About Banyan Global Learning

Banyan Global Learning Bios

Seth Fleischauer is a graduate of Princeton University, Queens College School of Education, and the New York City Teaching Fellows Program. He taught in NYC public schools and in Taiwan before founding Banyan Global Learning in 2008 and establishing its unique distance learning model. Since then, he has enjoyed watching Banyan grow as it expanded its programs and services with a team of dozens of excellent educators on multiple continents. In addition to Banyan, he has a podcast on bringing consciousness to education.

Seth loves positive change, both internal and external. He enjoys sports, horticulture, food, pop culture, and humor. He lives in Portland, Oregon but still loves the New York Mets.


Seth Fleischauer

Founder and President 

Katrina is an educator, instructional designer and curriculum specialist who loves teaching English and helping to design materials, curriculum, assessments, and lessons that propel learners to success. She has taught for over 15 years and has presented and/or delivered teacher trainings in South Korea, Mongolia, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Canada, the US and the UK. She also has several years of experience in educational management. At Banyan, Katrina works with the curriculum development team to lead and support a variety of projects. She also supports the leadership team in human resources, recruiting, organizational structure, planning, and wherever else support is needed.

Katrina holds a MS in Educational Learning Design and Technology from Purdue University, a MA in Teaching (ESOL) from SIT Graduate Institute, DELTA Module 1 (merit) and Module 3 (merit) from Cambridge ESOL, a BA (hon) in Linguistics & Applied Language Studies from Carleton University – CTESL (OCELT), and a PGC in Arts Administration and Cultural Management from Humber College

Katrina enjoys riding her bike, traveling, learning, knitting, stitching, and volunteering to teach ESL classes and help to set up programs and train tutors in under serviced communities.

Katrina Baran

Chief of Staff;                                                  Human Resources;                                   Curriculum Developer


Andrew obtained his BA in Journalism & Mass Communications from The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He has been working in education for 10 years.

Andrew is an international educator making a difference in the lives of students one country at a time.

Andrew joined the Banyan team in 2021 as a distance learning elementary school teacher in the Learning Live program. He is also hosting some exciting live virtual programs for Banyan in Medellín, Colombia! Andrew supports a humanitarian organization in Medellín, Feed the Barrios.

Fun fact: In the last decade Andrew has visited over 71 countries!

Andrew Shainker

Distance Learning Teacher 


Daniel is a professional educator and self-identified lifelong learner. He has taught history and English as a second language in the New Jersey public school system and is currently a technology coach, assisting fellow educators with the implementation of technology in their teaching practices.

He currently holds a Masters degree in Educational Leadership, Bachelors degree in History, and a Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language.

Daniel has a passion for labor advocacy and is actively involved in several educator labor unions throughout the United States.

In his free time, Daniel can be found reading a book, researching some current events, traveling to a new place, or learning something new.

Daniel Cyckowski

Distance Learning Teacher

Katie specializes in environmental education and educational technology for grades K-12. She has taught in a K-4 elementary setting for 13 years in her home state of Minnesota and tutors Chinese EL students online.

She earned a Master in Environmental Education from Hamline University as well as a BA in Elementary Education with a Minor in Spanish and Physical Education, plus a Reading Endorsement all from Luther College.

Katie enjoys traveling and has been to 16 different countries. She loves spending time with her two young kids, husband, and dog. In her spare time, she enjoys playing board games, reading, biking, playing ultimate frisbees, and rock climbing.

Katie Holten

Distance Learning Teacher

Lila attended The American Musical Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles, California, earning a B.A. Lila is an actress, activist and model. She has over 6 years of volunteering as a student teacher under her belt.

Lila joined Banyan in 2020 as a kindergarten distance learning teacher. She was also a co-host of Banyan’s after-school Student Activism Club, helping young learners make sense of current events.

Lila is now on board with Banyan’s engaging Digital Citizenship series for young learners. Through this, Lila has become one of Banyan’s specially trained puppeteers, and is available to support these fun programs. She also supports administrative tasks, content development and creation, and teaching when more hands are needed.

