Staff Directory

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9th Grade
  • Ted Cuevas Physics
    
    Ted Cuevas
    Physics


    If you are reading this, I hope that I get the chance to meet you. I never know what to put in a bio of a couple of paragraphs, I would much rather have tea/coffee and swap stories!
    I have been with HTH Chula Vista since the beginning and love working in the community of Chula Vista. As a previous mechanical engineer, I enjoy infusing design and engineering processes and concepts into the projects and 9th grade year.
    I have particular interest teaching in the themes of sustainability and peace. I hope to bring these themes into the Physics course and explore ways to envision and make a new world.
    Personally, I just want to be the best human being I can be. I aspire to do so and hopefully instill this desire within our "Co-Op",which is the students and staff in the courses of Physics, Humanities (with instructor Sara Islas), and Art. Live long and prosper! (I am a Trekkie too.)
  • Kandy Galvez Humanities
    
    Kandy Galvez
    Humanities


  • Aurmon Harchegani Math
    
    Aurmon Harchegani
    Math


  • Gavin Ishihara-Wing Math
    
    Gavin Ishihara-Wing
    Math


    Gavin is excited to begin another year at HTHCV teaching math to his 9th and 11th graders. He was born and raised in San Francisco and moved down to San Diego to attend the University of California San Diego for his bachelor's degree in Psychology and a minor in Education. After graduating in 2009, he worked for two years at the Charter School of San Diego and at The Family and Learning Center in La Jolla. In 2012, while teaching at Kearny DMD, Gavin received his credential and master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of San Diego.

    In addition to doing math problems before going to bed, Gavin loves the outdoors and playing just about any sport. He enjoys playing basketball, football, dragonboat and outrigger. He is a huge San Francisco 49ers fan and is hoping for a Super Bowl year from them!
  • Sara Islas Humanities
    
    Sara Islas
    Humanities


    Hello! I'm Sara Islas. First and foremost, I absolutely love teaching. I love and care about my students deeply; my goal is to help them feel inspired and empowered. I think teenagers are the coolest people on the planet.

    I grew up in San Diego, living in between a house just east of Balboa Park and a ranch south of Julian. I graduated high school from High Tech High and traveled north to UC Davis to pursue a degree in English/creative writing with minors in history and professional writing. I studied abroad in Peru, where I lived in Cuzco and explored the country, while learning about its ancient and modern history. Loving words and the things they do when they come together, I never strayed far from writing: I worked as a journalist, was an editor for an international affairs journal, volunteered as a UCD writing ambassador, and wrote short stories. As a lover of learning, I am currently getting my masters' degree in Teacher Leadership at the HTH Graduate School of Education. I find new favorite books all of the time, but the ones that always seem to be floating around in my mind are: Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie, The Yacoubian Building by Alaa-Al-Aspany, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay, Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena Maria Viramontes, The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver, and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Good stories are my passion, and it is not unlikely that you will find me excitedly talking about my new favorite movie, book, play or series and telling you that you must stop everything you're doing and go watch/read/see it as soon as humanly possible.

    When I'm not at school my favorite place to be is where there is dirt beneath my feet. I love going on camping, horseback riding, and hiking adventures.This summer, I plan to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada! Another one of my passions seems to be animal rescuing; I don't know why, but I have a strange knack for finding (and usually keeping) animals; I currently have four of my own (a dog named Luna, a cat named Willa, and two horses, Silver and Echo), although that number seems to be ever multiplying. Last but not least, I must mention that I love soccer!

    I am proud to be a 9th grade humanities teacher at HTHCV (our incredible school!!) and also the Model U.N advisor. Working alongside my students and my wonderful teaching partner, Ted Cuevas, is an honor. Please come chat with me whenever you want, whether it's about school, college, MUN, a good book recommendation, or life in general.
  • Regina Kruglyak Physics
    
    Regina Kruglyak
    Physics


    At the age of 8, I was faced with the awful conundrum of getting stuck in my bunk bed at night with the light on. I simply couldn’t abide this inefficiency of energy, needing to climb down from the top bunk to reach the switch. With some basics that I learned from the board game, Mouse Trap and a little bit of childhood ingenuity, I designed an elaborate system of pulleys and weights (in a Rube Goldberg manner) to spare my body the obnoxious overuse of kinetic energy; thus began my journey through the world of technology, science and the promise of untapped potential energy.

    Being born in the Soviet Union I understood from a very early age that education was the key to progress. With a lot of hard work and some luck, my family immigrated to the United States where I graduated with a degree in engineering geology from UCLA. In search of a practical way to implement my degree I eventually joined Peace Corps Honduras, building water systems in small villages. After returning home I was involved in urban design, materials testing, storm water inspections and redevelopment of contaminated sites. Getting to combine my engineering background with education feels like what my childhood self craved back in my days of building my light switch.

