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About the Engaging Minds Team

Dan Levine, M.B.A.
President and Founder

Dan has long thought that teaching students how to learn – study skills, organizational skills, time-management skills – is as important, if not more important, than teaching pure content. He firmly believes that if, as educators, we provide students with the right tools and learning strategies – combined with content support – we can help students more effectively and efficiently achieve their full potential. In November 2010, with the support of several outstanding educators, his vision became the foundation of Engaging Minds. As Dan likes to say: “Engaging Minds is much more than content support – it’s tools for learning and skills for life.”

Dan has a MBA degree from Boston University and a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College. He has worked as a marketing consultant and in schools for more than 17 years, and he began working on growing Engaging Minds full-time in 2011. Dan grew up in Newton and attended the Newton public schools. He is married to a first-grade teacher, Julie, and they live in Needham, MA with their daughter, Molly, and son, Zach.

You can reach Dan directly at dan@engagingmindsonline.com.

Rachel Marcus, M.Ed.
Lead Educator

Rachel's educational philosophy has evolved over the course of her career through her experiences in a variety of classroom settings. Rachel has come to believe that learning how to learn is ultimately the key to a child's success in school -- and in life. In today's fast-paced world, content is easily accessible and students are asked to organize, analyze, and synthesize that content in deeper and richer ways than ever before. Rachel recognizes that while learning content is certainly important, empowering students by giving them the fundamental tools they need to be successful in any academic setting is even more important. This educational philosophy drew her to Engaging Minds, where Rachel supports the professional development, training, and mentoring of Engaging Minds' skilled instructors.

Rachel holds a Masters degree in Secondary Education from Cabrini College and a Bachelors degree in History from the University of Pennsylvania. She has taught History, Reading, Writing, Leadership and English as a Second Language in both middle and high school settings. Prior to teaching, Rachel worked as a journalist for several years. Rachel and her husband Daniel live in Brookline, MA with their daughter, Elena.

 Mimi Concannon, M.Ed.
Educational Advocate

Mimi has been teaching children with learning challenges for over 30 years. She has provided content support and modification as well as study strategies to encourage successful, confident and self-reliant students. Mimi’s educational philosophy is a perfect fit for Engaging Minds – she has long recognized that executive function skills are critical to a student’s success in the 21st century.

Mimi is available for consultation and advocacy regarding the SPED process, review of assessments, and attendance at IEP, 504, IEE, and team meetings. Her goal is to assist parents and guardians in understanding their legal rights and in helping them to procure appropriate educational services and programs for their student. Mimi has an undergraduate degree from Regis College and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Lesley University. She has been trained as an Educational Advocte through the Federation for Children with Special Needs.

Mimi and her husband Bill live in Newton. They are the parents of three daughters and have six grandchildren. 

Silvia Luscher, B.S.
Operations Manager

Silvia joins the Engaging Minds team as its first official "Operations Manager". She brings with her an extensive background in finance and administration, and has worked for both international companies and small businesses in a variety of leadership positions. At Engaging Minds, Silvia is the point person for scheduling and handles various behind the scenes office functions including payroll and billing. Though not an educator by trade, Silvia is a strong proponent of skills-based education. Through the lens of her background in business, Silvia is keenly aware of the value of strong executive function skills as essential not only for students in school but also for success in life. Silvia has a business degree from Ithaca College and lives in Needham, MA with her family.

 

Engaging Minds Advisory Board Members

Engaging Minds Advisory Board members are passionate about education and serve an important role in helping to shape and guide Engaging Minds' educational vision and business practices.  

Dan Bresman, Ed.M., C.A.S.
Advisor

Dan's educational philosophy is rooted in the belief that students can rise to the challenge of high expectations when provided with meaningful opportunities to take responsibility for their own learning. He believes that when students are given the chance to discover for themselves what they really hope to achieve, and are supported in the process of learning how to set and accomplish their own goals, their full potential can be realized. That philosophy makes Dan an excellent match for Engaging Minds and is also what led him to his current position as Coordinator of School Within a School (SWS) at Brookline High School. Dan leads SWS and also serves as the Guidance Counselor for the 120 students enrolled in the program. Previously, Dan worked in the Special Education Department of the Newton Public Schools and taught history at Gann Academy where he also served as the Assistant Director of Student Life and Assistant Dean of Students. In addition to other specializations, Dan has trained as a substance abuse counselor and is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as a School Social Worker/Adjustment Counselor, Guidance Counselor, Supervisor/Director, and Principal/Assistant Principal. Dan earned his BA from Hampshire College, and his Master of Education and Certificate of Advanced Study in Counseling from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Lisa Freedman, Ed.M.
Advisor

