Staff Directory

Lower School
  • Andrea Adams Spanish
    Andrea Adams

    Born and raised in Reno, Nevada my move to San Diego in 2015 brought me closer to home. I graduated from the University of Nevada Reno (UNR) where I received a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, Bachelor of Science in Geography and a minor in Latin American Studies. As a sophomore at UNR, I studied in Santiago, Chile where multiple experiences and internships furthered my passion for equitable education, social justice, and the environment. My experiences have taught me that in learning another language we learn more about ourselves, expand opportunities, and break down stereotypes by opening up dialogue that transcends societal and political borders.

    Before moving to San Diego for grad school in 2015, I taught Spanish levels 1-4 in Memphis, TN. It was here that I fell in love with exposing students to a new language and new cultures. My passions include; all things related to Spanish-speaking, traveling, eating (mainly plants), cooking, fighting for a more just world, and exploring the outdoors on foot, rollerblades or on bike.

    In June of 2016, I graduated with a Masters in Education from the High Tech High Graduate School of Education where I conducted research on the importance of using comprehensible literature to increase the confidence and acquisition of language learners.
  • Mark Aguirre Humanities
    Mark Aguirre

    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 bachelor’s 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.

  • Amilio Aviles Science
    Amilio Aviles

  • Lisa Griffin Humanities
    Lisa Griffin

    Lisa Griffin is thrilled to join the High Tech High staff, relocating this past summer from 20 years in Oakland and San Francisco working in arts education, outdoor education, classroom teaching, and teaching graduate students.  She has traveled through New England facilitating the creative collaboration of a troupe of teen theater minstrel artists, led backpacking trips on and around Mount Lassen, supervised and worked on high ropes courses, and has facilitated far too many icebreaker games.  In her most recent work in Deep East Oakland at Elmhurst Community Prep, she worked as a reading specialist and instructional coach for middle school history teachers, while serving on the Instructional Leadership team.  She is honored to have extensive training and coaching from six years in collaboration with the National Equity Project.  This Spring, she taught Adolescent Psychology to credential candidates in graduate school at UC Berkeley.  Lisa is eager to collaborate with the dynamic staff at HTH, and to combine her passions for literature and history with projects that incorporate performing arts and themes of social justice. 

    Though she was born in San Diego, Lisa moved every two or three years of her life, so San Diego was only “home” for kindergarten and college (at UCSD), as well as her annual summer vacation destination to visit extended family.  She is thrilled to be back, and to live near her parents and in-laws.  She is always looking out for new students, knowing that experience all too well.  She lived up and down the West Coast, in Michigan, in the Philippines, and in Ireland during part of college.  She has been impacted personally by two revolutions, having witnessed the People Power Revolution in the Philippines, and having traveled to Berlin, Germany, the year the wall came down.  When she is not at school, she is happiest swimming at the beach and playing games with her husband, Koichi, and their two sons, Kane and Ando.   
  • Andrew Lerario Chemistry
    Andrew Lerario

    Andrew Lerario works at HTH!
  • Loredana Mitescu Spanish
    Loredana Mitescu

    I was borned and raised in Romania. Currently, I reside in sunny San Diego, living my American Dream to its fullness- teaching foreign languages (Spanish & French)  in an effort to promote global awareness for students. I earned a B.A. (Double Major: French and Spanish) from Metropolitan State University of Denver and a Master's Degree in French Studies/Literature from the University of Arizona.

    Since I moved to this country, my entire existence revolved around foreign languages & cultures, literature and teaching. I had the privilege to teach undergraduate courses, in French, at the University of Arizona for 2 years, followed by another 5 years of teaching French and Spanish in Denver and now I am thrilled to be part of the High Tech High Village!

    When I am not in the classroom, I like to travel. I had the amazing opportunity to explore our beautiful and diverse world, interact with wonderful individuals who taught me great appreciation for other cultures and traditions. The journey of discovery continues for me, since there are many more stunning places to visit on my list...


