League Cycling Instructors

Cassandra Faustini

Cassandra Faustini is a former New York City bicycle messenger and current bicycle mechanic and activist. She moved to Connecticut in 2016 and has been committed to helping grow Connecticut bike culture. Cassandra received the 2016 Quality Bicycle Components Women's Scholarship and received her mechanic's certification from United Bicycle Institute in Ashland, Oregon. Cassandra was the Professional Bicycle Mechanics Association's featured Mechanic of the Month in July 2017.

In 2018, Cassandra received her certification to teach cycling safety courses from the League of American Bicyclists and has been teaching cycling safety for NHCAT. Cassandra can often be found working at The Devil's Gear Bike Shop or volunteering at Chainbreakers, the Bradley St. Bicycle Co-op's women's/trans/femme repair clinic.

Leta Highsmith

Leta Highsmith is currently the Board of Chair of Junta for Progressive Action; a nonprofit organization that provides education, counseling, legal, and social services to the Latinx community in Greater New Haven. Previous board service includes "Jane Doe No More," whose mission is to empower survivors of sexual assault. Before retiring, Leta was employed for 20 years as Vice President of Business Development with Specialized Packaging Group. She is a founding member of the Dixwell Avenue Arts Festival and for over two decades has served as director of the children's choir at the Dixwell Avenue Congregational UCC in New Haven. As a League Cycling Instructor, Leta enjoys sharing her love of riding a bike to children and adults. Leta received her undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut and her MBA in International Business from the University of New Haven. She is a proud recipient of the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Southern Connecticut Black Nurses' Association.

Karen Jenkins

Karen Jenkins is the Managing Principal of Development4Good LLC, a consulting firm specializing in strategic planning, fundraising, and board development for non-profit organizations in the US and abroad. She served as chair of the Mayor's Taskforce on Bike Education in New Haven and is an appointed member of the New Haven Historic District Commission. Karen's previous board service includes chair of the Board of the Directors of the League of American Bicyclists and chair of the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition (NJBWC). Other board service includes the New Brunswick (NJ) Ciclovia, International Education Research Foundation (IERF), and the Model UN/HBCU of the United Nations Association. Karen has published articles on international education, international development, as well as biking and walking. She is also a League Cycling Instructor (LCI). Karen has a J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law and an M.A. in International Relations from Yale University. Her undergraduate work was at Fisk University.

Joel LaChance

Joel LaChance is a professor of simple machines and wheeling wisdom. Born in Detroit, Joel was raised on machine tools and auto dependency. A chance ride on a modern road bike altered the trajectory of his path and forever brought him into bicycle culture and active transportation. Joel currently rides approximately 50 miles each week.

Joel has a master's degree in education and ten years of experience with elementary education in New Haven Public Schools. For many years, Joel has been the owner and manager of Cycles LaChance, equipping cyclists for recreation, utility, and competition. He is very enthusiastic for sharing his knowledge and experience as a trained League of American Bicyclists cycling instructor.