914.200.3646 hello@archforkids.com

The ArchForKids Team

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Janny Gédéon


Janny has a B.S. in architecture from the City College of New York and a M.S. in urban planning from Hunter College.  In 1997, she participated in a Brooklyn middle school career day. There she was alarmed by the number of students who thought that school was not relevant to their lives. That experience inspired Janny to pursue a career that combined her passions for architecture and teaching. For over 20 years, Janny has been a highly regarded Architect-Educator in schools, community centers, and arts organizations throughout the metro NY region. She also led teacher training workshops under the auspices of the NYC Department of Education, Carnegie Mellon, MIT Museum, the NYC YMCA, and many individual schools in the metro area. Reach her at janny@archforkids.com

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Zoe McWhirter

Communications director

Zoe is originally from Atlanta and has a background in non-profit administration, UI/UX Design and Anthropology. She has a MSc from the University of Edinburgh and a BA from Tulane University. For the past decade she has worked with non-profit organizations, museums and small businesses to support their programming and marketing efforts. She worked with the ArchForKids team as an educator for several years before applying her experience to support its virtual programs starting in 2020. She now supports the team by handling external communications and marketing which includes newsletters, social media, website management and more. Reach her at zoe@archforkids.com


Kathryn Slocum

Special Projects Director

Kathryn has more than 25 years of experience as a senior staff member for cultural and educational organizations, including the Architectural League of New York, the Hudson River Museum, MASS MoCA, and the Art Institute of Chicago. In addition, Kathryn serves on the boards of Jazz Forum Arts and Friends of Dobbs Ferry Waterfront Park. Formerly the Director of ArchForKids, Kathryn has retired from daily duties but remains involved in fundraising and other special projects.


Jasmine Morris

Educator & Administrative Assistant

Jasmine is a born and raised Harlemite. She is a creative soul with many talents such as singing, playing jazz and classical guitar, acting, visual arts, dancing and fashion design. Jasmine is a 4th generation professional musician in her family. She currently has her own jazz fusion band [Instagram @banswomb] and is in numerous musical groups, all while studying under a master musician. She also has a history of teaching guitar to ages 7 through 50+.

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Debbie Troop

Senior educator

Debbie has a MS in Secondary English Education from St. John’s University, and a BA in English and Elementary Education from the College of Mount St. Vincent. She taught for 30 years at Hillside Elementary School in Hastings-on-Hudson and before that, at Horace Mann School. In addition, Debbie was an adjunct professor at Manhattanville College teaching graduate students. She was first introduced to ArchforKids after writing a grant for a residency on colonial life in New York and has since written several grants for 4th grade students to experience ArchForKids. Debbie loves her life as an educator and shares her passions for reading, history and painting with her students. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Yonkers. 

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Felicia Walcott

Senior Educator

Felicia was born in Brooklyn and has lived there all her life. With a lifetime love of art and teaching, she completed her B.F.A in Fine Arts at Brooklyn College. She is also a certified ESL teacher. Felicia has a passion for developing children’s love of knowledge through tutoring English as a Second Language and teaching art programs throughout New York City.


Asal Shakeri

Senior Educator

Asal is a multidisciplinary designer and educator from a diverse background; familiar with the tools to create, develop and implement unique stories and experiences for individuals and communities. She has a MA in Exhibition & Experience Design from SUNY FIT and BA in Graphic Design. For over 20 years she has worked as a designer with various companies, arts and cultural institutions in the US and abroad. Since 2012, she has been a consulting instructor and thesis judge with FIT graduate schools. With a deep passion for education, she has designed lesson plans and workshops for children in California and New York. As a lifetime learner, Asal loves to explore, experience and develop new teaching methods!

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Khuumba Ama


Khuumba was born in Savannah, Georgia. She has been a proud resident of Harlem NY for many years. A multi-media artist whose work has been exhibited internationally, she is also a master Reiki therapist and certified peer counselor. Similar to how she mixes her crafts – painting, photography/film making, design – Khuumba has found unique ways to blend her skills as a teaching artist. In addition to working with young people, she designed a program for seniors with Alzheimer’s and/or dementia. Khuumba was recently elected President of the National Conference of Artists (NCA), New York Chapter. Her motto is Creativity Saves Minds

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Anne Wu


Anne is an artist and educator from Queens, New York. She graduated with a BFA in Studio Art from Cornell University and an MFA in Sculpture from Yale University. As a graduate student, she taught for two years at the Yale University Art Gallery as a Wurtele Gallery Teacher. Prior to that, her experiences as an educator include leading classes and workshops at Summerbridge Hong Kong, the Brooklyn Museum, and the MoMA Teens program.
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Kathy Tzortzidis


Kathy graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a BA in English and worked for over 10 years as a graphic designer, including a freelance position with the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While being a stay-at-home mom for 5 years raising her two children, she received a Masters in Special Education from the College of New Rochelle. She then worked in the New York City schools as a Special Education teacher for grades K-3 for 20 years. In 2018 Kathy retired from teaching to join the ArchForKids team. This is a wonderful venue to continue working with young, eager and creative minds.

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Elizabeth O'Brien


Elizabeth has been a librarian to children for close to 20 years.  She has a Master in Library Science from Queens College.  She loves and collects great books for children.  She uses books to create hands on lessons producing creative projects and acting activities.  Her travels have inspired her to see objects and places in many different ways adding to her creativity.  Elizabeth is a native of Queens, New York, where she resides today.
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Khloe Swanson

Assistant Educator

Khloe was born and raised in Brooklyn. She moved to Los Angeles to attend Occidental College where she received a BA in Urban Policy with a minor in Fine Art. She loves working with her hands and has spent the past 2 years working as a gardener maintaining greenroofs throughout the city. She is passionate about utilizing design to create a more sustainable and equitable world. Khloe is currently a graduate student in architecture at Columbia University.
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Levi Walkes

Assistant Educator

Levi is a born and raised NYC resident with a passion and love for design. He is a recent college graduate with a bachelors degree in architecture. He also has a deep passion for music and loves to see kids interested in the arts. He has been a part of two freelance architecture projects at the beginning of 2020.
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Karen Orloff

Co-Founder (retired)

Karen has a B.A. from Colby College, followed by architecture coursework at UCLA.  She spent 10 years working at architectural firms in Los Angeles and NYC. An interest in education inspired a career switch – teaching at the New York Botanical Garden and then the Salvadori Center for the Built Environment. She co-founded ArchForKids in 2013 and was instrumental in its growth/development before retiring in 2019.