Staff Directory

6th Grade
  • Marlon Fernandez Academic Coach
    Marlon Fernandez
    Academic Coach

  • Armando Flores Academic Coach
    Armando Flores
    Academic Coach

  • Sunja Fraser Academic Coach
    Sunja Fraser
    Academic Coach

  • Gary Gould Humanities
    Gary Gould

    Gary Gould is a 6th Grade Intern Teacher at HTM. He's worked with High Tech for 4 years in afterschool and extended services and is currently working on his California Teaching Credential. Originally from San Luis Obispo County, he first came to San Diego to earn a B.A from UCSD and now calls San Diego home. When he's not at school, he enjoys surfing, reading, and playing the drums.
  • Maggie Miller Math/Science
    Maggie Miller

    Maggie Miller grew up in New Jersey and Maine, enjoying ski trips, x-country runs, and summer time at the beach.  She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Science-Business degree.  A football obsession led Maggie into a career in college athletics working at Notre Dame, the University of Connecticut, USD, and SDSU.  After 10 years of work in the sports world, she listened to her heart and left to follow a life long dream of teaching.  This is her fourth year as part of the High Tech Middle family after teaching Math at Patrick Henry High School for two years.
    In her spare time Maggie enjoys yoga, reading, hiking in the Sierras and spending time with her husband and two sons, Liam and Chaz.
  • Katie Pond Math/Science
    Katie Pond

    Originally from Colorado, Katie moved to Washington, DC to earn her Masters in Public Policy from Georgetown University and then worked in education policy there, before joining DC Teaching Fellows to become a classroom teacher in 2012.

    In 2014, Katie, her husband, and her cat Simba boarded a plane to America's Finest City and never looked back.  Joining the High Tech Middle community has been a huge privilege, and she loves being creative and bringing math and science alive through projects.

    In her spare time she loves to read, follow and discuss politics, and go for runs in her neighborhood.
  • Mary Williams Humanities
    Mary Williams

    Mary is looking forward to her fifth year at HTM.

    She has a Masters degree in Secondary English Education from the University of Florida, and has taught middle school for about twelve years. Her previous teaching position was at The American School of the Hague in The Netherlands, where she developed a fondness for stroopwaffles and a love/hate relationship with bicycling in the rain. She then spent about five months living in Lagos, Nigeria -- an experience that changed her forever -- before returning to the states and moving to California.

    After moving to San Diego four years ago, she loves hanging at the beach and enjoying all things outdoors with her husband, daughter, and dogs...
7th Grade
  • Carl Diaz Apprentice Teacher
    Carl Diaz
    Apprentice Teacher

  • Kristin Komatsubara Math/Science
    Kristin Komatsubara

    Kristin Komatsubara is a teacher and life-long learner -- earning her B.S. in Education from USC, M.A. in Curriculum Design from UCSD, and currently pursuing her doctoral degree in educational leadership. Kristin began teaching with the High Tech organization in 2007 with the original High Tech MIddle in Point Loma. She was a founding staff member, mentor, and interim director for High Tech Middle North County and director of HTeNC. She is excited to return to the classroom to be teaching math and science. Originally from sunny Honolulu, Hawaii, Kristin feels right at home on the San Diego beaches. She loves to travel and has spent summers teaching in South Africa, China, and Hawaii.
  • Ben Krueger Math/Science
    Ben Krueger

    Originally from San Diego, Ben received his bachelor's degree from San Diego State University in business and marketing.  After graduating, he packed up and moved to Chicago to work in broadcast media.  While there he started performing stand-up comedy and studied comedic writing at Second City Theater.  After realizing that he was missing the human interaction and growth that he wanted from his career choice, he switched paths and moved back to California to pursue teaching.  He attended San Francisco State's teacher credentialing program and subsequently taught 6th and 7th grade math and science in San Francisco city schools.  There he was introduced to the challenges of teaching and the rewards of working to build a strong classroom community.  Most recently Ben had the opportunity to move back to San Diego to work in a teacher credentialing program while pursuing his Masters in Education.  While not teaching Ben loves playing guitar in bands, reading about science, playing soccer, and riding his bike.  He hopes to help instill in his students a love of learning as well as a connection with all living things around them.
  • Ryan Luz Humanities
    Ryan Luz