    When not teaching you can find me rock climbing, flying, doing yoga, camping, telling jokes about muffins, swimming in the ocean, making jewelry, attempting to catch a frisbee and trying to invent something revolutionary.
  • Joshua Moreno Art
    
    Joshua Moreno
    Art


    Hello, my name is Joshua and I feel incredibly lucky and excited to be teaching 9th grade art at HTHCV. I was born and raised in a small agricultural town in northern California called Watsonville, and moved to San Diego after high school. I attended UCSD where I studied studio art with an emphasis in installation and drawing. Through art, I hope to encourage my students to become more visually sensitive to their surroundings and guide them in their ability to apply their own unique interests and skills into an art practice. With the help of my students, I strive to make the world a more beautiful and interesting place to live.
  • Kara Quinlan Physics
    
    Kara Quinlan
    Physics


    Teaching at HTHCV my is a dream of merging Physics, real world applications and the ingenuity of the mind. My classroom is about curiosity, craftsmanship based on the cores of Physics and engineering. The world of Physics is vast and energizing. I cannot wait for the opportunity to show you what you can accomplish through the lens of Physics!

    I grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado and graduated from Colorado State University. There I studied mechanical engineering for 3 years and worked as an undergraduate energy engineer for the Department of Energy. Towards the end of my junior year at CSU I realized I would rather teach and work with youth than be an engineer. Senior year I changed majors to Natural Science and Physics in order to become a teacher in Colorado. I graduated in 2006 from CSU with a bachelors of science and teaching licensure ready to head out in the world. I have been teaching since 2006 in the following areas: Physics and AP Physics, Physical Science, Robotics, Earth System Science and as an adjunct professor with University of Colorado Denver for Physics. Also, I was very privileged to be a research physics teacher on a STEM grant through the Oakridge National Laboratories working on bio sensor microprocessors for brain cancer detection. I moved to San Diego 2012 and joined the wonderful HTHCV team.
  • Britt Shirk Humanities
    
    Britt Shirk
    Humanities


    Ms. Shirk is extremely excited and honored to be one of the fabulous 9th Grade Humanities teachers at HTHCV! She is originally from Charleston, South Carolina and attended the College of Charleston her first two years of her undergraduate work. She transferred to San Diego State University for her final years of undergraduate and obtained her degree in English and Comparative Literature. Ms. Shirk loves SDSU so much that she continued her graduate and credential work there to help move her closer to her dream of becoming a high school English teacher.

    The Sweetwater District has always been very near and dear to Ms. Shirk. She did her student teaching at Mar Vista Middle School and Hilltop High School. During the middle of her credentialing year, she was hired as a full time English teacher for Hilltop and made many wonderful student and colleague connections. The defining moment in her career, thus far, has been her acceptance into the High Tech High family. She is very passionate about her students and course content. When she is not teaching the youth of America she likes to spend time with family and friends, go to the gym, be by the water, read and watch junky reality television.
10th Grade
  • Dalya Almansour Chemistry/RSP Intern
    
    Dalya Almansour
    Chemistry/RSP Intern


    Bachelor of Science: Public Health - University of California, Irvine

    Masters in Education: Special Education - University of San Diego
  • Michael Carter Math
    
    Michael Carter
    Math


    Bachelor of Arts: Mathematics, University of San Diego
    Masters in Education: Curriculum and Instruction, University of San Diego
  • Kaitlin Douglass Chemistry
    
    Kaitlin Douglass
    Chemistry


    Kaitlin hails from the small town of Amarillo, Texas where she grew up riding horses to school and chasing tumbleweed. Not quite! But she did enjoy a lot of steak, country music and state fairs before heading up to Philly to attend college. Kaitlin majored in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania and minored in Nanotechnology and Hispanic Studies. While in school, she played viola in the symphony orchestra and was an avid participant in Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity. Through her volunteer work, she spent a great deal of time in high school classrooms tutoring math and science and began to develop a passion for teaching students in a meaningful and effective (and exciting!) way.

    After graduation, Kaitlin moved to sunny San Diego to work for Siemens Building Technologies. She learned a great deal about Building Automation Systems and Green Construction before deciding to take time away from work to travel. Upon returning, she decided to combine her love for science and education and pursue a career in teaching. High Tech High stood out as an innovative and exciting place to truly make a difference in students' lives.

    In her free time, Kaitlin loves to be active! She has completed marathons and triathlons including two half Ironmans. She also loves doing yoga, hiking, traveling, playing piano and reading. She recently hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and to the top of Mt. Whitney and hopes to hike Half Dome soon! She will always say "ya'll" but is definitely a Southern California girl at heart!
  • Char Engle Humanities
    
    Char Engle
    Humanities


    Hello! I begin most of my classes by asking my students to help me learn about who they are by giving me lists of random facts about them. In the spirit of practicing what I preach, here is a smattering of random facts about me:

    ---I'm a bit of a nerd.

    ---At Tufts University, I petitioned to take above the maximum course load because I couldn't narrow down the classes I wanted. This happened multiple times.

    ---I studied abroad in Japan twice.

    ---I’m an adventurous eater, and I've taken at least one bite of every horrifying thing placed in front of me.

    ---I spent three years in a Ph.D. program studying Political Science before pursuing teaching at the high school level.

    ---I played rugby in college. I was captain of my team senior year.

    ---I drink a lot of coffee.

    ---I have two beautiful rescue dogs, Zoe and Washburne.

    ---My oldest sister is a professor of computer science, my middle sister is a research biologist, and I am the black sheep that fell in love with history and words.

    ---My favorite word is kerfuffle.

    ---I cried while learning about the Rape of Nanking in the middle of an Asian American history class.

