- Gabrielle DuThinh HumanitiesXHumanities
Gabrielle DuThinh is originally from the metropolitan DC area. Before coming to San Diego, she taught ceramics and pottery for three years at a private art school. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Studio Art at the University of Maryland, College Park. Shortly after graduating, she moved to San Diego and worked as a Vietnamese interpreter for the Escondido Union School District. After working for the EUSD, she pursued her multiple subject teaching credential at California State University, San Marcos. Following her teaching program, she became one of the founding faculty members of High Tech Elementary, North County. At HTeNC, she worked as an inclusion support and aftercare teacher. After one year, she transitioned to HTMNC and has taught 6th grade Humanities ever since.Outside of work she loves to be with her family and friends. She likes to rock climb, hike, bike, do yoga, and explore the outdoors. She also enjoy creating artwork, playing and watching football, cooking, reading, and playing music with her guitar.
- Tracy French HumanitiesXHumanities
I received my degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis on Visual and Performing Arts from Cal State San Marcos in 2001. I continued on at CSUSM to receive my teaching credential in 2002 with a focus on middle school students. I have had the opportunity to work with kids at every level 612 in Pasadena, Chicago, and San Diego, but 6th graders are by far my favorite people. I love their enthusiasm and energy. They will do anything to make the world a more just and beautiful place.
Over the years I've worn many hats. I've been a Humanities teacher, a Drama teacher, an Art Teacher, and even Dean of Students. I work to incorporate my love of the arts and storytelling into everything that we do. I stress the importance of relationships in the classroom and encourage kids to work through conflict respectfully. As a founding member of our school, I am immensely proud of the environment we have built!
Outside of school I can be found at a concert or play, creating art, nerding out about a game or book, or cheering on the Chargers.
- Kristen Martin Academic Support TeacherXAcademic Support Teacher
Kristen Martin has lived in beautiful San Diego her whole life. She grew up in Poway, where she currently resides. Before coming to HTMNC she worked at Sports Authority where she got to express her love for sports and helping others find their perfect fit. Shorty after getting a job at Sports Authority she got accepted to Cal State University San Marcos where she received her bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies and depth of study in Linguistics. Kristen continued her education when she got accepted into the Middle Level Credential program through CSUSM. As Kristen went to school she also continued working at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf while tutoring children at The Inspired Mind Learning Center. The learning center helped Kristen grow as an educator to find new ways to inspire children to get excited about exploring math and science. Kristen´s path has led her to being apart of the amazing HTMNC family and she is very excited to work with the students, parents and faculty.
Kristen loves making memories with her team at HTMNC but outside of the classroom she enjoys hiking, camping, taking pictures, listening to country music and watching the newest comic movies. She also enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends creating new memories and reminiscing on the old ones.
- Polett Schafer Academic Support TeacherXAcademic Support Teacher
I went to Palomar Community College where I earned my AA in Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2009. I transferred to Cal State San Marcos where I earned my BA in History in 2011. I love engaging in deep dialogues about how events in the past shape our experiences in the present and how perspective changes how history is written.
After graduating college, I spent four years working at a middle school in Oceanside in a variety of roles; two years as Assistant Site Coordinator of an after-school program and two years as a service-member of AmeriCorps, where I managed a tutoring and mentoring program. I was able to experience the remarkable power of developing authentic and caring relationships with students. Deep learning happens in a caring community and I intend to make these strong relationships with you all the foundation of our classroom this school year. My professional experience inspired me to earn my teaching credential, with an emphasis on middle school students.
Currently, I live in Fallbrook with my wonderful husband. We have five pets that we love dearly. We enjoy taking our dogs on walks, eating at new restaurants, going to concerts or stand-up comedy shows, watching funny movies or documentaries, and hiking. I love to read, practice yoga, and spend quality time with my friends and family.
- Curtis Taylor Math 1 & Earth ScienceXMath 1 & Earth Science
Curtis Taylor is originally from Greenville, South Carolina. He attended Clemson University (Go Tigers!) where he received his B.A. in Elementary Education, and the University of San Diego where he received his M.Ed. in STEAM Education. He was also a part of the Call Me MISTER program, which is a growing program of inspiring male teachers. After graduating Clemson, he was privileged to teach for 3 years within Greenville County Schools. He was then presented the opportunity to move out west, and decided to take the chance and moved here to beautiful San Diego! He was very fortunate to join the High Tech family in the Fall of 2013 where he was an Inclusion Support Teacher/Math Coach for High Tech Middle Chula Vista. He is so ecstatic about his second year of teaching 6th grade at HTMNC! Outside of work, he enjoys music, traveling, and experiencing new foods and cultures.
