Co-Founder, Executive Director
Sari Brandes is an Educational Therapist, Coach and Consultant with more than 20 years of experience. She holds a BA from the University of Berkeley, and Masters in Education (M.Ed.) from the Harvard School of Education. She taught High School, was in Administration, Is a Coach with the International Coaching Federation. She has helped build blended learning programs for students with learning differences and coached wall street executives. She travels nationally to speak to large groups and facilitate training. Co-author of the best selling “Organizing Outside the Box: organizing for your learning style” with TV organizing guru Hellen Buttigieg. She has sat on a number of boards, and is Past Vice President of the International Dyslexia Foundation of Greater LA. Sari specialized in executive functioning, growth mindset and building skills toolboxes to fit individual learning styles.Sari is also the mother of twins.
Personal Statement: “As and Educational Therapist and Certified Coach, I especially love working with individuals with learning differences. Watching an individual take charge of their life and build their cognitive ability and executive functioning, means I watch as peoples lives change for the better, and this is my calling. As a dyslexic I did not learn to really read until I was 12 years old. In high school my college guidance councilor told me I should not apply to colleges since I would never get in. But thanks to some amazing teachers I learned the tools that finally opened up learning for me and I was hooked. I did graduate college and have a masters, and I read neurological research for fun. Now I can help others take control of their learning, lives and work. I hope to continue to learn from others and all the vast research that is being done and take these gold nuggets and make them assessable to everyone. I want to be like the wand shop owner in Harry Potter and help people to find their perfect tools to fight their challenges and achieve their potential in a way that fulfills them. “
Caitlin Welsh is currently the Academic Enrichment Specialist for Village School in Pacific Palisades, and has a private Educational Therapy practice on the Westside of Los Angeles. For the last 18 years she has worked as an Educational Therapist, private tutor, home-school teacher, and studio teacher. Caitlin has also designed curricula for ESPN, Comedy Central, Fox Network, Animal Planet, and the San Francisco Shakespeare “In the Schools” program for use in schools throughout the country. In addition, she was a classroom teacher at The Buckley School and St. Matthew’s Parish School until 1997. She has her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from the University of San Francisco, her Masters in Education with an emphasis in Psychology from Pepperdine University, and is a professional member of the Association of Educational Therapists.
Hyim Brandes is an innovator, educator, and social entrepreneur working at the intersection of Jewish education, community, and technology. Hyim worked as a Jewish educator at Camp Alonim and the Brandeis-Bardin Institute. Upon his graduation from UC Berkeley, he studied in Israel for three years at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies. Hyim was on the founding faculty of two Jewish high schools. He has worked as a consultant on educational technology projects for organizations throughout the country including Avoda Arts, Birthright Israel, and the Greenspun Foundation.
Treasurer, CoLab Conspirator
Richard Berman is the father of twins, Kai and Naya, and is a firm believer in project-based learning. Not one to settle, he jumped in head first with Sari and Andrea to get the Learning CoLab up and running in record time. Richard is an Emmy Award winning producer who was born in South Africa and immigrated to Texas in his early teens and has traveled to 34 countries around the world. He hopes to have his children grow up in an environment that maximizes their EQ and fosters a love of learning… intellectually, spiritually and socially.
Secretary, CoLab Conspirator
Andrea Berman is the mother of those above mentioned twins, Kai and Naya, and has been a dedicated Room Mom at throughout her children’s careers. Always looking at the positive, Andrea was our biggest champion in the idea of the Learning CoLab. Andrea is multi-talented both as the Owner Instructor of LA Water Babies and a successful make-up artist and rep of Beauty Counter. Yes… she actually saves lives for a living teaching infants 6 months to 6 years old how to self rescue in the water. She puts that passion into everything she does and her children benefit every day from it.