Meet the Team: JA Perry

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As a Project Coordinator, JA arranges the content building for all the curricula on ASSISTments! Read more about JA's background and passion for education.

Tell me a little about your background.

I grew up a very curious boy, in love with dissecting the world to gain understanding of how it all fits together. I spent most of my childhood with my bare feet in the soil, mulch and peat of New England woods or splashing around in whatever body of water (or mud) I could find. To this day I maintain that spirit of inquiry and my connectedness to nature. "I feel so strongly that deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex.” ~Fred Rogers. I earned my BS in Communications at Worcester State.

I began my career in the manufacturing industry performing many tasks. From grinding the beveled metal edge into a newly produced paint scraper, to operating fork trucks and large 1,000 feet-per-minute slitting equipment. I did my fair share of industrial cleaning and painting too. I then moved to the business side of manufacturing. I worked in corporate communications and went on to Web content development where I developed and supported web content for an award-winning company website. In another role, I provided support for manufactured products and development of custom products. I managed a portfolio of 425 accounts valued in excess of $11 million in annual sales.

‍What inspired you to join the ASSISTments team?

The meaningfulness of what ASSISTments stands for inspired me to join the team. Improving the education of students and supporting important Computer Science research is valuable and very inspiring. I feel like I'm contributing to the greater good and understanding of humanity. The unifying theme I've observed is that we always have something to learn from those we teach. We need only to respect and listen.

How do you hope to see tech influence education going forward?

It is my stance that technology and education have grown to be symbiotic and inseparable.I suppose how I'd like to see tech influence education depends on whom is being educated. For the human child my hope is for the observable trend of technology as an assistant to continue and improve through thoughtful work. Serving to simplify yet personalize. For the machine "child" I am confident we will learn from their learning. What I'd like to imagine is the day when each student has an AI lab partner to act as a coach and to assist with whatever their teacher is instructing. I also imagine it following the student home to assist in learning when the teacher can't provide that ever-important immediate feedback.

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