The Upperline Team


Upperline Code is made up of the most enthusiastic teachers in the world. We all love to code, we all love to learn, and we all love sharing that experience with our students. 

Here's a bit more about us. 


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DANNY FENJVES
Founder

A public policy graduate of Duke University, Danny has spent almost 10 years living and teaching computer science. Danny is an alumnus of Teach for America, worked at Google, and was head of K-12 computer science instruction at Flatiron School.  In his career, he's trained over 40 teachers to lead immersive coding courses in schools across the country, built extensive coding curriculum, and taught software development to over 200 high school students.  As a former middle school science teacher, he's deeply committed to the art of instruction and discovering the best methods to recruit, train, and retain top teaching talent in the field of K-12 computer science education. 

 
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TAYLOR WANT
Director of Operations

Taylor first discovered her loves of coding and education at Carleton College, where she received her undergraduate degree in physics.  She went on to join Teach for America in 2013 as a high school physics teacher in Fall River, MA. During this time,  she received her M.Ed. in curriculum and teaching from Boston University. In the summer of 2015, Taylor began teaching introductory courses in software engineering to high school students in Austin, TX. She went on to teach with Upperline as the lead instructor at Kode with Klossy in the summers of 2016 and 2017, while working as a high school physics and computer science teacher during the school year.  She believes that all students should have access to the empowering challenge of a coding education.

 

JEFF OLSON
Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Jeff has an undergraduate degree in neuroscience and American literature from Baylor University.  Upon graduating in 2011, Jeff was placed as an English teacher in Phoenix, Arizona with Teach For America, and earned his M.Ed. in secondary education from Arizona State University. In 2015, Jeff began teaching beginner courses in software engineering, iOS app development, and web design to high school students in Los Angeles, California and New York City, and has come to believe that learning to code is the most empowering experience a high school student can have. He believes that coding is joyful, and that all students deserve access to this life-changing form of fun.


Meet Our Teachers

JEFF ASTOR

Jeff teaches science and computer programming at Simon Technology Academy High School in Los Angeles, CA.  He is fascinated by the intersection between technology and learning, and his classes are structured around capturing high-quality student work.  Recently, he has worked with BetterLesson on their Blended Learning Master Teacher Project, with Flatiron School as a teaching fellow, and is the winner of the prestigious 2015 Alliance Teacher of the Year award.  He's passionate about teaching kids to learn code and hopes to bring new opportunities to the next generation of problem solvers.

 
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NICKI ANSELMO

Nicki has been coding professionally for three years, first as a SQL Developer for STATS LLC, then as the Director of Data at Chicago's Cesar Chavez Elementary. Those jobs served as bookends for her four years teaching middle school math and science in New Orleans. Last year she started her school's first ever Code Club, which recently qualified for the VEX World Robotics Championship. She also was part of the teacher team that drafted Code.org's newest middle school curriculum, Computer Science Discoveries.  

 
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BEN SIEGEL

Ben received a bachelor’s degree in Economics from SUNY University of Buffalo. He began his teaching career in 2006 as a Peace Corps volunteer, leading courses in small-business ownership in Vanuatu. He later earned a Master's Degree from Fordham University in International Political and Economic Development, and continued his graduate studies at Columbia University, receiving his Master’s degree in Math Education. Ben teaches geometry at University Prep and believes integrating technology into his classroom allows students to engage in learning mathematics in new and exciting ways. 

 
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MELANIE WILLIAMS

Melanie comes from a background in biomedical science and stem cell research where she developed a passion for problem solving and innovation. After working for some time at the National Institutes of Health and then at Mount Sinai Hospital, Melanie made her first introduction to coding at a Girl Develop It meet up. She graduated from Coalition for Queens' web development intensive fellowship in 2017 where she built projects in Javascript, SQL, Python, HTML, and CSS. Melanie loves empowering the rising generation of coders to build, explore, and create. 

 
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WENDELL CHEUNG

Wendell holds a B.S. in Mathematics Education and an M.A. in International Development Education from New York University. As a New York State certified mathematics teacher, Wendell has taught mathematics for the last 9 years - and is currently the HS STEM Department Head at Brooklyn Prospect Charter School. In 2016, Wendell began teaching a beginner level computer programming course to his students. He has found that coding is accessible to all types of learners and is amazed with the creativity and innovation that students regularly incorporate into their work. 

 
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AY-NUR NAJM

Ay-Nur is in her eighth year of teaching math. She is a founding teacher at an Uncommon Charter Middle School in Brooklyn, where she teaches Algebra I.  She earned a Master’s Degree in International Education Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education and her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Government & International Relations from Clark University.  Ay-Nur started her teaching career in 2007 as a Teach for America Corps Member in the Lower East Side, teaching algebra to high schoolers and has since worked in middle schools in the South Bronx, Harlem, Williamsburg, and Brownsville.