  • Matthew Patrick Humanities
    Matthew Patrick

    Hailing from the UK, Matt moved to San Diego in July 2013 with his wife and then 3 month old son, Harrison, seeking a new career and some sun. Matt graduated from University of San Diego in 2014 with a Masters in Education. The change in location and career came after a 6 year Marketing career working primarily for online retailers. Bringing a fresh approach to teaching and an eagerness to connect with students and make learning meaningful, Matt is excited about his second year at HTH.

    Matt's passions are soccer (or football as he calls it), and traveling, something he did for 12 months in 2006 having graduated from University of Exeter with a BA in English Literature. Starting in San Diego and immediately falling in love with the city, he toured North America, New Zealand, Australia, South-East Asia, finishing off in China, learning more in 12 months than 3 years at college, hence his attraction to PBL.
  • Juli Ruff Humanities
    Juli Ruff

    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.
  • Mike Strong Humanities
    Mike Strong

    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 wasn'’t helping my rock star career, I graduated with a B.A. in literature, a minor in music 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 High Tech Middle Media Arts.  I taught 7th grade Humanities at the middle school for six years before moving to THE High Tech High. I enjoy fishing, writing, playing in a rock band, tinkering and coaching track and cross country for the High Tech High Schools.  

    My wife, Sarah, is a 10th grade math teacher at HTH and we live in Clairemont with our beautiful kids Poema and Canon.
  • Sarah Strong Math
    Sarah Strong

    Sarah Strong is entering her tenth year teaching for the High Tech organization and her second year at High Tech High! For her first 6 years, she worked at High Tech Middle teaching 6th grade math/science. In her seventh year, Sarah got the opportunity to support math organization-wide. She taught one year at High Tech High North County before landing at High Tech High last year.

    Raised in the SF Bay Area, Sarah moved to San Diego in 2001 to attend college. She graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University in 2005 with her BS in Mathematics. She went on to get her teaching credential from PLNU as well. She was a member of the inaugural cohort of the Teacher Leadership Program in the High Tech High Graduate School of Education and she completed her thesis on the use of open-ended math problems in 2009.

    Sarah has a daughter, Poema Grace, who is 5.5 years old and a son, Canon David Lawrence, who is 4. Sarah loves the beautiful outdoors and one of her favorite places is Yosemite where she goes every summer. She also loves running and has competed in three marathons and nine half marathons! This summer Sarah celebrated her nine year anniversary with her husband, Mike, who teaches ninth grade humanities at HTH. They are very happy to be a part of the High Tech Village and can sometimes be seen after school coaching and running with the High School Cross Country and Track teams!
  • Sofia Tannenhaus Spanish
    Sofia Tannenhaus

    I was born and raised in Chula Vista, CA, just a few miles north of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. I earned my B.A. in Sociology from UC San Diego, worked as a researcher for some time, and then pursued my Master's Degree in Education Policy at UC Berkeley.

    I recently earned my Ph.D. in Education Policy from UC Berkeley. My dissertation explored how cross-border students in the San Diego/Tijuana border region use social capital to navigate the U.S. education system.

    While at Berkeley, I had the opportunity to teach Spanish 1 to undergraduate students. I am passionate about bringing life to the classroom by creating an immersive Spanish environment and highlighting cultural traditions and celebrations.

    ​I am very excited to be teaching at High Tech High!
  • Jade White Math
    Jade White

    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 twelfth year at High Tech High. This year, Jade will be working as a Master Teacher in Residence at UCSD; mentoring teaching credential candidates at various schools across San Diego. She will also be working as a mentor/support for math teachers at HTH. Jade and her husband have two "babies"; their dog Murphy and pet chicken Cali.
Upper School
  • Fahima Ahmed Math
    Fahima Ahmed

  • David Berggren Engineering
    David Berggren

    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.

  • Adam Borek Humanities
    Adam Borek

    Adam is a perpetual student with a natural curiosity for the world around him.  After graduating from Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. in Economics, he worked in large scale steel construction management.  Steel allowed Adam to collaborate on many unique engineering projects, including aircraft carriers, submarines, and even the substructure of the largest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, One World Trade Center.

