About Us

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.

Chris Ryan

Chris Ryan, 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.

Leslie Kerner 

Leslie Kerner, 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.

Mary Adkins

Mary Adkins, Teacher/Course Lead

A teacher for over 10 years with a background in curriculum design, Mary Adkins is the author of the novels When You Read This (Indie Next Pick and “Best Book of 2019” by Good Housekeeping) and Privilege (New York Post Best Book of the Week). Her books have been published in 13 countries, and her next novel Palm Beach will be published by HarperCollins in summer 2021. Her essays and reporting have appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, and more. A graduate of Yale Law School and Duke University, she currently teaches storytelling for The Moth worldwide and creative writing online.