Colleen Riley, Manager of School Partnerships, Long Island

A Pennsylvania native who double-majored in Political Science and History at the University of Pittsburgh, Colleen is perhaps Catalyst’s most well-rounded team member, having been both a top-notch student and a star athlete in basketball, tennis, and track and field during high school. No slouch in her adult years, Colleen just completed her fourth half-marathon, an achievement that makes the writer of this sentence exhausted just thinking about all that running. (I mean, thirteen miles? In a row? With no one chasing you? Who does these things?) Prior to Catalyst, Colleen worked as an advertising consultant, test-marketing new campaigns and praying something even remotely¬†Mad Men-esque would happen at her company. As a Manager of School Partnerships, Colleen gets to put her marketing chops to good use, introducing our unique brand to schools throughout Long Island and making sure that our educational events are well-attended. When she's not trumpeting our creative approach to exam preparation, Colleen enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, staying fit, unintentionally shaming her sedentary friends and colleagues, and planning, planning, planning. (See "How the Universe Has Punished Her For Being A Freakishly Good Test-Taker" below.)¬†

Why She Works for Catalyst

According to Colleen, joining Catalyst makes sense because everyone in her entire family is “completely education obsessed” and all of her relatives are constantly going back to school to get another degree or certification. In addition to the draw of being part of an innovative, rapidly-growing education company, Colleen also loves being out and about (“I get fidgety when I sit still”) and meeting people in different communities.

How the Universe Has Punished Her for Being a Freakishly Good Test-Taker

Appointed “The Planner of all Activities” by her friends, Colleen has been tasked with organizing all group social events since her high school prom, from graduation parties to birthdays to bachelorette parties to “Let’s get away from our husbands for a few hours and call it a ‘Girls’ Night’” parties to pretty much anything her friends can devise and then email her to do. The demands of being a party impresario have become so burdensome, Colleen has semi-seriously considered dropping out of her clique, but first she has to plan Stacy’s baby shower, Allison’s destination wedding, and Rachel’s son’s dental appointment, and how is she supposed to come up with a fun party theme for that when Rachel keeps telling her she’ll be out shopping?

Favorite 80s Movie / Favorite 80s Nobel Laureate

The Breakfast Club / Elias Canetti (Nobel Prize in Literature, 1981)