    Considering himself an experiential learner, Adam’s diverse employment background helps shape his educational philosophy.  From his first job as a mechanic’s assistant at the age of fourteen, he worked as a mason, welder, firefighter, arborist, rock climbing instructor, construction manager, and restaurant manager.  One common thread has been integral to Adam’s lifestyle since his teenage years, and that is working with young people.  From providing underprivileged children with opportunities to experience the outdoors in Philadelphia to coaching and mentoring here in San Diego, Adam has enjoyed helping young people experience and learn about the world around them for the last thirteen years.  He is proud to call his love of teaching and learning a career here at  High Tech High.

    Climbing, surfing, and exploring are Adam’s passions outside of school.
  • Amy Callahan Math
    Amy Callahan

    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
  • Oscar Carrion Humanities
    Oscar Carrion

    This is my first full year at High Tech High and I am beyond thrilled to be here. I was born and raised in Chula Vista, CA. I attended UCLA and graduated with a B.A. in Sociology in 2013. After a string of meaningless sales positions I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a tutoring gig in early 2015 and since then I have found my place and passion in education. The privilege to experience HTH is truly invaluable and I am humbled to have this opportunity. My time is also spent giving guitar lessons primarily in Coronado and performing regularly around town with a couple of bands: Citrus & Katie, and Splavender. 
  • Nicholas Chambers Math
    Nicholas Chambers

    Nicholas E. Chambers is a Coloradoan at heart who happens to call his home San Diego. He holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Mathematics with an option in Teaching from California State University, East Bay in Hayward, California. He is also currently part of the HTH Credentialing program. After graduation he moved to San Diego and became part of the HTH family. He will be teaching 12th grade math this year, aka Calculus!

    His hobbies include playing on his recreational baseball and softball team, playing poker, visiting family and watching as many Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies games as possible!
  • Lora ChauDavis Art
    Lora ChauDavis

  • Brian Delgado Science
    Brian Delgado

  • Margaret Egler Humanities
    Margaret Egler

    I grew up in Long Beach and on my parents' avocado ranch outside of Fallbrook, where my family spent weekends building a home without using electricity or running water -- thankfully they have both now! I spent four freezing years in Connecticut studying American History and Literature at Yale. Inspired by my college experience to explore the world, I moved to Washington D.C. and worked for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan for a year, spent a year as a substitute teacher, and then traveled through Europe for a year. When I returned to California, I spent three rainy years in San Francisco earning my J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

    A week after graduating from law school, I married my husband Tom, also a newly-minted lawyer, and moved to that overlooked jewel of a city, Pittsburgh, where I clerked for a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

    Homesick for my family and the avocados, I convinced Tom to move to San Diego. I practiced labor and employment law for several years before immersing myself in community, non-profit and educational pursuits, including serving as the founding advisory board chair for the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego, the president and board chair of the Junior League of San Diego, and the board chair of Explorer Elementary.

    I am a graduate of the HTH Teacher Credentialing Program with credentials in English, Social Science, and Inclusion. Tom and I and our three children (students at High Tech High and High Tech Middle) live in Point Loma and are lucky to be able to walk to school.
  • Andrew Gloag Math
    Andrew Gloag

  • Pat Holder Humanities
    Pat Holder

    Pat Holder is originally from Los Angeles, CA and has resided in San Diego since 2005. When he is not teaching Humanities at HTH he is likely spending time with his family, camping in baja or working on his house.
  • Peter Jana Humanities
    Peter Jana

    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. I currently teach 11th and 12th grade humanities at The Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High and classes in reading and writing methods and the philosophy of education for the HTH credentialing program. My interests include music, reading, travel, cinema (including HBO series!), and spending leisurely Sunday mornings with the newspaper.
  • Jeff Lohman Biology
    Jeff Lohman

    I was born and raised in Orange County where I lived until I went to San Diego State in 1985. I have lived in San Diego ever since. I worked a series of jobs after college from commercial diving, a monorail driver at the Wild Animal Park (Safari park now), to being a veterinary technician at a small animal clinic. in 1991, I started doing research for UCSD (subcontracted by the US Navy) to do research in combat casualty medicine. When the project ended in 1995, I went back to the Wild Animal Park for a short time before landing a job that would occupy my time for the next 15 years.

