Bringing together members of the ISB community for a unique evening of storytelling, our annual Pecha Kucha night has become one of the signature events of the school year.

In this dynamic presentation format, created in Japan by architects Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham in 2003, speakers present 20 slides, each auto-advancing after 20 seconds, resulting in a concise, engaging talk of precisely 6 minutes 40 seconds.

Pecha Kucha (Japanese for “chit chat”) is an ideal medium for sharing ideas and redefining authentic human connectivity through inclusive social engagement and technology.

Past presentation topics have been wide-ranging—from energizing NYC with solar power to Ragga Morffa, Cuba’s newest musical genre.

Watch a clip from the 2020 Pecha Kucha evening at ISB. Well…. I Couldn’t Choose… by Middle School French Individuals and Societies Teacher Guillaume Roper-Sirvent.


Thursday, November 16th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

192 Luquer Street, Brooklyn, NY

This year’s showcase includes a Cornell geneticist, a former WNBA player, and, for the first time, an ISB alumnus, all of whom will offer us a glimpse into their professions, projects, and passions. Tickets can be purchased online.

Don’t miss what is sure to be an unforgettable evening embodying the International Baccalaureate ethos of lifelong learning!

Meet Our Presenters

Niesha Butler

Founder and CEO of S.T.E.A.M. Champs

Renowned and record-breaking athlete turned tech entrepreneur Niesha Butler is a modern-day renaissance woman using the duality of her broad-spectrum background to elevate the next generation of student athletes and S.T.E.M. professionals.

As an athlete, Niesha consistently broke scoring records and garnered accolades in high school at Riverdale Country School and college at Georgia Tech, leading to professional playing opportunities in the WNBA and internationally in Spain and the Dominican Republic. Niesha remains the all-time leader for New York City high school basketball in career points scored—for men or women—and the only player along with Kareem Abdul Jabar to be named to New York City’s “ALL CITY TEAM” four years in a row; she was also ACC Rookie of the Year, All American and Naismith Georgia’s Player of the year, to name a few accolades.

After her playing career, Niesha went on to have a successful career in broadcasting and entertainment, working for HLN, TMZ, and CBS as a sideline reporter/producer for the Atlanta Hawks. Most recently she was cemented in New York City basketball history by being featured in Showtime’s “Point Gods” documentary.

In addition, Niesha has appeared in several publications, including Slam magazine, Source Sports, the cover of Village Voice, and People en Español, as well as films and commercials, and was considered for the lead role in the modern cult classic Love and Basketball.

Not one to remain singular, Niesha later transitioned into the world of S.T.E.M., becoming a software engineer, teaching computer science for Microsoft, and becoming a leading voice in the Atlanta tech startup market, serving as a board member and partner for several emerging businesses and organizations.

Combining her passion for sports, mentoring, tech, education, and business led her to open the first Afro-Latina S.T.E.A.M. franchise educational center, called S.T.E.A.M. CHAMPS, in downtown Brooklyn, which teaches coding, robotics, engineering, and arts to kids

Mélanie Heydari

Lecturer, Barnard College, Columbia University

Mélanie is French of Persian descent. She teaches French language and world literature classes in the Department of French and Comparative Literature at Barnard College, Columbia University. Her focus is postcolonial literature, in particular women’s literature from the Middle East. She is currently working on a book on Indian Anglophone writer Vikram Seth.

Amy Kaufman

Founder and Principal of AK Cultural Planning

Amy is known for producing comprehensive Institutional, Business, Strategic and Implementation Plans, often integrated with major capital projects. She has worked with institutions of all types and sizes, including museums, universities, parks, botanic gardens, visitor centers, and heritage sites. Amy is most passionate about work that advances human and civil rights, as well as equity and belonging in arts and conservation organizations. Clients include American LGBTQ+ Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Studio Museum in Harlem, Storm King Arts Center, Pulitzer Art Foundation, Oklahoma Contemporary, National Audubon Society, and the Council of Jewish American Museums.

Samuel Kulasinghe-Larriere

ISB Alumnus (’18) and Sophomore at Middlebury College

Samuel is an Alumnus of International School of Brooklyn’s Class of 2018. After graduation, he attended Bard High School Early College and is currently a sophomore at Middlebury College with an intended major in chemistry and minor in Chinese language. He spends his summers working as a program leader and adventure guide for Brooklyn to Alaska, a nonprofit organization, whose mission is to provide a pathway for BIPOC youth to create transformative, life-defining experiences in the rugged wilderness of Alaska. Along with Jonah Huapaya (‘19), Samuel is among the first group of participants to complete Brooklyn to Alaska’s “Graduate to Guide” program.

Mark Lessard

Global Head of Finance & Restructuring, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Regularly recognized by Chambers Global, The Legal 500 U.S., and Who’s Who Legal as a leading global aircraft finance attorney, Mark represents an international clientele engaged in complex cross-border asset-backed financings of every stripe. He has in-depth knowledge of local and transnational rules governing the placement, pledge, and recovery of aviation assets worldwide. Clients also seek Mark’s counsel on aerospace mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, joint ventures, and procurement processes in addition to aviation-related insolvency proceedings and highly technical contractual disputes.

Christopher E. Mason

Professor of Genomics, Physiology, and Biophysics at Weill Cornell Medicine

Christopher is a geneticist and computational biologist who has been a Principal Investigator and Co-investigator of 11 NASA missions and projects. Mason is Professor of Genomics, Physiology, and Biophysics at Weill Cornell Medicine and the Director of the WorldQuant Initiative for Quantitative Prediction. He also holds affiliate appointments at the New York Genome Center, Yale Law School, and the Consortium for Space Genetics at Harvard Medical School. He is the author of The Next 500 Years: Engineering Life to Reach New Worlds.

Jayne Sugg

ISB Service Learning Coordinator and 4th Grade English Teacher

Prior to joining ISB, Jayne was teaching English to immigrant and refugee families at organizations called the International Rescue Committee and Henry Street Settlement and also taught English overseas in Lesotho, Africa. She holds a M.Ed. in Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies and a Bachelor’s in Languages and Linguistics from the University of New Mexico. In her free time, Jayne is a singer-songwriter, playing local concerts in NYC and recording her own music.

Sakai Troxell

ISB Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Before joining ISB, Sakai worked as a college counselor for 16 years at various community-based organizations, including Prep for Prep (of which she is an alumna) and Beginning with Children Foundation. She has also worked as a college consultant for charter schools and independent school families. She holds a B.A. in International Studies from Middlebury College, an M.S. in School Counseling from New York University, and a Certificate in Independent School Leadership from Merrimack College. In her spare time, Sakai writes spoken word poetry and counsels marginalized youth.

Proceeds from the Pecha Kucha evening support ISB’s Fund for Excellence. This annual campaign provides immediate, unrestricted funds for learning opportunities that are not covered by tuition fees alone—transformative experiences like author visits, field trips, and teacher development.

You can make a gift online at any time. All donations are 100% tax deductible and qualify for corporate matching gift programs, so be sure to check with your Human Resources department. It’s an easy way to make an even greater impact with your generosity.

For further information, please email  or call 718.369.3023.
Thank you for supporting ISB!