    ---I really and firmly believe that education will save or destroy us all, and that teaching these students is the most important thing I will ever do.

    If you'd like a more complete picture of my identity, my pedagogy, or my life, please don't hesitate to email me as I welcome all travelers on the path of lifelong learning. Thanks for reading all of this.
  • Laszlo Folks Humanities
    
    Laszlo Folks
    Humanities


    Originally from Santa Barbara, Laszlo moved to San Diego in 2006 to attend UCSD. There he studied Biological Anthropology and Political Science, completing his undergraduate degree in 2010. Laszlo is very excited to serve as one of HTHCV's 10th grade Humanities teachers for the 2015-2016 school year! While he is newer to this campus (this is his third year), he began his journey with the organization five years ago as an Academic Coach at the original High Tech High School. There he got to know many of the exciting teaching methods for our wonderful project based learning system. 
  • Marisol Franco Spanish
    
    Marisol Franco
    Spanish


    Marisol Franco (or Señorita Marisol) teaches Spanish at High Tech High Chula Vista and also serves as a Summer Bridge coordinator.  She is originally from the Orange County area, having moved to Chula Vista in 2008.  Before arriving to HTHCV, Marisol taught various levels of Spanish for three years at La Quinta High School in Westminster, CA. She graduated from UC Irvine in 2004 with a Bachelor's degree in Spanish and a minor in Educational Studies, obtaining her Master's degree in teaching elementary and secondary education the following year at UC Irvine as well.

    Marisol loves many things... from contemporary Latin American literature to running (it's a very wide spectrum).  Most recently, the thing she enjoys most is spending time with her family, which includes her "chico especial," their little one and their 6-year-old "puppy".
  • Anatole Ginsberg Math
    
    Anatole Ginsberg
    Math


    Anatole was born and raised in San Diego. He completed the IB program at San Diego High before moving to Poughkeepsie, NY to attend Vassar College. Here he received a dual BA in Mathematics and Chinese, and headed a sketch comedy group on campus.

    After graduating in 2008 he moved to Shanghai, China. He spent two years working in Investor Relations before deciding his real passion was teaching. He taught IB Math at an international high school in Beijing for 3 years, helping students who hailed from other 30 countries.

    Anatole is thrilled to join the High Tech High team and take inspiration from their tremendous dedication to students. When he is not thinking about how to make math education a more positive experience, he spends his time playing competitive DotA, training cats and dogs, and performing in an improv group.
  • Brooke Gonzales Humanities
    
    Brooke Gonzales
    Humanities


    "Be the change you wish to see in the world."  -Gandhi

    This is a quote I have always strived to emulate through various aspects of my life, from the profession I have chosen in teaching, the summers I have spent abroad in places like Nepal, and the subject I chose to study for my master's degree.  It is also one I hope to pass down to my students as they learn more about the world around them through our class.

    I was born in Santa Monica, CA, but mainly grew up in Chino Hills, an hour outside of Los Angeles.  Upon graduating from high school, I moved to San Diego County to go to California State University, San Marcos, where I studied history.  After college, I married my high school sweetheart, Matt.  I stayed at Cal State San Marcos to get my teaching credential, and I then went on to teach at Vista High School for 3 years.  Ever since I graduated from college, I knew that I really wanted to further my education by getting my master's degree, so I applied to a variety of programs.  I decided to attend the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego, because I am really interested in the connection between education and social justice issues. I graduated with my master's degree is in  Peace and Justice Studies in August of 2009 and then started right away as a teacher at High Tech High, Chula Vista.  Upon graduation, I was eager to get back into the high school classroom and share with students all of the relevant and interesting things I had been learning.

    One of my greatest passions is traveling.  I love to experience other countries and cultures.  Some of the most formative moments of my life have been while I was abroad.  As a part of my master's degree, I was able to conduct field research on peace education in both Bosnia-Herzegovina and Peru, and I also took a class in Costa Rica on education and sustainability.  Other countries I have traveled to include: Spain, Greece, England, Ireland, France, Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragua, Nepal, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Morocco, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, and The Netherlands.  Despite my widespread travels, I deeply love San Diego and feel very lucky to call it home.  I also love nature, hiking, running, and spending time with friends and family.
  • Alec Patton Humanities
    
    Alec Patton
    Humanities


    Alec has been teaching at High Tech High Chula Vista for two awesome years, and taught at High Tech High North County for two awesome years before that!

    Prior to joining High Tech High, Alec worked at the Innovation Unit in London, England. The Innovation Unit is a non-profit company that works with the people who provide public services to help them find innovative solutions to difficult problems. While he was working at the Innovation Unit, Alec wrote and/or edited several publications about innovative education around the world. He also wrote lots and lots of blog posts.

