CEO & Founder
Leslie has taught and directed foreign language immersion programs for children since 1985. She founded Language Stars in 1998 and has grown the organization to include over 8,000 students each week at its 20 locations and 150 school programs in the Chicago and Washington D.C. metropolitan areas. Before founding Language Stars, Leslie was Manager of Strategic Planning for Disney Consumer Products and a consultant for Bain & Co. in France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom. Leslie earned her undergraduate and MBA degrees from Harvard. She speaks fluent French, Spanish and Russian and is conversant in German and Japanese. Leslie has two children who are being raised trilingually.
Chief Operating Officer
Ken has spent more than 19 years creating, managing and growing organizations and businesses that serve the educational needs of children. Prior to joining Language Stars, Ken owned and ran several Huntington Learning Centers, which he expanded throughout the Chicago area. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame and his MBA from Harvard Business School. Since joining Language Stars in 2001, Ken has overseen its growth from 3 to 20 locations and over 150 partner schools, focusing on program quality, educational results and outstanding customer service.
Chief Education Officer
Involved in launching Language Stars in 1998, Karen leads our education team in the development and refinement of our FunImmersion® curriculum, the creation of our instructional materials and workbooks, and the design and execution of our intensive training programs. Karen earned her undergraduate degree at Princeton and holds an M.A. in applied linguistics with a focus in second language learning and teaching. She has presented her research at international linguistic conferences and has worked and lived in France, Switzerland, Italy and Australia. Prior to joining Language Stars, Karen taught both French immersion and English as a Second Language programs at the Lycee Francais de Chicago.
Human Resources Director
Kirsten joined Language Stars with extensive experience in human resources and a BA from the University of Illinois in sociology. Since joining Language Stars in early 2006, she and her team have selected and hired hundreds of successful teachers, managers and interns, creating a unique team and culture totally focused on achieving Language Stars’ Mission. She has also shaped the company’s teacher sourcing strategy to identify and hire extraordinary teachers from 20 different countries.She has developed partnerships with international organizations to insure a pipeline of top teachers from around the world. Kirsten also oversees a professional development program, ensuring meaningful performance reviews and promotions across the organization. In her broader human resources role, Kirsten administers a variety of benefits to her growing team of over 100 employees.
Scott has more than 13 years of experience in accounting and finance. Prior to joining Language Stars, Scott served a wide range of for-profit, non-profit, government, and educational clients in accounting management positions at KPMG, Paul J. Smit & Associates, and Ciarlette & Robbins, including leading audits of companies with more than $1 billion in assets. Scott joined Language Stars in April 2008, and he now oversees all Accounting and Finance functions of the business, including monthly, seasonal, and annual financial reporting. Scott earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Bachelor of Science in Finance at Indiana University, and soon after became a Certified Public Accountant.