As we welcome more new PenPals everyday we thought we’d start a series to introduce the PenPal Schools team. This week is a special one as its our founder Joe Troyen’s birthday! Let’s learn together and spend a few minutes getting to know Joe:
Name: Joe Troyen
Hometown: South Hero, Vermont
Unofficial Title: "Mr. PenPal"
What's your role at PenPal Schools?
I used to do lots of fun things like writing curriculum, communicating with teachers, and designing apps. Now that we’ve grown my job is to make sure that everyone on the PenPal Schools team has everything they need to succeed and do those things better than I ever did. I meet a lot with everyone to help them prioritize their work and support however I can. I still lead design of the PenPal Schools apps though - I love doing that!
In addition to supporting the team and designing the apps I represent PenPal Schools at conferences and events. I work with our many partners to share PenPal Schools with their students or adapt their curriculums. I also try to visit schools as much as possible to keep learning from students and teachers!
What do you enjoy most about working for PenPal Schools?
I love hearing stories from students and teachers around the world about how PenPal Schools changed their classrooms. It’s awesome to hear about a student who had an eye-opening experience or who was inspired to learn about a new topic or skill from their pen pal. If I had it my way I’d leave the office behind and spend my days visiting our schools all over the world!
PenPal Schools is a learning company. What’s the last thing you learned and who taught you?
Lately I’ve been learning salsa dance, which I love! It’s different from anything I’ve ever done (most of my hobbies are sports) and I love the challenge. The dance community is really fun! My friend Jordan is teaching me and after we do our lessons I help to teach him about business and entrepreneurship. It’s a nice two-way learning exchange - almost like having a PenPal!