Beyond IQ

GCP Teacher Bios for Summer and Fall 2020

Meet our Instructors and see where to find them.
(Alphabetical by first name)

Lis Coburn is a mental health therapist and genuine verified Adult (TM). Her interests include psychology, disability, LGBTQ+ issues, and medieval history. Lis has a BA in Psychology and a Master's of Counselling Psychology.

Chris Buck is a software engineer and digital designer. He loves working with and in the interface between people and computation. He has a BA in Computer Science and has been hacking for over forty years. Eighteen of those years he spent answering software questions from programmers of a wide range of skill levels. A lover of pattern and language, he thoroughly enjoys making bits dance.

Emma Sobey is a veteran teacher with twenty years of experience teaching a variety of subjects and grade levels.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in English and History from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Houston—Clear Lake.  She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Literacy from the Sam Houston State University.   Emma’s attitude toward learning is predicated on the belief that students need to be engaged and active in order to learn and grow.   She has spent her career helping students learn to explore the world through reading and learning so that they can effect positive changes in society.  She is committed to using literacy to help promote equity and justice in today’s world.

In her free time, Emma enjoy reading, movies, and spending time with her pets and family.  Although she has been known to harbor an addiction to Harry Potter and Jane Austen, she is currently looking for her next literary obsession.

Erick A. Medina, PsyD is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he majored in philosophy, and Rutgers University, where he obtained his doctorate in clinical psychology. He did post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School, Harvard Vanguard, and at the Integrated Center for Child Development in Canton, MA, and has taught at the high school as well as college level. He currently does psychotherapeutic as well as neuropsychological work with children, adolescents, and adults, and also works with couples and groups.

Greta Wu's Bio will appear soon!

Hosanna Patience

is a writer, editor, and teacher. She has an MFA in Creative Writing and a BA in English. As an undergraduate, she was awarded, “Most Outstanding Work in the Department of English.” Her fiction was nominated for the anthology, Best New American Voices. She is the recipient of the Pearl Sperling Evans Prize for “Most Promise in Fiction,” and the AWP scholarship for an emerging writer. She was the copyeditor for Connor Coyne's lauded novel, Urbantasm: The Dying City and has worked as editor for numerous online and print publications. Hosanna was a gifted student herself, and a participant in California’s G.A.T.E. program and she has years of experience challenging gifted students both in and out of the classroom.

Hosanna will not be joining us this term, but hopes to rejoin us down the road.

Josh Shaine has been working with gifted students of all ages for more than 35 years, including many years teaching, administrating, advising, and sometimes directing programs for 7th – 12th graders through MIT’s Educational Studies Program. He has taught at public, private, and alternative schools, as well as working with special needs students, either at home or institutionalized, for school districts in several states. He was the headmaster of a small 7th - 12th grade alternative school in Boston for gifted "disgruntled" students. In addition to teaching and consulting, Josh currently organizes the Beyond IQ conferences near Boston and serves on the board for Hoagies Gifted. He's more fun than this makes him sound!


Lisa Fontaine-Rainen has been teaching gifted children in the public school system and working with homeschoolers for 18 years. She earned her MA in Gifted Education from William and Mary in 2001, and has been lucky to be able to work with these amazing young people ever since. Lisa relocated with her family to South Africa in 2014 and When she's not teaching she loves to read, play games, do puzzles, and experiment in the kitchen with her two year old and five year old. Both children have been largely unscathed by this so far. Teaching and learning are passions - schooling is not.

Liz Adams (she/her) is an award-winning actor, trained in teaching Shakespeare and licensed to teach theatre and English in MA (with SEI endorsement). She holds a MA in theatre ed from Emerson, performed Shakespeare all over New England and in Boston, taught theatre in English and Spanish, has taught ages K-high school, and has worked with homeschooled students and in suburban after-school programs and Boston Public Schools.

Dr. Sabrina Weiss specializes in developing theoretical models that represent the ethical and social dimensions of issues at the intersection of science, technology, and society.  Topics of interest include gender and sexuality, discourse theory, bodies and cyborgs, bioethics, food ethics, and innovative pedagogies, as well as the institutional and change dimensions affecting those areas. 

Dr. Weiss earned a B.S. from Stanford’s Science, Technology, and Society program, an M.S. in Bioethics from Albany Medical College, and a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is a former U.S. Naval Officer (ROTC) who served overseas in Japan and at the Office of Naval Research.  An interdisciplinary and international scholar, Dr. Weiss has taught at Rochester Institute of Technology, which houses the National Institute for the Deaf, and at Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany.  Dr. Weiss is a coauthor of Worlds of ScienceCraft: New Horizons in Sociology, Philosophy and Science Studies (2009).

Sherene Raisbeck 
has been teaching gifted and 2e homeschoolers for more than a decade, starting with her own, then branching out, working with students at the Voyagers Homeschool Cooperative and tutoring. She also helps to run the Beyond IQ conferences, plots building management schemes, and plays a broad variety of games. She majored in math undergraduate, but still seems able to do arithmetic.

In her youth, Skia Laurence, took courses in art, philosophy and Norse studies at several colleges before completing a degree in Anthropology at Lesley College.  She received a Fellowship for graduate study in archaeology at U.C.L.A., where she focused on scientific techniques in archaeology and medieval Scandinavian studies.  After completing a Fullbright Scholarship in Iceland, Skia was asked to stay on as a staff member at the Arbaejarsafn Living History Museum, where she directed archaeological field work and oversaw museum conservation.  After a back injury ended her archaeological career, Skia turned to technical writing and teaching and began training in the visual arts.  She is certified to teach ESL, anthropology, archaeology, creative writing and computers for business applications at the post secondary level by the state of California.  Her experience includes teaching at the Massachusetts Academy for Gifted High School students, teaching ESL for Berlitz at Dominican College in California, and teaching Art at Purple Crayon in San Francisco and The Chelmsford Center for the Arts in Massachusetts.  She has worked extensively with students with severe visual disabilities and learning differences.  After a decade of disability, her mobility was restored by innovative microsurgery.  Since then, she has been part of an archaeological research trip to the high mountains of Chiapas in Southern Mexico, chased storms for lighting research, crewed on a tall ship and studied art in Florence.  She was a member of the first graduating master’s degree class in children’s book illustration at Hollins University and recently completed her first children’s book manuscript, an illustrated story in verse about sailing.  Her nickname is "Otter"

Trina Overgaard Toups has a master's degree in physical chemistry from the University of Minnesota (1991). Her interest in teaching was sparked by the need to homeschool her older daughter, who was hungry for more math and science than were provided in school. Trina has continued to teach classes in chemistry, biology, and earth sciences from the middle school to AP levels to homeschoolers in the greater Boston region, as well as tutoring clients who attend local area high schools. Trina has gradually acquired a collection of useful science equipment, including burets and electrochemistry equipment(made by her EE husband). Her most interesting chemistry class was teaching two 7-8 year old boys chemistry with experiments last year.

Outside of teaching, Trina's interests are a science fiction book group, knitting, and bicycling. She also enjoys family visits to museums, especially science and industrial revolution venues.

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