Our educators are seasoned progressive educators and leaders, designers, passionate learners. What brings us all together? Our shared mission to find the best ways to teach and inspire each of our students. We’re also driven by a passion to share our best practices with other educators and schools so we can together improve education for every child.


Lorenzo Krakowsky
Head of School

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Lorenzo grew up in San Francisco and has spent most of his life on the East Coast teaching History, French and Spanish, and serving in a variety of roles in three different independent schools in New York City. He was the Director of Upper School and Progressive Practices at the Calhoun School, and was the Dean of Students at the Fieldston School for a long stretch before that. Earlier in his career, he founded and directed two academic enrichment programs for disadvantaged students in the Bronx. When he is not at school, he can be found snuggling with his dogs, rambling in the woods, and indulging his passion for urban studies by roaming in the city.

Vassar College
BA, History

Bank Street College of Education
M.S. Ed, Educational Leadership


Nancy Otero
Founding Director of Research
& Learning Design

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Nancy is a design-thinking enthusiast and a world-recognized leader in the implementation of school Fabrication Laboratories (“Fab-Labs”). The focus of her work, especially with the Transformative Learning Technology Lab at Stanford University, has been the ways in which digital fabrication impacts learning. Nancy co-founded FAB!, a non-profit in Mexico, which serves underserved high-schoolers and teachers, and she has researched the efficacy of her programs in collaboration with Stanford. This year Stanford is supporting Fab Lab implementations at 5 public high schools in Guadalajara, and they are looking to implement 50 more next year. As part of the Beam Center NY and Active Emergence (which she also founded) she has designed Project-Based curriculum, worked with teachers and learners to create environments that are student-centered, and promoted hands-on learning in schools around the world. In Spain, Nancy led the implementation of the first FabLab@School in Barcelona and supported the creation of a fully integrated curriculum. The research paper about this project, “Barcino, Creation of a Cross-Disciplinary City,” which she wrote with Paulo Blikstein (Stanford Professor and Portfolio School advisor), was accepted by the prestigious Interaction Design and Children Conference in 2016. In Brazil, Nancy led the training of teachers from different parts of the country on how to implement digital fabrication in their schools and transition their schools’ design to a student-centered classroom. In China, Nancy was invited to Shanghai to consult with the top-ranked high schools on the implementation of Fab Labs and Project Based Learning, and to train their teachers how to integrate a Project-Based Learning approach. Her research in Mexico and Barcelona have been accepted at several international conferences. She holds a MS from Stanford in Learning, Design and Technology, and she was a software engineer in her previous life.

Universidad Autonoma de Mexico and Instituto Tecnico Autonomo de Mexico
BA, Applied math, Chemical Engineering, Physics,

University of Phoenix
BA, Psychology

Stanford University,
MS, Learning Design and Technology


Adiylah Washington
Director of Extended Learning

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Adiylah has worked as Associate Director of Extended Learning for a number of schools in New York including Montclare Children’s School, Williamsburg Northside School, and Aaron School. Adiylah designs and manages After School, Summer Camp, and Vacation Camp programs with the goal of enhancing the overall educational experience. Adiylah is a certified School Business Administrator and School Principal in the State of New Jersey. She taught in New Jersey for sixteen years in specialized dual language immersion programs and the advanced placement Ivy Program in Englewood. Adiylah decided to become an educator after her first job as a Research Associate at Duke University in her hometown Durham, North Carolina. Adiylah resides in Northern New Jersey with her husband and their children Nina and Derrick Jr.

North Carolina Central University
BA, Elementary Eduation, Mathematics Concentration

Fairleigh Dickinson University
MA, Educational Leadership


Jules Gordon

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Jules is an energetic and curious teacher with a genuine love for helping students be their best selves. Educated in a mixed age project-based elementary school, Jules has an innate passion for student driven and inquiry based learning. Jules began their teaching career in 6th grade on a visit to a first grade classroom for career day. Since then, Jules has worked in schools around the world, including in hometown Santa Monica, California, Ghana, Malawi, and during a study abroad semester in New Zealand.Jules attended Bates College, where they braved the Maine cold to pursue a liberal arts degree with a major in Psychology and a minor in Educational Studies. Jules is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Since moving to New York City in 2016, Jules taught grade 3 and kindergarten as an Associate Teacher at The School at Columbia University. Having explored the world from the mountains of Patagonia to the arctic Tundra of Sweden and Norway, Jules is passionate about both integrating nature into the classroom and inviting students to explore the natural world around them.

Bates College
BA, Psychology with a minor in Educational Studies


Molly Brown

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Molly joins us from the Jewish Community Project Downtown in Manhattan, where she has been Head Teacher for the 4 and 5 year olds. She has also worked as an Assistant Kindergarten and 1st Grade Teacher at The Spence School, and worked at Little Red Schoolhouse as well. She has an MSEd in Early Childhood and Childhood General Education from Bank Street College, and has a BA in Sociology from Purchase College, SUNY.

