a San Francisco based wealth advisory firm providing holistic wealth management services for individual and institutional clients.     

Marc Vezina, Director of Finance

Marc has a financial background spanning over 25 years working with individuals and institutions worldwide.  He is the co-founder of Bespoke Wealth Advisors, a San Francisco based wealth advisory firm providing holistic wealth management services for individual and institutional clients.  

 

  Derek Rhodes, Director of Engagement   A deeply empathetic individual, Derek understands the untapped power of our youth. Under President Obama, Derek learned how to use storytelling to inspire others. Featured in  Business Insider  for his commitment to community, he is highly sought after as a motivational speaker, respected for his emphasis on the importance of civic engagement at the local level. Derek is a 2015 graduate of Duke University, where he majored in Public Policy. He previously worked at the U.S. Department of Justice and Google in New York City.

Derek Rhodes, Director of Engagement

A deeply empathetic individual, Derek understands the untapped power of our youth. Under President Obama, Derek learned how to use storytelling to inspire others. Featured in Business Insider for his commitment to community, he is highly sought after as a motivational speaker, respected for his emphasis on the importance of civic engagement at the local level. Derek is a 2015 graduate of Duke University, where he majored in Public Policy. He previously worked at the U.S. Department of Justice and Google in New York City.

  Valerie Wood,   Digital Learning Project Manager   A dual national French-American, Valerie has been an English teacher, technical writer, administrator, entrepreneur with universities and private schools in France, the Netherlands, Vietnam, Korea and the US.  She has run her own Executive language consulting business in France and served as the academic coordinator at HSBC, Iacademie, and the English Language Institute. From 2006-2009, Valerie managed an e-learning overhaul for the Rotterdam School of Management. Valerie earned her BA from UC-Davis, a CELTA teaching certificate from Cambridge and is currently completing a Masters degree in Online Learning Project Management.

Valerie Wood, Digital Learning Project Manager

A dual national French-American, Valerie has been an English teacher, technical writer, administrator, entrepreneur with universities and private schools in France, the Netherlands, Vietnam, Korea and the US.  She has run her own Executive language consulting business in France and served as the academic coordinator at HSBC, Iacademie, and the English Language Institute. From 2006-2009, Valerie managed an e-learning overhaul for the Rotterdam School of Management. Valerie earned her BA from UC-Davis, a CELTA teaching certificate from Cambridge and is currently completing a Masters degree in Online Learning Project Management.

  Sohrab Amiri, Global Ambassador for Strategic Partnerships   One of the leading social entrepreneurs of his generation, Sohrab co--founded the e-commerce platform Bean Voyage at the age of 20.  Sohrab’s current venture, Cumasu, allows users in developing nations to make appointments with health clinics focusing on their HIV/AIDS and STI prevention program via a discrete text message.

Sohrab Amiri, Global Ambassador for Strategic Partnerships

One of the leading social entrepreneurs of his generation, Sohrab co--founded the e-commerce platform Bean Voyage at the age of 20.  Sohrab’s current venture, Cumasu, allows users in developing nations to make appointments with health clinics focusing on their HIV/AIDS and STI prevention program via a discrete text message.

  Nick Boedicker, Director of Experiential Learning   A dynamic and talented educator, Nick has a wealth of experience in project and program design, management, and evaluation in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the US. Nick holds a BA from Georgetown University and a MA from the School of International Service at American University.

Nick Boedicker, Director of Experiential Learning

A dynamic and talented educator, Nick has a wealth of experience in project and program design, management, and evaluation in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the US. Nick holds a BA from Georgetown University and a MA from the School of International Service at American University.

  Alessandra Clara, Lead Educator   Alessandra has a wealth of experience managing education projects across Latin America and the U.S.  She teaches social entrepreneurship at Stanford and Georgetown University’s Summerfuel programs and leads the Incubator program for LearnServe International. Alessandra holds a MA in Social Enterprise from American University and a BS in Business Management from Johns Hopkins University.

Alessandra Clara, Lead Educator

Alessandra has a wealth of experience managing education projects across Latin America and the U.S.  She teaches social entrepreneurship at Stanford and Georgetown University’s Summerfuel programs and leads the Incubator program for LearnServe International. Alessandra holds a MA in Social Enterprise from American University and a BS in Business Management from Johns Hopkins University.

 
  Celine Cabesos, Director of Operations - Europe   Co-founder and COO of Qesson Education, Celine is an adept operations director with a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry.

Celine Cabesos, Director of Operations - Europe

Co-founder and COO of Qesson Education, Celine is an adept operations director with a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry.