Lessoncast Team

Nicole Tucker-Smith / Founder, CEO

Nicole Tucker-Smith, founder and CEO of Lessoncast, helps schools implement professional learning initiatives focused on inclusive teaching and equity best practice. Nicole co-authored Supercharge Your Professional Learning: 40 Concrete Strategies to Improve Adult Learning (CAST Publishing, February 2020), which provides practical how-to information for applying the UDL Guidelines to professional learning experiences. In addition, she wrote Remote PD Zen, available on Amazon, Apple Books, and Google Play. She also leads the Jumpstart PD Network, a community of educators to share ideas, spread resources, post tips, and dialogue on key areas of interest related to designing and delivering effective PD focused on inclusion and equity. Nicole’s latest article, “The Illusion of Equity PD,” is featured in the March 2021 issue of Education Leadership.

She has served as a teacher, supervisor of parent support services, principal, and systemwide coordinator of professional development and training for Baltimore County Public Schools. Nicole was also a program coordinator for Johns Hopkins University Center for Technology in Education and teaches as a faculty member for the JHU School of Education. Nicole is an international presenter on Universal Design for Learning, a member of the CAST National Faculty, co-chair of the UDL Rising to Equity initiative, and she provides her professional development expertise to support implementation of UDL in P12 and higher education learning environments.

Namaala Liebenthal / COO

Namaala Liebenthal is a corporate attorney, business manager, entrepreneur and choreographer. She has a wealth of experience in the USA and Zambia in law, bank management and advisory work, including commercial transactions, financing, acquisitions, e-commerce, and real estate. Namaala has helped small, medium and large businesses with strategy, growth acceleration and operational management.

Namaala is also the Founder of ZOCA Dance, a dance fitness movement and multinational franchise. Ms. Liebenthal holds a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law and a BS in Commerce (Finance) from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce. She is a member of the Bar in New York and Zambia.

Belinda Jackson / PM & Social Media

Belinda Marie Jackson is an educator, visual strategist, and organizational planner. Belinda began her professional career as an educator in her hometown of Mount Vernon, NY. After transitioning from classroom teaching to higher-education research she began combining her love of art with systems thinking. While coaching many high-performing professionals in her leadership roles over the years, Belinda found her niche in helping people identify and draw out their gifts. With her expertise in instructional design, strategic planning, and 20+ years in education, Belinda clearly communicates complex ideas and propels the vision of leaders and teams into meaningful impact.

Cody Hanu / Creative Director

Cody Hanu is a Creative Director, photographer and Graphic designer born and raised in New York City. He has worked commercially in the creative field for nearly two decades, weaving digital content and stories together for various companies and startups. Currently he works as Creative Content manager for 1199SEIU Training and Employment Funds which has provided over 1.5 million healthcare workers with services focused on workforce development, education, job security and a persistent fight for social justice. Especially now, Cody is inspired to take action and use his creativity, energy and skills to bring about positive change.

Hannah Murphy / Executive Assistant

Hannah Murphy is the Executive Assistant to the CEO of Lessoncast. She brings over 10 years of experience to the table with proficiency in scheduling and correspondence. Hannah’s expertise in data management systems and project coordinating make her an invaluable asset to the Lessoncast team. She has the natural ability to implement innovative creative touches and aspects to any and all projects.

Originally from Poughkeepsie, NY, Hannah continued her education in Charlotte, NC, landing her the ideal opportunity to become part of The Nascar Technical Institute team before finding her home as part of the Lessoncast family. Her passion and vision is to assist Lessoncast in becoming the leading company spearheading innovative awareness that brings a new found structure and reaches new heights in the educational foundation that currently exists.

Shauntā Singer / Session Facilitator

As an educator in both the K-12 and higher education settings, Shauntā uses the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework as a conduit for educators to design learning environments and opportunities that recognizes and honors students’ cultures, identities, experiences, and preferences on their learning journey. For over 20 years, Dr. Singer has supported students, parents, communities, and educators as a regional, district-level, and school-based educator. She has a special interest in working with pre-service and in-service teachers to support a world where students have access to profound teaching and learning and are honored for who they are and what they bring to the learning environment. On a personal note, Shauntā has two young daughters and a loving husband that add additional value and perspective to her life.

Dr. Sylvia Rodriguez Douglass / Session Facilitator

Dr. Sylvia Rodriguez Douglass is an educator, instructional coach, and a mother. Her background is in K-12 special education, and she has been a learning specialist/special educator in private and public schools in San Francisco and New York City.

In the summer of 2021, Sylvia graduated with her EdD in Educational Leadership from San Francisco State University. Her research focused on special education disproportionality and the discourse educators use when referring a student to special education services.

When she is not working, she enjoys reading fiction, hiking with her family, and listening to podcasts.

