Meet ICC's Teachers!
Intermediate and Advanced Intermediate Hindi
Vaishali Akole was ICC’s first Hindi teacher. She has been teaching Hindi at ICC for nine years. Prior to ICC, Vaishali taught Hindi at The Language Exchange in Greenwich; she volunteered as a Hindi teacher at HindiUSA and at Chinmaya Mission; and she worked for many years as a translator at the Judicial Court and FBI in Chicago. Born and raised in India, she has lived and worked in the US for 25 years.
Ramayana Story Hour and Play Director
Akruti Babaria is the founder of Kulture Khazana which provides content for kids to learn about Indian culture in fun and engaging ways. In founding Kulture Khazana, Akruti sought to unlock India’s cultural treasures by encouraging children’s creativity and imagination. Akruti hosts story times, cultural workshops, professional development workshops, and corporate diversity events including a Facebook Live: Cultural Story Time with Akruti for the Consulate General of India of New York. She also curates Indian children's materials for public libraries, nonprofits, temples, schools and families across the US.
Investigations in Math and Mock Math Olympiad
Alissa Helgesen is an education consultant and former math and science coordinator and Interim Head of Whitby Lower School. Alissa introduced a class called Investigations in Math to ICC in January 2020, which quickly became popular with children and parents. Alissa is passionate about inquiry-based math and science and empowers students to be risk-takers who value their thought process as much as their products. Alissa has an undergraduate degree in Child Development from Tufts University and a MAT for Elementary Education from Brown University.
Veera Hiranandani is the author of The Night Diary (Kokila), which has received many awards including the 2019 Newbery Honor Award. She is also the author of The Whole Story of Half a Girl (Yearling), and the chapter book series, Phoebe G. Green (Grosset & Dunlap). She earned her MFA in fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College. A former book editor at Simon & Schuster, she now teaches creative writing and is working on her next novel. You can find out more about Veera at www.veerahiranandani.com, on Twitter @veerahira or on Instagram @veerawrites.
Amanda Sackey, a middle school science teacher at Rye Country Day School, has been teaching Ultimate STEM at ICC for four years. Amanda was also a teacher and naturalist at ICC STEM Camp in 2017 and 2018 respectively. She began teaching in 2006 at The Good Hope School in St. Croix, U.S.V.I. where she also ran the school’s annual Intel Affiliated Science Fair. Amanda earned her BA with a double major in Geology and Dance from Hamilton College and is working on a masters at Manhattanville College. Amanda is an expert on sustainability and environmental science.
Beginner and Advanced Intermediate Hindi
Nandita Sinha has been teaching Hindi at ICC since January 2017 and has been a Primary Teacher at Whitby's Lower School for 20 years. She has a Montessori Certification in Early Childhood and graduated from Columbia University with a Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology. Nandita co-founded and directed the Gurukul Hindi School in Stamford, CT before moving to Switzerland in 2008.
Rubik's Cubing: Beginner and Continuing Cubers
Aarav Yadav, a junior at Rye High School, returns to teach his very popular Rubik's Cube classes. Aarav is a member of the WCA (World Cube Association) and has competed in 11 competitions. Aarav averages 13 seconds on a 3x3 cube and has a personal best of 8 seconds. Aarav taught Indian sports at ICC STEM Camp in 2019, was an assistant coach for ICC’s 2019 First Lego League, an assistant chess teacher in 2020 and he assisted Alissa Helgesen with Math at Camp 2020. Ryan Kovacs, also a junior at Rye High, will assist Aarav.