We are a team of teachers, parents, and education industry veterans, bringing our greatest skills and efforts to bear on a common purpose—igniting wonder and joy in education. Our instructors are experienced teachers who are passionate about teaching and learning. They strive to awaken curiosity, encourage exploration, and help students tackle challenges and solve real-world problems.
Cofounder and CEO
Teacher, author, curriculum developer, and entrepreneur, Chris Ryan is the CEO and cofounder of Silverquicken. He spent the last 17 years helping grow a boutique education startup from “one room schoolhouse” to the world’s largest provider of GMAT test-preparation services, after close to a decade of consulting and teaching high school chemistry and physics. He has authored, co-authored, and edited numerous books, including The 5-lb Book of ACT Practice Problems, Case Studies & Cocktails (a guide to life at business school) and the Tunisian section of Let’s Go: Italy. With an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business (Duke) and a BA in Physics from Harvard University, Chris strives to help students awaken the curiosity and wonder of learning.
Cofounder and COO
Educator, curriculum designer, parent, and community builder, Leslie Kerner is the COO and cofounder of Silverquicken. She has spent the last 17 years developing K-12 education products and services. At Amplify Education, she worked closely with teachers and administrators around the country to bring them solutions that help their students succeed. In the process, she led a team of over 150 people to grow their business line into Amplify’s most profitable revenue stream. She has also founded two community service programs that provide support to families in need and teach kids how to give back to their communities. With an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business (Duke) and a BA from Northwestern University, Leslie focuses on the growth of organizations and individuals.
Teacher and Content Developer
A current gifted education specialist, Sam Nguyen is passionate about supporting all kids in exploring their individual passions and taking their learning to new heights. She has over 10 years experience in education, serving as an educational coach, curriculum designer, and classroom teacher over the course of her career. Sam received both her B.A. and M.Ed. in Elementary Education with a focus on Elementary Mathematics through North Carolina State University. She received her license in Academic and Intellectually Gifted Children in 2017 through Duke University and has presented a variety of state conferences focused on equity, and student engagement. When she isn’t teaching, Sam is learning herself! An avid gardener, beekeeper, and chicken wrangler, she likes to say her whole yard is a giant laboratory. She enjoys sharing her passions with her students and believes that learning should be a fun adventure.
Educator, writer, and singer Dmitry Farber has spent over 20 years in education, teaching students of all ages and hiring and training new teachers. A credentialed teacher with an M.S. in Environmental Education, Dmitry has helped to found a successful charter school, taught in the elementary classroom, coached teens and college graduates studying for standardized exams, and managed the development of curriculum that incorporates advances in learning science. As someone who often found traditional school uninspiring, Dmitry aims to teach in a way that shows the deep interconnectedness of all knowledge, or failing that, to draw on his performance experience and use even the silliest means at his disposal to keep students excited about learning. When he’s not geeking out on sci-fi graphic novels with his wife and their homeschooled daughter, Dmitry likes to relax with one of his many fluffy pets, a few vegan snacks, and a book of math, science, or poetry—it’s all the same.
A passionate media production specialist, Israt Pasha is a Video Producer at Silverquicken. She assists in designing media content and produces Silverquicken Puzzle of the Week videos. Israt has spent the last ten years working on instructional design and educational content that serves students of all ages. Her work includes brand design, graphic design, web design, motion graphics, interactive ed-tech, podcast production, and video production. With a BS in Web Design and a BA in English Writing from Simmons University, Israt uses both her technical and creative skills to bring new and innovative ideas to life. You can see more of Israt’s work at pashabilities.com.
An educator, visual artist, and self-described math nerd, Jonathan Schneider is a puzzle constructor for Silverquicken. He creates several of the puzzles featured in SQ Pow! Each time he creates a new puzzle, Jonathan’s goal is to create something that is both fun and beautiful, a challenge that provides a satisfying *click* when the solution reveals itself. Jonathan’s professional background spans art sales, event planning, teaching, and corporate training. He looks forward to seeing your solutions to his puzzles, and he hopes to keep you challenged and learning!
Kit Production Associate
A recent graduate from Virginia Tech, Elizabeth works as Silverquicken’s kit operations associate. With a BA in International Studies and minors in Spanish, Women and Gender Studies, and Leadership for Social Change, she firmly believes education is the key to inspiring positive sustainable change in the world. Thus, she is ecstatic to be working with Silverquicken
to help show kids what they are capable of when placed in a positive learning environment with an emphasis on fun. With a love for fantasy, science fiction, and art, Elizabeth uses her creative skills to bring fresh ideas and a personal touch to the Silverquicken kits. When she isn’t working with Silverquicken, Elizabeth loves to cook, play the piano, read, play with her two dogs, or paint.
Teacher, explorer, and musician, Sage Pearce-Higgins loves to share his passion for learning. He studied Philosophy and Music at university before starting his career as an English teacher in St. Petersburg, Russia where he also learned Russian. Now he lives in London, UK, and teaches Alexander Technique, Mathematics, GMAT, and piano. When not reading books or singing songs, he can be found running marathons.