Dedicated professionals creating a new way for teens to live and learn

The Learning Cooperatives has a staff of dedicated professionals who run each center.

Together, with a large group of volunteers and college students, we are a diverse group of caring individuals with a wide variety of skills and interests to share.

Our board of directors and advisers come from a variety of backgrounds and share our deep interest in helping teens realize their goals through self-directed education.

The Staff at our Centers

Paul Scutt


Paul, the founding staff member at Princeton Learning Cooperative in 2010, has over 25 years experience teaching in Europe, Africa and the United States. He is an avid outdoorsman and is interested in rock climbing, boating, woodworking and beekeeping. Paul holds an undergraduate degree in education with a major in mathematics from Lancaster College and graduate level degrees in software engineering from Birkbeck College – London and library science from Aberdeen College.

Joel Hammon


One of the founding members of Princeton Learning Cooperative, Joel has over 11 years of teaching experience in both public and private schools. Joel holds a degree in secondary education from Miami University in Oxford, OH, with minors in history and political science. He is also a founding member of Liberated Learners, an international organization that supports people around the world to create self-directed learning programs like The Learning Cooperatives.

You can find out more about Joel’s work for the larger movement by watching his TEDx talk or getting a copy of his book The Teacher Liberation Handbook at his website, JoelHammon.com

Alison Snieckus


Alison brings many years experience working with homeschoolers in the Princeton/Trenton area, using this experience to help PLC members plan their educational path. Alison is a co-founder of E-Cubed – an organization of homeschooling families that organizes teen-led activities. She previously worked for ETS and has taught graduate level statistics for Rutgers University. Alison holds an M.Ed. in learning and cognition and an Ed.D. in educational measurement and statistics from Rutgers University.

Katy Burke


Katy has thirteen years of teaching experience in public high school and holds a degree in English and secondary education from The College of New Jersey. During her summers, she taught essay writing at the Peddie School in Hightstown, NJ. Throughout her career, Katy has written and delivered original honors curricula designed to foster divergent thinking. She loves symbology, storytelling and essay writing. Fueled by her conviction that education is a personal journey that cannot be standardized, Katy left traditional schooling behind. Despite the professional risks, she refused to proctor the PARCC assessment, which she felt was harmful to students. At PLC, Katy has found an approach that honors the student and learning itself.

Eileen Smyth


Eileen has been teaching for nineteen years, beginning her education career in East Asia and continuing in the US. She is dual-certified in New Jersey to teach both Visual Arts and Social Studies. She was a painting major at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and studied social sciences at the State University of New York. She has taught a range of specialized subjects including college-level photography, color theory and anatomy for artists, as well as high-school level psychology and African-American studies.

MaryBeth Healy


MaryBeth has worked in teacher and mentor roles supporting youth for over 20 years. Her educational background includes a BS in Engineering from Rutgers and an MBA from The University of North Carolina. For years MaryBeth volunteered and mentored teens on the side while pursuing a marketing career in the microelectronics industry. In 2001 she chose to leave her corporate career and since then has taught high school science and piano.

Scott Gallagher


Scott has been a middle school and high school English teacher for the last thirteen years. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Montclair State University and a Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College. He enjoys surfing, documentary film and free form radio.

Sunok Kim

Princeton, apprentice

Through her work creating and running programs such as a Model UN team, a youth public speaking program, an SAT boot camp, and math tutoring, Sunok brings experience, passion, and inspiration to The Learning Cooperatives community. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Pohang University of Science and Technology and worked as a computer programmer in South Korea. She has a Montessori Teaching Certificate and has taught in a Montessori school.


Board of Trustees

Advisory Board