    Starting as a Research Associate for a group working on the 6th floor of the VA Medical Center in La Jolla, I soon found myself as part of a small start up biotech company called Sangart. We were developing an oxygen therapeutic which was also referred to as artificial blood. We started small, so I wore many hats until we moved into a new building and our company grew to more than a hundred employees. This allowed me to focus only on research. Sadly, like many biotechs, we were unable to get funding for our Phase III clinical trials and the company closed down. Faced with going back into another lab after 20 years of research, I instead chose to follow my lifelong dream of teaching.

    I have always loved biology. My poor grandmother who lived in the high desert worried herself sick with a pre-teen grandson that would leave at dawn and spend the whole day in the desert hills, with little water, and not return until the late afternoon. Many times with a large and/or venomous reptile. I have always kept a wide variety of animals as pets, but also as subjects of study. I love all aspects of biology, and now I have an opportunity to share that with my students. I know biology isn't everyone's bag, but I try to make it interesting and fun. I have three school-age boys who have been my fun testers for many years, so I think I know what I am doing....maybe...
  • Kalle Palmer Science
    Kalle Palmer

    Kalle has been teaching at High Tech High since January 2016. She made her way to teaching when she realized the most rewarding and enjoyable aspects of her previous work environments was working with and teaching teenagers. Kalle brings with her a rich multi-disciplinary background which includes nearly eight-years in the event planning industry proceeded by four years of research and work in aquariums, as a scientific diver, SCUBA instructor and grad student.
    Kalle received her B.A. from the University of Washington School of Architecture and Urban Planning with a Major in Community, Environment and Planning and Minors in History and Finnish Language. She returned to school to receive an Certificate in Aquarium Science from the Oregon Coast Community College and received her M.S. from the University of Guam in Environmental Science.
  • Jeffrey Robin Fine Arts Teacher
    Jeffrey Robin
    Fine Arts Teacher

    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)

  • Rowan Rose Math
    Rowan Rose

    Rowan was not born, but raised, in the suburbs of West Philadelphia where in the playground she spent most of her days. Chillin' out, relaxin', relaxin' all cool but she couldn't shoot bball anywhere in school. :)

    Sorry, her rap skills end right there. Rowan attended Duke University where she double majored in Economics and Psychology. Fun fact! While at Duke, she was President of the Student Union and in charge of programming for the entire campus. You could say that event-planning is her second passion, and if she wasn't teaching, she would be planning big parties around the San Diego area.

    Right after graduating, she started her teaching career. She served as a Teach For America corps member, and taught in urban D.C. for three years. Rowan has taught everything from 6th grade math all the way up to College Algebra. In D.C., she met her husband (then man-friend), who bribed her to move out to San Diego with him by promising her a cute corgi puppy.

    Many years and one cute corgi later, she is happily settled in San Diego with her husband and Tako (said corgi). This is currently Rowan's third year teaching at High Tech High, and second year teaching Math 3.


  • John Santos Science
    John Santos

    I've been fortunate to call High Tech High my home for over 10 years now. It has been incredible to be part of the meaningful, relevant project based-learning that has gone on at our schools. Exploring the sciences with students is one of my strongest passions and project-based learning is fundamental to my teaching philosophy. In addition to learning from our immediate community of educators, I've had the chance to collaborate and learn from the most progressive, inspirational, inventive educators around the world during my time as an educator. I look forward to collaborative work that lies ahead…
  • Jesse Wade Robinson Biology
    Jesse Wade Robinson

    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 eleven 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.

    In my spare time I like to swim, run, read, and spend time with my family.
  • Russell Walker Humanities
    Russell Walker

    Prior to joining High Tech High this year, Mr. Walker taught AP Environmental Science and Econ/Government at one of the top charter schools in Los Angeles for the past 5 years. Before that, he led a US Census team, worked on a CA ballot campaign, and studied Economic Development and International Relations on his way to a double-major Summa Cum Laude from the University of Redlands. He has traveled the world and plumbed the depths of space and time, and hopes to bring an infectious curiosity for learning about the universe and everything in it to his classroom. His passions include sustainability, economic development, politics, education, and pizza. A native of San Diego, he is elated to return home (with his wife and 2 kitties) to teach Humanities at High Tech High, where hopefully his latent superpowers will manifest at last.