    2015 will be my second year working at High Tech Middle. Last year, I taught 8th grade humanities and this coming year I will be teaching 7th grade humanities. Previously, I student taught in both a middle school and a high school in Jurupa Valley while pursuing my teaching credential at UC Riverside. I received a Masters in Fine Arts for Creative Writing from UC San Diego in 2012, and received my B.A. from the University of San Diego in 2008. I love San Diego and am fiercely loyal to both the Chargers and Padres. In my free time I enjoy playing basketball and soccer, practicing photography, reading and writing, going to the beach, but loves nothing more than spending time with my girlfriend, Anabel, and dog, Petula.
  • Brooke Young Humanities
    Brooke Young

    Brooke Young was born and raised in Southern California. After high school, she headed up to Santa Cruz. While attending UCSC, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Film and Digital Media. Brooke wanted to use all of the interesting things she learned while earning her degree to inspire kids to tell stories and document important ideas. That’s when she ended up at High Tech Middle first working as an Academic Coach. This year Brooke is teaching seventh grade humanities. She is absolutely thrilled that she has been given the opportunity to work with all the amazing students at High Tech Middle.

    In her free time, Brooke loves to travel, hike, and spend time with her family. She has had the opportunity to visit many amazing places like Budapest and Japan. On the weekends you’ll probably find her hiking with her dog, Tessie, or playing with her nieces.
8th Grade
  • Christopher Barrera Humanities
    Christopher Barrera

    All humans are social scientists. Our whole lives are spent observing the world, making hypotheses from our observations, and conducting ourselves socially based on the conclusions of our research. This holds especially true for young adults in the adolescent process of learning identity and ideology in a constantly evolving social world. As with any scientist, her or his research is only as good as the training, tools, and tenacity behind it. This is where I come in.

    My humanities class is a laboratory dedicated to providing the most comprehensive training, sharpest tools, and strongest encouragement for our young social scientists at HTM. My goal is for students to develop a passion for thinking critically about the world in which they live and their place in it. I want to inspire students to connect personally with the studies of literature, philosophy, music, visual art, language, technology, and every other cultural aspect that shapes the conditions and events of human life.

    A bit about me:
    I was educated at UCSD where I studied cultural, political, and legal theory in the Department of Communication and graduated Honors with Distinction. My thesis work was a study of visual culture, law, and displays of violence in the digital era. This research afforded me the rare opportunity to speak at domestic and international universities and work with scholars from all over the world.

    At HTM, I started in early 2014 working in inclusion as an academic coach. The 2016-2017 year will be my second as a classroom teacher and I’m extremely fortunate to be working with such wonderful colleagues and students as part of the 8th grade team.
    I have a passion for academic study and research as much as practical applications and making sure that education is always firmly grounded in personal investment and joy.
    In my free time, I love reading, playing tennis, doing yoga, watching good dramas or documentaries, and spending an inordinate amount of time reading random Wikipedia articles.
  • Christine Hatch Inclusion Specialists
    Christine Hatch
    Inclusion Specialists

    I am the Academic Coach for the Shulman/Barrera/Linnik team. After 8 years working as an academic coach at HTMMA, this will be my first year at HTM.
    High Tech High is a big part of my family! Aside from my connection, my three children have graduated from High Tech Middle and my husband, Blair, taught Multimedia at HTH for 12 years.
    When I am not at school, I love working out at the Y, being outdoors, and spending time with my family and friends.
  • Sean Kelly Science
    Sean Kelly

    Sean grew up in Chicago, where the edgy fare was punk rock music, Tony Hawk and lingering 80s themes.  After years immersed in the creative indie rock sphere, he adopted music composition as his major at the University of Illinois in Champaign.  In expanding musical horizons, he spent several years studying music abroad, particularly in India.  In addition to allowing musical themes to germinate, Sean likes being outside.  Following a number of years abroad, he landed remotely in the Pacific Northwest doing forestry work and guiding wilderness expeditions in Southeast Alaska.  He’ll never forget the glaciers, the wildlife, the Alaskan swagger, and perhaps most notably, the feeling of exquisite purpose in committing to a healthy mentorship role for students.  At present, he is enjoying his staycation in San Diego and feeling tremendous gratitude to be embarking on his first year teaching integrated math and science at HTM.

