About the Team
“Teaching is an instinctual art, mindful of potential, craving of realizations, a pausing, seamless process.”
― A. Bartlett Giamatti
Founder, Executive Director
Director of Development
Maria Graduated from Stony Brook University Medical Center with a BS in Health Science, minor in Emergency and Disaster Management and concentration in Women Studies. She held certifications in NREMT-P, REMAC, BLS, ALS, ACLS, PHTLS, NALS, PALS and worked on the Critical Care Transport team for a Level 1 Trauma Center.
She holds a Certificate from MIT in Leadership in Times of Disruption, a Certificate in The Science of Parenting from UC SanDiego and a Micro Masters in the Science of Happiness from University of California, Berkeley.
Maria is the Founder and Thought Leader behind RaisingAPowerfulGirl.com, an online education and community platform that connects professionals from all over the world to parents raising girls to educate and empower them on their parenting journey with the goal of fostering Independence, Leadership and Strong Personal Identity in Girls so they can change the world. She runs an iTunes top 10 podcast in over 30 countries called Raising a Powerful Girl. Her work has been featured on Google and Yahoo news, the Rachel Ray show and numerous online publications. Maria has spent more than a decade working with women of all ages to help shed unhealthy beliefs and breakdown stereotypes surrounding pregnancy, motherhood, body image, self-esteem, parenting, women in leadership and much more. She is a frequent speaker and presenter on women’s leadership, girls' empowerment and the role social media and technology play in children's self-esteem, confidence, and brain health. Maria is on the Advisory Board for Post University's Communication & Media Department where she offers feedback and suggestions on how current curriculum and courses meet the skill sets present in today’s communication and media industries. She also shares her expertise and offers suggestions on current and emerging trends, top skills needed to work in the field and information and feedback on certifications, micro-credentials, and badging.
Maria is a mom to two amazing girls. She spent 8 years heavily involved in her daughter's Montessori School from fundraising to actively assisting in the classroom setting. She has always believed in and been an advocate for child led learning and her most recent work with girls' mental, social, and emotional health has led her to the path of homeschooling her own children, which she has been doing for several years. She has been a coach and mentor for women in business for over 10 years and has helped women launch and scale their businesses. She is sought after for her intuitive method of ideation and co-creation as well as her toolbox filled with technical knowledge. Maria is a self-directed learner herself, and as a successful entrepreneur understands the importance of real world skills needed to be successful later in life, as well as the importance of cultivating intrinsic motivation and a love of learning. Her passion is helping parents and children get the tools they need to grow up as Happy Citizens of the World.
When she isn't working with Learning Streams, Raising a Powerful Girl, or the multitude of other projects she is working on she is in the kitchen cooking foods from all over the world, getting her feet dirty in the yard, on the lake, or reading (She reads over 100 books a year).
Science Educator and Counselor
Patty has a mission that includes helping families put together unique education tracks and identifying resources specifically centered around experiments and projects associated with each track. She is the hands-on, go-to resource available to the homeschooling and public school communities.
She holds a BA in Psychology and a Biology certification from Ohio Wesleyan University, a MS in School Counseling, Connecticut School Counselor Certification, as well as, a Doctoral Degree in Instructional Leadership and Connecticut Intermediate Supervisor Certification from Western CT State University.
She is a STEM instructor, teaching science classes for almost 35 years, and has an established Science Consulting Firm, Expanding the Lens. She has directed science fairs, developed classroom curricula and was the Science Department chair at schools throughout Connecticut, with nearly 30 years at the Sherman School in Sherman CT. As a Counselor, Patty has also created and led cyberbullying, anti-bullying and crisis intervention policies and workshops. She has recently been trained the the Second Step Social Emotional Learning Program leading classes at the middle school level.
A dedicated educator, Patty believes that each child holds unique and untapped potential that can be unlocked through new education techniques. She is an innovator, educator, coach, leader and counselor and is looking to help each family create their individualized dream path for their children.