    Alec first became interested in project-based learning when he was doing his PhD at the University of Sheffield (in England).
  • Yoli Soler-Gonzalez Spanish
    
    Yoli Soler-Gonzalez
    Spanish


    Yoli Soler grew up in the San Joaquin Valley surrounded by vineyards, cherry orchards, tons of cows, and of course her familia. She attended UC Davis, and earned a Degree in Sociology and Spanish with a minor in Chican@ Studies. Yoli launched her teaching career in Sacramento. She moved down to sunny SoCal in 2008, and this is her 8th year with HTHCV.
    Yoli loves teaching her students about the history and culture of Latin American countries. You will often find her and her students learning about these countries and their citizens, instead of conjugating verbs.
    Yoli has a yellow lab, named papas, he reminds her of Mufasa (he is old and wise), she also has a black lab mix, named Chelita (she reminds her of Sarabi, she is calm and caring), and another White lab mix named, Chiquis (yes, you guessed it she reminds her of Simba, lots of energy, and many times confused).   
    Yoli likes her students to call her Senorita Soler, she says it is part of the Spanish language to use such formalities.  For those who are looking into doing some traveling while at High Tech High,  Señorita Soler and Señorita Marisol Franco are planning another trip to Spain so stop by to get information.  
11th Grade
  • Lesley Anderson Biology
    
    Lesley Anderson
    Biology


    I am so excited to be starting my third year at HTHCV as an 11th grade biology and environmental science teacher! I majored in Biological Sciences at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where I competed on the track team and was involved in line dancing and rodeo. In my free time I love to travel, ride horses, and play volleyball, soccer, and run.

    My research experiences are what have driven me toward inquiry in the classroom and project based learning. As an undergraduate, I assisted a research team that tracked rattlesnakes on the Carrizo Plains to study their home ranges. I also helped with American bullfrog eradication in ponds in San Luis Obispo county to protect the endangered red-legged frog.

    In 2011, I was a part of a research team that tagged and tracked breaching great white sharks off the coast of South Africa. I also worked as an aquarist and cetacean monitor tracking whale and dolphin migrational patterns as a result of installation of a desalination plant. While I was there I had amazing experiences playing with baby tiger cubs, trekking on a safari, exploring underground caves, and cage diving with great whites.

    More recently, I spent the summer of 2014 working as a data analyst for NASA at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I helped to create an archival database for Arctic sea ice thickness through computer programming. During my research experience at JPL, I met the project managers for Mars Science Laboratory, SMAP (Soil Moisture Active-Passive) Satellite, and the LDSD (Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator) for the Mars 2020 mission and took a tour of the clean room to watch the assembly of SMAP. All of these opportunities provided inspiration for lessons in my classroom.

    This past summer I worked for NOAA at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in the Marine Mammal and Turtle Division conducting sea turtle genetics research. I am excited to continue working with scientists at NOAA throughout the school year to strengthen our partnership and hopefully get students involved in their research!
  • Rod Buenviaje Math
    
    Rod Buenviaje
    Math


    Rod is a proud member of the High Tech High learning community. He is one of the founding staff of the original High Tech High in Pt. Loma and is currently teaching 11th grade mathematics at the Chula Vista campus. He earned a B.S. in mathematics from National University and a teaching credential through the HTH District intern program. He has participated in the Virtual Trade Mission Foundation’s global classroom in Singapore and Brunei and has been awarded the Christa Mcauliffe Award by the NEA Foundation. He continues to support new and developing teachers by serving as a mentor through the HTH intern program. Rod is passionate about mathematics and is excited to be a part of an innovative teaching community. Rod and his wife Jen spend most of their free time in awe of their beautiful children, Joshua and Katelyn.
  • Nick Ehlers Biology
    
    Nick Ehlers
    Biology


    Nick Ehlers graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with the option of Marine Biology. He completed his Master's of Arts in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (NRES) at the University of Northern British Columbia, Canada. In doing his M.A. he adds Social Science to his Biological Science background through working with the community of Tortuguero, Costa Rica and their concerns with increased ecotourism and associated motorboat use on their fresh waterways. In addition, he has researched wolves in Yellowstone and Northern British Columbia, coral reefs and mangrove forests in Panama, fish in the Bahamas, and sea turtles in Costa Rica. In his spare time he enjoys scuba diving, basketball, baseball, volleyball, hiking/backpacking, walking his dogs with his wife Libby/son Bechler, and traveling.
  • Aurmon Harchegani Math
    
    Aurmon Harchegani
    Math


  • Gavin Ishihara-Wing Math
    
    Gavin Ishihara-Wing
    Math


    Gavin is excited to begin another year at HTHCV teaching math to his 9th and 11th graders. He was born and raised in San Francisco and moved down to San Diego to attend the University of California San Diego for his bachelor's degree in Psychology and a minor in Education. After graduating in 2009, he worked for two years at the Charter School of San Diego and at The Family and Learning Center in La Jolla. In 2012, while teaching at Kearny DMD, Gavin received his credential and master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of San Diego.

    In addition to doing math problems before going to bed, Gavin loves the outdoors and playing just about any sport. He enjoys playing basketball, football, dragonboat and outrigger. He is a huge San Francisco 49ers fan and is hoping for a Super Bowl year from them!
  • Henry Maxfield Humanities
    
    Henry Maxfield
    Humanities


    I am incredibly excited and thankful to be starting my first year teaching at High Tech High Chula Vista. I feel extremely privileged to have this opportunity to teach at such an amazing school, with extremely intelligent and gifted students, and to learn from such a caring staff. I moved to San Diego for this job in August of 2014, knowing only 2 people that promptly moved to England upon my arrival. Before San Diego, I was living in Eugene, Oregon obtaining my masters degree in education and my teaching credential in social studies and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) in secondary school. Prior to that, Denver, Colorado was my home from 2004-2013. I received my undergraduate degree at the University of Denver in Political Science in 2008. I have been a sous chef at 2 different restaurants, basically built a food cart business from the ground up, worked at 2 nationally award-winning breweries, and nearly made the decision to dedicate my life to rock climbing (which is still one of my biggest passions).