- Fernando Vega Performing ArtsXPerforming Arts
Mr. Vega is the 2013-2014 Artist in Residence at U.C.S.D's Thurgood Marshall College. He grew up in this very neighborhood. Mr. Vega got his start as a ford foundation scholar with the Old Globe Theatre’s Teatro Meta, a bilingual actor training program. He attended United States International University in San Diego and London receiving a Bachelor of fine art in Musical Theatre. Mr. Vega is now a vested member of the Actors Equity Association. His singing and acting jobs have taken him to Canada, Mexico and nearly every state in the U.S. You might have seen him in a few commercials as well. Mr. Vega has been a teaching artist for Playwrights Project, Lambs Players Theater, San Diego Junior Theatre and The Globe Theater’s Teatro Meta. San Diego audiences have seen him onstage in musicals, comedies and classical dramas. Shows include “Quincenera” by Broadway playwright and T.V. writer Rick Najera, Broadway and Hollywood legend Luis Valdez’s “Corridos Remix” and The Merchant of Venice at the San Diego Rep. Mr. Vega worked as a director and professor of theatre for California State University San Marcos while earning California teaching credentials in drama and social science and introductory mathematics. This year he will lecture an honors theatre course at U.C.S.D. Mr. Vega is a founding charter member of the San Diego Shakespeare Society. He is married to his wonderful wife Sarah and has twin two year olds daughters and a six year old daughter
- Adrienne Villarreal Math 1 & Earth ScienceXMath 1 & Earth Science
Adrienne earned her teaching credential and her Masters in Education from University of California, San Diego. After coordinating programs for youth & families with the YMCA of San Diego County for 8 years, she taught K-third graders in National City. In the spring of 2012 she began helping to coordinate the after care CLUB program at High Tech Middle North County. In the fall of 2012, Adrienne taught 8th grade math/science at HTMNC, transitioning to 6th grade math/science in the winter of that year, where she has continued since. Adrienne enjoys the independence and curiosity of middle school students. When Adrienne is not at school you can find her playing basketball, exploring the Southwest with her family, hiking with friends around the county or catching an NBA game.
- Sacha Casciato Math 2 & Life ScienceXMath 2 & Life Science
I was born in Hawaii but grew up in San Diego. I live in East County where I could have cows and chickens if I want. I went to UCSD. Go Tritons! I have a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a Masters in Education. I am a tinkerer, I love to work with technology and build cool things. I love any kind of puzzle, from Sudoku to city planning or conservation dilemmas. I love doing things that I am bad at. For example: Dancing, singing, public speaking, video games, and so much more.
I love the outdoors. I love trying new things and meeting new people. I am fascinated by different environments and other cultures. I have a passion for teaching because I have a passion for learning that I would like to spread. Connecting with students is the best part of teaching!
- Corey Clark HumanitiesXHumanities
Corey Clark is originally from Riverside, California. Shortly after graduating from the University of California Riverside with a Bachelor of Arts and teaching credential, he began his teaching career. Corey has experience in both private and charter schools. In addition to his teaching profession, he also accepted a role as an Athletic Director for two years. Although he loved his time in the Inland Empire, he moved to Escondido to take a position at High Tech Middle San Marcos to pursue his love of project based learning. He has never been more excited to begin a school year, and he is honored to be a part of the HTH organization.
Outside of school, he loves to rock climb, hike, adventure, read, play basketball or any sport, travel, listen to music, watch movies, and spend time with family.
- Charley Jacob Maker SpaceXMaker Space
Charley Jacob is native to Southern California and continually has had paint or ink on his hands since the mid 90's. He has several pairs of Vans shoes from an ever growing collection that nearly predates his students. He has been on a quest to understand why California burritos have french fries since moving to San Diego. He brings his passion for designing and building things to his classroom and loves seeing his students develop their ideas into polished work.
He joined the HTMNC team in Fall 2014. Before this role, Charley worked with students and young educators as a director of After School Programs for Del Mar Union School District. In addition to his experience in education, he was a small business owner, designing and screen printing shirts, and painting surfboards for LA based manufacturer. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts with a Studio emphasis from UCSD (selected partly because of its proximity to Black's) and a multiple subject credential from CSUSM. Charley enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife, and their two children. He loves playing soccer, floating in the ocean, and making things.
