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Meet The Team


Write Ahead's founder believes learning to write can be fun, and effectively taught through the use of proven, evidence-based instruction methods.  Research demonstrates the effectiveness of specific pedagogy techniques that improve writing quality, depth, and confidence, while enabling students to complete writing assignments in less time.  Our mission is to transform our student's inner writing voice from "Ugh" to "I got this!"



Hillary Madge



Hillary holds a Bachelor of Science from MIT and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  With experience working as an engineer, on wall street, in high-tech marketing, and as the head of content creation for a cyber security company, she understand the vital importance of strong writing skills for career success. Business or academic decisions big and small depend on concisely conveying recommendations, building consensus, and coordinating with others - all dependent upon written communication. She is excited to help students master fundamental writing skills and learn how to write with a purpose by using a systematic and structured process, within an encouraging and supportive environment.

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Dr. Leslie Laud,

Education Doctorate


Dr. Leslie Laud has taught students how to write for nearly 20 years as a classroom teacher, has researched and developed writing instruction methodology, and now serves as a nationally recognized writing-staff instructor and consultant to hundreds of schools. She developed an approach to writing instruction that is based on evidence-based research proven to drive results, described in her top selling book Releasing Writers: Evidence-Based Strategies for Developing Self-Regulated Writers (2017)”. Her approach is used in hundreds of schools in New England, as well as in over 50,000 classrooms throughout public and private school across the US.

Dr. Laud holds a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Columbia University, where she has also taught teacher education courses. She conducts empirical research studies on the most effective ways to teach writing, publishing findings in peer-reviewed journals and presenting at prestigious conferences such as Learning & the Brain, Society for Scientific Studies of Reading, International Literacy Association (ILA), National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE) and locally at Massachusetts Reading Association (MRA). In addition to authoring Releasing Writers: Evidence-Based Strategies for Developing Self-Regulated Writers (2017), she also published Using Formative Assessment to Differentiate Middle School Literacy Instruction (2012).

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Cynthia Gumbert



Cynthia has a 19 year career in the tech industry as a marketing leader at both large (Dell, CA Technologies) and smaller, fast-growing startups. She has used her combination of technology, business, and leadership background to mentor dozens of people early in their careers on skills needed to succeed. While skills in tech and digital are so central to many careers today, Cynthia is passionate about communication, writing, and story-telling - skills that in the end lead to personal and organization-wide success. She has degrees from MIT, Tufts, and Harvard Business School and is a mom of two school-aged boys.  She is thrilled to work with WriteAhead and their mission to help students early on gain life-long skills and confidence in writing.

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