Heroes of the Weeknights (And 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Saturdays)

Nov 20, 2023
Jessica Grande

Letter of Thanks to our Part-Time Instructors at Nashville Software School

For most of us, 5 p.m. means logging off of your computer and starting to make your way back home after a long day at work, even if your commute is just walking down the stairs from your home office. You may be thinking about what you will cook for dinner, or what will happen next in the episode of the show you’re streaming, or looking forward to family time with your kids. However, for our part-time instructors, they log back in, energized to coach the next cohort of developers or data analysts and begin teaching by 6 p.m. two nights a week! Their dedication continues every Saturday.

NSS’s part-time programs are designed for those who don’t have the ability to stop working or have other life obligations that prevent them from joining a full-time program. Without our part-time senior instructors, these programs wouldn’t exist! Thanks to them, we’re able to offer the opportunity to gain new skills for careers in tech to a significant number of students. 

But who are the people that make this happen? Let’s get to know the heroes of the weeknights (and Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. 😉) – our current part-time senior instructors.

Part-time Web Development

Aja Washington_HeadshotAja Washington

Aja is a Nashville native with a background in the performing arts. She has seamlessly transitioned into tech. As a front-end software engineer and part-time instructor, Aja is committed to providing stability, consistent growth, and creativity while expanding opportunities for marginalized communities. Aja has taught 8 part-time Web Development cohorts.


Sydney Noh_HeadshotSydney Noh

Sydney is a proud graduate of Web Development Cohort 33. By day, Sydney serves as an Internal Developer Advocate at Built Technologies. But come Monday and Tuesday nights, she is a senior instructor, passionate for supporting aspiring engineers in their NSS journeys. Sydney has taught 2 part-time Web Development cohorts as a senior instructor, and 3 as a junior instructor.


Trinity Christiana_HeadshotTrinity Christiana

Trinity is a Full Stack Senior Instructor at NSS. With a background in computer technology and programming, she not only brings professional software engineering experience to the classroom but also fosters an inclusive and empowering learning environment. During the day, you’ll find her making an impact as a software engineer at Eventbrite. Trinity has taught 3 part-time Web Development cohorts as a senior instructor and 3 part-time Web Development cohorts as a junior instructor. 


Jake Carter_HeadshotJake Carter

Jake is a military veteran turned Senior Instructor at NSS. Inspired by his own experience as a student at NSS, Jake is dedicated to empowering aspiring tech professionals in the part-time Web Development program. During the day, Jake is a technical consultant for Full Visibility. Jake is teaching his first part-time Web Development cohort.


Justin Ferwerda_HeadshotJustin Ferwerda

Justin is a professional musician turned tech enthusiast who found his calling in coding. Since graduating from Evening Web Development Cohort 19, he brings his problem-solving and team-building skills to tech education. As a Senior Instructor, Justin is passionate about mentoring and supporting new engineers in their tech careers. When he’s not teaching, Justin is a full stack engineer for Repped In Tech. Justin is teaching his first part-time Web Development cohort as a senior instructor. 

We also want to shout out Brian Neal who wrapped up leading his third part-time web development cohort with E20 in June and Ryan McNair who led the front-end for cohort E23 earlier this year.

Part-time Data Analytics

Dibran Rexhepi_HeashotDibran Rexhepi 

Dibran Rexhepi, a Data Science Cohort 3 graduate, wears multiple hats as a Data Analyst, Data Engineer, and Data Scientist at Healthcare Bluebook. His diverse experiences across various domains make him a valuable asset to his students seeking to break through in tech. If working full-time and teaching part-time were not enough, Dibran is also a soccer coach. Dibran just finished teaching his first part-time Data Analytics cohort and taught several Analytics Jumpstarts prior to that.

Amanda Partlow_HeadshotAmanda Partlow

Amanda Partlow graduated from NSS in 2020 from the first full-time Data Analytics cohort at Nashville Software School. Amanda now works at HCA. At night she is attentive to the needs of her students in the part-time data analytics bootcamp, guiding them through the material they need to complete their projects. Amanda has taught 5 cohorts, as well as helped with many Analytics Jumpstart programs! 


Michael Conrad_HeadshotMichael Conrad

Michael has been the part-time lead instructor for our Web Development Jumpstart since 2019. Many of our Web Development students have been introduced to code with Michael’s instruction in the Web Development Jumpstart! We cannot thank him enough for the dedication and hard work he has put into being the on-ramp for so many to NSS.

