Gemm Learning was founded based on personal experience. Our program managers all have education backgrounds and years of experience working with students of differing ages, abilities, and needs on the program. One staff member joined Gemm Learning after seeing results as a client.
Melissa Agosin is our Director of Education. She joined Gemm Learning in 2012, first as a consultant before moving into program management.
Melissa has a Master of Arts in Elementary Education, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She began teaching in San Diego, before moving to New York City, where she spent several years with Sylvan Learning Center, first as a teacher, and then as the Director of Education.
Melissa has two daughters and a son, who was diagnosed with Autism at age 2. Helping him to thrive in all aspects of his life is one of the greatest purposes of my life. I also run a support group for families with children on the Autism Spectrum with two other moms.
When I’m not at work, I love hanging out with my kids, running and training for races, doing yoga, reading, eating good food, and spending quality time with my family and friends. I love being outside, whether relaxing at the beach or walking around one of my favorite cities.
Danielle Sokol has a Bachelors in Early Childhood Development and Education. She has worked with students of all ages and abilities. Before coming to Gemm Learning as a program manager she worked as a reading clinician at learning center. Her role is to manage student programs and maintain the quality of the student and parent experience.
Working with Gemm has been an amazing experience for Dani. She loves the relationships we are able to establish with our families and being able to make a difference in the lives of our students.
When I’m not at work: “I’m juggling the busy life of a mom, trying to squeeze in a run with our puppy, a bike ride with the kids, working in the garden, repurposing old things or baking cupcakes (YUM!).”
Anne McCool does the books and looks after the billing at Gemm Learning. If you are a client you have probably communicated with her. Anne is a University of Delaware graduate, and has spent her career primarily in finance, including a long stint at Price Waterhouse as an auditor. And so Gemm Learning is in good hands.
Anne is married to Geoff.
When I’m not at work: “I am active in Hearts & Homes for Refugees, a refugee organization formed here in Pelham, NY. I am also an avid reader and book club participant.”
Sheila Driller joined Gemm Learning after 24 years with Fast ForWord. As the first Tennessee classroom teacher trained in Fast ForWord, Sheila saw many lives change, students and families alike. Following her career in the public schools, Sheila continued her passion for brain fitness and impacting lives working directly with the Scientific Learning Corporation in schools and districts all across the country.
She has seen the impact of Fast ForWord first hand, from her brother with traumatic brain injuries to her own children and step-children, all with significant benefits and life-changing impact. Sheila was born and raised in Tennessee where she continues to live near her children and grandchildren.
What I want to be when I grow up: I can’t really say I want to grow up! “You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.” — George Bernard Shaw
When I’m not at work: I love to laugh, play games with my grandchildren, and hang out with my husband. I also enjoy healthy food and Pilates workouts.
Christine Robinson joined Gemm Learning after experiencing fantastic results as a client. The changes she saw in her son inspired her to join Gemm Learning as an educational consultant. She has a Masters in Business.
Her son was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder at the age of 6, and she found seeking the right program to help minimize his challenges a challenge in and of itself. Of utmost importance was finding a program to reduce his auditory processing delays, which is why she and her husband turned to Gemm Learning and Fast ForWord.
Based on the positive impact the program has made for him, she made a career change so that she could help others who seek the same changes for their children.
Cindy Kupfer joined Gemm Learning at the beginning of 2020 after working with Fast ForWord for over 10 years at Scientific Learning. She wanted to continue working with Fast ForWord knowing the huge impact it has had in her own daughter’s life as well as her family. Cindy spent 2 years teaching in Dade County Public Schools in Miami, Florida before moving to Arizona where she currently lives. She grew up in northern Utah, so she enjoys the rocky mountain as well as the beautiful Arizona (or Sonoran) dessert.
What I want to be when I grow up: I hope to be the person that my younger self can be proud of. That I reached the goals I created. I always wanted to be a mother and a business woman. I have 6 children, 3 of whom are currently attending college.
When I’m not at work: I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I enjoy traveling, seeing new places, learning about different cultures, volunteering in the community, and painting and gardening.
Geoff Nixon founded Gemm Learning in 2006 after a career in finance. During that time he was an investor in education and was aware of Fast ForWord. He had an opportunity to see Fast ForWord software in action up close and personal when it helped his son who had language and learning issues from an early age.
Looking at the choices available at that time, he saw information was hard to get, that up-front evaluations were traumatic and cost a fortune, and that most recommendations were instruction-based and did not address the underlying issues. Gemm Learning was founded to change all that, to democratize Fast ForWord and make it a convenient, home-based intervention.
When I’m not at work: “I try to be active – cycling, golf in particular. And I like to travel.”