The Wooly Team

team member

James B. Wooldridge

Jim Wooldridge is still a little uncertain how he got here. It seems like just a short time ago, he was writing silly little songs to help his middle school students memorize preterit AR verb conjugations. Fast-forward 10 years, and he has created over 30 story-based music videos, is currently working on his 4th graphic novel, has been a featured keynote speaker at events like iFLT, Mitten CI, and CCFLT, and has built a language-acquisition website that is used by 20,000 teachers around the world. When he’s not obsessing over his next creative production, Jim tries to find serenity by putting together jigsaw puzzles. Jim Wooldridge lives in Skokie, IL with wife, two children and two dogs (both of whom like eating jigsaw puzzle pieces).

team member

Juan Carlos Pinilla

Juan Carlos has been expressing himself with paints, colored pencil, crayons, acrylics, and anything else that he can dirty his hands with for as long as he can remember. After briefly considering a career in electronic engineering after high school (what was he thinking?) he followed his instincts, and in 2005 began studying graphic design at TALLER 5 where he excelled in drawing, human figure-painting, and, of course, illustration. Like all good illustrators he has embraced the hermit-lifestyle. He spends nearly all his time locked up in his Bogotá, Colombia art studio drawing, painting, studying, and working to improve his craft. On the rare occasion that he pokes his head out of the studio, he loves travel.

team member

Lorena de Avila

Having joined the Wooly team in 2015, Lorena is the first Wooly employee in history. Following her aspirations to do something for the better good, she happily lends her 20 years of business, logistics, and chain supply management skills to the weird and absurd (yet welcoming) world known as Wooly. She patiently waits for her starring video role and is willing to share the limelight with both Luna and Haley when the time comes. When not vigorously rolling her eyes at Jim's half-baked ideas, Lorena spends her time celebrating every day, birthdays and un-birthdays, alike.

team member

Nathan Niederkorn

From a very young age, Nate’s greatest passion has always been music. Starting with humble beginnings figuring out musicals by ear on the family piano, all the way through earning a Bachelor of Music from Columbia College Chicago, Nate has been unable to avoid the music constantly running through his head. After fruitless years of searching for a musical outlet, he was snatched from the jaws of artistic obsolescence by Jim Wooldridge – and their lives would never be the same. Nate is the songwriter-in-residence at Señor Wooly. When he’s not sitting in the back of the warehouse strumming the day away, you can find him making really tiny adjustments to the Nuggets, putting a Señor Wooly sticker in that package you just ordered, or creating some odd new connection between Wooly stories that didn't exist before (obviously the trash Sam deals with in Los quehaceres ends up on the barge at the end of Qué asco. Obviously.)

team member

Carrie Toth

Full-time teacher, author, curriculum developer/trainer, and Head Nugget Chef at Señor Wooly, Carrie Toth works around the clock creating new materials to facilitate instruction in the classroom. Carrie was a 2015 finalist for ACTFL’s national Teacher of the Year and draws on ACTFL's proficiency descriptors and 90% target language recommendations in her work. When she isn’t with her students, cooking up bite sized chunks of language for the website, or training teachers… Wait… She’s always doing those things. Thank heaven her husband and grown up kids are not too demanding! Carrie lives 4 hours south of the Wooly office so she has to remote in… her dogs are never included in any of the office fun. She has two cats too… but like all cats, they don’t want to be included.

team member

Kelly Ferguson

Despite the ridiculous amount of time she appears to spend on Facebook running the Woology group, Kelly is actually a full-time, National Board Certified Spanish teacher. And in her copious free time, she is a frequent contributor of nuggets, hints, readings, packets, and whatever else Jim throws at her. She has also worked behind the scenes on several of the videos, and even sneaks in front of the camera once in a while. Like Carrie, living a couple of hours from the Wooly office, most of her work for Sr. Wooly is done via email and text message, which judging by her omnipresence online, is okay by her. She has no pets. When not doing all this work, Kelly is an avid soccer fan, playing year-round and always ready to cheer for Forward Madison Football Club (Go Flamingos!). In the winter she also plays curling, a sport she picked up a few years ago in a last-ditch attempt to discover if she is a prodigy at an Olympic sport. She isn't.

team member

Haley and Luna

Led by their dreams of super-stardom, Haley and Luna came to Wooly headquarters with nothing but the change in their pockets and their headshots. They patiently wait, knowing that someday soon they'll get their chance to be in a video. Every few weeks they present their latest dramatic work to everyone in the office (seriously, their Waiting for Godot was sublime.) Perhaps they will debut in the next video. Or, surely, the one after that. Or the one after that?

team member

Ryan Berger

Ryan was born at a very young age. Legend has it that at the age of three, his dad propped him up next to a computer, and that’s where he has sat programming since. When he’s not programming, he’s programming (we’re not sure how it works, it just does), playing piano in a blues jam session, or drinking his beloved cup of coffee in a local coffee shop. Ryan is Sr. Wooly’s server administrator and developer, and has been responsible for ushering in the new teacher dashboard, along with a number of other improvements. When he’s not fretting about Sr. Wooly’s server uptime, request latency, and a lot of other technical gobbledygook, he is actively pursuing a Computer Science degree at the University of Utah.