- Lynne Titcomb Academic CoachXAcademic Coach
Lynne earned both her BA degree in Sociology and her MA in Education from the University of California San Diego. After receiving her teaching credential, she worked in the Oceanside School District. Prior to joining HTMNC, Lynne taught fourth grade at a charter school in Encinitas. She loves working with sixth grade and thrilled to be part of the High Tech Middle North County team.Lynne lives in Carlsbad with her husband, Matt, and her children, Sydney and Jake. She loves spending time with her family traveling, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and geocaching. Her adventures include; riding an elephant in Thailand, cave tubing and snorkeling with sharks in Belize, hiking pyramids in Guatemala, climbing the Great Wall in China, and mountain biking in the rain forests of St. Lucia.
- David Visser HumanitiesXHumanities
Mr. V was born and raised in Southern California and attended California State University San Marcos where he earned his bachelors degree in Liberal Studies and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. He is very excited to be teaching 7th grade Humanities at HTMNC and is looking forward to an amazing year. His favorite hobbies include skateboarding, hiking, going to the beach, and traveling with his fiancé.
- Kristen Voss Math 2 & Life ScienceXMath 2 & Life Science
Kristen was born and raised in Fresno, CA, where she became passionate about helping students positively change their lives through education. While earning her Bachelor degree Kristen worked for several Federal Grant Funded Programs such as Upward Bound and GEAR UP, which allowed her the opportunity to mentor and tutor less-advantaged youth. Through her work with Upward Bound and GEAR UP, Kristen saw how life changing access to higher education can be for people and decided to help all students gain access to college and beyond. Kristen moved to San Diego County to be closer to her husband and to attend California State University, San Marcos where she earned her BA in Liberal Studies with a depth of study in Mathematical Concepts, a multiple subject teaching credential, and a certificate of advanced studies in middle level education.
When not at school, Kristen enjoys going to the beach, dancing, running, traveling, reading, and spending time with her cats.
- Max Cady Digital ArtsXDigital Arts
Max is passionate about pursuing the integration of collaboration, play, and curiosity into education. Max began his career in education working as an afterschool teacher, tutor and camp counselor. Max then worked for three years as a Learning Facilitator and Technology and Innovation Coordinator at the Liger Learning Center in Cambodia. The Liger Learning Center is a free boarding school for Cambodian students that utilizes project, experiential, and opportunity based learning to create entrepreneurial thinkers and agents of positive change in Cambodia.
Outside of education, Max currently enjoys biking, ultimate frisbee, and the delicious convenience of pressure cooking.
This will be Max’s first year at High Tech Middle, he is also a first time car owner and first time west coast resident. He is originally from New York City and graduated from Macalester College with a BA in Psychology in 2010 and from the Harvard Graduate school of Education with an Ed.M in 2016.
- Jessica Hoffman Math 3 & Physical ScienceXMath 3 & Physical Science
My top favorites are Einstein, sneakers, foodie adventures and The Golden Girls...I'm like an old school hipster...like before hipsters were cool.
I am a California native who moved to San Diego ten years ago and fell in love with the city and the food. I attended the University of San Diego (USD) and earned my B.A. in Physics and M.Ed. in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education. Having always known I wanted to teach physics I decided to pursue my single subject teaching credential while working as the Physics Laboratory Manager at USD. Before beginning my new adventure at HTMNC I taught Physics for Educators at USD, and realized even though teachers need to learn how to teach science my passion was in teaching children to fall in love with science, the way I fell in love with science. I'm excited to join the HTMNC team and help students explore how amazing and beautiful science really is!
In my free time I love cheering on the Padres, having FOODIE adventures with friends, trying new coffee shops and exploring new cities!
- Kelly Jacob HumanitiesXHumanities
Kelly is a caffeine-based life form who has an unnatural obsession with tree sloths and pugs. It has been said that her laugh can be heard across campus. She graduated from the University of California, San Diego, where she competed on the inner-tube water polo team. However, she considers herself a bit of a rebel, as she has never waited the full 15 minutes after eating before getting in a pool.
She is deathly afraid of cheese sticks and driving behind small trucks filled with household goods. She does not like to eat potato chips that are folded over onto themselves because at that point, they are more like worthless taco shells. She is a member of the pro-Oxford comma faction, preferring to avoid ambiguity. She has never eaten a Big Mac (and doesn't intend to). Though she works on the skill daily, Kelly has not yet been able to master the art of negotiating with her 3 year old. She shares a passion for Disneyland with her 6 year old and bonds with her husband at Chipotle.
