Introducing the Meet the Edulastic Team Series! This collection of fun interviews and anecdotes highlights members of the Edulastic team, sharing their journeys, tips, hobbies and more. We are so proud of our team and are happy to share their experiences with you. Next up, meet Jennie!
Introducing Edulastic Team member Jennie Tookoian! Jennie is a Content Product Manager located in California. Jennie joined the Edulastic team in the spring of 2016 and spearheads all content created by the Edulastic crew! Read on learn more about Jennie and her time with Edulastic.
Get to know Jennie Tookoian
What is your favorite memory from working with this company?
At our (vegetarian) Thanksgiving feast at the office one year, we played Edulastic Charades… I had to “act out” the Edulastic Certified Program (no one guessed it!)
What is your favorite memory from working with teachers and students?
I had a BLAST traveling with John Chen to an on-site training at Paragould School District in Arkansas. I flew into Memphis, TN, visited Graceland and then drove west to Paragould. The drive between TN and AR looks so different from where I live and yet because my area is also rural, there were many familiar scenes as well. John and I ate at this awesome little restaurant-bar in Paragould, which we figured would have been hopping on the weekend, but we were there on a Tuesday (too bad!) and I tried some fried pickles for the first time.
Once we got to the school site, meeting the Paragould team was great. The training day was extremely well organized, and we met several other vendors too. It is always a great opportunity when you meet the people in real life that you have only spoken with before.
What do you enjoy most about Edulastic’s company culture?
We are a small organization and as a result everyone is hands on – no job is too big or too small. I love to be around when customers who call the support line find out that Aditya, one of our co-founders, is answering their call. It goes to show you how important it is to us that our customers know we stand behind them.
What’s a pro-tip that you think more Edulastic educators should know about?
I like that we have added the functionality of zero-point questions. This makes it so you can use Edulastic for all kinds of formative, temperature checks. Many people think of the term “assessment” and it triggers images of high stakes, major test situations.
With zero point questions, teachers can look at the performance of group across a standard and get an immediate feel for if they are ready to keep going, or need to spend a bit more time. It also can really help support spiral learning techniques where teachers can return to previous concepts without penalty.
Cat or dog person?
Totally dog, but I am in love with my neighbors cat, Kevin…it is the perfect situation that he pops around for his 10 minutes of attention and then moves on. How cat-like.
What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
I hang out with good friends and family, I love the beach, I have great friends at my CycleBar (indoor cycle), my 3 kids are super busy, my husband and like to I travel and hike, and EVERY day I read my books– I am on a personal reading streak of 1,350-ish days of consistent reading (my kindle tells me so).
What are three words that best describe you?
My 7th grade English teacher, Mrs. Buchanan, said I had “diarrhea of the mouth.” That is four words, but since I became an English teacher myself, I would say she actually meant to say: gregarious, loquacious, and fun-seeking.
Go-to workday snack?
Almonds pushed into dried fruit! I live in the fruit basket of the country (the San Joaquin Valley) and we have access to the some of the best of both!
Favorite Edulastic event you’ve been a part of?
The first time I met Mike Holden in person, CSM extraordinaire! I originally met Mike when he was a customer of Edulastic and I was the CSM assigned to his district. We spent the first year working on the phone because he was at a district in Tennessee, and I was in California. When I found out we were hiring, I knew he would be a good fit. He came out for a few meetings in California and after a year and a half we got to meet in person. I’ll never forget it! [Full disclosure: I actually did forget our first meeting and Mike had to remind me years later that we actually did meet in person. We spend so much time working together that honestly, our working relationships are just as tight as if we stood around the water cooler chatting at breaks. The moral of the story is that Edulastic fosters a really genuine relationship with colleagues and customers, one that transcends “in person” and “on site”. That is good stuff! ]
Favorite time of school year?
Without a doubt, the week just before winter break and the month of May. Both of those times have a crackly excitement.
Favorite Edulastic question type and why?
Hot Spot. I like that students have a visual and can click on the images to answer the question. It adds a kinetic and a visual experience, engaging more than one part of the brain.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Time travel! My favorite genre is historical fiction, so visiting different eras is something I pine for on a daily basis. But, I know enough about history that most eras were, by our standards, dirty, dangerous, and flat out hard living. I want to pop in and check things out, then come back to the comfort of my hot water, super markets, and antibiotics.
What’s your favorite place in the world?
Anywhere that flip flops are acceptable dinner attire.