Patty and her husband, Mark reside in New Milford, CT. She is the proud mother of 3 adult children who have experienced alternative education plans.
Regina G Ingulli, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech Therapy, Language and Reading Fluency and Support
Regina Ingulli is a licensed Speech and Language Pathologist since 1994 with extensive experience in private practice as well as in public and private educational systems. Having worked in many of the local school systems in Fairfield County, she is familiar with the educational plans, testing, 504/IEP/PPT process, and services schools provide. In addition to her speech and language background, she has extensive reading certifications and trainings, including Wilson Level 1 Certification.
SPEECH FLUENCY TRAINING
- Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, April 1994
- Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets (PROMPT)
- Computer-Aided Fluency Establishment Training (CAFET)
- Mayo Clinic-Apraxia and Literacy
LANGUAGE FLUENCY TRAINING
- Scientific Learning Corp., Fast ForWord Training & Certification
- Nanci Bell’s Visualizing and Verbalizing Training
- Cognitive Connections-360 Thinking Executive Functioning Advanced Training
- Certified for It Takes Two to Talk™ (ITTT), the Hanen Program
READING FLUENCY TRAINING
- Wilson Reading System: Level 1 Certified
- Wilson Academy: The Advanced Word Study
- BOCES, Wilson Just Words
- Wilson Academy: Fundations Program Level 3
- Institute for Multi-Sensory Education: Orton-Gillingham Multi-Sensory Training
- Lindamood-Bell, Seeing Stars
- Lindamood Auditory Discrimination in Depth Training (LiPS)
- Center for Reading & Language Research, RAVE-O
- Renaissance Learning, Designing Interventions and Monitoring Progress with STAR Assessments
Crystal MacDonald, MA, CCC-SLP
Crystal MacDonald is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist with 20+ years of experience working with children from birth through young adulthood. She graduated from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL with a Bachelor of Science in Communicative Disorders in 1996 and a Master of Arts in Speech Language Pathology in 1998.
Crystal has provided individual and group speech therapy in a variety of settings including the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, inpatient/outpatient for hospitals, Birth-3 Program, preschools, private schools, alternative schools, speech clinics and most recently, private practice.
In addition to speech, Crystal enjoys working with students on various social skills such as: understanding emotions, cooperation, learning to ask for help, negotiation, and more. She works with students through her Social Skills Club and/or in a one on one setting to give students the confidence they need in everyday and complex social situations.
Pediatric therapy captured Crystal’s heart early in her career and has remained her passion. In 2017, she opened Mac Speech Therapy, LLC. She focuses on evaluating and treating the whole child in their natural environment and providing comprehensive speech and language services to alternative school programs.
Crystal lives with her husband and three children in Southbury, CT. When she is not working, you can find her running her three teenage boys to various sports practices, cheering them on from the sidelines, or reading a favorite book.
- Apraxia of Speech
- Articulation / Phonology
- Auditory Processing
- Augmentative / Alternative Communication (AAC)
- Cleft-Lip & Palate
- Oral Motor / Feeding / Aversion
- Social Pragmatic Skills
- Voice Disorders
- 504 / IEP / PPT Plans and Meetings
- Collaborative Teaching
- Family Based Treatment Grant Recipient
- Multi-Disciplinary Collaboration and Treatment
- Transition Programs
- Social Skills Club
CONTINUING EDUCATION AND TRAINING
• Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding, Kay Toomey, PhD & Erin Ross
• If You Can't Breathe You Can’t Function, Mary Massery
• Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), Jeanne Ferre, PhD • Regulatory Disorders, Patricia Ideran
• Treatment of the Baby: 5 Day Course, Boehme Workshop • Verbal Dyspraxia, Judy Jelm
• 2 Days in the Mouth, Terri Gardenberg
• Children with Autism, Jenny Potanos
• Oral Motor Assessment and Treatment, Debra Beckman • Floor Time Approach, Provider Connections
• Developmental Interventions in Neonatal Care Convention • Enhancing Communication, Barry Prizant
• PECS and Social Stories, NIA
• Social Thinking Courses, Michelle Garcia Winner
• Attended 3 ASHA Conventions
Language Arts Program Educator & Developer
Canisius College: Buffalo, NY
Differentiated Instruction (M.S.ED)
CT Elementary Education, (K-6), Initial Certification
College of Mount Saint Vincent
BA: Psychology/Mathematics • Childhood Education
• NYS Certification in Childhood Education (1-6)
• NYS Certification in Gifted Education (K-12)
• Early Interventionist Certification
• Registered Behavioral Technician (RBT) Certification
“If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn…” This has always been Jaclyn Gartner’s philosophy and this wise quote, by Ignacio Estrada, has stuck with her over the past decade of her teaching journey.
