Mark has been teaching Humanities at High Tech High since 2001. He began his teaching career at Point Loma High School and Scripps Ranch High School. Raised in the small town of Fillmore, California where his family raised oranges, Mark is the oldest of ten children. He graduated from Cal State-Chico where he received his bachelors degree in history, with the focus being on Classical Civilizations. In 1987, he earned his teaching credential from San Diego State. Mark has three children- Joshua a postman in Denver, Jacob a contractor in Lake Havasu and Jessica a student at Smith and two grandchildren. His passions include playing poker, reading books about classical history and listening to be-bop jazz.
I was born and raised in the great state of Texas, for which I am grateful for my determination, nobility, and sass. I've worked with youth since I was a youth and truly love helping others find their way to success and happiness. I thrive on the gratification of knowing I've helped someone else... it feels selfish really. I've been fortunate to work with fantastic organizations and dedicated coworkers to serve resilient communities. Successfully relocated to San Diego and having two magnificent daughters, my incredibly talented husband and I feel we are in paradise.
Marcus has over 10 years of experience working with urban youth at the Middle school and High School levels. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, (his hometown) he worked as a Counselor, where he helped supervise and develop activities for teens and pre-teens at risk. Soon after he went on to become a Youth Counselor Coordinator and then an admistrator for Student Affairs at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School his Alma Mater. He loves listening to all kinds of music -- from Rock to Soul to Rhythm and Blues. In his spare time he also enjoys skydiving, bicycling, cooking, going to the movies and walking his pit-bull/mastiff named Chica.
Born and raised in San Diego, David graduated from Point Loma High School and attended the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, CA where he graduated with a BS in Marine Engineering Technology, a minor in Computer Science and an Unlimited Horsepower USCG 3rd Assistant Engineers License. An avid seaman, David has fished all over the North and South Pacific for Albacore tuna aboard a 90 ft. fishing vessel built by his father, worked on three different factory trawlers in the Bering Sea as a 1st Assistant Engineer, and, also with his father, built a 58 ft. steel salmon fishing boat. David began working at High Tech High in the fall of 2001 as an Engineering Instructor. He launched High Tech High’s FIRST Robotics team in 2004 which has grown to achieve national recognition. David holds a California Designated Subjects credential in Engineering Occupations.
Amy earned her Bachelor's of Science in Mathematics from The University of Texas at Austin, then taught at Travis High School in Austin for 2 1/2 years. She then moved to Berkeley, California, where she stayed home with her first son and wrote math curriculum part-time. After 1 1/2 years in the Bay Area, Amy moved to San Diego and continued to stay home with her two sons, Harrison and Quentin. Amy taught mathematics at Grossmont Community College in the summer and fall of 2005. She joined the High Tech High community in January 2006
Brandon Cohen joins High Tech High as a third-year teacher and a life-long learner. Born and raised in San Diego, his path has meandered around the world bringing him back to his roots. Brandon's first explorations began in his University City backyard where, as a four year old, was the first in his family to sample raw escargot. Soon, he ventured beyond his backyard to Berkeley, California, and earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Always the explorer, Brandon wandered through Europe as a 22 year old and, then again through South America two years later. His adventures included hiking Machu Picchu, spelunking in Lencois, Brazil, and surviving a bus ride up the most dangerous road in the world... while sleeping. Brandon returned to San Diego in 1999 to begin his career in Environmental Engineering at URS Corp. only to find that office life didn't suit him. Soon, he joined Basile Studio and served as Co-Director of Operations where he learned hands-on about business administration and all manners of fabrication. Beckoned by a persistent interest, Brandon left Basile Studio to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cristobal Colon, Ecuador. At this site, Brandon worked with numerous NGOs, fellow Peace Corps volunteers, and 15 local stakeholders to build a wood processing facility and related forest management program for landowners. After a year working on this major undertaking, Brandon turned his focus to the community at large initiating a wide variety of smaller projects such as a trash management program and landfill, community movie theater, home improvement project, ecotourism refuge, communal edible mushroom cultivation, and dark-room photography class. During this second year of service, Brandon strengthened many personal connections which culminated in the honor of being named godfather to Naomi Beatriz Arroyo.
