Meet The Team Behind Challenge Island


Meet The Team Behind Challenge Island

Stacey Piken & Jill Schantz


We are super excited to bring Challenge Island to Westchester County beginning January 2019! This unique and dynamic enrichment program is on the cutting edge of STEM/STEAM and 21st Century Learning. Children journey to an “island” adventure where they work in collaborative tribes to take on high-level, critical thinking challenges using only the materials in their treasure chest and their boundless creativity. Challenge Island is designed to ignite your child’s curiosity, spark their imagination, and prepare them for the skills required to compete in a competitive global society.
Stacey Piken and Jill Schantz are the owners from Northern Westchester, NY where they reside with their families. Together they have over 40 years experience as educators in both public and private institutions. Challenge Island of Central and Northern Westchester provides After School Enrichment Programs, Summer Camps, In-School Field Trips, Pre-School Workshops, Birthday Parties, Family Fun Activities, and Senior Challenges. We also partner with local youth organizations.


Sharon Duke Estroff M.A.T.

Founder & CEO

Sharon is founder and creator of the Challenge Island™ program, She is an award-winning elementary school teacher with two decades of experience in Atlanta public and private schools. She started Challenge Island in her second grade classroom and began running it as an enrichment business using the current model in 2003. It has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since.

Sharon is a nationally recognized parenting and education expert and a freelance writer for numerous national publications including Scholastic Parent and Child, Parents, Woman’s Day and Good Housekeeping magazines. She is the author of the popular parenting book, Can I Have a Cell Phone for Hanukkah? (Random House) and co-author of the upcoming Challenge Island book series that turns the Challenge Island curriculum into an exciting and educational story. She is sought-after speaker who has presented to scores of communities nationwide about the trials and tribulations of raising kids in the digital age.
Sharon received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Emory University where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude.

She continues to run her local Challenge Island business in Atlanta, Georgia where she lives with her husband and four children.

Leslie Thibodaux

Chief of Operational Support

Leslie received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education 1st-8th grade and her Master of Education, Reading Specialist, and Academically Gifted Certification from Nicholls State University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She is a veteran educator with 20 years of teaching experience, 17 of which she taught mathematics to academically gifted children.

Leslie incorporates strong analytical problem-solving skills, her love for mathematics, and organizational skills into operating her own successful Challenge Island franchise in Louisiana, where she serves as co-owner. She lives in Louisiana with her husband and three children.

Meet Our Corporate Tribe