    The Humanities are academic disciplines that study human culture and history, including literature, visual arts, performing arts, anthropology, and much more. The stories we tell ourselves about who we are and how things came to be the way they are now have great power in shaping our perceptions and actions – as individuals and as larger groups. In Mr. Walker’s Humanities course, we will critically examine American stories as windows into the history of our nation and the groups that compose it, and strive to understand current events (and the stories we tell about them) in historical perspective.
Academic Support
  • Dr. Vangie Akridge School Psychologist
    Dr. Vangie Akridge
    School Psychologist

    Although Dr. Vangie is new to HTH, she is by no means new to field of education. Dr. Vangie comes to us with 16 years of prior experience as a school psychologist. While in the traditional school setting, Dr. Vangie spent countless hours outside of her day job being a change agent and supporting community education, parent empowerment and breaking down stigmas associated with emotional wellness. She always wondered, “How cool would it be to have an opportunity to be a part of a creative educational design process that provides an avenue to employ my diverse skill set?” … and Eureka! - a relationship with HTH was formed!

    Dr. Vangie was a double major at UCLA, receiving her Baccalaureate degree in Psychology and African-American Studies before moving back to San Diego and receiving her Masters of Science and Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Psychology. She has also secured a doctorate of psychology in the educational psychology as well as an Alcohol and Drug Counseling degree. Her vocational experience has contributed to a vast knowledge in human development, psychological processing, cognition, consultation, counseling, psychological/educational assessment, special education law, specific learning disabilities, ADHD, emotional disturbances, Autism, low incident disorders, alcohol/substance abuse, dual diagnosis and many other factors that may impair academic progression and social/emotional functioning.

    Dr. Vangie, mother of three, has a passion for community and is eager to recycle her education, promote community partnering. Her dedication to family, education and the promotion of emotional well-being makes her a great resource and advocate for building overall wellness.

    When she is not working, Dr. Vangie enjoys watching athletic competitions, sideline cheering for her kids while calling plays as if she is the coach, listening to music, attending local cultural events, and spending time with her family.
  • Dylan Bier
    Dylan Bier

    Dylan is a native San Diegan who who grew up surfing, swimming, and free-diving around Sunset Cliffs and La Jolla. In 2015, he earned his B.S. in Mathematics from UCLA where he also studied film theory and production. In addition to his academic endeavors, he used his time at UCLA to connect with student filmmakers and photographers on campus and became the Finance Director of the Film and Photography Society, an award-winning student organization on campus. After graduating, he served as COO for a small, startup nonprofit, Thought Lounge, dedicated to fostering the practice of intentional, face-to-face dialogue in colleges. Through this work, he was inspired to get involved in education where he hopes to teach mathematics in a way that helps students enjoy and find meaning in it.
  • Philip Estrada
    Philip Estrada

    I've been at High Tech High since fall 2016. I originally came to the school while completing prerequisite requirements for a Teachers Credential Program at SDSU. While on the HTH campus I learned about project based learning and was drawn to the positive and collaborative atmosphere. Now I'm pursuing a teaching credential through the Graduate School of Education at HTH. As an academic coach, tutor 9th and 10th grade students in all subjects, but specialize in math and science.

    Outside of school, I like surfing, rock climbing, homebrewing and cooking at home with my wife in Point Loma. I'm interested in technology and taking things apart, so I help students fix their phones and built my own computer last spring. I'm fortunate to have been able to travel over the last few years and together with my wife have been to Paris and Southern France, Copenhagen, London, New York, Mexico, and San Francisco. We would like to visit Japan, Prague or Turkey in the future.
  • Bren Jacobsen
    Bren Jacobsen

    I am excited to be working with the talented group of teachers and students here at High Tech High. I was born in Chicago and moved to San Diego for high school. After attending UC San Diego, I worked in sales, production, and management in the litigation support business here in downtown San Diego.