Lila likes to practice yoga, salsa dance and get lost on YouTube!

Lila Perkins

Virtual Program Teacher;                           Distance Learning Teacher;                       Program Developer

Mara is both an international student and an international teacher! Born and raised in New York, Mara graduated from The University at Albany in May 2014 with a degree in Marketing and Communications and double minor in Psychology and Sociology. In February 2017, She moved to Prague, Czech Republic to become an ESL teacher. After almost two years abroad, she moved to Florida to be closer to family. Mara spent three years teaching kindergarten and STEAM at the elementary level, and now works as a Preschool Pathways Teacher at Primrose. In her free time, she volunteers for Make-A-Wish and at her local YMCA. She earned her Masters in Educational Leadership at Barry University in August of 2021.

Mara joined Banyan in 2021 as a junior high distance learning teacher for the Learning Live program. She also supports the team with market research will help host live virtual programs for students around the world.

Mara is most fulfilled while traveling and connecting with strangers around the world. Her greatest passion is people; learning about others and their cultures first hand. She is a strong advocate for promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.

Fun fact: Mara loves to collect funky and unique earrings.

Mara Backer

Distance Learning Teacher

Neely graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln with her Bachelor’s Degree in Education. She then obtained her Master’s Degree through the CADRE Program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She has spent many years teaching elementary school in Nebraska as well as kids yoga.

Neely enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling, baking, crocheting, running, and hiking. She also loves to sing and play music.

Neely Tanner

Distance Learning Teacher

Courtney is the lead manager for the overall instructional design for Banyan and its partnership with Tsai Hsing School in Taiwan. She is also the lead for the development and implementation of live virtual programs.

Originally from Montana, she is now based near Tampa, Florida. After graduating with a degree in Multilingual/Multicultural Education from Arizona State University, Courtney has since worked in various ESL/EFL classrooms in the United States, Costa Rica, Taiwan and China.

When Courtney is not in the classroom, she enjoys playing music, travel, all types of adventurous outdoor activities and spending time with her family and friends.

Courtney Dayhuff

Director of Programs;                                  Director of Learning Live

Robyn is an educator, administrator, and mentor. She earned a Masters in Elementary Education, a BS in Child and Family Studies, a Minor in Studio Art, a Minor in Education, and a Certification in Early Childhood Education all from the University of New Hamsphire.

Robyn founded, owned, and directed a school business for 11 years in Portland, Oregon. She earned the highest 5 STAR accreditation from the Quality Rating System in Oregon. She taught in an elementary classroom for 7 years in New Hampshire and was a distance learning teacher for kindergarteners in Tsai Hsing. She also teaches piano privately with students of all ages. She has a passion for bringing her artistic creativity and worldly experiences into her teaching communities and guiding best practices with educators, parents, and young learners. 

Robyn enjoys exploring nature, swimming, kayaking, creating art, playing piano, and singing. She loves her family and being a mom to 2 amazing children and dog.

Robyn Bodin

Executive Administrator; Academic Manager of Kindergarten Learning Live; Curriculum Developer

After graduating with her Bachelors in English and Secondary Education from Northeastern University in 2017, Anika has been teaching English Language Arts in Boston and Costa Rica for the past 4 years. She has taught every grade from 6 – 12 except for grade 10, but her favorite is 8th and 9th. This year, Anika is completing her master’s in Human Development and Education with a focus on Language and Literacy Development in Cambridge, MA.

She is also working towards her second license in English as a Second Language.

When she is not joking around with her students or grading essays, Anika loves hiking, baking cookies, watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, snuggling her beloved cats Peanut Butter and Jelly, and hanging out with her fiance, Giancarlo.

Anika Krause

Distance Learning Teacher

Deirdre has a School Admin Certificate from Johns Hopkins, an MA in Leadership in Teaching from Notre Dame of MD University, a BA from UC, Berkeley, and a TESOL certificate. Deirdre has taught and developed curriculum for PreK-16. She has helped start schools on both coasts and spoken at national conventions. She writes for and teaches musical theater. She is also a Linked Learning and College & Career Readiness coach.

