Meet Our Team!

Administrative Team

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Originally on track to become a lawyer, a part time job tutoring kindergarten students during her freshman year at NYU opened Katerina’s eyes to her true passion: Working with children. She immediately switched focus, earning her Bachelor’s Degree from NYU in History, Music, and Education before going on to pursue a Dual Master’s Degree from Teacher’s College, Columbia University in Inclusive Education & Teaching Students with Disabilities. Katerina has been an educator in New York City for over 10 years and has designed the curriculum and program materials for myriad special education programs across the city.

Katerina Watson, Co-Founder, Head of School, and Special Education Teacher

Katerina Watson always knew that education could be done differently and was determined to start her own school in order to prove it. Prior to founding EPIC, Katerina developed another special education program and worked at a series of increasingly progressive special education schools as a director and teacher. Education is Katerina’s passion. She has a BA in Education, History, and Music from NYU; An MA in Inclusive Education and an MA in Teaching Students with Disabilities from Teachers’ College Columbia; and is now pursuing a degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education’s School Leadership Program. Beyond these degrees, Katerina has spent the past twelve years on a self-directed quest to learn everything she can about education, childhood development, and social-emotional learning—seeking out all relevant professional development opportunities, volunteer positions, lectures, and texts. Katerina brings a tremendous amount of empathy to her work; she has always been able to forge strong connections with students who exhibit unexpected behaviors due to her thorough understanding of developmental psychology and her personal experience as a child who was much like EPIC students. When Katerina isn’t working on a project for EPIC or studying new academic and therapeutic approaches, you can find her scuba diving and mothering her many cats. 

Joshua Askildsen, Co-Founder and Head of Operations

Joshua has a passion for advocacy and a dislike of bureaucracy. Since graduating from Pace University with his Bachelors Degree in English, he has enjoyed working exclusively for organizations that provide services he finds ethically important and close to his heart. To this end, he has been a team member of All For One Theatre and the National Coalition Against Censorship, two New York City nonprofits, as well as the Chief Operating Officer of Allied Achievement, a center-based instruction program for students with special needs.

Emily Thulier, Co-Founder, Office Manager, and Related Services Coordinator

Before joining EPIC as an administrator, Emily worked for the District of Columbia Public Schools for nine years as a Special Education Teacher. There, she managed all services, from case management to direct instruction, for a self-contained program for students with emotional disturbance. She also developed and implemented curricula and a differentiated instructional model to a class of sixty-five fifth-grade students in a dual language program. Emily has a background in providing trauma-informed direct services and believes the best educational environments are ones that nurture children’s behavioral and emotional development as well as their academic growth. At EPIC, she has found a like-minded community that holds high expectations for students while still considering their individual strengths and needs and celebrates both successes and failures as opportunities for learning and growth. Emily earned a BA in philosophy from the University of Louisville, an MA in Human Development and Special Education from George Washington University, and, most recently, an MA in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness from New York University. Her hobbies include hiking, camping, reading, writing, and listening to lots of music.                               

Drew Lawrence, Lead Support Professional

Drew came to EPIC with over fifteen years of experience providing emotional and behavioral support to students with special needs. His previous positions include Lead Support Staff at the New Life School, Milieu Counselor at Samuel Goldsmith Center, and Crisis Staff at Graham Windham. Drew believes every child is a unique individual who must be treated accordingly and that forming personal bonds with students is the key to success. Drew is currently pursuing a degree in psychology from SUNY Empire State. He loves telling stories, and outside of work and school, you can find him working on screenplays and films. He is the father of two beautiful children whom he adores spending time with. 

Henryetter Singh, Administrative Support Staff

Henryetter Singh rests her core values in meeting students where they are and challenging them to reach their full potential. Her foundation in immersing herself in the field of education grew from her experiences as a tutor and then later evolved into a position as a Teacher’s Assistant in the Department of Education, extending her years of experience to nearly a decade. She also has experience as a Director, a liaison to principals, and an Educational Coordinator for a non-profit tennis program. Henryetter has found a unique way to interntwine her administrative skills and student engagement abilities to create an atmosphere where students are encouraged to reach new milestones and gain independence inside and outside the classroom. In her downtime she enjoys puzzles and listening to soca. 

