It was 1989. My test scores were just short — I didn’t get into my desired college program. There was a long waitlist and chances of getting in were slim. Disappointment set in, but so did determination! I reached out to the program director and conveyed to her how earnestly I wanted in. I brainstormed possible ways of making it happen, presented creative solutions and followed up with her consistently, until the day she accepted me. I will always remember what she told me then — your persistence is what got you in.
Imagineerz Learning is the start of dreams coming true — a dream to design powerful educational programs for children, a dream that has fueled both my work and my academic pursuits. While earning my Masters in Education from Stanford, I worked as a research assistant with the Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning. I was involved with corporate learning strategy and curriculum design at Saba Software for 11 years. In 2010, I conceived of an innovative after-school program PACT PALS for my son’s school and led the team that implemented it. With more than 200 students registered, the program has run successfully for more than a decade.
Camp Imagineerz is a summer camp where i-Can! is not just a mantra, but a way of living. We believe that there is no substitute for hard work, failure is a stepping stone towards success, and you can achieve whatever you believe you can.
Previous summers have been wonderful experiences at Camp Imagineerz – it was amazing to see how creative the children got with their stories and performances and how well they took to the i-Can! culture at camp. Our makerspace challenges are designed to be challenging, and there were many days when children had no idea how to even get started. It was immensely rewarding to be able to help every child think through what they could do, encourage them as they tried it, and hear them say, “Yes! I did it!” at the end. The words of one of our six-year-old campers captures the spirit at camp very well — “I know I can do it because i-Imagine! i-Can! i-Do!”
As a mother of two, it never ceases to amaze me how children think and learn — and what wonders can be achieved in the right environment. My most rewarding learning has come from bringing up my two children and my hope and vision is that Camp Imagineerz will grow with them. I am fortunate to have worked with many wonderful people along the way. Camp Imagineerz has required the dedicated effort and creativity of a diverse team experienced in a variety of learning environments.
We believe in passion and excellence, and you will see that reflected in every aspect of our camp. Come join us!
A California native, Andre grew up in Yuba City and studied theatre arts at California State University Long Beach. After graduation, he began substitute teaching to support his dream of working as an actor, writer, and director. Andre has served as the Artistic Director at Imagineerz for more than four years. In addition to overseeing summer and school programs, he writes scripts and edits video lessons for Imagineerz@School. Andre’s experience as an actor lends itself well to starring in our quirky educational videos.”
Andre studied theater at California State University Long Beach.
No matter where you go, there you are. — Confucius
Shaelan’s goal in life is to help strengthen the empathetic muscles that all children are born with. She’s a big believer in understanding and empathy, and strives to build a strong community in her Theatre/English classroom one day! Shaelan loves teaching i-Can! and growth mindset as well as being mindful of it in her own life. She uses the inhale and calm down technique every day. Being a camp counselor is a favorite part of her summer, and she’s very excited to be on the design team! 🙂
Shaelan is currently VERY CLOSE to getting her bachelor’s degree in theatre arts at San Jose State University and then plans to obtain English teaching credential.
There’s nothing that can help you understand your beliefs more than trying to explain them to an inquisitive child. — Frank A. Clark
Whether working with children as a teacher or with teachers as a coach, Megan is fascinated by what motivates people to not just complete a task, but to be fully engaged and passionate about their work. She worked as an elementary music teacher in Arkansas and then spent three years as a teacher and teaching coach in China. Megan is excited to share her love for performing arts, teaching, and creating with Camp Imagineerz!
Megan has a bachelor’s degrees in theatre arts and marketing from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in education from Stanford University.
Sapna believes in the lasting power of childhood experiences and memories. And in the power to positively influence those memories. Her career in market research helped tell stories with data, and she is excited to extend that skill to storytelling for kids at Camp Imagineerz. She freelances for gaming companies and hopes to introduce the art of responsible gaming to her three children. She lives in San Francisco and loves it.
Sapna has degrees in physics, linguistics and management.
Trevor was an elementary school teacher and coach seven years. He consulted throughout the country to support teachers and administrators with deeper learning, digital portfolios, project-based learning, parent engagement, and technology integration. He was recognized as the Silicon Valley CUE Outstanding Emerging Teacher before becoming a Google Certified Educator and Trainer. He was also the host the New Books in Education podcast for four years. He served for two years as director at Camp Imagineerz and currently works as the Imagineerz@School liaison to teachers and administrators.
Trevor holds an M.A. in Education from Stanford University and an A.B. in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis.
I believe that education is a process of living and not a preparation for future living. — John Dewey
Janice Toben works with public and private schools across the country to promote positive school climate. She directed the Nueva School’s Social and Emotional Learning Program for twenty-seven years. On the strength of the SEL program, Nueva was recognized by the Templeton Foundation as a National School of Character and has become a Blue Ribbon School three times.
Janice facilitates professional development seminars, parent education programs and teaching institutes such as InstituteforSEL.net. She conducted educational seminars at Wheelock and Columbia Teacher’s College; designed over twenty programs with the Center for Advancement and Renewal of Educators, providing an innovative program for emotional and intellectual renewal for educators in the San Francisco School District; and presents at conferences such as NAIS and CAG. Janice appears in the video Emotional Intelligence: A New Vision for Educators (based on Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence [Bantam, 1995]) and is the author of many lessons for the early and mid-elementary grades. Janice has two grown sons.
Ben Grossman-Kahn, M.Ed is the former Education and Innovation manager at Children’s Creativity Museum and is currently an Innovation Coach and Design researcher with the Nordstrom Innovation Lab. Ben spent several years as a Project lead with the d.School K-12 Lab, bringing design thinking activities and curriculum to partner organizations, including Girl Scouts, Maker Faire and the Palo Alto School District. Ben has also taught design thinking around the world, working with organizations in Taiwan, including Quanta, LCY, and National Taiwan University.
When not designing and brainstorming, Ben can frequently be found backpacking, searching for the best dumplings in China, and the coziest hostels in Eastern Europe. In a previous life, Ben was a Principal and Director of Jefunira Camp and founder of Happy Campers Parties, which offered custom birthday parties and treasure hunts for children.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in Asia studies from Pomona College and a master’s degree in education from Stanford University.
To conduct one’s life according to the Tao, is to conduct one’s life without regrets; to realize that potential within oneself which is of benefit to all. — Lao Tze