  • Carrie Lawrence Maker Teacher
    Carrie Lawrence
    Maker Teacher

    Carrie Lawrence grew up in San Diego, California. She attended San Diego State University for one year before moving to Alaska. She received her B.A in Education from Alaska Pacific University and taught all over the state for sixteen years. She moved to Austin, Texas in before returning to San Diego to work at High Tech Middle. She is a mother to three teenage boys and enjoys backpacking, kayaking and taking road trips.
  • Michelle Laxton Apprentice Teacher
    Michelle Laxton
    Apprentice Teacher

    Originally from New Jersey, Michelle earned a B.A. in Communication Studies from the College of New Jersey and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from UCSD. Inspired by a passion for wellness, she also earned an A.S. in Nutrition Studies and taught yoga for several years. Michelle previously worked in international development and later in small business marketing and communications. Having spent several years fully engaged with raising her two spirited young daughters, Michelle is now thrilled to begin her career in education and share her love of reading great books, trying new things, learning from one another, and contributing something positive to our shared community.

  • Audrey Moilanen Humanities
    Audrey Moilanen

    Audrey Moilanen moved to San Diego from San Francisco after graduating from college and teaching for a couple of years. On her free time, she loves being active outdoors or reading a great book. Audrey loves being a part of the High Tech Middle community.
  • Claudia Tejada Math
    Claudia Tejada

All School
  • Nikki Hinostro Director
    Nikki Hinostro

     Nikki Hinostro is a native to San Diego and grew up in Encinitas. At the University of Notre Dame she double majored in Psychology and Computers while playing on the women’s soccer team. Upon graduating in 1998, she worked in East Los Angeles as a 5th grade teacher and soccer coach through a two year teaching service program called ResponseAbility. During her time in Los Angeles she also attended Loyola Marymount University where she received her Masters of Education.
    After two years in Los Angeles she moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts and began teaching 5th and 6th grade at Benjamin Banneker Charter School where students were offered a rigorous education with a focus on math, science and technology. She also began coaching the Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School at that time. In 2002 she transitioned into the Cambridge Public School District and worked as a middle school math teacher for Fletcher-Maynard Academy. There she also worked as co-leader of the middle school and facilitated team building and middle school reform.

    In 2004 Nikki returned to San Diego and began working for High Tech High first teaching at High Tech Middle in the 7th grade utilizing project based learning to integrate math and science. In 2005 Nikki became the Director of High Tech Middle Media Arts, and worked with a dynamic staff to build a positive and engaging culture for this school's opening. Then, in the Fall of 2007, Nikki and a group of innovative and energized educators opened High Tech High North County. HTHNC is one of the first State Wide Benefit Charter Schools in California. As the Director of HTHNC Nikki worked to lay a solid foundation for HTHNC in the North County with a very inspirational founding group of staff and students.  In 2011, Nikki transferred to High Tech High International where she worked in roles as a director and a dean until 2014. She is currently the director at High Tech Middle.
  • 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.
  • Deanna Driscoll Drama
    Deanna Driscoll

    DeAnna Driscoll is honored to have been running the drama department at HTM since the school opened in 2003. Ms. DeAnna grew up in Colorado's Aspen Valley and went on to New York City where she graduated with honors from the National Shakespeare Conservatory. After acting in professional productions around the country she eventually ended up in San Diego. DeAnna is a proud member of both the Screen Actors Guild and Actors Equity Association. She enjoys working on stage and in film and television when she is not enjoying her time with her students at HTM. She loves live music, museums, cooking, hiking and most of all spending time with her 16 year old daughter.
  • Amie Flores Inclusion Specialist
    Amie Flores
    Inclusion Specialist

  • Sara Gallagher Speech and Language Pathologist
    Sara Gallagher
    Speech and Language Pathologist

    Sara is a New Jersey native who moved to San Diego to attend UC San Diego. After earning an undergraduate degree in Cognitive Science, she stayed on in San Diego to attend San Diego State University’s Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences program. Sara has worked in pre-K through high school school settings, private practice, and as the speech-language pathology liason for San Diego Regional Center. She later returned to SDSU as an adjunct, teaching the clinical practicum for early intervention diagnostics to graduate students.

