Jeannie Jung President/Founder
Jeannie came to the United States as a teenager without knowing any English. Back then, there were no ESOL classes. The first book she had to read in her English class was John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony. It took her three hours to read the first 10 pages. Throughout her high school and college years, reading and writing were a huge challenge for her. Through these struggles, Jeannie found her passion early on. For the past 30+ years, she has been growing SpiderSmart, developing its curricula and expanding the company’s footprint from one center in Virginia to more than two dozen centers throughout the United States and Canada. Every day, Jeannie gets to do what she loves while making a difference in children’s lives. She looks forward to working at SpiderSmart for many years to come.
Jeannie holds a B.B.A. from the City University of New York and M.A. in English from Texas A&M University. She lives with her scientist husband of four decades. She has two grown children who became book lovers thanks to SpiderSmart. Whenever she has free time, she finds peace and quiet in nature.
I believe we can inspire and teach children a love of reading. When joy is infused into reading, magic can happen. Books can enrich, enlighten, change, and even save lives.
As a businesswoman and a teacher, I live by these values: commitment, integrity, passion, and empathy.
Morris Chung Regional Franchise Development Director
Morris Chung has enjoyed a wide-ranging and diverse professional career. For the past 15 years, he has served as Regional Franchise Development Director for SpiderSmart, playing a critical role in growth of SpiderSmart’s expanding footprint in the U.S. and Canada. Prior to working at SpiderSmart, Morris developed overseas markets in the Middle East and Asia at LG Electronics. At LG’s U.S. office, he pioneered global accounts such as Compaq and HP and established an industry-leading track record.
Based on his experience, Morris has helped upgrade SpiderSmart’s franchise business to global standards and built a variety of systems so that franchisees can start their new business with confidence. He can do this because he also runs a SpiderSmart local center himself.
Morris studied Arabic and Business Administration at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. Morris plays the guitar as a hobby and often has family recitals with his wife, who is a pianist, and his son, who enjoys violin and guitar.
I believe that there is no greater business than the business of education. Because the world’s development is based on people‘s knowledge, it is the education that raises them.
Jason Ellison Director of Curriculum Development
Jason has worked over 30 years for SpiderSmart, fielding a wide array of duties ranging from individual tutoring, developing assignments and study guides, creating promotional products, overseeing the online program, and creating the monthly What’s New newsletter. Jason currently handles the diagnostic sessions for new students and ensures curricula standards for the Reading & Writing program. He has read thousands of pieces of children’s literature over the decades and created numerous assignments for the SpiderSmart Reading & Writing program.
Jason graduated from George Mason University with an M.F.A. in 1994 and has taught writing at the college and university levels as well as worked with children grades 1-12. He lives in an oasis within the Appalachians in Asheville, NC, with his polyglot wife Madeleine, sly cat Kabuki, and a rather opinionated African Gray parrot named Dora.
I like sharing wisdom about writing with students—showing them techniques and strategies for approaching problem solving and demonstrating how writing well equals thinking effectively. It’s kind of like a magician revealing tricks.
Cynthia Park Franchise Coordinator
Cynthia has been with SpiderSmart since 2021, starting as a part-time virtual tutor, and with her experience, gained a solid reputation as an amazing educator quickly. She rapidly develops a strong rapport with her students and isn't just a tutor to them, she becomes a person they can comfortably talk to as they successfully hone their skills and become successful writers. Additionally, Cynthia began working with our franchisees in December of 2022 and with her wit and ability to take action, successfully guides our franchisees in a successful direction. She has stepped up to the plate, taking on numerous duties as deemed necessary to the operations of SpiderSmart.
Cynthia owned an ESL school in South Korea for 15 years and is very keen on the development of resources and establishing a successful system. Through her experiences in South Korea, she is fully aware of cultural communication differences and has an uncanny ability to be able to work patiently in any situation. As a result of her experiences overseas, she has the ability to multi-task effectively, juggling her personal life and her work with enthusiasm.
Cynthia is married and has two college-aged sons and a rather snooty cat. Currently living in Syracuse, she enjoys learning the cello, experimenting with new recipes, and watching movies.
Teaching is a mix of being a guide and being a friend. Finding that balance with each child is essential to a fulfilling learning experience. Making the kids feel inspired to create their best work because they want to, not because they have to, gives me warm fuzzies! There is nothing better than working with the future.
Mary Koles Regional Franchise Development Director
Mary has been with SpiderSmart since 2009—and she has loved all her years with the company. She feels lucky to do everything she enjoys each week—work closely with students, plan curricula, and see all of the teachers she mentors come even more alive through teaching. Mary earned an M.F.A. in Fiction and Poetry from American University, and B.S. degrees in English and Secondary Education from Vanderbilt University. After teaching grades 4-12 in Seoul in 2009, Mary returned to Washington, DC, and began her life-changing collaboration with SpiderSmart founder Jeannie Jung. She currently owns and runs a SpiderSmart franchise in Rockville, MD.
Mary’s poetry and fiction have been published in theMississippi Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, St. Petersburg Review, and New Millennium Writings, and her book of poems was a finalist for the Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize in 2011. She won the Mississippi Review Poetry Prize in 2012 and the Gerald Stern Poetry Prize in 2009.
I believe each and every lesson should feel like an awakening. We do our absolute best to ensure our students‘ weekly SpiderSmart lessons are always personalized, memorable, and inspiring! There is nothing more fulfilling than watching a student fall in love with numbers, words, and the power of confident expression.
Jordan Steinberg Director of Information Technology
Jordan discovered his love for all things technological as a student and has since continued developing this passion, from the mechanics behind it to the methodologies around it. He has spent the past 12 years applying these principles to utilize advancing modern technology to continually push SpiderSmart forward and further enhance the ideals it promotes. Currently, Jordan leads the efforts for our online presence and tooling, manages our technical architecture, and continues to drive innovation to better support our education initiatives.
Jordan holds a B.S. in Information Science from Penn State University and an M.S. in Computer Science from Georgia Tech. He has played a key role in the enhancing the technological aspects of many clients and businesses of varying sizes and industries. In his free time, Jordan enjoys spending an afternoon on the tennis court, climbing up a mountain, or enjoying a book inside on a snowy day.
Nothing quite compares to the satisfaction of finally solving a difficult problem, except perhaps watching your students discover how to do it themselves. At SpiderSmart, I‘m privileged to experience both.
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