Melissa Sanjeh / Session Facilitator

A facilitative leader, education consultant, implementation specialist and leadership effectiveness coach, Melissa has 5 years’ experience consulting with schools on instructional and systems implementation. She also has 15-years of experience as a Headmaster and Principal implementing and refining personalized instruction, competency-based curriculum, trauma-sensitive school environments, social and emotional learning, restorative justice, service to off-track youth, program/school design, program/school evaluation and youth development. Melissa is a seasoned public policy liaison and advocate working with Greater Boston municipalities and government agencies.

Donald Walker / Session Facilitator

Donald Walker’s professional career includes Director of Education and Instructor Specs Howard School of Media Arts (Specs at LTU), Program Director of 90.9 WDTR Detroit Public Schools, Production Director for WRCJ 90.9fm Detroit’s Classical and Jazz Station, videographer and editor of digital media for the Detroit Public Schools Community District’s Communications Department and Director, Multimedia for Detroit School of Arts’ (DSA) Multimedia Career and Technical Education program. Donald’s growth as a professional, leader, and academic continues as an education studies doctoral student at Wayne State University with a focus on curriculum and critical social inquiry. Donald is an AdvanceCTE’s Postsecondary Leadership Fellow having completed its program specializing in diversity, equity and inclusion for the development of career and technical education (CTE) leaders.

He is a Farmington Public Schools Board of Education Trustee, a member of the Beloved Community Initiative and serves on the advisory boards for Y-Arts Media (YMCA) in Detroit, TV-10 and IT CTE curriculums in North Farmington High School and Digital Arts Film and Television (DAFT). His media production company, Don Walker Media Group, specializes in telling stories of social, spiritual and personal impact. Donald’s personal/professional mission is to see our next generation find success in a way that supports, uplifts and encourages their dreams. He continues his service at Oakland Church of Christ and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Donald is a resident of the Farmington Hills community with his wife Tara and three children.

Robin Williams / Session Facilitator

Robin is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst and Professional Educator with 22 years of experience and has worked in various roles. She has a wealth of experience teaching and providing technical assistance to staff, and families, and coaching educators of students with disabilities. Robin has also built a private practice providing Applied Behavior Analysis consulting, training, and direct service for over 18 years. Her decades of experience include providing professional development and writing curricula for the State of Florida
Department of Education regarding behavior management, social-emotional learning, and supporting students with disabilities.

Robin has supported individuals with severe developmental disabilities and the staff that supports or educates them in a variety of locations including schools, family homes, intermediate care facilities, behavior-focused group homes, and correctional facilities. She has also presented at local, national, and international education and behavior conferences including the UDL-IRN Summit, Q10 Equity in Education, FETC, and Standard Celeration Society on behavior change, ed-tech tools for data collection, social justice, and racial equity in education or ABA practice.

Robin is committed to ensuring that the identity of the students we serve through the provision of applied behavior analysis services or in education is a foundational consideration as we plan for equity. She is passionate about the dissemination of Applied Behavior Analysis and helping others to see how ABA can truly change the world. Robin is also a wife and mom of twin teenage daughters. She loves to run, practice yoga, draw, and listen to music. Spicy thai food or a good beach day for this Florida native is essential to her every now and then for self-care.

Katie Wyatt / Session Facilitator

Katie is a UDL, Anti-Racist, Anti-Bias, Equity and Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning expert who sees these frameworks as inextricably linked and designed to remove barriers, offering options that center the voices and experiences of our most marginalized learners, making our learning spaces fit their needs. She has extensive experience in public education which she joined after years of fighting social justice through art, comedy and theater, working for museums and writing curriculum for the Amistad tall ship. Her work in UDL and professional development, which includes instructional coaching, site leadership, site instructional coaching, and professional learning design and facilitation, is grounded in pushing against bias and in support of racial equity, honoring and celebrating the strength in our diversity and promoting inclusive learning and community spaces.

Katie served on the District Transformation Team in Alum Rock for several years under the leadership of Partners in School of Education, deep diving into Identity, Equity and Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning Practices, and on the District Koffee Klatch Committee for Black, African American and Multiracial families and on the Diversity Equity and Belonging Committee for the Oak Grove School District. She was also a designer and writer for the SCCOE Ways to Equity Playbook as well as the My Name, My Identity Project where she had the opportunity to be led by the National Equity Project. Katie enjoyed being a member of the Content Literacy Inquiry and Citizenship (CLIC) Region 5 Project and did a deep dive into the then-new History Social Science Frameworks.

Get in Touch

Founder Nicole Tucker-Smith has extensive experience supporting schools and districts in designing and implementing multi-year initiatives focused on UDL and equity. Contact us to see how we might be able to support your community.