In 2005, Brandon returned to the U.S., settling briefly in Philadelphia where he remodeled a home in historical West Philly and learned the difference (or lack of) between heros, hoagies, grinders, and subs. Missing friends, family, and authentic burritos, he returned permanently to his home town. Here, Brandon started and operated Pourfolio Custom Concrete providing high-end concrete furnishings to Southern California. In a stroke of luck (and terror), the construction industry tanked in 2008 and Brandon seized that grey cloud's silver lining and entered education. During this career change (more specifically - within the same week), he met his wonderful wife, Evelyng, while on vacation in Berkeley and purchased a 90 year old house in North Park. Oh, he grew up so quickly! After two fruitful years teaching middle school math, science, and spanish at Mt. Helix Academy, Brandon is excited to bring his vast world view, life experience, and innovative project-based learning ideas to 12th grade Environmental Science at HTH.
My name is Julio Delgado and I am a Spanish teacher at High Tech High. I have an undergraduate degree in education and Spanish literature from the National University of El Salvador. I also have a California credential to teach literature and Spanish language at a high school level and two years of graduate courses in Special Education. I have taught bilingual elementary school for almost five years and Spanish language and literature at a high school in Los Angeles. I also have over 10 years experience coaching soccer, from my children's teams to a varsity high school team.
Before becoming a teacher I had the privelege to work with many different communities. In college, I designed and implemented a literacy project for adults and children in a Mayan community in El Salvador. I also conducted an oral history project about the struggles of refugees fleeing from a war zone within El Salvador. As a member of the Central American Refugee Comittee in Los Angeles, I traveled across the US participating in a national educational campaign for peace and human rights in Central America. Also, I have worked in a homeless children's shelter for the International Human Rights Center in Los Angeles and worked with adults with severe disabilities as an independent leaving skills coach in San Francisco.
Tom Fehrenbacher grew up on a cattle ranch in Eastern Oregon, attending
Crook County High School a.k.a. Crook County Cowboys. After earning a
degree in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame, Tom Fehrenbacher
served as a Peace Corp volunteer in West Africa. Upon return, Tom
worked for several years in finish construction and wallpaper hanging.
Tom Fehrenbacher completed a Masters in Anthropology from San Diego
State University in 1985. After graduation, Tom Fehrenbacher entered State's
student teaching program, and then working the next fourteen years at Hoover High
School. In 2003, Tom Fehrenbacher joined the faculty of High Tech High,
where he currently teaching 11th Grade Humanities.
Anne loves math and her family (not necessarily in that order) and has been a math teacher at three different High Tech High schools. She enjoys spending time with young people and solving challenging and fun math problems. Anne was born in Romania and moved to the US when she was 14 years old. She went to high school and college in Virginia and got her Bachelors degree at ODU (Old Dominion University). She loved school so much that she decided to go to graduate school and she got her Doctorate at Northwestern University in Evanston (just north of Chicago). She still loved school very much AND did not want to get a real job, so she moved to Englad to "work" at a university. There she also met her husband, Andrew, (who is also a teacher at HTH) and came back to the US and decided to settle in San Diego.
Anne still loved school, so she decided to become a teacher at High Tech High. She realized that she found THE best place in the world because she was still in school and being a teacher here did not feel at all like work. All she does everyday is have fun with young people and solve fun and challenging math problems. Anne has three children (Nadia, Peter and Jack) and you can often meet the "Gaggle of Gloags" in the High Tech High Village. Come and say "Hi" because we are hard to miss.
I have been teaching since 1987. Subjects have included Biology, Health, Physical Education, Computerized Graphic Design and Multimedia Production. I have settled on a very comprehensive subject and feel that Multimedia can serve as the bridge between disciplines. I am supported by the ROP program at San Diego City Schools. After 15 years at Patrick Henry High School, I now teach at High Tech High because of the school's commitment to project based learning, internships, and presentation based assessment.
Ok so a little about me, I joined the HTH Village in 2007 as Site Manager and so far I can honestly say I LOVE MY JOB! Working with you and your children is really a lot of fun. I have two children of my own, one of which is enrolled here in the village, the other just turned one. My educational background is in the Arts, Photography specifically. I have had the opportunity to work with children of all ages from pre-school to college level. I consider myself extremely fortunate to work in education and even more so in a capacity that allows me to really get to know families and students on an individual basis. Please do not ever heistate to contact me regarding all things High Tech High, I am happy to assist you in whatever I can.