She grew up in Europe. She loves to travel and cook. Her best trip  was biking the western edge of the Pacific Rim.

Deirdre Marlowe

Professional Development

Kris is a puppetry specialist with a passion for deep feelings and puppets. She has spent her life entertaining. Her teaching goal is to get her audience to laugh together. Kris has been working in education since 1988.

Kris graduated from East West College of the Healing Arts as a Licensed Massage Therapist. She also has a BS in General Studies Social Science Option from Portland State University.

Kris joined Banyan in 2019 as a puppetry specialist, offering an SEL program called Bird That Wants to Fly. Kris and her special puppets have been an important part of other SEL programs that teach children the magic of puppet making and puppetry.

Kris works with other puppetry groups, like Pacific Puppetry and Puppeteers of America, who “build a community of people who celebrate puppet theatre.”

Kris likes to sing, dance and roam woods near lakes in Oregon.

Kris Bluett-Woolen

Virtual Program Puppeteer

Lillian is looking forward to teaching this school year!  She has taught in Minnesota for 10 years, and worked with students of all ages.  

She enjoys traveling, and has been to Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Malta, England, South Korea, St. Martin / Saint Maarten, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and around the United States including Alaska and Hawaii. She also enjoys staying active, cooking and baking, reading, and spending time with family and friends at a cabin on a lake.

Lillian lives in Minnesota with her husband, Brent, who is an engineer specializing in systems and networks. They had their first child in April, and named her Rosie. They have two dogs named, Sunny Day and Gwenny.  During the pandemic Lillian brought home the school’s bearded dragon named, Mango, to retire to her home.

Lillian Wassell

Distance Learning Teacher

Marty has worked in interactive media for over four decades creating award-winning new media products, building exhibits and providing strategic advice to companies large and small. His interactive and education work has won awards in the US, Japan and Europe.

Marty built popular interactive video exhibits at the Boston Museum of Science, Lawrence Hall of Science and New York Hall of Science. He has lectured at Harvard and MIT and taught at Tufts, NYU, San Francisco State and Cogswell College. His writings on new media have been widely published.

Marty worked on the campaign to save Africa’s elephants using social media to reduce demand for ivory, a campaign that ended ivory commerce in China. Marty’s education nonprofit, Multisensory Interactive Learning, developed a mobile math game, “Tangram Jam,” for Apple and Android devices. He invented an early immersive display helmet and has worked in immersive technology for decades, serving on the board of the Virtual Worlds Society.

Marty plays the trumpet, loves to paint and reads history for pleasure.

Marty Perlmutter


Nimene is a recent graduate of NYU Tisch Drama. She is a Bi-Coastal artist. She speaks 3 and a half languages and has worked with Lincoln Center Theater, Second Stage Theater, and was a casting intern for the medical drama ‘New Amsterdam’ on NBC. 

She has studied and performed at UCB Theater, Groundlings, and she is a Story Pirate who transforms stories written by kids, and turns them into sketch comedy and songs. As a Story Pirate, she possesses the titles: producer, songwriter, and main cast member on ‘The Story Pirates podcast’. She is also host of the new iHeartRadio podcast History Remixed produced by Questlove and Jonathon Glickman. 

Most recently, she can be seen sweating from places she didn’t know could sweat while dancing at The Playground LA, riding her bike around Brooklyn, and on season 2 of That Damn Michael Che on HBO Max, and season 5 of Inside Amy Schumer on Paramount+.