    Growing up in a small town in rural New Hampshire, I quickly recognized the importance of family and community. I am very close to my family, although though they couldn't live physically much farther away while still living in the U.S.A., and I make several trips to visit them every year. One of the most vital things that I believe students can take away from my teaching is how powerful and transformative the power of people united can be. Knowing the connections that we have to our family and our community can only help us to better understand ourselves and aid us in realizing our full potential as human beings. The main reason that I have dedicated my life to education is because I believe that it is one of the most powerful tools for transforming the world into the best possible place it can be. It is my hope that I help my students realize their power as individuals and as part of larger communities of people so that they may change the world for the better in their own way.
  • Nuvia Crisol Ruland Biology
    
    Nuvia Crisol Ruland
    Biology


    Nuvia Ruland is a cauldron of hybridized dualities – scientist and artist – from which new discoveries spring. Her middle name, Crisol, Spanish for crucible or melting pot, holds the key to her passion for scientific research and art making. She’s been following these interests since she graduated from UC San Diego with a B.S. in biochemistry/cell biology and a minor in studio art. She is currently continuing her journey as a lifelong learner by pursuing a master’s degree in the GSE HTH Teacher Leadership program. For nearly 10 years she worked at Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. as a member of the Drug Discovery team. Our efforts in cardiovascular research led to the development of complex pharmaceuticals and were published in scientific journals. As a visual artist, she documented her bicultural experience of growing up in Los Angeles while frequenting Baja California, Mexico to visit her family. Her artwork has been displayed on both coasts and on both sides of the border and can be viewed at www.artecrisol.com. This year Nuvia celebrates eight years of marriage with her favorite artistic collaborator, Jim Ruland. They are actively involved in San Diego’s arts and literary community by creating and supporting events that contribute to the city’s cultural fabric. Nuvia, Jim and her 12-year-old stepdaughter are competitive board gamers and avid readers. They enjoy going to art shows, hiking the Sweetwater reservoir and playing on Coronado Beach. Nuvia is thrilled to continue marrying her two passions of science and art as an educator at HTH Chula Vista.
  • Mackenzie Schultz Humanities
    
    Mackenzie Schultz
    Humanities


    My name is Mackenzie (Mack) Schultz, and I am privileged to call myself a High Tech High Chula Vista (HTHCV) teacher! I joined the High Tech High community in 2011 and have since taught at two HTH schools. I am thrilled that this coming academic year I have the opportunity to teach humanities with an awesome team of juniors!

    Before becoming a teacher, I worked at a District Attorney's office, studied bonobos at the San Diego Zoo, and worked for a 911 ambulance system as an EMT. I'm the type of person who has more interests than I can count which is why teaching at HTHCV is a perfect fit. Working at a project-based learning school allows me to pursue and explore all of my interests each year through different projects with a collaborative team of students to accompany me on that journey.

    Outside of teaching, I love reading, writing, cooking, watching movies, playing sports/CrossFit, drinking espresso, and eating lots of yummy food covered in hot sauce.
  • Colleen Stevenson Humanities
    
    Colleen Stevenson
    Humanities


    I’m a San Diego native who graduated from Chapman University with a degree in Creative Writing (cluster in Communication and Leadership). After completing my undergrad education I worked in politics across San Diego, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. doing political communication and campaign finance investigation. In 2016, I graduated from the University of San Diego with a Masters in Education. Before starting graduate school I also worked at a radio station in Laguna Beach hosting and producing morning and nighttime programs. I continue to produce podcasts and enjoy recording interviews with friends and family about their stories and life experiences.
12th Grade
  • John Bosselman Humanities
    
    John Bosselman
    Humanities


    John teaches 12th grade humanities at High Tech High Chula Vista. John moved from New Hampshire to San Diego to join the HTHCV staff in 2009. He has degrees from the University of New Hampshire (BA History & M.Ed Secondary Teaching) and the High Tech High Graduate School of Education (M.Ed School Leadership).

    From 2013-2015 he worked for the Innovation Unit in London. He joined the team to work on the EEF funded trial of Learning through REAL Projects. As the Professional Development Lead of Learning through REAL Projects, he led the design of the program intervention year, which included the successful introduction of REAL Projects to schools, as well as the continued growth and development of the program and project-based learning across the United Kingdom in about 30 schools. Results from this school change initiative and intervention will be published in January 2017 by Durham University and the Education Endowment Foundation.
  • Maria Teresa Cesena Humanities
    
    Maria Teresa Cesena
    Humanities


    MariaTeresa Ceseña (a.k.a. Dr. C) was born and raised in Riverside, CA. After graduating from high school she attended UC Irvine to study archaeology; she dreamed of becoming the next Indiana Jones. She eventually transferred to UC Riverside where she graduated with a degree in Anthropology and Ethnic Studies. Her next move brought her to San Diego to complete a Ph.D. program in Ethnic Studies at UCSD. From 2008 to 2013 Dr. C taught courses in writing and Ethnic Studies at UCSD and the University of San Diego.