    I moved to San Francisco in the Fall of 2000, in order to attend the credentialing and masters program at San Francisco State University. I was fortunate to gain twelve years of terrific teaching and coaching experience in the East Bay area while serving students with a variety of backgrounds and learning profiles. Now back to San Diego and High Tech High! My interests include teaching, coaching basketball, trains, reading, dinosaurs, music, cooking, and spending time with family.
  • Patrick McMahon
    Patrick McMahon


    Let's learn a little bit about me shall we? I am from Cave Creek, AZ. I went to college at the University of Arizona and studied American History and French. I even did a year abroad in Montpellier, France. Oui, je parle francais! I began my teaching career in Tucson, AZ. I taught 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th grade over my years there at a variety of settings. Next, life brought me to Boston, MA. There I worked at one of the top schools in the country for six years. I taught Math, History, and Special Education. I also got my M.Ed at Cambridge College while in New England. Now life brings me to sunny San Diego which is a return to the "wild west" for me. I look forward to bringing a little east coast flavor to the west coast here at HTH.

    Please check out my DP more more info.
  • Shawn Oluwa
    Shawn Oluwa

    My childhood was filled with a lot of travelling. Although I was born in Boston, Massachusetts, I grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Upon my junior high, my family, of African decent, returned to Nigeria, West Africa, where I completed both junior high and senior high before returning back to Brooklyn, New York.

    In the fall of 1998, I joined the United States Navy where I served on numerous expeditions. After my successful tour in the Navy, I moved to the Midwest and attended the University to Wisconsin - River Falls. In the fall of 2004, I moved back to San Diego and transferred to San Diego City College. While I was pursuing my Associates degree I got accepted into California State University - San Marcos. I graduated with both my Associates and my Bachelors in the summer of 2006 with my focus in Psychology. In the spring of 2010, I completed my Masters in Psychology with an emphasis in Crisis Management and Response from Walden University.

    I am so grateful to have this opportunity to work here at HTH where I feel I have the opportunity to inspire students, not only academically, but also to help the students achieve and realize their true potential. HTH ROCKS!

    My interests are listening to music, coaching soccer, exercising, dance, reading, hiking, baking, cooking, and spending time with my lovely wife, our two amazing children, and our 'wannabe dog' cat, named Diesel.
  • Jamie Senescall
    Jamie Senescall

    I was born and raised in Minnesota (land of 10,000 lakes!) and graduated from the University of Minnesota, studying ​Sociology​ and Spanish. While in college, I studied abroad in Toledo, Spain ​and enjoyed being fully immersed in another culture. Upon graduation, I taught English abroad in​ Ecuador through the program called WorldTeach​. ​There I ​taught at a small university in Loja and ​feel grateful to have had the opportunity​ to travel, teach, and learn​. After my year abroad, I decided to ​make another move to San Diego. I have been ​out on the west coast for ​five years and love it!

    Education has always been a passion of mine. I've worked​/volunteered ​at several International Schools in Minneapolis​, mostly supporting English Language Learners. ​ This will be my​ third year working within the High Tech High Community and I ​feel extremely lucky and ​honored to be here. ​ I started at ​HTHMA as an ​academic ​coach and was able to see first hand the benefits of inclusion. As an Inclusion Specialist, my goal is to ​create a safe, supportive, and welcoming environment for successful learning​. ​ ​I look forward to working with all of you!

    “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”​ - ​Albert Einstein
All School
  • Kaleb Rashad Director
    Kaleb Rashad

    What if school was about discovering your gifts, what you love to do, and what the world needs?  What if it was a place where you learned about how to make a meaningful contribution to others and the planet? Ever thought: “Hm, someone should do something about that. Wait! I’m someone!”

    The world is growing in volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity and it needs your genius desperately. We need Entrepreneurs, Producers, Innovators & Change Makers (EPIC), people who desire to make other people’s lives better! We strive to do just that through powerful projects and deeper learning experiences.

    I am Kaleb Rashad and this is what wakes me up early in the morning and keeps me up at night. Born in Gainesville, Florida (Home of the Fightin’ Gators), I came to San Diego as a US Marine before attending a small Christian college, Azusa Pacific University. I completed my Bachelor's degree in Human Development, two Master’s Degrees, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership (this fall, 2016) at APU. I am a CHEERLEADER for all things related to project-based learning and human-centered design. When you see me around campus, stop and say hello! I would love to meet you and get to know your story.

