Ashley has a degree in interdisciplinary studies emphasizing in special education from Stephen F. Austin State University, located in East Texas. She taught special education classes and groups in both inclusion and self-contained settings for five years, working with students of all ages and ability levels. She then went on to earn a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Regent University, and is now in her fifth year of homeschooling her own two children.
Gabriella Volpe is a homeschooling mother of a child born with a chromosomal disorder, a certified teacher trained at McGill University in Montreal , Canada, and a homeschool consultant for families of children with special needs. She worked for 16+ years in the inclusive classroom with children of all abilities. She is particularly passionate about speech, language, and literacy development in children. As she helps her own son learn to communicate, she is also acquiring the fundamentals of ASL. Gabriella can be found at www.GabriellaVolpe.com
Daniel Ziegler, son of the founders, works as a technical advisor for Always Icecream. He has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Computer Science from MIT and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. at Stanford University. He was homeschooled during middle school, which enabled him to develop his programming skills at an early age. As a high schooler, Daniel represented the United States at the 2012 International Olympiad in Informatics. He is excited about the opportunity to use technology to give a better education to young students.
The founders, pictured above, were educated at top schools in Europe, Asia, and the United States. This fostered their love of learning that they want to share with the next generation of young learners.
Having tried numerous educational sites for their own children, they couldn't find any that combine safety, fun, educational value and wholesome peer-to-peer interaction. This was when the idea for Always Icecream (girls) and Clever Dragons (boys) was born.
A large international team worked on the development of Always Icecream and Clever Dragons. Stefan Petry (co-founder, COO) and Tobias Bielenstein (Communications) contributed not only with their professional insights, but also as fathers. David Hansen (co-founder, Marketing) shared his experience as a father and grandfather.
Further members of the team include Brhan Marcos, a German graduate student with Eritrean origin. She worked with Larissa Sheppard from Truckee, California, a 16 year old gifted drawing talent who developed graphics for the sites' virtual pets. The graphics concept and many of the site's illustrations were developed and implemented by Bastian Langguth and Nora Brandt.
The software development team led by Tobias Polley includes many award winners of national and international software development contests. Key contributors to the site are Thomas Köhn, Thomas Rehn, Martin Maas, Florian Benz, Christian Borkenhagen, Patrick Klitzke, Jan Gosmann, Klaas-Hendrick Poelstra, Marcel Jünnemann, Ludwig Schmidt, Julian Rüth, Christoph Flake, Meike Grewing, Fabian Heimbürger, and Daniel Ziegler.
Also part of the team are many elementary and middle school girls who helped with invaluable feedback and many ideas. Their important insights made Always Icecream happen as a fun and educational environment for girls.
Always Icecream is operated by Miaplaza Inc., an internet software development company located in Silicon Valley.