A New York native, Jaclyn found herself in Connecticut over six years ago when she moved to the area to become the director of a technology camp for kids. She graduated from The College of Mount Saint Vincent in New York City with a B.A. in Childhood Education before pursuing her M.S.ED. in Differentiated Instruction from Canisius College in Buffalo. During her graduate program, she also immersed herself in the field of gifted education and since then, has had the privilege to work with students of all backgrounds and ability types.
Over the past 11 years, Jaclyn has worked in a variety of educational settings including public, private, and gifted schools, daycare, recreational programs, camps, and has even been a homeschool teacher and tutor for families. She has worked with children of all ages, ranging from birth to young adulthood. Jaclyn’s strength is in creative learning – she’s all about hands on instruction and allowing children the opportunity to demonstrate what they know in alternative ways. Creativity is so often lost in the mainstream education system, so she wants her students to embrace it.
When Jaclyn’s not in the classroom, she works as a Registered Behavioral Therapist for children with autism. In this role, she uses Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy in supporting students cognitive, social, language, and daily living skills.
In addition to teaching, another passion of hers is helping animals. Jaclyn founded her own foster based nonprofit organization, Happily Furever After Rescue, in March of 2020. Her mission is to save dogs and cats that are at-risk in kill shelters and give them a second chance at life by matching them with loving families.
Jaclyn currently lives in Bethel with some rescue pets of her own – a cat named Zoey and two dogs, Tyler and Mama. In her free time, she enjoys all things Disney, painting, singing, and making a difference any chance she gets.
Superpower: Differentiating instruction to meet the needs of all learners
Language Arts Program Educator & Developer
Sacred Heart University
Master of Arts • Teaching
CT Elementary Education, (K-6), Initial Certification
University of Connecticut
Bachelor of General Studies • Human Services
During my nearly 20 year career as a child educator, I have worked in a variety of settings from the traditional classroom to teaching in a forest school. I have been instrumental in utilizing the gradual release model to help students develop responsibility for their learning, planned and taught daily engaging group lessons for grades 1-5 designed to improve reading and writing, all while fostering a strong and active classroom community by implementing classroom management strategies, responsive classroom techniques, and skills.
I have been blessed with opportunities to teach children of all ages. I have a passion for helping my students discover how they learn best. I strongly believe that understanding one’s learning style is essential in creating a solid foundation for future academic success.
As a homeschool mom of two girls, I spend much of my time in nature, creating art, playing games, cooking, gardening in season, and reading LOTS of books.
Superpower: helping learners discover their learning styles so that they always achieve to their full potential.
Physical Education, Health, Wellness
Allison Blume is a certified K-12 health and physical educator. She graduated from Southern Connecticut State University and is currently completing her masters in health education. She has been in the CT Army National guard for six years and currently works as medical platoon leader. Allison loves to share with her students the many lessons about hard work, grit and dedication that she has learned through the military. Allison truly enjoys helping children learn about ways to stay healthy, physically and mentally. She has a passion for trying new things to live a healthier and happier life and she can’t wait to share them with you!
Superpower: skills-based health education, social-emotional learning, life skills, perseverance and empathy!