Joe started at HTH in June of 2007. Joe has worked in the IT Industry for over 10 years. He has done technical support for the Navy and Marine Corps Help Desk, been an IT Director at Lowes Coronado Bay Resort, tested software at Intel and been a Work Flow Manager with Managed Solution, a local IT Consulting company. Joe is a graduate of Coleman College and holds an MCP as a Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician and a COMPTia A+ Certification. Prior to entering the IT Field, Joe worked in various aspects of the automotive repair industry.
Joe has 2 sons, one who graduated HTH in 2008 and one who graduated from HTHMA in 2009, so he has been around HTH for quite a while. He has lived in San Diego for most of his life, spending a year in Oregon and 1 ½ years traveling the US in a motor home with his family - getting to all 48 contiguous states. Joe thoroughly enjoys his position at HTH, and the many students who stop by his office to chat. When not working Joe enjoys boogie boarding, attempting to learn to surf, dancing, traveling and auto racing and sailing
I'm a San Diego native who was educated at San Diego State University and the Claremont Graduate School. One of the highlights of my life as a student was living in Paris, France, where I had the opportunity to study the language and meet a wide variety of people from around the world. I have also taught on deployed Navy warships as a community college instructor. My passions include listening to a wide variety of music, baseball, cinema (including HBO series!), and spending leisurely Sunday mornings with the newspaper. At High Tech High I sponsor the chess X-Block and have taught an intersession on U.S. History and Culture through the genre of western films.
I was born in Bulgaria and lived there for the first years of my life. When I was ten my family moved to L.A. and I went to 5th grade there. We went back to Bulgaria for 6th and 7th grade and we moved to San Diego for 8th grade. I went to high school here and over the summers we went back to visit friends and family. I have not been back to Bulgaria since 2001 and I miss it terribly. After high school I went to Grossmont Community College for a few years and later transfered to SDSU where I received a B.A. in Math and my M.A. in Math Education.
I've worked many different jobs in my lifetime and I am now, for the first time, working my dream job : ) I really couldn't be happier to be here!!!
Maria was born in Maryland and grew up on the east coast. She attended college at the University of Delaware where she studied Graphic Design and Visual Communications, as well as Fine Art Photography and Interactive Media. After college, Maria received her Masters of Art in Digital Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.
Maria moved to San Diego in 2007 and worked as a web and graphic designer. After 3 years working in the design field, she began teaching multimedia at High Tech High, where she also earned her credential. As a teacher, Maria shares her passion for art, media and design with students and show them the potential that these subjects have to communicate ideas on both a large and small scale. Her goal is to inspire students to seek out their own passions, learn to communicate in a variety of ways in an ever growing society and encourage personal growth through goal setting.
Outside of art Maria loves being active. She likes to swim, run, bike, surf, snowboard, climb...anything involving a challenge and being outdoors. She is crazy about her dog, Dunkin, loves everything about the beach & the ocean, and also enjoys camping, concerts, yoga, karaoke, cooking, and traveling.
A native of Colorado, Liz has always loved being outdoors and active. Such interests made experiential learning a great fit for Liz, which led her to study for a full academic year of college in Latin America. After graduating college, completing a year of volunteer work in Central America, and working in social work for a few years, she moved from Portland, OR to sunny San Diego, to begin her graduate studies at UCSD. In the next three years, she earned a M.A. in Latin American Studies at UCSD and an M.Ed. at USD. With what she considers to be great fortune, she was able to start her teaching career at High Tech High and has since enjoyed growing alongside students as they have planned and carried out interdisciplinary projects.
Brett came to the Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High in 2002. Though he has taught several courses here ranging from German to World Religions, his passion for history has never diminished. In addition to enjoying his time as a Humanities teacher, Brett was named the Director of HTH in the spring of 2007.
His belief that teaching and learning go hand in hand guided him as he earned a Master’s in History from the University of San Diego and a Master’s in Curriculum Design from UCSD. Before coming to San Diego he earned a BA in History from the University of Notre Dame (Go, Irish!).
When not updating his bio, he enjoys spending time with friends and traveling this small world of ours.
Jake Plaskett (formally William Jacob Plaskett) is a mathematical artist and musical scientist; Additionally, Jake is an avid soccer player and high school soccer coach.