Lisa has been interested in the process of learning since she first heard about neurons and dendrites in middle school. Since then, she has pursued this passion as a student in school, as a teacher in the classroom and as a tutor with individual students. Lisa believes that understanding one’s personal learning style and strengths are the keys to success in school and in life. Lisa brings a wealth of experience and expertise in special education to the Engaging Minds Advisory Board. Currently, Lisa is the Professional Development Coordinator and Lead Facilitator of the Teacher Evaluation Development Team in the Westwood Public Schools. For years, Lisa was special education teacher at Westwood High School teaching Learning Centers, Algebra, Consumer Math, Freshman English and Physical Science. She taught courses in study skills, organizational strategies, time management, reading comprehension, and writing approaches at Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School and Willow Hill School. She also worked for seven years as private tutor to students at Beaver Country Day School where she focused on helping students strengthen their executive function skills while also providing content support. Lisa is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and earned her Master's of Special Education from Lesley College.

Louisa Pitt, M.Ed.
Advisor

Louisa knew from a very early age that she was meant to be a teacher. As a high school student at Milton Academy, Louisa began pursuing a career in education and never looked back. The hallmark of Louisa's teaching is her firm belief that students succeed when they are given the tools and information they need to create their own understanding. Based on this premise, and drawing from over ten years of classroom experience, Louisa developed the first iteration of Engaging Minds’ methodology. As with Louisa’s teaching, the Engaging Minds approach is student-centered, thought-based, and representative of current best practices in education. As both a teacher and as Engaging Minds’ founding instructor and first Director of Education (a position she held until February 2014), Louisa guides students to independently achieve their full potential. Louisa has a master’s degree in Elementary Education from Simmons College in Boston, and a bachelor’s degree from Williams College. She currently teaches fifth grade at an independent school in Cambridge, MA.

Carl Cafaro, M.A.
Advisor

Carl joins the Engaging Minds Advisory Board as a business advisor. Carl’s interest in education is deeply rooted: he holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Boston College and considered becoming a full-time educator. However, Carl also has a keen interest in finance and helping small businesses grow. As a Senior Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor, Carl leads the Cafaro Group at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. Carl is a four-time recipient of the Award of Excellence, the highest honor awarded to Bank of America associates. He has also been recognized for his commitment to his profession and clients with an appointment to Merrill Lynch’s Advisory Council to Management, where he represents the interests of Financial Advisors and clients in a forum that is national in scope. In 2009 Carl earned a spot in On Wall Street’s "Top 40 Under 40" list and in 2010 was named to Merrill Lynch's "Director's Circle." Carl was recently named to Merrill Lynch's "Circle of Champions," the highest honor awarded to Merrill Lynch advisors. Carl holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Assumption College in addition to his Master’s in Education from Boston College.

Nancy Harrison, Ed.D.
Advisor

Nancy believes that helping children recognize their strengths and weaknesses, build capacities and resilience, and feel empowered and successful are the greatest gifts we can convey to students. Nancy began her career as a school guidance counselor and quickly realized that social/emotional/developmental/learning issues were complex and intertwined. She found that attempts to understand one layer invariably led to another, much like the layers of an onion that mesh together but have distinct and unique properties. Her search led to certification as an adjustment counselor, and later as a school psychologist. Within a few years, Nancy returned to the classroom to complete a doctorate in psychology and become a licensed psychologist. Upon completion of her doctorate, she worked with a group private practice specializing in children and families. With the explosion of Neuroscience and brain research, Nancy went back to school one last time for a certification in Neuropsychology and earned a fellowship at McLean’s Hospital Developmental Unit. However, realizing that her first love had always been her work in schools, Nancy soon returned to the setting that most encompasses a child’s growth, learning, social functioning and development. She has worked in school settings for the past 20 years and doesn’t expect to stop anytime soon. After many years in the Wellesley public schools, Nancy is currently the school psychologist at the Rashi School in Dedham, MA.

Sarabeth Broder-Fingert, M.D.
Advisor

Sarabeth is a pediatrician at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children and a fellow at the Center for Child and Adolescent Health Policy. She has long been interested in how education and community resources affect the health and well being of children. She has published on a wide variety of children's health related issues including hospital care for children with autism, puberty, celiac disease and international mental health care. Her current research interests include expanding the medical home model and improving care for children with special needs. Sarabeth received her BA and MA in biology from Wesleyan University. She received her MD from NYU School of Medicine and completed her residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is currently enrolled in the Masters in Public Health program at the Harvard School of Public Health.

 

 

Engaging Minds Boston Learning and Tutoring Center
188 Needham Street • Suite 215 • Newton, MA 02464
141 Boston Post Road • Wayland, MA 01778
Tel: 617-964-3100 • info@engagingmindsonline.com

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