Our people


  • Paul Mishkin Chief Executive Officer

    Paul founded IXL Learning in 1998 as a way to explore the potential for Web-based technologies in education. A former software engineer, he built and launched the initial version of the company's first product, which allowed teachers to create and share interactive study materials. Today, he guides a company with products that reach millions of students around the world. He has a bachelor's degree in computer science from Harvard.

  • Joseph Kent Chief Technology Officer

    Joe joined IXL from Oracle, where he worked as an engineer in the applications division. He is particularly interested in tools, processes, infrastructure, and tuning. He holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from UC Berkeley.

  • Kate Mattison Vice President, Curriculum

    After getting her start at IXL as a math curriculum designer, today Kate leads IXL's curriculum development team. Kate is dedicated to creating memorable and inspiring educational experiences for each of IXL's subject areas. She holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago and a PhD in mathematics from Stanford.

  • Suzanne Pelz Vice President, Engineering

    Suzanne joined IXL as a software engineer and wrote code for the company's very first dynamically generated math questions. Today she leads IXL's engineering team and is passionate about building products that inspire teachers and students. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

  • Joseph Zhou Vice President, Finance

    Joe has 20 years of experience in accounting and finance. Prior to IXL, he grew his career at Ernst & Young as an audit manager. He is an active CPA and holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Shenzhen University and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.

  • Michael Shafir General Counsel

    Michael most recently served as Senior VP and General Counsel of The Learning Experience, an international childcare operator and franchisor. He has also practiced commercial litigation and employment law at several top Florida law firms. Michael received his bachelor's degree from Syracuse University and his law degree, magna cum laude, from Nova Southeastern University's Shepard Broad Law Center. A lifelong South Florida resident, Michael enjoys spending time with his family and an ever-growing menagerie of cats and dogs.

  • Jennifer Gu Chief Operating Officer

    Jennifer joined IXL from Oracle, where she was a senior development manager. At IXL, she oversees day-to-day operations and has been instrumental in developing the company's products and formulating its sales and marketing strategies. She has a bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley, a master's in computer science from Stanford, and a joint MBA from UC Berkeley and Columbia.

  • Don Back Vice President, Sales

    Don comes to IXL with 30 years of experience as an educator and sales professional. He started in education as a special education teacher and a school psychologist. For the last two decades he has led multiple regional and national sales teams, most recently at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

  • Debbie Chang Vice President, Product

    Debbie joined IXL as a product analyst, and she now leads IXL's product management and design team. Debbie is passionate about creating experiences that develop people's skills, build their confidence, and inspire a sense of their own limitless potential. Debbie has a bachelor's degree in biology and health policy from Harvard.

  • Lisa Tortolani Vice President, ABCya

    Lisa is a career educator and researcher with years of experience teaching Italian language and literature to university students. Following her penchant for the use of technology in classrooms, Lisa joined the team of creative technologists at ABCya, a website she started with her husband Alan. Lisa currently leads ABCya, where she enjoys making games and apps that encourage both fun and learning. She holds a master's degree in Italian Language and Literatures from Boston College.

  • John Barth Vice President, Digital Marketing

    John joined IXL as a product designer, helping to create some of the first designs and content for IXL. He now leads the digital marketing team, driving acquisition and revenue across all of IXL's brands. He holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Johns Hopkins and a master's in chemical engineering from Stanford.



On the IXL Engineering team, we relish the challenge of building robust and elegant software. We take pride in the code that we write and also in the unique educational mission that it serves. Our goal is to marshal our tools, talents, and creativity in order to provide a transcendent experience for teachers and students.

Curriculum development

IXL is a labor of love, and every part of the product is carefully crafted. Our team of PhDs and experienced teachers ensure that every piece of IXL's curriculum meets our high quality standards. Team members spend their days researching, brainstorming, and creating the perfect language, visuals, and interactive elements for every topic.

Product Management

Our product managers are advocates for our users and are dedicated to putting them first. Taking products from initial brainstorm to final launch, this team strives to delight students, teachers, and parents. Our creative solutions, clean designs, and extraordinarily high standards ensure that we deliver effective, compelling products that are a joy to use.

Customer success

Our account managers, technical support analysts, and membership specialists are knowledgeable, accessible, and patient—a winning combination. From customized on-boarding and implementation plans to friendly ongoing support, they ensure a successful experience for every student, parent, teacher, and administrator who uses IXL.

Educational sales

At IXL, sales is an ever-evolving art. Our team of creative and friendly sales consultants understands the complex needs of teachers and gets a thrill from helping schools and districts find solutions that help their students learn better. We take pride in playing a pivotal role in the growth and success of IXL.


Our marketing team is passionate about creating and maintaining relationships with our customers. From spreading the word about IXL through creative advertising campaigns, strategic communications, and personal interactions at events, to engaging users through social media and emails, we do everything it takes to make sure educators and families know what we do and how we can help them.

Join our team