Jake currently possesses his undergraduate degree from California State University, Chico and is pursuant of a Master of Educational Psychology from Capella University. His educational experience ranges from exposure to teaching as a teacher's assistant during his high school internship, to teaching various high school mathematics courses, elementary music courses, and select physical education courses.
His passion for education has served as a catalyst for his entire professional career, and has motivated him to publish a textbook that will hopefully revolutionize music education and make music education more accessible to the masses (text currently in the review/revision process).
As a returning HTH graduate, Jake hopes that he can offer an interesting synthesis of his educational practicum and his experience as a student of project based learning.
I have been working at High Tech High since the beginning, out in the trailers, where we tried to figure out what we are about and what we are doing here. The school has changed a lot, but we still remain a progressive, liberal arts school with some science and math.
I went to California College of Arts and Crafts to get my Masters in Fine Arts. That was the first and only place I have taken formal art classes, and I think that experience prepared me to work at High Tech High because we teach like a graduate school. Students work in the area that they are interested in and have experts in each field to help guide them. I am a guider not a teacher or a lecturer.
“Enlightenment . . . did not become yours through teachings!”
-- Herman Hesse (Siddhartha)
Juli has been teaching Humanities at High Tech High since 2007. She began her teaching career while working with the Peace Corp and living in Armenia. Since that point, she has taught in many different settings, including a boarding school for gifted artists, the swamps, rivers and Everglades of Florida on canoes, a public school in northern Idaho, and a private school specializing in students who like to throw themselves off of large jumps on skis and snowboards, and then twist their bodies in flips through the air, usually landing upright. Juli received here bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s College in English and art and her teaching credentials in English, art and social studies from Lewis Clark State College. Taking after her grandfather, Juli is a hobby person, and recently built a classical guitar, started a vegetable garden and spends great amounts of time with her husband and wonderful Golden Retriever.
My name is Mackenzie Schultz, and I am ecstatic to be a member of the High Tech High community! I majored in Evolutionary Anthropology at UC Davis which allowed me the amazing opportunity to research primates (rhesus macaques, titi monkeys, bonobos, and orangutans). I also worked as an EMT on a 911 ambulance throughout college.
I started off at High Tech High in the Fall of 2011 as an Academic Coach working with chemistry, biology, and physics students. In April/May of 2012, I took an amazing opportunity to substitute a biology class at HTH Chula Vista. In addition to substituting, I've also taught biology summer school for HTHCV and a science fiction course for the Upward Bound program at USD. I'm eager to move into my new role as a co-teacher with Jesse Wade-Robinson, teaching 11th grade biology at HTH.
I absolutely love science and think that scientific literacy is one of the most important tools an individual can have. In addition to science, I love to read, go stand up paddling, watch movies, and cook/eat food!
I grew up on an organic farm in British Columbia, Canada, which is probably responsible for my interest in all things green. In 1999 after graduating with a degree in biochemistry from the University of British Columbia, I worked in a cancer research laboratory focused on novel drug discovery from collected marine and rain forest specimens. After starting a family, I wrote scientific papers across the biological sciences until my daughter was school age. In 2008 I stumbled on High Tech High where I fell seriously in love with teaching. I'm also passionate about math puzzles, gardening, and photography.
After graduating from Holtville High School in Holtville, CA (The carrot capitol of the world), I attended Point Loma Nazarene University right here in San Diego where I ran track & field and cross-country for 4 years. After realizing that being a music business major wasnt helping my rock star career, I graduated with a B.A. in literature and a girl that said she would marry me. I earned a teaching credential at PLNU and finished my student teaching at High Tech High International where I taught 9th grade in 2005 before moving to HTMMA. I have since been teaching 7th grade Humanities, and coaching track and cross country for the High Tech High Schools.
My wife, Sarah, is a 6th grade math/science teacher at High Tech Middle school, and we live in Pacific Beach.
After running a small marine design and construction company in Morro Bay, Scott graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a bachelors in Electrical Engineering. He worked for an engineering company in San Francisco and specialized in the economic and electrical integration of renewable energy systems in healthcare facilities. After earning his Professional Engineer's license, he decided to turn his attention to what had always been a family tradition - teaching. Scott joined HTH in 2010 as part of our intern credential program and enjoys teaching Physics and Engineering.