Kelly has a Master's degree in education, an administrative credential, and considers it a privilege to have been able to spend the last 11 years sharing in the crazy that is middle school.
- Zamequa Lopez-Fuentes HumanitiesXHumanities
I was born and raised in San Diego, CA. After high school, I attempted to expand my horizons; completing my freshman and sophomore years at Sacramento State University. I shortly realized that I missed home, and returned to finish my studies at the University of San Diego. I received my B.A. and SingleSubject Teaching Credential in English from USD, and quickly began teaching. Before coming to teach at HTMNC, I taught at another charter school in the county, but somehow I always knew that HTH was where I belonged.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our two dogs Navidad and Blue. We can often be found at one of the dog parks or beaches across our beautiful county.
- Chris Olivas Math 3 & Physical ScienceXMath 3 & Physical Science
Mr. Olivas grew up right here in San Diego. He loves traveling and has lived in many different places like Australia, Argentina, and recently in South Africa but always returns because San Diego truly is America's finest city! As a San Diego native, he loves the outdoors and especially the ocean. In high school he was on the swim team, water polo team, and surf team. He went to UCSD to study marine biology and has done some research on sharks at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. He also spent all of his summers lifeguarding at Mission Beach and helping to run the San Diego Junior Lifeguard program.
Mr. Olivas has taught high school and middle school math and science at several High Tech High schools since 2008 (but HTM NC is obviously his favorite!) He loves designing projects that allow students to learn new skills and apply them to make authentic work. He is always planning projects around preserving our natural world and our place in it as human beings. He loves to get creative with art, photography, and video inside and outside of school. In a past life he thinks he was a lion and in this current life he thinks he is a Jedi.
- Juliet Mohnkern DirectorXDirector
Juliet is originally from Connecticut and has taught and led in schools in Boston and Washington, DC. She moved to San Diego to attend High Tech High’s Graduate School of Education where she earned her MA in School Leadership. During her graduate work at High Tech, Juliet was the school leadership resident and interim director at High Tech Middle Chula Vista.
Juliet loves learning and explored her passions through undergraduate work in Classics at Boston College and graduate work in Ethics, Peace Studies, and Global Affairs at American University. Juliet finds joy in working with young people - especially middle schoolers! - to uncover their potential, explore ideas, and create meaningful work. She loves running, spending time outside especially at the beach, and enjoying good food with family and friends.
- Jessica Caenepeel-Knust Inclusion SpecialistXInclusion Specialist
Jessica was born in Illinois and raised in the Greater Los Angeles area. She and her husband, Charlie, reside in North County San Diego.
Jessica has a bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz (Go Banana Slugs!). Following graduation, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA for the Greyston Foundation's Maitri Center in Yonkers, New York. Her work centered around advocacy and health care programming for at risk adults. Jessica relocated to North County San Diego in 2005 and worked for the University of California San Diego. Jessica has always been passionate about education and advocacy. She received her Multiple Subject and Education Specialist teaching credentials as well as her Master's Degree from California State University, San Marcos. This is Jessica's fourth year with High Tech Middle North County.
When not at work Jessica enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, gardening, hiking, camping, running, biking, and swimming .
- Sean Delgado Inclusion SpecialistsXSean DelgadoInclusion Specialists
I am very excited to take on the role of Inclusion Specialist for HTMNC. Being the youngest of 12, I found myself fortunate to call San Diego my home at the age of 3. My parents moved here from Torrington, WY and it could not have benefitted me more. I have a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and have experience working with individuals with disabilities in both a classroom and day-program setting. My passion and experiences are predominantly in the Special Education field. I am a novice at American Sign Language, which I hope to get better at. I try to stay as active as possible playing soccer, hockey and hiking whenever I can find time. Harry Potter is a minor addiction of mine (Hufflepuff all day!) and I follow Liverpool Soccer.
- Jocelyn Flores Community Outreach CoordinatorXJocelyn FloresCommunity Outreach Coordinator
Jocelyn Flores was born and raised in Mexico City. She came to the United States 20 years ago and has lived in North County since. She first came about High Tech High when she was looking for an innovative teaching style for her younger brother and sister to prosper from. 7 years later both of her younger siblings have graduated and are continuing with higher education.
Jocelyn has been with High Tech High since 2011 serving as the outreach coordinator. The main focus of her work involves assisting Spanish speaking families but sharing the unique teaching styles of HTH with the community. She advocates for diversity, primarily within the school, as it helps students create a valuable connection with the surrounding communities.
