Our foundation is made possible by the collaborative efforts of our “behind-the-scene” staff members making sure that everyone gets access to what our organization has to offer.
SUSAN F. TIERNO, Ed.D.
Founder and Chief Learning Officer
Dr. Susan Tieno’s expertise in education spans over 40 years in capacities including teacher, administrator, trainer and entrepreneur for profit and not-for-profit academic businesses. What drives Dr. Tierno are her love for children, the learning process, and her desire to combine the two to encourage the development of happy, productive students with excellent thinking and problem-solving skills.
Dr. Tierno holds a Ed.D. with a dissertation focused on Hispanic Parent Engagement, which evolved into her recently published book “¡Andamio!: Engaging Hispanic Families for ELL Success Using Brain-Based Learning.” A graduate of Marymount College, with a bachelor of arts degree in Latin American History and Elementary Education, she earned her master’s degree in bilingual education from the University of Texas. Dr. Tierno’s life experiences—and growing up within a military family that descended from immigrants—formed her thinking and shaped her career of service to parents, students and her fellow teachers. Dr. Tierno’s commitment to this vision culminates in her creative learning programs for children and their parents.
She has spent more than 17 years as a highly qualified teacher and curriculum specialist for elementary schools. She has certifications as a supervisor and administrator, and recently received her certification in non-profit management from the Policy Center at Georgetown University, which complements her long career in school publishing, and profit and nonprofit business development. In addition, she is has authored eight children’s books and created the Seminars for Kids™; the Thinkcoach™ Teacher Leadership Academy; the Thinkcampreneur™ entrepreneur’s camp for kids; Let’s Thinkwrite™, a project-based writing program for kids; the Think-Kids To Work™ program, Think-parents are Powerful™ and Think-parents Homeworkhelper™ in math program, all in their third editions. Her programs answer the national need for parents to become engaged in their kids’ educations and futures.
The Let’s Think-kids: Seminars for Kids™, designed and developed by Ms. Tierno, has been tested over many years in both public and private arenas. She is highly skilled in branding and developing strategic planning for schools. In her new role as Chief Learning Officer for the Let’s Think-kids Foundation, Inc., she will focus on the integrity of and fidelity to both the model and the programs as Creative Director.
A member of Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, she is a recipient of the National Creative Thinking Recognition Award for innovative programs for teachers, parents and kids from the Creative Thinking Association of America.
Dr. Tierno and her team are ready to talk to you about the development of strategic projects that will fulfill the needs of your school district and their diverse community of families. We are here to carry the Let’s Think-kids Foundation, lnc.’s vision into the future to prepare your students and their parents for tomorrow’s challenges.
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Ms. Alayna Gray is a native of Bloomington, Indiana and a graduate of Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science in Kindergarten/Primary Education. Upon graduation she moved to North Carolina where she taught in a development ally appropriate kindergarten classroom for four years. Her next position was in Houston, Texas where she taught 1st grade in a school where there was no majority population and poverty and transience were high. During this time she became certified as an English as a Second Language Teacher and made great strides with the students in her classroom. She took her skills and experience from her Houston classroom with her to Pensacola, Florida where she taught three-year-olds in an Even Start program. Critical to the programs’ success were the ability to model appropriate interactions with children for the parents, to provide parent workshops and to instill in the children and their parents a love for reading. When she returned North Carolina, Ms. Gray, again taught kindergarten for a year before accepting a teaching position with self-contained elementary students who had been classified as Behaviorally and Emotionally Handicapped. While this position certainly had its share of challenges there were also great rewards while working so closely with the students, their families and other agency personnel who were providing support.
Throughout her teaching career, Ms. Gray actively sought out opportunities to provide assistance to fellow teachers who were experiencing difficulty in the classroom. This skill led her to obtain her Master’s in School Administration and she spent the next six years working as an assistant principal in secondary settings before being appointed as the principal of the alternative school that served students considered “at-risk” in grades six through twelve. While several of these students had behavioral issues that served as an obstacle to their learning, many just needed the time and attention that a smaller setting could provide. During her three years as principal the school saw an increase in student attendance and student achievement, and a sharp decline in discipline referrals.
Upon her return to Bloomington, she worked with a non-profit organization that gave her the opportunity to collaborate with the leading educational researchers and practitioners across the country. While there she was able to deepen her understanding of adult learning and professional development, and in turn, make stronger connections between high-quality professional development and student achievement. Ms. Gray and her team are ready to talk to you about the development of strategic projects that will fulfill the needs of your school district and their diverse community of families. We are here to carry the Let’s Think-kids Foundation, lnc.’s vision into the future to prepare your students and their parents for tomorrow’s challenges.
Reading Specialist/Technical Support
Andrea Salem is an AWESOME teacher of over 10 years. Her zest for teaching, learning and technology skills fills a classroom with energy! She has built her background as a Highly certified teacher and a certified Reading Specialist. She also is a Professional Development specialist for teachers. She is awesome at providing targeted brain-based professional development which renders itself useful for her capacity in helping Let’s Think-kids Foundation, Inc. Her value as a specialist to our team goes beyond engaging young English language learners in reading, but into helping teachers to elevate the quality of education through the use of Common Core Standards. She is a lesson planning specialist, who has the ability to influence collaboration from all stake holders. Andrea has the skills, experience, and sense of commitment towards fulfilling a training of trainer’s capacity, which is a crucial piece that connects initiatives for kids into data driven results. We love Andrea, her energy and commitment to children’s thinking, learning, reading and writing! She also can be found at: www.andreasalem.com.>
Director of Design & Branding
Ms. Marsala has worked closely with Ms. Tierno since 1995 as a graphics and brand developer. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in English/journalism from Central Connecticut State University and has extensive experience in layout design, editing and copywriting. She has held positions as art director and copy editor at several newspapers, edited books on a wide range of topics and has more t han 33 years of experience in prepress production. Ms. Marsala’s talents and skills are combined to collaborate with foundation members on editing, branding, graphics, marketing and advertising projects. Ms. Marsala’s role is clearly seen in Ms. Tierno’s program books, children’s books and materials for parents, teachers and kids and all other Let’s Think-kids collateral material.
Cristian Medina provides English to Spanish translation services with the understanding that translation is much more than replacing words between languages. My experience includes but is not limited to: teaching Spanish (private lessons), live translation of weddings, translation of documents, flyers, forms, letters and PowerPoint presentations. More information at www.translateintospanish.wordpress.com.
Cristian Medina provee servicios de traduccion del ingles al espafiol con la premisa de que el oficio del traductor va mas alla del reemplazo de palabra par palabra ent re ambos idiomas. Mi experiencia incluye: clases particulares de espafiol, traducci6n en vivo de ceremonia de boda, traducci6n de documentos, afiches, formularios, cartas y presentaciones de PowerPoint. Mas informacion en www.translateintospanish.wordpress.com.