Nimene Wureh

Virtual Program Teacher;                          Program Developer

Travis Moyer graduated from Duke University in 2005, earning a B.S. in Biology. After working as a microbiologist in a major Chicago hospital, he taught high school science for three years. In 2012, he left Chicago for Los Angeles where he received his Masters in Education from Pepperdine University. His professional passions include creating innovative lessons incorporating STEM technologies and helping teachers to better incorporate technology into their curriculum. Outside of teaching he enjoys hiking with his German Shepherd, tinkering with his Arduino and watching the Indianapolis Colts

Travis Moyer

Director of Sales and Marketing; Program Developer

Amanda grew up in Wisconsin and moved to Montana after graduating from the University of WI-Stevens Point with a degree in Environmental Education/Interpretation & Natural Resource Management. She 

got her Master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction and a K-8 teaching license at the University of Montana and has spent the last 15 years as a 5th- 8th grade teacher with an emphasis on Science and ELA. Amanda has spent the last 3 years teaching ESL for an online company in China.


Traveling and exploring new places is a favorite pastime and she has been to 19 countries and has visited 40 of the 50 states. Her free time is spent hiking, camping, skiing, and spending time with family and friends.

Amanda Bestor

Curriculum Developer

Courtney has taught both ESL and English Language Arts in international schools both in Asia and the United States. She has a Master’s degree in Secondary Education and a Bachelor’s degree in English.

She loves reading, writing, traveling, learning new languages, practicing yoga, and being outside.

Courtney Cakouros

Distance Learning Teacher

Emily has been teaching since 2009 and has taught in Thailand, Taiwan, and her home state of Minnesota. Her favorite age is middle school.

She has a Masters degree in K-12 Education with a dual focus and licensure in K-12 Art and K-12 ELL. She also has a dual Bachelors degree in Fine Art and Art History

She enjoys working in various art forms, baking, mixology, sailing, being outside, board games, comics, and science fiction/fantasy.

Lauren graduated from the University of Southern California (USC) with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and French. As an undergraduate student, she taught ESL at the USC International Academy and Lycée Souer Rosalie Louise de Marillac in France during her study abroad. After college, she began working in distance learning, teaching students in countries like Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.

When she’s not teaching, you can probably find her running, doing math for fun, playing soccer, listening to podcasts, or rooting for her team, the Philadelphia Eagles.

Lauren Estella

Distance Learning Teacher

Maddie attended the University of St. Thomas to earn an MA in Education and Communications. She serves as a leader in the space of digital learning technology, equity and inclusion and differentiated instruction throughout the Twin Cities. She is presenter at the Personalized Learning Summit as well as the Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education’s annual GeoFest. She has experience working with adult learners in higher education and as a teacher in K-12 classrooms.

Maddie joined Banyan in 2021 as a junior high distance learning teacher and academic manager in Banyan’s Learning Live program. Her goal is to provide a classroom environment full of innovation, differentiation and critical thinking.

Being a mom and spending time with her daughter and husband are Maddie’s favorite ways to spend free time. In addition to that, she love to bake French Macarons, travel the world and read as much as she can!

Maddie currently sits on the board for the Nonprofit GEEO, which supports the travel and exploration of the world for teachers. Girl Power Africa is another organization Maddie works closely with. GPA supports educational opportunities for women and children in Liberia.

Maddie Hunt

Distance Learning Teacher

Teaching is in Nancy’s  DNA!  Both of her parents are retired teachers. She knew in third grade that she wanted to be a teacher.  Nancy started working with children at a very young age. She was running girl scout troops, tutoring, teaching violin lessons, babysitting, and working in daycares before graduating high school. 

After earning her BS and MS at the University of New Mexico, Nancy started her 17 year classroom teaching career. She taught kindergartners through 6 graders. She taught general education, music education, and intervention education. Now, she has the privilege of supporting educators and students around the world with Banyan Global Learning!

Nancy Noice

Communications and Administrative Coordinator

Vanduncan is a classically trained actor from Boston. He went to AMDA College and Conservatory where he received his BFA in acting. He has been in several National commercials, worked alongside Emmy Winners’ Sterling K. Brown, and is represented by CESD. Along with the performing arts, he is a skilled portrait photographer and an avid reader. He is hoping to bring all these skills and more to each performance.

Vanduncan Johnson-Phillips

Virtual Program Teacher;                          Program Developer

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