    Outside of work, Sara spends her time with her two young children and husband. She takes advantage of any opportunity to travel back east, but never tires of all that San Diego has to offer.
  • Eduardo Gallardo IT
    Eduardo Gallardo

    Mr. Eduardo as the students call him, is the IT Administrator for High Tech Middle and High Tech Middle Media Arts. He is an alumni from High Tech High.He enjoys working in the IT department helping out students and staff with their technology needs. During his free time he enjoys watching soccer and exploring new places outside of San Diego.
  • Charlie Linnik Art/Studio M
    Charlie Linnik
    Art/Studio M

    Charlie Linnik grew up in San Diego, California. She went to U.C.S.D. where she received her B.A. in Visual Arts and M.Ed. in Education Studies. She also graduated from our very own High Tech High Graduate School of Education. She is an avid surfer, and has been surfing for over 10 years. When she is not in the water she can be found painting, or reading graphic novels. Charlie is a lover of books, movies and any type of sour candy.
  • Donna Peruzzi GSE School Leadership Resident
    Donna Peruzzi
    GSE School Leadership Resident

    Donna Peruzzi is a School Leadership GSE Resident working with Nikki Hinostro at High Tech Middle. Donna has been a middle school science teacher since 2002, starting in NYC and more recently in Cambridge, MA. She is driven by a desire to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. Her involvement with the Cambridge STEM District Leaders team inspired her to apply to the HTH GSE and now that she is here, she is excited about all the opportunities to learn from and with her colleagues. She is looking forward to putting her experience here into practice as a teacher leader next year. 
  • Uriel Ruano-Gallardo Head of Middle School Athletics
    Uriel Ruano-Gallardo
    Head of Middle School Athletics

  • Lisa Ruiz Site Manager
    Lisa Ruiz
    Site Manager

    Lisa brings many years of experience from a variety of Education related positions to her HTM Site Manager position. Before joining the High Tech family, she worked for the San Diego Unified School District for 18 years in various Administrative support positions including Human Resources, concentrating on Middle School staffing.

    Lisa was born and raised in San Diego, attended San Diego City Schools, and graduated from Madison High. She went on to San Diego State University to pursue a degree in Liberal Studies, with the desire to become an elementary school teacher.  In her spare time she enjoys reading, gardening, swimming, traveling and cheering on our hometown football team - GO CHARGERS!! Most importantly, spending time with her family (which is growing) and friends keeps her busy and smiling  ~ Life is good
  • Ray Satele Facilities
    Ray Satele

  • Monique Sias Extended Services Director
    Monique Sias
    Extended Services Director

    HTM is my favorite place in the world because I get the opportunity to cultivate relationships and learn alongside our amazing students.
  • Yami Vargas Interim Site Manager
    Yami Vargas
    Interim Site Manager

  • Mike Vasquez Digital Design and Fabrication
    Mike Vasquez
    Digital Design and Fabrication

    Mike Vasquez escaped the climate extremes of his hometown desert, California City, in order to follow his love of running and biology in San Diego. It was at the Univeristy of California San Diego where he earned his bachelors of science degree in Biology: Ecology, Behavior and Evolution and where he developed a greater appreciation for nature while leading kayaking courses in Baja California, Mexico and backpacking courses in the Sierra Nevada. He realized that he would find fulfillment by working with people and sharing the lessons from nature and so he followed his calling to become a science teacher where he could inspire people of all ages - and what better place to inspire than at HTM through project based learning. After teaching math and science at High Tech Middle for 5 years, he jumped at the chance to bring the digital arts and multimedia class back to HTM. After 3 years of pushing students to create amazing photos, videos and other graphic design projects, he is eager to usher in the next generation of technology work at High Tech Middle with the new Digital Design and Fabrication where he will lead students to explore the role that technology plays in manufacturing via high tech tools, like 3d printers, laser-cutters, CNC routers and more.

    In his free time Michael enjoys taking his dog Larry for walks (i.e. chasing him, as he chases squirrels), growing my own food, horseback riding, milking goats and training for triathlon.