At Education to the Core, we believe all teachers deserve access to quality resources for their students. Resources that are comprehensive, interactive, engaging and effective. As teachers, we hold one of the most important responsibilities known to society. We not only prepare our students academically, but also emotionally. In order to be the best we can be for our students, we must take care of ourselves. We hope to equip every educator with the strategies and tools to be a great educator with a healthy work-life balance. We look forward to working with you to achieve your specific goals. – Emily Garcia, Founder of Education to the Core
Meet Our Team
Jenn Sego | Project Manager & Teacher Support Specialist
I graduated from Illinois State University in 2004 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. I love going to school, so I kept going back for more. I obtained my Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 2010 from Concordia University and my English as a Second Language endorsement from American College of Education in 2012. I am also halfway through my 2nd Masters in Educational Technology. I believe that keeping up with my education makes sure that I am using the best possible practices and techniques to help children learn. I started off my teaching career in a south suburb of Chicago, IL. I worked in the At-Risk Pre-Kindergarten classroom for five years and then moved up to First Grade and loved every second of it! After 8 years in 1st, my husband and I relocated to Tennessee and I’m now teaching in a Kindergarten classroom. I absolutely love teaching children in this age group and being able to help them grow not only academically, but socially and emotionally as well.
Janessa Fletcher | Blog/Curriculum Writer Teacher Support Specialist
I come from a long line of educators, so it was no surprise when I graduated from Northern Arizona University with my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education. Since graduating, I have added Early Childhood, Structured English Immersion, and Reading endorsements to my certificate. I taught preschool for two years in Albuquerque, New Mexico before moving to Phoenix, Arizona, where I taught kindergarten for eight years. During my kindergarten tenure, I had the opportunity to teach self-contained English Language Development classes. After having my second child, I stepped out of the classroom to become a Reading and Mathematics Interventionist and Instructional Coach. I was able to plan with teachers and develop curriculum to help differentiate instruction for all groups of learners in their classrooms. My passion lies in watching students succeed every day, as they strive to reach their goals.
Nashella Zarek | Curriculum Writer
I have had jobs in many fields throughout my life, but when I volunteered to help out in a friend’s classroom, I knew I had found my calling! I changed my major (again!) and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Oakland University in 1995. I began teaching first grade, and went back for my Master’s Degree in Reading and Language Arts instruction, which I finished in 2002. I taught first grade for 24 years, and just this year switched to second. I am loving it! In addition to working as a classroom teacher, I have also served as a Literacy Coach. I love to keep current with best practices in literacy, and have a passion for early reading and writing instruction!
Wendy Pineo | Curriculum Designer
Hi! My name is Wendy Pineo and I have been a teacher for 16 years. I graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. I also have a Master’s Degree in Special Education. I have taught every grade level except for 2nd grade and am currently teaching first grade in Florida and loving every minute of it. I love teaching first grade because I get to lay the foundations for their math skills while igniting a passion for reading. I get to instill a love of school, but also help build on their social skills. My greatest reason for teaching is being able to build the excitement for learning. Children love to learn. They are eager to experience and witness new things, even if it is school work, which makes my job exciting and rewarding. I love to make learning fun and engaging, and seeing the “light bulb” turn on when my students master a concept, is the greatest feeling! Education is a gift. I give and receive the gift of learning each day as a teacher and wouldn’t want to do anything else. As a teacher, you have the unique ability to help shape students and the future, and I wanted to become a teacher because I wanted to be part of the change.
Suzanne Kelley | Community Facilitator
My name is Suzanne Kelley (Suzy). I am a mother to a wonderful daughter, my mini me. I am helping her to raise my grand baby, along with her boyfriend in Normal, IL. I received my undergrad in SED at Illinois State University in 1990, and my master’s in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialty in reading and assessment in 2012. I have taught for 29 years and counting at Hammitt Elementary School in Normal, with the best co-workers anyone could ever want. Hammitt is a non-public, specialized school working with students with the most severe emotional, behavioral, learning, and mental issues as well as those students on the spectrum. Our students are unable to succeed in their school districts’ SED programs, and come to us on a referral basis. My kiddos are those 5-8 year olds that are so needing love and kindness from adults and structure and consistency in their programming. Each student becomes a member of my class and school family; expanding my heart’s capacity and teaching me new things all of the time. I cannot imagine doing anything else, anywhere else.
Alanna Kazimer | Social Media Editor
Hi! My name is Alanna Kazimer, and I am a first grade teacher in Northern California! As a student growing up, I loved to learn. Being at school was so exciting, and I always overflowed with the desire to learn. Teaching was always in the back of my mind – I thought that I would enjoy it, and I loved to help people! While attending UC Davis, I decided to volunteer in my former kindergarten teacher’s classroom, and I fell in love with teaching. I quickly changed my major from Marketing to Human Development, which was the best decision ever! I graduated in 2017 with my Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Education, and then attended National University, where I completed my Masters in Education, with a focus on English Language Learner Instruction. I have a passion for making a difference in students’ lives, and I feel extremely lucky that I am able to do so through this career! Some of my hobbies include writing songs, crafting, exercising, and cooking. I love Disney, my sweet pets, and my wonderfully supportive husband!
Jenelle Gibney | Social Media Editor
Maria Sison | Illustrator
Brittany Washington | Community Facilitator