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Our Team


Lauren Blanch, Business Development Representative 

Lauren is a member of our Business Development team, dedicated to driving growth and fostering relationships with potential clients. Prior to joining Upbeat, Lauren spent two years teaching high school special education in Colorado. She is passionate about empowering educators and promoting lifelong learning, where students and educators embrace continuous personal and professional development.


Zac Calhoun, Partnerships Manager 

Zac leads the renewal process for our clients. Zac brings two years of experience as an education recruiter, and five years as a high school teacher in Texas. He is passionate about inclusivity in the classroom and the experience of new teachers.


Kate Chizek, Director of Marketing  

Kate leads all of Upbeat’s communications and marketing efforts and also manages our National Teacher Retention Working Group. Prior to joining Upbeat, Kate spent six years as a special education elementary teacher in Tulsa and Chicago. Kate is passionate about special education policy and supporting teachers’ overall wellness.


Kylie Davis, Chief Operating Officer

Kylie keeps all of Upbeat’s operations running smoothly — from finances to staffing and long-term planning, Kylie ensures seamless coordination and optimal performance across all facets of the organization. She brings seven years of experience teaching elementary and middle school in Washington, D.C., Chicago, and New York City. Kylie is passionate about improving teacher retention and well-being to create more sustainable school environments and close the achievement gap.


Yanique Francis, Vice President of Partnerships 

Yanique spearheads partnerships for Upbeat, which means she manages strategy for our sales and partnerships team and builds relationships with potential new clients. Prior to joining Upbeat, Yanique worked with YearUp and KIPP NYC to support students through college and careers. She is passionate about supporting young adults, especially in underserved communities.


Mahamadou Jagana, Program Operations Associate

Mahamadou supports program operations for Upbeat, helping our clients with survey administrations and logistics. Prior to joining Upbeat, Mahamadou worked for three years as a middle school and high school social studies teacher in New York City. In addition to teaching, he has worked as a postsecondary manager, helping students in planning for their lives after high school. He is passionate about providing equitable opportunities for student growth and ensuring underserved students receive high-quality academic and social-emotional support.


Dr. Matthew Kraft, Director of Research  

Matt leads all of Upbeat’s research efforts, ensuring that Upbeat’s survey platform is aligned with current research and analyzing patterns in Upbeat's survey data. An Associate Professor of Education and Economics at Brown University, Dr. Kraft is a national expert on teacher retention and organizational effectiveness in K–12 urban public schools. He holds a doctorate in Quantitative Policy Analysis in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and is passionate about supporting teachers and improving public education.


Justine Martinez, Program Manager  

Justine is one of three program managers at Upbeat, where she supports clients from survey launch and through the data analysis and coaching process. Before joining Upbeat, she spent four years working as a bilingual literacy teacher in the New Haven public school district and one year overseeing operations at Uncommon Schools, a charter school in New York City. Justine is passionate about educational equity and ensuring schools are supportive environments for students, teachers and staff.


Peter Niu, Senior Product Manager

Peter oversees Upbeat’s survey tool and data dashboard, leading data operations and conducting quantitative research to manage Upbeat's platform. Prior to joining Upbeat, he created educational software products for MarcoPolo Learning. He is passionate about creating research-driven, evidence-based solutions that improve education opportunities for all.

Keyli Peralta, Program Operations Manager

Keyli leads program operations for Upbeat, supporting our clients with survey administrations and logistics. Prior to joining Upbeat, she spent two years working in the Philadelphia public school system as a middle school science teacher and an elementary Language Arts teacher. Keyli is passionate about early childhood literacy and empowering teachers with tools that grant them more work/life balance.


Andrew Saturno, Program Manager  

Andrew is one of three program managers at Upbeat, supporting clients from survey implementation and through the data analysis and coaching process. Before joining Upbeat, he spent eight years working in Chicago as a special education teacher, instructional coach, and assistant principal. Andrew is passionate about honoring and uplifting every member in a school community’s experiences to improve outcomes.


Ahmad Smith, Business Development Manager  

Ahmad is a member of our Business Development team, where his primary focus is driving growth and fostering relationships with prospective clients. Prior to joining Upbeat, Ahmad spent nine years working in New Orleans charter schools, first as a kindergarten teacher, and then dean of instruction and assistant principal. Ahmad is passionate about teacher training and development to improve student outcomes.

Chris Spence, Chief Technology Officer  

Chris leads Upbeat’s technology team, playing a pivotal role in leading Upbeat’s technological vision, innovation, and development strategies to enhance our clients’ experience. Before working at Upbeat, he taught high school science and coached athletics for seven years in the Massachusetts public school system. He is passionate about fostering innovation & creativity in education, scaffolding curricula for kids on the margins..


Henry Wellington, Founder and CEO 

Henry is the brains behind Upbeat. Prior to founding the company in 2016, he spent six years working as a Special Education teacher in New York City and two years working as an education recruiter. Henry is passionate about supporting students with disabilities and making the teaching profession more sustainable.


Dallas Yeatts, Program Manager  

Dallas is one of three program managers for Upbeat, overseeing the client journey from survey launch and through the data analysis and coaching process. Prior to joining Upbeat, Dallas worked for three years as a high school special education teacher in the New York City public school district. She is passionate about supporting special education teachers and improving culture in school communities.