    My wife Cori and I have two boys, Thomas (11) and Noah (8), two cats (Sophie and Jack), and a cute little shih tzu (Ozzie). I also have three adult children, Ronnie, Raikwan, and Jada.
  • Marcus Bell Dean of Students
    Marcus Bell
    Dean of Students

    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 administrator 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.
  • Joe Hicke IT
    Joe Hicke

    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
  • Carlin Mallman GSE Resident
    Carlin Mallman
    GSE Resident

    Since her days growing up outside Chicago, Carlin has explored the different ways people operate and thrive. After concentrating in sociology and creative writing at Hamilton College in upstate New York, she found her calling while teaching English in the Peace Corps. Her last 10 years have been devoted to coordinating programs for supporting exceptional students for a PK-8 Montessori charter school and a PBL charter school, both in Western Colorado. She holds a Master's degree in multicultural special education from CU-Boulder, as well as teaching licenses in Special Education, ESL, and Gifted & Talented education. She is excited to research inclusive educational practices at HTH while earning a Master's degree in educational leadership with HTH's Graduate School of Education. Carlin meets her needs through writing, music, exploring San Diego, practicing yoga and doing anything outdoors.
  • Elizabeth Martinez Site Manager
    Elizabeth Martinez
    Site Manager

    Elizabeth Martinez was born in Salinas, California. Although her childhood consisted of moving from city to city every year due to her father's job, at the age of 7 her family finally settled for 11 years in Bakersfield, California where she went to elementary school, middle school, and graduated from High School. After her graduation her family made a quick decision to move to San Diego, California to be closer to family. Here Elizabeth would complete her Associate's in Business Management and Accounting and to this date be two months away from completing her Bachelors in Business Administration from California College San Diego.

    Her Journey in the High Tech High community began four years ago in March 2013, where she started as an Afterschool Assistant for High Tech Elementary Explorer, which was Explorer Elementary Charter School at the time. She would also later become the After School Program Director which taught her a lot more of the importance in having an after school program, one to support our parents while they work and two to build/cultivate relationships with each wonderful student. In August 2016 Elizabeth began a new journey/challenge in her life; transitioning to HIGH SCHOOL! Her time at The Gary & Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High have been amazing months. New challenges, new opportunities, and always new relationships that teach us what the High Tech High community is all about!
  • Youngkwon Seo GSE Resident
    Youngkwon Seo
    GSE Resident

  • Chris White College Advisor
    Chris White
    College Advisor

    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 UC Riverside extension. As a "power user" of Naviance (a comprehensive school counseling tool) Chris became a certified trainer in 2009 and supported several schools throughout California as they implemented this innovative resource for students. In 2010 Chris was awarded the Frank Jonasson Award which recognizes one high school counselor in San Diego County each year. He currently is serving (2012-2016) on the Board of Directors for The Common Application which is utilized by over 500 colleges/universities in the country. Additionally in 2014, Chris was appointed to advisory boards for two institutions of higher learning: The Ohio State University and Minerva. Chris is a graduate of the University of San Diego (both undergrad and graduate programs).
  • Judith Zapien
    Judith Zapien

    I am Judy Zapien and I am originally from Southern New Mexico/El Paso, Texas. I received my BA in Political Science from UT El Paso and my MA in Education with a specialization in Special Education and a Minor in Spanish Linguistics from New Mexico State University. I contribute to the High Tech High Community my personal experience, knowledge, and professional teaching practice working with ELL and Special Needs students from a wide variety of educational teaching experiences. For the past ten years of my professional practice, I taught in the Inclusion and Special Ed Resource Setting at Gadsden High School in the Valley of Dona Ana County in Southern New Mexico. During the evenings, I also taught English as a Second Language to Adults for Dona Ana Community College/ NMSU. Currently, I have been cohorting the responsibilities of Latino Parent Association Advisor with Spanish HTH Teacher Julio Delgado.

    In my spare time, I love sight seeing the beautiful city of San Diego, strolling at Coronado Beach, cooking, reading, playing guitar and singing at Open Mic's with my significant other.