The Knewton Blog

Our monthly newsletter features edtech and product updates, with a healthy dose of fun Knerd news.

Introducing Seven New Knerds

Posted in Knerds on July 13, 2015 by

R-L:  Sara, Benamy, David, Robert. (Akira, Keiichi, and Diane pictured below) 

Introducing New Knerds

by Jessie Dann

Welcome to seven new Knerds!


Diane Clear, Brooklyn native and Davenport College alumni, joins Knewton as CEO Jose Ferreira’s executive assistant. Diane is a proud NY Foodie. Her favorite movies are sci-fi and horror, and she loves well-written classic sitcoms. Diane’s favorite time of day is sunset in the summertime.


Originally from Philadelphia, Data Analyst Robert Grande joins Knewton after a stint volunteering in Nepal. He enjoys playing the guitar, biking, cooking, traveling, and jiu jitsu. Robert’s favorite TV show is Game of Thrones.


Digital Curriculum Developer Sara Dalziel was born in India and raised in Europe. After getting her degree from Tufts University, Sara spent time as a teacher, and also worked for the education companies Flat World Knowledge and Amplify. Sara loves to bike, cook, and do yoga.


Brooklyn local Dave Kirkpatrick is the newest manager on the software engineering team at Knewton. David attended William & Mary College as well as Columbia College. Before becoming a Knerd, David spent time working at the financial platform OnDeck. He enjoys gardening, camping, and reading. His favorite movie is Waking Life.


Benamy Yashar joins Knewton as a data analyst. He attended Stanford University. Before coming to Knewton, he taught math and physics in Mexico and designed algorithms to analyze old paper seismograms. Benamy loves dancing, backpacking, and playing Ultimate frisbee. He would have liked to witness the first discovery of chocolate, and hates when people cherry-pick from snack mixes.



Born in the western islands of Japan and raised in Hiroshima, Keiichi Minato is Knewton’s newest implementation architect. Keiichi studied at Hiroshima University where he graduated with a social studies degree. In his free time, Keiichi enjoys baseball and football and playing the bass guitar. Keiichi says American and British 80s rock music has been his most effective English teacher.



Akira Tanaka, born in Kanagawa, Japan, joins Knewton as the Director of Business Development in APAC. After graduating from New York University, Akira worked in many fields including education, engineering, and technology. He loves listening to Beethoven, Mahler, Chopin, and Samuel Barber.