Leadership

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”
-Margaret Mead

 
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Berj Akian

Founder and CEO

There is a great adage in life about how 1 degree makes all the difference. I love finding those 1 degrees that make a big difference. ClassLink started as a project to help a local school integrate one new technology to make 100% of their software available from any computer in school and from home. That one technology made a big difference in all the rest of the technology in the school. We are still doing that today.

Today we not only deliver these difference making products and services, but we’ve also come to appreciate the effect great tools can have on learning and people’s daily lives. Similar to the idea that a carpenter only becomes a master carpenter after becoming very skilled at using their tools, we are focused on building tools that help students and teachers become masters at learning.

Prior to ClassLink, Berj was with Technology Crossover Ventures, a leading mezzanine venture capital firm. Previous to TCV, he specialized in restructurings and attest services for large technology and educational publishing clients with Arthur Andersen.

Berj graduated cum laude from Baruch College in New York City. He loves time outdoors with family and friends. Combine them and you get beach trips, camping trips, snow ski trips, running, biking and more. Berj knows great leadership requires great listening and teamwork. He gets to practice this mantra not only at work but also at home where he is outnumbered 4 to 1 where his beautiful wife and three daughters keep him in check!

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Stanley Watts

VP Engineering

There is something amazing that happens when you combine great on-screen experiences with essential daily tasks. You become happier. Life feels a little easier. And you have more time to put towards things that matter more or maybe less, the choice is yours. We strive to build products that deliver those experience every day at ClassLink. I like doing that with my time.

I also believe when your day gig is doing something that regularly inspires you, you’re likely more tired at the end of every day but yet more excited for the next.

Prior to ClassLink, Stan, a graduate of Stevens Institute of Technology with a degree in Computer Engineering, was co-founder of Hoboken’s very first Internet cafe. Stan is a tech enthusiast, always finding better methods and experiences to existing software. At ClassLink, he has designed and architected nearly all our major products including, LaunchPad, ClassMate Web, OnTrack, and more. Stan continues to push the envelope, always on the lookout for new designs and enhanced capabilities to the products that we offer.

Stan enjoys stress-buster workouts and tinkering with gadgets and new web technologies. His downtime is vacationing down the shore, walking the boardwalk with his wife and two children. Stan is also a big fan of ethnic foods, especially Korean and Indian. According to him, the spicier the better!

 
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Kathy Ritch

VP, CTE, Alternative, Special, and Adult Education

I have never stopped being amazed at how passionate school leaders can make a big difference in how a school feels. In today’s day and age, all we can count on is that Education will change, and Technology will change. We help to build organizational cultures where change is embraced and explored in a creative and thoughtful way, leading to efficiencies in internal workflow and procedures.

Another thing I get a charge out of is when schools recognize individuality of students. It’s such an easy trap for schools to fall into, grouping everyone together and teaching them using one method or towards one end academic outcome. The schools I work with are exceptional by definition. They recognize the individuality and creativity of students and I love being part of schools that get it.

Kathy has expertise like few others when it comes to achieving school improvement for unique schooling environments! Whether it’s Career and Technical Education, Special Education, Alternative Education, Adult Education or the key components that bring it all together, Kathy is exceptional. Co-creator of ClassMate, (awarded “Best Classroom Management Tool” by Software Information & Industry Association – SIIA), Kathy’s dedication and hard work wins her deep respect by colleagues.

Prior to joining the ClassLink family, Kathy was founder/CEO of SofTEQ Communications, providing career and technical schools with the tools, training, and technology to assist staff and students in greater avenues for success. She is also co-creator of Pennsylvania’s PowerSource career planning software and author of Career Planning Handbook, a career development study guide to prepare students for post-secondary education and workforce opportunities.

Kathy graduated Magna Cum Laude from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. While in college, Kathy studied abroad in Valladolid, Spain, where she still maintains close friendships with the Spanish family with whom she lived. Kathy loves adventure, so it’s no surprise that she actually ran with the bulls during her visit! She’s also an avid golfer and kayaker, and she enjoys relaxing while mountain biking through the Pocono Mountains.

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Beatrice Elie-Pierre

Director of Professional Development Services

Like most people, when I walk into a school I can immediately get a sense of its culture. Is it a place where students and teachers want to spend the better part of their waking hours? Is it motivating and inspiring ? If it is, I want to be part of it. If it isn’t, I want to help make it so.

Family is a word that I use to describe people in my home and professional life. I enjoy the warmth I get in return and knowing that often in life we do more for family than anyone else. For family we never give up trying. My team, my principals, my teachers and my students are all family, and together we never stop trying to be better.

Beatrice has a B.S. degree from New York University. Bea continued her post graduate studies in Curriculum and Instruction, as well as School Administration and Supervision, from Cambridge College.

Beatrice lights up any educational establishment with her devotion and unwavering support of raising student achievement through professional development. At ClassLink, Bea is responsible for Professional Development Services and our award winning OnTrack Curriculum Management Solution. With her natural ability to educate “at-risk” students, Bea rose from the classroom as a middle school social studies teacher to hold many school wide professional responsibilities including lead teacher, staff and curriculum director, new teacher recruiter and mentor. Her ‘can do’ attitude brought her further on the leadership path as an Area Director and Principal for the Drop Back in Academies throughout Palm Beach County, FL, where she oversaw the operation of nine alternative high school sites. Bea advanced to the district level responsibilities for a multi-city network for education services across 100 schools.

Bea is an accomplished professional, with extensive knowledge and experience in the realm of education. She is known her reputation for strong leadership and dedication to obtaining results.

Bea enjoys reading leadership and teambuilding books, such as “Good to Great” by Jim Collins and “The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork” by John C. Maxwell, scrapbooking, cooking, playing tennis and horseback riding.

 
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