Jennifer NASSAR Dohr

Beacon School for Boys All-Boys Independent School in Los Angeles, CA

Jennifer Dohr earned her Bachelor’s degree in English with concentrations in creative writing, French, and dance from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania.  Following five years as an assistant editor in Manhattan for Americana Magazine and in Boston for The World Times, she found her passion in education.  Jennifer substitute taught for The Fessenden School for Boys and Brimmer and May School for Girls, both in Boston, gaining her initial experience in single-sex institutions. She graduated magna cum laude with a Master's degree in Education from the collaborative internship program between Lesley College and Buckingham, Browne, & Nichols School in Cambridge. In addition, Jennifer has completed graduate coursework at Oxford University, Bennington College, and Reed College. From 1994 through June of  2015, Jennifer was an educator and administrator at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles as a middle and upper school English, creative writing, and humanities teacher; boys’ assistant varsity tennis coach and girls' varsity head coach; tenth grade dean; and chair of the Middle School English department. In 2011, Jennifer was awarded the David Justin Rascoff Fellowship for excellence in teaching. During her two decades at Harvard-Westlake, she authored Study Smarter, Not Harder: A Guide to Effective Study Skills; increased faculty-administrator communication, chaired Faculty Academic Sub-Committees; and lent her voice on a broad variety of school issues, including diversity, scheduling, and outdoor education. Jennifer has led faculty training on research-based teaching practices, developed curriculum, guest taught at Laurence School, and served on the green initiative steering committee at Laurel Hall School, independent elementary schools. A certified test writer for the Educational Testing Bureau and a member of the National Council of Teachers of English, Jennifer was a volunteer instructor for WriteGirl:  professional women writers mentoring underserved adolescent girls.  Jennifer lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two teenagers; she currently teaches at the all-girls school that her daughter attends.

Oona MILLER Hanson

Beacon School for Boys All-Boys Independent School in Los Angeles, CA

After graduating magna cum laude from Princeton University, Oona Hanson taught English and coached in Massachusetts at Groton School and The Winsor School and in Los Angeles at Harvard-Westlake School. When Oona left the classroom to raise her children, she grew her part-time tutoring business; as a private tutor for over fifteen years, Oona has worked primarily with adolescent boys. After leaving Harvard-Westlake, Oona also completed a Master’s Degree in English from Middlebury College and earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology from California State University, Northridge (CSUN), focusing her research on single sex schooling, adolescent development, homework best practices, teaching for engagement, and parent education. In addition, Oona has volunteered her educational expertise and leadership at Carpenter Community Charter, a California Distinguished School with an enrollment of 950 students. There Oona served on the Governance Council as an elected parent representative for multiple terms, culminating in her election to the chair of the board, comprised of elected parents, teachers, and administration. In addition, Oona ran the school’s parent education program and has co-chaired the Curriculum Committee for five years. Oona also volunteers as a college applicant interviewer for Princeton University as a member of the Alumni Schools Committee. A lifelong learner, Oona has participated in conferences at Columbia University and Stanford University School of Education and has presented a workshop on mnemonics at the “What Really Works in Education” Conference at the CSUN Center for Teaching and Learning. She later published an article on mnemonics for Expert Beacon. Oona recently founded Homework That Works, a resource that helps families and schools evaluate and update homework practices and policies across the country, including the largest affiliated charter elementary school in Los Angeles. A graduate of a single-sex school herself (Laurel School in Shaker Heights, OH), Oona chose an all-girls school for her daughter; her son currently attends Carpenter Community Charter. She and her family reside in Los Angeles.