Our Story

We are a diverse team of educators who believe that the language of content—the specialized language used in math, science and in STEM careers—is the key to unlocking opportunities for all learners. Language can hold learners back—or propel them forward. It impacts academics. It affects future careers. By learning the language of content your students can unlock their full potential!

We don't just believe this. We have evidence of the link between language and academic success in large-scale research. Middle school students using our Math+Language program not only improved their English language proficiency, but those same students increased their mathematics scores by twice as much. Yes, you read that right: Our language program had double the impact on math outcomes as compared to language outcomes.

How is that possible? It's possible because there's a real learning gap. Many math and science teachers feel that they lack the tools, expertise, and/or the time to teach a language component—even though they intuitively know that language is embedded everywhere in STEM. Our team mission is to bridge that gap by providing our uniquely effective, award-winning Content+Language℠ programs to K-12 public schools across the U.S.A.

 Speak Agents 

Katie Cunningham

Katie Cunningham, Chief Technology Officer & Co-founder

Katie is a leading expert in the Python programming language. She has written three books and a video series for learning Python, published by Pearson and O’Reilly, has presented at key software development conferences, including PyCon, DjangoCon, jQuery, and Plone, and is a leader of the Washington DC chapter of PyLadies, an organization dedicated to training women in Python. She has also led linguistic R&D for National Science Foundation and US Department of Education projects. Prior to joining Speak Agent, Katie spent nine years at Cox Media Group and NASA, where she served as technical lead.


Ben Grimley, CEO & Co-founder

Ben is CEO and Co-Founder of Speak Agent, Inc. An ESL teacher who became a leading educational app creator, Ben led the launch of PBS KIDS Mobile, where his apps resulted in significant gains in language acquisition for millions of young learners. He co-created Speak Agent to address the achievement gap for marginalized learners, pioneering a unique Content+Language integration approach based on current Learning Sciences research. Ben has served as Principal Investigator for impact studies sponsored by IES, NSF, and NIH.


Madeline Franklin, Partner success specialist

Madeline is an elementary educator and instructional leader with over 10 years of experience teaching in the K-6 classroom. Prior to joining Speak Agent, Madeline worked closely with educators to successfully implement curriculum and platforms at Amplify Education and McGraw Hill. Madeline holds a BS in Education from Longwood University in Virginia. 


Brian Camus, MEd, SECONDARY SCIENCE lead

Brian is a secondary STEM educator with over 11 years of experience teaching biology and chemistry. He has both written and implemented inquiry-based curriculum that aligns with NGSS and AP standards. Outside the world of education, Brian enjoys spending time with his kids, playing board games, and has recently taken up curling. Brian holds a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Notre Dame and an MS in Secondary Education from Indiana University.



Divya is a dedicated STEM educator with 11 years of experience teaching all levels of high school math, biology, physics and chemistry. She has extensive experience building curriculum, promoting differentiation in secondary math and science classes, and facilitating professional development for other educators to do the same. Divya holds a BS in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin, an MEd from Texas State, and an MA in Organizational Management from Endicott College. 

Dan LaFountain

Dan LaFountain, MEd, Chief LEARNING officer & CO-FOUNDER

Dan is a STEM and ELL teacher with 22 years in education technology, curriculum development, and partnership building at LEGO Education, Teaching Strategies, Children's Creative Learning CentersKaplan, and Blackboard. He was integral to the launch of LEGO Mindstorms and the LEGO Education brand. Dan holds an MEd in Elementary Education from Boston University and an MA in Education Technology from Pepperdine University.

Dr. Andrea E. Blair

Andrea E. Blair, EdD,  secondary mathEMATICS LEAD

Dr. Blair is an instructional leader and educator with 13 years of experience in mathematics education grades 6-12, AP level STEM, and administration at high school and district levels. She has extensive leadership experience implementing research-based curricula, coaching veteran and novice teachers, leading professional development, facilitating professional learning communities, and promoting equity and differentiation in secondary STEM. Andrea holds a BA in Mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, MSIT from University of North Carolina, and an EdD in Educational Leadership from Johnson & Wales University.

Jorge Perez

Jorge Perez, sr. application Developer

Jorge is an award-winning, bilingual developer with 10 years of experience, including work for the US Census Bureau. He leads development of our Next.js frontend and mobile apps for iOS and Android. Jorge holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Puerto Rico.

Luis Perez

Luis Perez, sr. application Developer

Luis is an award-winning Python developer who has a keen rivalry with his brother Jorge for writing the best software code at Speak Agent. Luis leads development of our Python backend and API. Like his brother, Luis also holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Puerto Rico.


Michael Huckaby, MEd, educational consultant

Michael is an English as a Second Language teacher with 15 years delivering and supporting ELL products at Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Houghton Mifflin, and Cambridge. He has served as Adjunct Language Studies Professor at Prince George's Community College's ESL Program since 2012. Michael holds an MEd from George Washington University as an ESL Language Instructor and a BA in Business Management from Tennessee State.

Julie Grimley

Julie Grimley, Content Editor

Julie curates Speak Agent's linguistic content and media resources. She previously served as an English and GED teacher at Des Moines Area Community College, PreK teacher at the JCCGW, writer for the Des Moines Register and the New York Times Education section. She also wrote for clients such as the National Institutes of Health Office of Education. Julie holds a BA in Global Studies and an MA in Journalism & Mass Communication from the University of Iowa.