Katie Cheek_round.png

Katie Cheek

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Katie is thrilled to be joining The Portfolio School (and we are thrilled to have her!). She comes with over eleven years of experience teaching multiple age groups in NYC, most notably at the Blue School. Katie is very excited to bring her experience with both project based learning and emergent curriculum into the classroom and to use the knowledge to best support her students in discovering everything that sparks joy for them! A huge fan and participant in the arts, Katie enjoys incorporating everything from theatre, dance, drawing and painting, creative writing and singing into both her daily classroom life and all projects. Katie is passionate about teaching and integrating daily mindfulness meditation practices, as well as focusing on the whole child, social emotional learning and creating a joyful and vibrant atmosphere full of collaboration and discovery.

Katie holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Pratt Institute and an M.Ed from Hunter College. She also studied improv comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade theatre for over five years, so expect the unexpected!


Jeannette Subero
Digital Fabrication & Computational Thinking Teacher

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Jeannette is a maker and designer with a relentless curiosity for digital fabrication and physical computing. She earned her Bachelor of Architecture in her home country, Venezuela. She moved to the United States to pursue a career in technology and received her MFA in Design and Technology from Parsons School of Design. Her passion for making found its rightful place in the emerging digital fabrication world. The skills and experience with design and fabrication she has acquired over the last eight years allow her to transition between thinking in 2D and 3D, and between physical matter and digital media with ease. Jeannette seeks to foster the curiosity and creativity of students at Portfolio School in a world where technology has become ubiquitous.

"Make, break, iterate. Rinse and repeat. Share, contribute, collaborate. When you are done, do it all over again."

La Universidad del Zulia (Venezuela)
BA, Architecture

Parsons School of Design
MFA, Design and Technology


Katarina Holm Rannaleet
Math & Science Teacher

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Originally from Stockholm, Sweden, Katarina recently graduated from New York University with a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry. Before moving to the US she worked as a substitute teacher in different schools around her hometown, an experience which introduced her to many approaches to teaching and learning. She has spent most of her summers working as a summer camp-leader, and brings with her an appreciation for the importance of shared experiences. In her free-time, you’ll find her running the streets of New York in preparation for the NYC Marathon.

“A friend once told me that it doesn’t matter what you choose to study, or to do, as long as you are a problem solver. If you can look at any problem and think creatively, and extensively, about how to solve it, you will always be able to make your way in the world.”

New York University
BA, Chemistry


Susanna Brock
Curriculum Development & Implementation Specialist

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Susanna is a native New Yorker who is passionate about translating research in the cognitive sciences into improvements in educational practice. She has a decade of experience in independent schools teaching math and science and serving as a learning specialist. Recently, she spent five years at the Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, where she was the Middle School Mathematics Specialist and interim Math Department Chair. While at Berkeley Carroll, she also pursued her Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) through the Johns Hopkins School of Education. As a component of her doctoral research, she designed and implemented a curricular initiative at Berkeley Carroll to address the gender gap in math confidence and achievement, which she documented in the New England Mathematics Journal. In her free time, Susanna enjoys exploring Central Park with her husband and baby daughter.

Harvard College A.B. History and Science Certificate in Mind, Brain and Behavior

Teachers College, Columbia University M.S. Neuroscience and Education

Johns Hopkins School of Education Ed.D. 21st Century Education

Babur Habib   Co-founder & CEO

Babur Habib
CEO / Co-founder

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Babur is a tech entrepreneur who co-founded Kno Inc, an ed-tech company which set out to reimagine how students consume content. The company was acquired by Intel Corporation where Babur spent time implementing innovative solutions in classrooms globally. Working with schools within US and internationally made him realize that there is a lot of room to rethink how best to serve each child's creativity and help them learn through authentic experiences which all led to the start of Portfolio School.

His previous experience includes designing Pentium microprocessors at Intel and digital consumer products at Philips. He's served as a fellow at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy, working on the role of science and technology in informing public policy. He’s currently an advisor to multiple tech startups and is passionate about building a solid tech ecosystem on the east coast. In addition, he serves as an advisor to the New York Academy of Sciences on their Global STEM Alliance project and is an expert in residence at the NY Media Center.

Stanford University
MS in Electrical Engineering

Princeton University
PhD in Quantum Computing

Doug Schachtel   Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer

Doug Schachtel
Admissions & Operations / Co-founder

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As a creative project manager, Doug has worked in media, film, children’s play systems, communications and graphic design. As a filmmaker his award-winning music videos and short films that have been shown all over the world. He has two young children and is proud to be creating a school in which he would be happy to enroll them one day.

Princeton University
BA, English and Theater

Columbia University
MFA, Film

Baruch College
MBA, Marketing


Kendra Dunbar
Administrative Assistant

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Kendra has recently relocated back to her original hometown here in NYC after serving as Administrative Assistant at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockland, MD. Kendra holds an extensive background working in the educational setting over the years with experience ranging from acclimating new students within their admission process to providing a warm, welcoming presence as the first line of communication for families, staff, administration and students each day. No stranger to hard work, she takes pride in initiating new ideas that are beneficial to making a process work easier. She received a BS in Business Management from Monroe College and an MBA from Plymouth State University with a certificate in Healthcare Administration. She also enjoys traveling and spending time with family.