Jay Vavra grew up in San Diego and returned home after a range of experiences in biology abroad and throughout California. He graduated from Stanford University and has a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from USC. Dr. Vavra also has experience working as a biologist in the fields of biotechnology and zooarchaeology, and as an environmental consultant. This is his eleventh year teaching biotechnology at HTH where he loves conducting original research with his students. He leads the science fair program at HTH. Most of Dr. Vavra's past students are published authors in the San Diego Bay book series. He has led students on two successful conservation forensics expeditions to Tanazania. He is also the Education Director of the new digital biology textbook "E.O. Wilson's Life on Earth." Dr. Vavra and his wife have two young boys, Evan and Trajan.
i! My name is Jesse Wade Robinson. I grew up in San Diego, and moved to Santa Cruz, California for college. At UCSC, I completed a degree in Molecular Cellular Developmental Biology. After college and traveling extensively in South America, I returned to San Diego, where I reside today.There I earned my teaching credential from San Diego State University and began teaching and learning at High Tech High (HTH). I have enjoyed teaching at HTH for the past ten years. I currently teach biology and supervise students on internship at HTH.
I love teaching and learning and feel like I have found my calling. I am passionate about science, education, and creating positive change in our communities. In the past few years I have spent much of my free time exploring these passions. I completed my MA in Education at UCSD in 2008. I have traveled to different parts of the United States and abroad to teach educators about Project Based Learning.
This year I will be teaching part time, so I can spend more time with my new son, Cove. I am grateful to be co-teaching with Mackenzie Shultz, an amazing teacher and evolution enthusiast. Our project for the fall semester will be working with the exhibit designers at the Reuben H Fleet Science Center to make inquiry based science museum exhibits with my students. I will also be leading tours for our Graduate School of Education.
In my spare time I like to swim, run, read, and spend time with my family.
Jade White grew up in Santa Barbara and moved to San Diego for her undergraduate work. She attended UCSD, where she earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics with a minor in European Studies (specifically Italian culture and language). Upon graduation, Jade entered UCSD’s Masters/credential program where she earned her Master’s in Education and teaching credential. This will be Jade’s ninth year at High Tech High where she will be teaching 9th grade integrated math and 12th grade calculus.
Chris White began his role as the Director of College Advising at High Tech High in the fall of 2002. He was brought on board in time to work with High Tech High's first graduating class of 50 students which graduated in the spring of 2003. Prior to this, Chris worked as a school counselor at Bainbridge High School outside of Seattle and prior to that he was the senior assistant director of admissions at the University of San Diego for 6 years. He has also been on the external reader committee for the University of California at San Diego admissions office since 2002 and he is a lead instructor for the College Counseling Certificate Program offered through UCSD extension. As a "power user" of Naviance (a comprehensive school counseling tool) Chris became a certified trainer and supported several schools throughout California implement this innovative resource for students. In 2010 Chris was given the Frank Jonasson Award which recognizes the top high school counselor in San Diego County. He currently is serving (2012-2016) on the Board of Directors for The Common Application which is utilized by over 500 of the top universities in the country. Chris is a graduate of the University of San Diego (both undergrad and graduate programs).
Kelly Williams grew up in Texas and attended the University of Virginia where she played 4 years of division 1 college soccer, studied abroad in Valencia, Spain, and obtained her bachelor's degree in English, her Masters in Teaching, and her teaching credential. She then moved to Jacksonville, FL where she taught 9th and 10th grade English for 2 years before moving to San Diego and teaching English at Poway High School for 2 years. This will be Kelly's 4th year at High Tech High where she will be teaching Senior English.
This is my fourth year at High Tech High . Before working at High Tech High, I taught English for five years in the New York City public school system.
A New York-native, I graduated from Columbia College in 2004 and joined the Teach for America program, which placed me at M.S. 328, a public middle school in Washington Heights. I taught at M.S. 328 for four years and led two classes that won national awards. I also ran an after-school "School of Rock," with instruction in guitar, bass, and drums.
From 2008-2009, I helped to found Urban Action Academy , a small public high school in Brooklyn. At Urban Action, I worked as the Program Director and founding English teacher.
When I'm not teaching, I like to read, play music, run, and hopelessly support the New York Mets.