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Meet our Staff

Dr. Karen A. Cole
Executive Director and Curriculum Director

Dr. Karen Cole is an award-winning educational psychologist and author. She earned her Ph.D. in educational psychology from Stanford University in 1995. Prior to founding Big Learning, Dr. Cole worked for over twenty years in educational research and development, specializing in real-world learning, math education, and educational technology. She is co-author of the book, Increasing Student Learning through Multimedia Projects, published in 2002 by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). She has written for a variety of publications for educators and presented at national education conferences. She founded Big Learning in 2007, directs our organization, and develops our curriculum and workshop materials.

Sophie Yarborough

Sophie Yarborough is a lifelong journalist who has worked as an editor and reporter at such daily newspapers as the Miami Herald and the Boca Raton News in Florida and the Long Beach Press-Telegram and the Glendale News-Press in California. She now lives in Garrett Park, MD, where she works as an editor for Big Learning and as a freelancer for other publications.

Jean Carlson

Over the years of tutoring children in reading and math, Jean has developed a love of teaching.  She has led many classes in her own children's classrooms and is very excited to be a member of the teaching staff at Big Learning.

Navid Nasr
Teaching Assistant

After 12 years of steady work, just to pay bills and make ends meet, Navid realized that he needed to do something more rewarding and beneficial with his life, and decided to explore the nonprofit sector. He has found working with our students to be a joyful and satisfying experience, and is excited about the opportunity Big Learning offers to make a difference in children's lives.


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