KCI Guest Drops on the TLC Ninja Podcast

January 10, 2022

TLC Ninja Podcast

Cate Tolnai, Director of Marketing and Strategy for Krause Innovation Center, was recently featured on the TLC Ninja podcast with podcast hosts Lisa Nowakowski and Nancy Minicozzi, where she discussed KCI’s flagship program, MERIT, among other programs offered by KCI.

What is KCI though?

“Basically, we’re a non-profit that does PD for teachers. It was founded by Bill and Gay Krause. Gay is really the heart and soul and face of the Krause Center for Innovation. If I had to summarize what Gay’s vision was from the beggining of KCI, is to give teachers the professional learning they need to be everything they need to be for their students,” Tolnai spoke with pride of her work with KCI since joining the organization back in 2016.

Four of the five programs that KCI offers are grant-funded. “We are in the market of giving to educators,” Tolnai stated. The programs not only offer participants college units, but culminate with the earning of a CA State Certificate of Achievement.

To listen to the podcast in its entirety, check out this episode of the TLC Ninja Podcast page below:


  • Kristin Oropeza currently works as a Special Education Teacher in SoCal. Although she spent two years as a Technology TOSA, Kristin has spent the bulk of her teaching career in the mild-moderate special day classroom. Kristin has worked in public education for over 10 years and has worked in several districts across Los Angeles County. She has extensive experience working with students in both general education and special education settings and is passionate about collaborating with other educators in the best interest of all students. Kristin received her Masters of Science in Special Education from California State University, Long Beach in May 2014. Prior to that, she received her Bachelors Degree in Liberal Studies and dual teaching credentials from CSULB in May 2011. Kristin is also a Google Certified Trainer, Google Certified Educator Level 1 & 2, Pear Deck Coach, as well as an Apple Teacher. She is also a Microsoft MIE for 2021-2022 and a Seesaw Ambassador. Kristin also advocates for Class Dojo as a Class Dojo Ambassador and Mentor.