    Dr. C joined the HTHCV family in the Fall of 2013. Having taught at the university level for several years, she has a good sense of what college professors are expecting from their students and is committed to helping all students prepare for the transition from high school to college or wherever their journeys may lead.
  • Caroline Chen Math
    
    Caroline Chen
    Math


    Hi! My name is Caroline Chen Yang and I'm currently a 12th grade math teacher here at HTHCV.

    I was born and raised in North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (go Tarheels!) where I majored in chemistry and minored in English. In 2005, I joined the Teach For America movement in Los Angeles and got my credential and Masters in Education at Loyola Marymount University.

    In the summer of 2009, I moved down to San Diego, got married to a wonderful man named Matt and started teaching at HTHCV where I've been ever since! For the past seven years, I've been a part of the 10th grade team, teaching either math or chemistry or a combination of the two. This year will be my first year teaching at the 12th grade level.

    Since being at HTHCV, Matt and I have expanded our family. We now have two daughters - Abby, who was born in 2013, and Thea, who was born in 2015.
  • Angela Guerrero English
    
    Angela Guerrero
    English


    Angie received her Bachelor’s degree in English from San Diego State University. She has taught English to every level of high school students, and has also been a reading instructor. Before joining High Tech High in 2007 as a founding teacher of the Chula Vista campus, she spent a summer in a Teacher Exchange program in Gulu, Uganda, where her passion for social justice and equity for all children was further fueled.  It was this passion for equity that brought her to High Tech High. Angie also received her Master’s in Education with an emphasis in Teacher Leadership from the High Tech High Graduate School of Education. She is excited to start another year teaching so she can fulfill her dream of helping students grow as readers, writers and critical thinkers!

     
  • Kyle Kirby Math
    
    Kyle Kirby
    Math


    Kyle believes that when students construct knowledge for themselves, when they experience discovery, when they are allowed to find their own solutions to problems, then they becomes better thinkers and they learn to love math. He also believes that EVERYONE can learn math if they work hard and that this happens best in a classroom that is student centered (he tries to talk as little in class as possible and leave the thinking to his brilliant students).

    Kyle is incredibly excited to teach 12th graders again at High Tech High Chula Vista. Before joining the HTHCV staff, Kyle worked and studied at many places. He studied Neuroscience at Vanderbilt University and then at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he learned that, while he liked doing science, he LOVED teaching. He later taught at a private school in Denver for students with learning differences, taught students who had gotten in trouble with the law in Pennsylvania, taught at a public middle school, and then spent a year at home with his son, Otis, who is two-years old.

    Kyle is married to an amazing lady named Sharon who is a doctor at Scripps hospital in Chula Vista. He is a nerd and a Coloradan. He loves gaming (video and board); he loves to ski and play volleyball; he loves doing puzzles; and he loves reading and writing fantasy. He also loves animals and will ride camels when given the chance. His greatest ambition is to wear his graphing calculator around in a holster and, when this is socially acceptable, the world’s problems will surely be solved. Above all, Kyle loves being a Dad, a family man, and a teacher.
  • Enrique Lugo Art
    
    Enrique Lugo
    Art


    I was born and raised in San Diego, Baja California by Brave & Beautiful Mexican Immigrants. I am a screen printer, graphic designer, illustrator, and painter. As an artist I was first inspired by my father who would sit and paint with me since an early age. Thanks to the example set forth by my older sister, I earned a degree in Graphic Communication from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. After nearly 10 years of searching for my path, I have finally found my way and am very proud to call myself an Educator!

    I have been part of the High Tech High family since 2012 when I started at High Tech High Media Arts as an Academic Coach. Today you can find me sharing my passion for Art at the High Tech High Chula Vista campus.

    My goals as a teacher are to:
    Empower Youth
    Encourage Creativity
    & Enjoy Life!

    "...We are Educators, we are BORN to make a difference..." - Rita Pierson
  • Mark Poole Math/Engineering
    
    Mark Poole
    Math/Engineering


    I was born in a small town in Southern England called Shoreham-By- Sea. At a young age I moved around due to my father's employment. I lived in Norway and Arizona before moving back to England at the age of 7. This early exposure to travel and different cultures has lead me to be open to multiple perspectives and to realize that truth can be subjective.

    From the age of 7 to 12 I remained in England and went through the state school system. It was during this time that I discovered my interest in the maths and sciences. I loved discovering how the world works and solving complex problems. My parents continued to expose me and my sister to travel, and I also began to develop a new passion for music. It was at the age of 10 when I first got a guitar and I have been playing ever since.

    I moved back to the Arizona when I was twelve and have remained in the States since. I went to high school in Arizona and solidified my passion for math and science, especially physics. It was this love for physics that lead me to pursue a mechanical engineering degree at the University of Arizona. College was an amazing period of growth for me. I figured out who I am and solidified my beliefs in logic, reason, creativity, and geniality.

    After college I moved to Orange County, California and worked as a design engineer for a bearing manufacturer. Although I enjoyed being out in the workforce, I wasn't feeling satisfied as an engineer. My creativity was not being tapped and I missed interacting with the abstract theories that were so prominent in my college classes. I was also craving getting out of the office environment and working more closely with other people.