 

MAXWELL BIGMAN

Max teaches high school computer science at Immaculate Heart in Los Angeles, CA. He is excited about using technology as a tool to make learning more individualized and meaningful. While at Wesleyan University, Max wrote his undergraduate thesis about the potential for a technology-driven education reform movement, and since graduating he has been trying to make those student-centered classrooms a reality. Originally from NYC, Max first programmed in high school and loves the way that computer science shapes how you think about the world.

 
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BRIAN SCHOTT

Brian is a computer science teacher and FTC robotics coach at the Bronx Academy for Software Engineering, a public school dedicated to bringing computer science, design thinking, and restorative justice practices to Bronx's youth. Brian previously taught with the NYC Department of Education but has held a lifelong passion and interest in computer science and education. Previously, Brian worked as a practicing attorney specializing in immigration law and a SAT, GRE, and LSAT tutor . He holds a BA from the University of Maryland, a JD from University of Baltimore, and a MAT from Relay Graduate School.

 
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Daniel Schneider

Daniel is a high school Computer Science teacher at Amphitheater High School in Tucson, AZ. He began his career as a math teacher but has gradually shifted to full-time Computer Science in the last few years. He studied Mathematics & Computer Science at the University of Arizona and has taught programming and computer science topics at summer camps for the last 10 years. He believes in the power of growth and potential; that intelligence is not a fixed quality of an individual - with practice and perseverance, anything is possible.

 
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Kelly Lougheed

Kelly teaches computer science in Los Angeles, CA. Originally a Classics (Latin & Greek) graduate of Brown University, she also holds a certificate in Software Development and Programming from UC Berkeley. Currently, she is pursuing her M.Ed. in Computer Science Education at the College of St. Scholastica. Kelly once worked in the software industry, but soon returned to teaching. Before teaching computer science, she also taught Latin in Florida and Arizona.

 
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Marieke Thomas

Marieke is currently in her sixth year teaching Physics and Chemistry at The Bronx High School of Science.  In every class, she focuses on developing critical thinking, creative problem solving, and clear communication of ideas through active exploration of the subject matter.  She is excited to apply the same core values to teaching programming. She holds a Masters in Teaching from Pace University and a Bachelors in Chemistry and Physics from Harvard University. She is also a Math for America Early Career Fellow and an alumna of the NYC Teaching Fellows program.

 
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Shadeira Nesmith

Shadeira Nesmith graduated from Caldwell University with a BA in Communications and minor in Computer Information Systems which sparked her love for code. Ever since then, she has had a passion for teaching code and web designing. Shadeira works as a STEM Instructor with a organization called STEM From Dance at a high school in Brooklyn. She has also volunteered with organizations such a WomenWhoCode, BlackGirlsCode, GirlsWhoCode, and is an advisor for #BuiltByGirls. Shadeira want to be able to inspire students and let them know they can be anything they want to be.

 
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Jeremy Joven

Jeremy is a computer science educator with experience working within both private and charter school sectors in New York CIty. He currently teaches computer science and robotics at the Spence School. An advocate of empowering minorities and women in STEM fields, Jeremy believes in the positive impact coding has in students' lives. Jeremy holds a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Duke University and an M.S. in Childhood Education and Special Education from Touro College. 

 
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Marisa Shuman

Marisa has taught mathematics for the last five years in the Bronx.  Currently at Bronx Theatre High School, she teaches Geometry and Algebra II courses to upperclassman. Marisa graduated from the State University of New York at Geneseo with a double major in Mathematics with Adolescent Education Certification and Spanish Language and Literature.  She then received a Master's Degree in Bilingual Education from the City College of New York.  Marisa loves being outside, reading, running, cooking and learning new things! 

 
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Megan McGregor

Megan teaches physics and engineering at KIPP NYC College Prep High School in the South Bronx. After receiving her undergraduate degree in physics and French literature from Barnard College of Columbia University, she began her teaching career on a Fulbright grant in Laos. In Laos, Megan taught college English at the National University of Laos and fell in love with teaching, motorbiking, and mangoes. Upon her return to the States, she joined Teach for America as a physics teacher in Brooklyn and earned her master's degree from Fordham University's Graduate School of Education. Besides teaching and learning STEM, Megan loves cycling, rock climbing, collecting and listening to records, and her three cats. 

 
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Latoya Clay

Latoya is in her 6th year of teaching and currently serves as Math Department chair at Hillside High school in Durham, NC. A Robert Noyce Teacher scholar and Knowles Senior Fellow,  Latoya holds a BS/MS in mathematics from Clark Atlanta University as well as a Master of Statistics and an M.A.T in Secondary Math education from North Carolina State University. Before teaching, Latoya developed a mathematical terrorist risk model for the Department of Homeland Defense, investigated the effects of ethanol on the brain, and explored seizure predictability at Rutgers University.  Currently Latoya is helping to enrich her school's course offerings by infusing more coding based classes into the curriculum.