For most of my life, people have told me that I would make a good teacher, but I’d never had the chance to try the profession out to see if I would like it. Then, not long after I graduated from NSS, the opportunity presented itself to teach the Jumpstart program at NSS, and I found that it was a double blessing: not only could I try my hand at being an instructor to see if I liked it (and I did!), but I also got the chance to give back to a school that had given me so much and changed my life dramatically for the better. A total win-win situation!” - Michael Conrad, NSS Jumpstart Instructor

Matthew Kroeger_HeadshotMatthew Kroeger

In addition to his role as a part-time Software Engineer Jumpstart instructor at Nashville Software School, Matt Kroeger works as a full-stack software engineer at Built Technologies. He studied computer science at Tennessee Tech University and graduated from the NSS Web Development Bootcamp in 2020. 


Analytics Jumpstarts 

Analytics Jumpstarts are structured differently than our Software Engineering and Web Development Jumpstarts, where a group of co-lead-instructors help each other lead the class. Special thanks to our 2023 Data Analytics Jumpstart Instructors, Dalila Paquiot, Sobiya Uddin, Chip Hubbard, Armelle Le Guelte, and Teresa Whitesell! Together, you’ve led many to discovering passions for data analytics for themselves! 

Professional Development

Susan Culkin_HeadshotSusan Culkin

Susan is an Interaction Design & User Experience Specialist who has been a dedicated part-time instructor for our UI & UX for Digital Product Design class since 2016. With an extensive track record working with major companies like IBM and start-ups alike, Susan brings a wealth of experience to her role as a mentor, focusing on design for developers. Her passion for creativity is reflected in her 20+ years of industry wisdom. Thank you, Susan, for  your ongoing dedication to our students' growth!

Lynn Samuelson_HeadshotLynn Samuelson

Lynn was led into science and research by her enjoyment of solving problems. While doing research, she discovered a passion for teaching and mentoring. After years of researching cancer therapies, Lynn attended NSS in 2015 (Cohort 10). Since graduating NSS, she has primarily worked in start-ups, with a brief stint in corporate. Currently, Lynn continues to work with start-ups to build new technologies and solve all kinds of problems while having led many of our Advanced SQL for Developers courses this year. In prior years, she taught 3 part-time Web Development cohorts. Thank you, Lynn, for all the ways you’ve contributed to the success of our students. 

Odigene Joseph_HeadshotOdigene Joseph

Odigene Joseph, hailing from Nashville, TN, is a dedicated Software Engineer with a deep affinity for backend development. Odigene has a bachelors in English from Middle Tennessee State University along with a masters in Organizational Leadership from the same university. More than just a technical expert, Joseph thrives on collaboration and mentorship, fostering a team environment where ideas and knowledge are freely shared. His strong communication skills and passion for teamwork are key in his efforts to enhance user experiences and improve system functionalities. Odigene was the lead instructor for the last Advanced SQL for Developers course of 2023. 

Full-time Evening Staff

Michael Holloway_HeadshotMichael Holloway

Michael was teaching well before his time at NSS. Holding a PhD in Mathematics, he embraces the challenge of the ever-evolving landscape of data science, providing students with a rich learning experience. Michael teaches our Data Science course at NSS, which is offered as a nine-month, part-time program. A full-time NSS team member, Michael also oversees the Analytics + Data Science instructional team and teaches data classes in the community on behalf of NSS.

Dr. Teresa Vasquez (Dr. T)_HeadshotDr. Teresa Vasquez (Dr. T)

Dr. T is a trailblazing leader and advocate in tech education, bringing her expertise as the Lead Instructor for the part-time Web Development program at Nashville Software School. Dr. T's commitment to neurodiversity and adult education shapes an inspiring learning experience for all of her students. Dr. T has been teaching part-time Web Development cohorts since 2018.


Junior Instructors & Teaching Assistants

Our part-time senior instructors have had a huge impact on the students they’ve led, but they’re not alone. Supporting them are junior instructors (JIs) and teaching assistants (TAs) who make the same sacrifices. We’d be remiss if we didn’t give a shout out to them as well.

Thank you to all of our part-time JIs & TAs in 2023… 

Daniel Barker, Derek Baylor, Robert Cole, Justin Crippen, Dani Crosby, Jasmine Del Casino, John Doll, Jameka Echols, Eric Frey, Mollie Goforth, Hayden Greer,  Trevor Guinn, Jonathan Hankins, Chip Hubbard, Jayna Leitze, Ryan McNair, Olariche Obi, Madden Purcell, Robert Schulteis, Neda Taherkhani, Erica Thompson, Sobiya Uddin, Tomo Umer, Sherwin Vargas, Rohit Venkat, April Watson, and Alexander Wright! 

Our part-time instructors at Nashville Software School are more than educators; they are mentors, advocates, and catalysts for our part-time students’ growth – and not to mention they are also working techies! So to all our part-time instructors, thank you for being the guiding lights for our part-time students’ NSS journey! 

Are you ready to embark on your part-time NSS journey? Visit our program pages for our upcoming part-time bootcamps and apply today! 

Topics: Learning, Community, UI/UX, Analytics + Data Science, Web Development, Software Engineering