Maia Heyck-Merlin has over a decade of experience juggling high-volume roles in results-oriented organizations. She most recently served as Chief Talent Officer and Chief Operating Officer for Achievement First, a charter school management organization running 20 schools in Brooklyn and Connecticut. During this time, she oversaw teams that led recruitment, human capital, operations, and development and evaluation of school leaders and teachers at Achievement First. She currently continues to work with Achievement First in a part-time capacity.
Prior to joining Achievement First, she worked at Teach For America in a variety of capacities. Maia began as a corps member in South Louisiana where she taught fourth grade for two years and was named Teacher of the Year for her school and selected as a Fulbright Memorial Fund recipient. She then shifted to teach fifth grade at Children’s Charter School and directed Teach Baton Rouge’s first summer training institute for The New Teacher Project. In 2002, Maia returned to Teach For America as the Executive Director in South Louisiana, overseeing programmatic efforts for a corps that had doubled in size. She then served for three years as the Houston Institute Director, leading training and development for the incoming corps. In her last role at Teach For America, Maia founded and led the National Institute Operations team, which managed national operations for all five summer training institutes.
In 2007, Maia founded Brass Tacks, a business focused on training educators on topics such as time management, prioritization, organization, and efficiency. In 2011, she wrote The Together Teacher: Plan Ahead, Get Organized, and Save Time published by Jossey Bass in June of 2012.
Maia holds a B.A. in child development from Tufts University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Jack (a middle school English teacher), their energetic toddler Ada, and three unruly cats. In her free time, she enjoys swimming slowly, eating Oreos on the couch, and trying to keep up with her farm share deliveries.
Shelby graduated from Georgetown University in 2007 with a degree in Finance and Accounting. She went off to work as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs – but quickly realized it wasn’t for her. After her awakening, she joined Teach for America. She taught Kindergarten, 1st Grade and 2nd Grade at PS 385 in the South Bronx before moving to Achievement First Brownsville where she was an Instructional Coach and 1st and 2nd grade teacher. In 2010, Shelby earned her Master’s in Childhood Education from Teacher U at Hunter College (precursor to Relay Graduate School of Education). She is now pursuing her PhD in Education Policy Studies at Penn State.
Shelby is a jack-of-all trades for The Together Teacher but particularly loves working on Facebook, Twitter and the website. In her spare time, Shelby travels, plays with her two aussiedoodles, Fiji and Bali, obsesses over Downton Abbey and plans for her 2014 wedding!
After graduating from Harvard in 2001, Marin taught 3rd grade and earned her Master’s Degree as a member of the New York City Teaching Fellows program. She then taught kindergarten and worked as a school leader for Achievement First. She has also instructed adults in Literacy and Child Development as an adjunct professor for Relay Graduate School of Education. Presently, Marin is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. On the side, she supports Maia with the Together Teacher blog and other editorial pursuits. Marin is an avid reader, photographer and Red Sox fan—and loves paperclips and project plans!