Nora Canby, Program Assistant

Nora has worked in education for a decade, teaching and tutoring elementary through high school students at organizations including Trevor Day School, the Berkeley Carroll School’s Creative Arts Program, and Writopia Lab. On the administrative side of education, Nora has worked as an Assistant Director at the University of Virginia’s Young Writers Workshop and headed the development of an early childhood literacy curriculum at Five Points Learning. Nora is thrilled to be part of a team that puts students’ needs first and believes adults should treat all children with kindness, empathy, and respect. They earned a BA in English from Wesleyan University and are an avid reader and writer. Their hobbies include exploring local libraries and parks and fostering cats. 

Teaching Team

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Katie Cronin, Special Education Teacher

Katie has been with EPIC since its founding in 2018. Before leading a class of her own, she was a Teaching Assistant to Special Education Teacher and Head of School Katerina Watson, who taught her crucial lessons about academic leadership, classroom management, and behavioral support. Katie is a committed lifelong learner; throughout her time at EPIC, she has sought out numerous professional development opportunities, including workshops from Handwriting without Tears and Get Your Teach On. She values EPIC’s close-knit staff and small class sizes, which allow her to form deep relationships with all her students and differentiate the curriculum to meet their unique needs. Katie brings energy, positivity, and fun to her classroom and looks forward to work every day. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, biking, and caring for her 38 houseplants. 

Megan McMullen, Special Education Teacher

Megan has worked with students in a wide variety of capacities—as a preschool teacher, a paraeducator, and a counselor at Camp Daybreak, a summer program for children with special needs. She is thrilled to be a part of the EPIC community, a group of individuals all striving to learn and grow together. Megan always leads with kindness and teaches her students to do the same. Megan earned her first degree in Human Services and is planning to return to school this spring to study Education. Outside of work, you can find Megan reading, kayaking, and hiking with her dog, Fella. 

Winona Lee, Special Education Teaching Assistant

Winona Lee has been working with children for over ten years, at schools including Lutheran Social Services and Our Children’s Center. Her goal is always to teach, reach, connect, and establish a trusting relationship with each of her students. She is a mother of four boys, which has taught her so much about patience and trust. 

Jodi Karem, Music Teacher

Jodi Karem fell in love with music at an early age and has spent the last 20 years both performing Opera and teaching kids of all ages. Jodi has sung throughout the United States, Europe and the Middle East. She has also taught in schools, summer programs, and after school programs in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Louisville. Jodi loves to instill her love of music in the hearts and minds of children.

Related Service Providers

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Gail Stephens, Occupational Therapist

Gail is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and has worked as an Occupational Therapist in multiple elementary and early childhood settings. She believes a student’s environment shapes their participation, behavior, and emotions and shares EPIC’s mission of celebrating children for their differences. She loves being part of a team that takes a multi-sensory approach to learning and collaborates to best support the needs of every child. Gail is a New York State Registered Licensed Occupational Therapist who earned a BS in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Columbia University. She is a Brooklyn native who loves riding her bike, practicing yoga, and singing karaoke in the shower. 

Theo Winston, Speech Language Pathologist

Theo has worked as a speech therapist for school-aged children through both the New York Early Intervention Program and private practice, specializing in expressive-receptive language development, pre-language skill, articulation and phonological disorders, and social-pragmatic skills. Theo treats children in both English and Japanese and believes his multi-cultural background has given him empathy and an appreciation for what makes us all unique. At EPIC, he has found a community committed to educating, enriching, and supporting wonderful students in an environment that fosters inclusivity and compassion. Theo earned a BA in Economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Adelphi University. He is a passionate musician who has performed in bands for over fifteen years and has taught guitar and piano lessons to adolescents and adults.