    After some soul searching I realized that the process of learning is extremely important to me. I wanted to constantly grow and learn and I wanted to help others do the same. This led me to teaching. I left my career as an engineer and joined the credential program at the University of California, Irvine where I received single subject credentials in mathematics and physics as well as a Masters in Teaching (MAT). Through the program, I student-taught at a traditional middle school and began to question my choice of a career change. The environment felt restrictive and was not cultivating a culture of curiosity. It was not until I discovered High Tech High that I realized that there was a school that I could feel a connection with.

    I am so lucky to have been teaching at High Tech High Chula Vista (HTHCV) for the past 4 years. I truly believe that I have found my calling and an organization that shares my educational and pedagogical values. I have taught several subjects during my time at the school, but I am currently teaching Engineering. I feel that this school allows me the freedom to make connections to the students in so many ways and satisfies my craving for exploration in both the content and the experiences inside the classroom.
    Now that I have completed the HTH Graduate Program, I am looking forward to pushing myself in my practice and leaving a mark on my school. I am grateful for all of the opportunities HTH has provided me and I hope that I am able to give a little something back.
  • Philip Rowland Engineering
    
    Philip Rowland
    Engineering


  • Megan Willis Engineering
    
    Megan Willis
    Engineering


    Megan is extremely excited to join the High Tech High Chula Vista family as a 12th grade Engineering and Art teacher. Megan is originally from Cleveland Ohio, one of the greatest cities in the mid-west with its erratic weather patterns, empty steel manufacturing plants, tasty polish pierogies and of course the Cleveland Browns.

    Megan attended the Ohio State University where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Architecture. After a few years of working in the architectural profession, she decided it was time to go back to school for her Master’s degree. That is what brought her to San Diego. In 2007 Megan received her Master’s degree in Architecture from the New School of Architecture and Design. Shortly after graduation Megan began working with Estudio Teddy Cruz, an architectural practice engaged in social issues. She collaborated with ETC for four years. It was while working at Estudio Teddy Cruz that Megan began teaching as an adjunct instructor at the New School of Architecture and Design and loved it from the very start. Having the opportunity to both teach and practice her passion is to have the best of both worlds. It is this real world work experience and teaching experience that Megan is so excited to bring to the High Tech High classroom.

    When Megan is not teaching she enjoys exploring the city and its neighborhoods by bike or foot. She also loves traveling, visiting home (Cleveland) and spending time with her family and friends.
CrASH Staff
  • Alan Botterman Site Coordinator/Athletic Director
    
    Alan Botterman
    Site Coordinator/Athletic Director


  • Aly Bronder Program Assistant/Rowing Coach
    
    Aly Bronder
    Program Assistant/Rowing Coach


  • Jesus Moreno Engineering/Robotics Advisor
    
    Jesus Moreno
    Engineering/Robotics Advisor


  • Shameka Thompson Program Assistant/Basketball Coach
    
    Shameka Thompson
    Program Assistant/Basketball Coach


  • Marie Walden Interim Attendance Clerk
    
    Marie Walden
    Interim Attendance Clerk


All School
  • Tim McNamara Director
    
    Tim McNamara
    Director


    Tim McNamara joined High Tech High Chula Vista as a humanities teacher in 2010, drawn to the excitement of student exhibitions and a thriving, practitioner-focused adult learning community. Tim has designed and facilitated course projects in sketch comedy, journalism, poetry translation, open-source software design, and more. Prior to joining High Tech High, Tim taught courses at several universities, including San Diego State, with a focus on rhetorical and authentic approaches to reading and writing. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Notre Dame, a master’s of fine arts in creative writing at San Diego State University, and a master’s of education in school leadership at the High Tech High Graduate School of Education. Tim has supported several schools (including Chicago Tech Academy) as they transformed themselves into more joyful, student-centered environments. Read Tim's thoughts on college prep here and here.
  • Angel Acuna Academic Coach
    
    Angel Acuna
    Academic Coach


  • Michelle Alderete Associate Director of College Advising/Site Manager
    
    Michelle Alderete
    Associate Director of College Advising/Site Manager


    Michelle was born in Minnesota, but grew up and stayed in Chula Vista. She married her high school sweetheart, and together they are raising three wonderful kids. She received her B.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University, and M.Ed. in Counseling, along with a PPS Credential, from the University of San Diego. She is currently finishing a Certificate in College Counseling through UCLA Extension.

    Michelle spent 4 years working for San Diego City Schools as a school counselor, before making a career change to Human Resources management for two Fortune 500 companies. There she was still able to utilize her counseling skills, and enjoyed developing and training employees most of all. After spending several years working in HR, she decided to come back to her first passion, education. She serves as both a College Advisor to 600 awesome students.
  • Jenny Bourassa Science Instructional Coach
    
    Jenny Bourassa
    Science Instructional Coach


    Jenny has always been an educator. She grew up in San Diego but loves to travel and explore. Following her graduation from the University of Miami in Florida, she lived on Catalina Island and worked with students grade 4-12 in an outdoor marine science program (Catalina Island Marine Institute). She went on to become assistant director and finally director of that program.

    With a desire to spend more than a week at a time with her students, she moved back to San Diego and into the classroom setting first as a 10th grade Chemistry and then as an 11th grade Biology teacher at High Tech High Chula Vista. She is excited to now transition into a different role as Instructional Coach.