Math & Aerial Arts Instructor
Arizona State University
Bachelor of Science • Accountancy
Hello there, I’m Jen! As a veteran homeschool mom of six I bring years of experience creatively teaching students of all ages! My educational background includes a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Accountancy from Arizona State University.
Before transitioning to full time homeschooling, my career focus was as a manager of configuration and support for a specialized integrated accounting system at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide.
After my fourth child, I became a stay at home mom and moved to Bethel, Connecticut. Homeschooling allowed me to learn how to blend my strengths in math and IT with my outside of the box thinking skills in a way that is fun for myself and to those I teach.
In 2018, I began training in aerial arts using silks, lyra, straps, corde lisse, and sling. The aerial arts offer endless challenges in strength, creativity, and perseverance.
Outside of aerial arts, I have training and experience teaching: yoga, active flexibility, and other conditioning knowledge.
I have been teaching aerial classes since early 2020 at Air Temple Arts. I offer Aerial Yoga Hammock, along with strength and flexibility training classes at Learning Streams. It’s so rewarding to empower others to reach for the sky.
Superpower: adaptability and imparting knowledge to my students in creative and fun ways.
Streams Society Leader &
Learning Streams Admin
Carly is a mother of 3 that began her journey into alternative education 8+ years ago. In that time she has explored many approaches to education and embraced the value of curating individualized educational needs for children while teaching classes at homeschool co-ops and through Learning Streams.
Using her background in customer service and as a volunteer crisis counselor, Carly understands the value of being a listener and makes sure that each of her students feel that their opinion is valued and respected.
She shares her passion for learning and exploring through designing creative classes and encouraging students to think outside the box. Through years of experience she has seen how allowing children to pursue knowledge through interest led learning helps them attain better retention and a lifelong love of education. Through teaching cooking, she is able to impart valuable life lessons to her students while incorporating math, geography, and improving fine motor skills through cooking technique instruction.
Carly is the co-creator of the Streams Society and has been instrumental in designing a program that is a current, innovative club for students to develop and implement valuable life skills. She is also in charge of our Bagdr program requirements.
Superpower: able to take any recipe and turn it into a single serve version so kids can each cook their own portion!
Media Arts & Music Instructor
Western Connecticut State University
Bachelor of Arts • DIMA
Homeschooled from the sixth grade through high school, I was encouraged to explore our world and have a say in what I wanted to learn about. I spent a year wanting to be a marine biologist and we toured aquariums, took a visit to Woods Hole, read tons of materials, watched a million videos, played Endless Ocean on my Wii, and finally took a hands-on biology boat cruise where we dissected the animals that we caught. That was when I decided that marine biology wasn’t for me!
Because I was offered so many ways to learn, in all types of environments, in traditional and non-traditional classrooms, and through a plethora of resources, I developed a love for learning that shaped me into the person I am today. I am passionate about photography, graphic design, drawing, astronomy, and music.
I think having a non-traditional education helped me to be comfortable chatting to everyone, young and old, have an appreciation for all types of music, form strong bonds with my educators and professors, and best of all - get my degree completed early so I could start my photography business while also pursuing my interest in teaching.
I began offering drum lessons when I was 16 and have had many opportunities to teach children under 12. I assisted at Two Coyotes Wilderness School, taught at Workspace, and have been able to offer classes at Learning Streams. I also work part-time for Good Directions helping them out with their graphic and photography needs.
I have been the drummer for Jazz for Juniors since 2017 and they still have me play with them every week! Occasionally I play the drums or guitar with other local groups when I am able. I was active in Fairfield County 4H and was a member of the planning committee, part of the robotics program, and was an active participant in their public speaking forum.
My degree is in Digital and Interactive Media Arts (DIMA) which brings together art, media production, and computer programming which allows me to work in numerous digital environments. This interdisciplinary degree is supported by three departments – Art, Communication & Media Arts, and Computer Science which allowed me to explore multiple avenues in media.