Meet Our Team

 Learn more about the minds behind Mastery Portfolio.

Constance Borro
Chief Executive Officer

Constance Borro is a veteran educator and educational support services provider. She earned a B.A. from Yale University in 2008 and her Masters in the Science of Education in Secondary Mathematics from City University of New York, Lehman College in 2010. Constance began her full-time teaching career in New York City as a Teach for America Corps Member and then served for five years as a Master Teaching Fellow with the prestigious professional organization Math for America. She most recently served as Mathematics Department Chair and Instructional Coach at Columbus School for Girls, her alma mater, before leaving her school-based work to build out her educational services businesses. Constance founded Ivy Tutor Connection, LLC., in 2015, a successful tutoring and educational support services company that specializes in serving students with unique academic profiles through a holistic whole-child approach. In this role, she consults with school-based interventionists to help craft IEP goals and articulate accommodations and modifications to support the students her tutors work within Columbus, OH but also as far as Princeton, NJ.  She currently works as co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Mastery Portfolio, LLC, Mastery Portfolio, and EdTech and Educational Consulting company on a mission to inspire creativity and innovation by reimagining the assessment and feedback loop. Constance has presented on innovations in grading and assessment and other workshops at the National Coalition for Girls Schools, The Summit for Transformational Learning, and Math for America. Constance can be reached at constance@masteryportfolio.com.

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Starr Sackstein
Chief Operating Officer

Starr has been an educator for 20 years and in that, she has made reforming assessment practices locally, nationally, and globally a priority. She is the author of many educational books centered around putting students in charge of their own learning. Passionately she evangelizes about the need to give up grades so we can stop labeling students and treat them with the dignity they deserve. Starr most recently has been a full-time educational consultant, instructional coach, speaker and publisher at Mimi & Todd Press. Before this, she was a proud High School English and Journalism teacher, a K-12 Director of Humanities, and blogger for Education Week Teacher. Starr has received numerous recognitions, from “outstanding educator of the year” by Education Update to ASCD “Emerging Leader” of 2016. Additionally, Starr achieved National Board Certification and presented a Tedx Talk about Giving Up Grades as well as serving as the New York State Director for the Journalism Education Association (JEA). She is a bold voice and nationally renowned for her work in assessment and her advocacy for teachers and students. Starr has traveled the United States and the world sharing ideas about assessment reform in Canada,  Dubai, and South Korea and is hoping to continue changing the system for kids everywhere. Starr can be reached at starr@masteryportfolio.com.

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Benjamin Nockles
Chief Technology Officer

Benjamin Nockles is co-founder and Chief Technical Officer at Mastery Portfolio, LLC. After graduating from NYU in 2008, Benjamin began teaching mathematics and computer science as a Newton Fellow with Math for America. Benjamin renewed his fellowship twice as a Master Teacher, facilitating several professional development workshops for teachers and spearheading the adoption of MfA’s electronic attendance by developing the prototype app. While teaching, he developed several applications for teachers and published three of them on the Apple App Store under his own business, Solutions for X. Whenever Benjamin is not working on Mastery Portfolio, he is sharing his stories and entrepreneurial advice through his YouTube channel, NeverBenBetter. Benjamin is married and has two children. As a military family, (his wife, Ilona, is a Navy dentist) Ben moves all over the world and currently lives in Washington, DC. Benjamin can be reached at ben@masteryportfolio.com.

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Erica Kaplan
Mastery Coach & Implementation Specialist

Erica received her M.Ed from The Ohio State University in 2011. She spent 10 years teaching elementary students in an urban school district located in Columbus, Ohio. As an expert in literacy, she was selected to be on the English Language Arts Adoption Committee and had a personal hand in reviewing, selecting, and implementing the literacy curriculum for the entire district. Erica’s work currently focuses on providing coaching and professional development to educators. When not working for Mastery Portfolio, Erica can be found spending time with her husband, David, and two young daughters. She can be reached at erica@masteryportfolio.com.

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Alan Schmidt
UI/UX Designer and Lead Engineer

Alan earned his M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Colorado in 2004. His graduate work focused on identifying learning patterns and applying those, alongside techniques from natural language processing and computational linguistics, to solve problem sets from other disciplines. He spent additional professional time focusing on web service platforms and user interface design. As the spouse of a military member, he enjoys exploring other cultures and learning foreign languages. He’s also an avid musician and enjoys teaching others. When he’s at home, you can probably find him cooking up culinary delights for his wonderful wife and daughter. He can be reached at alan@masteryportfolio.com.

Branden Jones

Branden is an entrepreneur building diverse and inclusive ecosystems. He Co-founded BLK hack in 2016 to work with Underrepresented founders, freelancers, and upcoming entrepreneurs. He has assisted with launching fundable startups and helped aid in discovering new career paths for those looking to get into the tech industry. Branden has 10+ years of experience in marketing, building strategic partnerships, and working with scalable brands. Branden is a co-founder of Venture Suite, a shared workspace for one of the fastest-growing entrepreneurial segments in the midwest, women, and racially/ethnically diverse people. At VS, diverse creatives and founders will have a safe space to be innovative and collaborate with other like-minded freelancers. Branden knows that diversity breeds innovation and has made it his mission to keep those pipelines flowing. As a recent recipient of the Venture Ohio venture catalyst award he is helping to transform underserved communities by launching entrepreneurial pilots and resources.

Lindsay Karas Stencel
Legal Counsel

Lindsay Karas Stencel has been in venture capital for nearly 15 years. She is a Partner at Thompson Hine LLP running the New Ventures group in Columbus, OH where she focuses on growing venture capital, and increasing capital access generally, for entrepreneurs throughout the Midwest, representing venture firms and startups from NYC to Palo Alto. She is also the co-chair of the firm’s Fund Formation practice group, where she oversees venture, private equity, hedge, real estate, and other fund formation. She also serves as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chair for the Columbus Office. She’s received numerous awards over her career, including being named to the Columbus Business First 40 Under 40 and ColumbusCEO Future50. She was named to the Best Lawyers list for Business Organizations and Structuring in 2020 and 2021.

Today, in addition to her above-mentioned roles, she is a co-founder of The W Fund, a women-led, women-focused investment group acutely focused on investing in women-founded and women-led businesses across the country. She is also the founder of BOLDER INC., a non-profit organization providing wellness resources to founders and teams. Lastly, Lindsay is an Adjunct Professor at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, teaching students about venture capital, deal structuring, and client development.