    She spends the rest of her days with her family, which includes her husband, Chris, and her two young boys, Reeve and Thatcher, who keep them on their toes.
  • Elizabeth Castro Site Manager
    
    Elizabeth Castro
    Site Manager


    Elizabeth was born and raised in San Diego and has lived in Chula Vista most of her life. Mother of two children, Elizabeth decided to become a stay at home mom. During these years at home she went on to Beauty College in the evenings and is a licensed Esthetician and Makeup Artist. Elizabeth's true passion has always been her children. Her son is a HTHCV graduate and her daughter currently attends HTHCV. Her favorite place to be is on the sidelines at her daughters Soccer games.
    Elizabeth takes great pride in representing High Tech High Chula Vista both as a parent and an employee.
  • Rah-Ben Coates Director of College Advising
    
    Rah-Ben Coates
    Director of College Advising


  • Lisa Davis Director of Community Partnerships
    
    Lisa Davis
    Director of Community Partnerships


    Lisa began her career in education as a adjunct community college counselor. Seeking opportunities to develop programs and student policy, Lisa accepted an appointment as the Dean of Student Services for a private postsecondary school where she was responsible for developing student services policies and procedures for vocational, undergraduate, and graduate degree programs, as well as extensive accreditation and licensure documentation. During this time, Lisa also served as an adjunct educational specialist for the Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education (BPPVE). 

    In 2007, her oldest daughter had the fortune to be selected as one of 150 students in the lottery for the newest HTH school, High Tech High Chula Vista. Committed to the High Tech High mission to foster inquiry and excitement in learning, Lisa quickly jumped on the chance to work with the talented and determined people that make up the HTH Learning Community. 

    Lisa earned her B.A in English and M.Ed. in Educational Counseling from the University of San Diego. She is currently completing her Ph.D in Education through the Joint Doctoral program between SDSU and Claremont Graduate University. A San Diego native, Lisa lives with her husband Bart and their two daughters, Dempsey and Ceiley, in Chula Vista.

  • Carla Glasgow Academic Coach
    
    Carla Glasgow
    Academic Coach


    I am a military wife and mother of three. I was born and raised in Texas but have been living in California for the past five years. I received my B.S. in Career and Technical Education from Northern Arizona University in 2013. I am currently attending Argosy University pursuing a M.S. in Human Resources Management. I am looking forward to having a fun and wonderful year at High Tech High!!
  • Kianna Gorman Academic Coach
    
    Kianna Gorman
    Academic Coach


  • Francina Hester Education Resource Specialist
    
    Francina Hester
    Education Resource Specialist


    Francina was born and raised in a small rural town in North Carolina. Looking for adventure, she joined the Navy and served on active duty for 20 years. During that time, Francina developed a love for teaching and served as mentor in various youth programs including Drug Education for Youth and Campaign Drug Free. She also served a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Juveniles in New Orleans, Louisiana. The love for children she found through community service inspired Francina to pursue a MA and teaching credential in Special Education and English/Language Arts. On the homefront, her husband Dan, children (Jasmine, Easter, and Nicholas), Angel the dog, and Sharon the cat, keep Francina very busy and full of life. She also enjoys reading historical romance novels and writing during her free time.

  • David Hua IT
    
    David Hua
    IT


    David Hua is a lifelong San Diegan who attended UCSD and received a BS in Electrical Engineering in 2005.  Upon finishing college, Dave joined the High Tech High family at HTHI and helped startup HTHCV in 2007.  He is excited for the 2016-17 year as HTHCV embarks on our 10th year and the K8 starts their 6th year.  It has been quite a journey but he has enjoyed every step of the way and loves the family oriented atmosphere down in South Bay and working for such a dynamic and innovative organization.

    Dave is proud to be going into his 12th year with the High Tech High family and has enjoyed learning a lot from students throughout the years.  He truly enjoys working and advising students in their quest to go to college and feels lucky to have a chance to convince kids he's not just an ordinary IT "geek" hiding in "the Dave Cave" as students call his office.  In his free time, he loves to spend time with his family, travel the world, go to the beach, hike/camp, eat lots of food, and root for the Chargers and Padres in his favorite city in the world, San Diego.  There's no place like 127.0.0.1 :).
  • Rayna Kim Academic Coach
    
    Rayna Kim
    Academic Coach


  • Kyle Maxey Resource Specialist Intern
    
    Kyle Maxey
    Resource Specialist Intern


  • Aatash Parikh School Leadership Intern
    
    Aatash Parikh
    School Leadership Intern


    Before coming to High Tech High to do his Masters in Education through the HTH Graduate School of Education, Aatash lived in the Bay Area where worked in education technology. He came to HTH to gain experience in schools and education.
  • Ray Trinidad Dean of Students
    
    Ray Trinidad
    Dean of Students


    Ray Trinidad has been involved in education, enrichment programs and youth development for over 18 years. He most enjoyed working with high-risk youth at the National City Police Department in the Youth Diversion Department. Ray is also a youth program development consultant for the Los Angeles Unified School District and the California Department of Education. He loves football, softball, running, napping and spending time with his wife and three sons.
  • Jacob Troutman Education Resource Specialist
    
    Jacob Troutman
    Education Resource Specialist