She is passionate about the work she does and finds it rewarding to see that her help has made a difference in the lives of the individuals whom she has helped. When not at work she enjoys spending the day with her family at Disneyland or enjoys being part of the audience for Mexican Folkloric dancer, gymnast, cheerleader six year old daughter!
- Christine Hatch Inclusion Specialist/Academic CoachXChristine HatchInclusion Specialist/Academic Coach
I am fluent in American Sign Language and consider it a super power to be able to talk to people under water, through walls, or across a room without ever using my voice.
I grew up here in San Diego and graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Literature and Creative Writing. I've spent 10 years heavily involved in the poetry slam community, which is what guided me into teaching. I was helping high school students in the Bronx prepare for a poetry competition called Brave New Voices and fell in love with education.
Before joining HTMNC I worked as a Special Education teacher in Brooklyn, gaining a Masters in Special Education through the teaching fellows. I've also worked as a counselor for homeless LGBT youth through the Ali Forney Center in New York and a resource counselor for special needs adults here in San Diego.
In my spare time you'll find me quilting, playing with my dog, Oliver, reading, dancing or watching crime dramas. Working with children as an educator or an emotional support has always been one of my passions, and I'm excited to get started as an Inclusion Specialist at High Tech Middle.
- Bob King IT Administrator HTMNC & HTHNCXBob KingIT Administrator HTMNC & HTHNC
- Juliet Mohnkern Director, High Tech Middle North CountyXDirector, High Tech Middle North County
Juliet Mohnkern is the Director of High Tech Middle North County and currently teaches the course Equity, Diversity and Design Principles at the High Tech High Graduate School of Education. In 2015, she completed an M.Ed in Educational Leadership at the High Tech High Graduate School of Education which included a residency at High Tech Middle Chula Vista. Previously, she was the Director of Public Policy and Curriculum Innovation at Chavez Schools in Washington, DC where she also taught Senior Public Policy Thesis and coached the debate team. With colleagues from Chavez, she founded Education to Save the World, an organization that brought together educators passionate about empowering students to create a more just, healthy, and sustainable world. In 2013, she was recognized by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development as an Emerging Leader. She has presented on pedagogy and assessment at the Foundation for Critical Thinking Annual Conference, DC’s Young Education Professionals Policy to Practice Conference, National Association for Public Charter Schools Annual Conference, and National Association for Public Charter Schools Annual Conference. Before moving to DC, Juliet worked at Match Public Charter School in Boston. She has a Master’s in Ethics, Peace Studies and Global Affairs from American University and a bachelor’s degree in Classics from Boston College.
- Kaylyn Oates Graduate School ResidentXGraduate School Resident
As an educator, Kaylyn has had the privilege of working with amazing kids in incredible places! From snorkeling in crystal clear Caribbean waters monitoring seagrass health with middle schoolers, digging in compost bins to observe worm behaviors with second graders, to hiking 25 miles across the Grand Canyon with high school students, Kaylyn can’t think of anything she’d rather do than explore our natural world with youth! Except maybe be part of HTMNC community as a Graduate School of Education Resident for the 2016 2017 school year! With a bachelor's degree from Smith College, in Geology and Education, Kaylyn has been able to meld her personal scientific knowledge/curiosity and love of the outdoors with her passion of sharing it with youth. She is very excited to be part the HTMNC community this year, and can't wait to discover how to apply her love of science and education within a more concrete classroom with Mrs. Jacob and Mr. Olivias, as well learning from Ms. Juliet, all staff and all of the wonderful 6th, 7th and 8th graders at HTMNC. Outside of school, Kaylyn loves doing pretty much anything outdoors especially in the wilderness hiking, camping, swimming, exploring new places and cooking/eating delicious food with friends and family.
- Tom Schwartz Inclusion SpecialistXTom SchwartzInclusion Specialist
Tom Schwartz moved to the States from Canada when he was 2 years old and later moved to Encinitas in 4th grade, but he still enjoys going oot and aboot and watching hockey. He got his Bachelors of Arts in History from University California, Riverside and the received a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, San Marcos in 2011. Last year Tom had the pleasure of teaching 8th grade Humanities here at HTMNC. Before coming to High Tech Middle North County Tom worked / volunteered with teens through City of Encinitas and the Magdalena Ecke YMCA and worked at Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park in Carlsbad. When Tom isn’t at school you will find him on the soccer field or running down the 101.
- Kristin Singh School PsychologistXSchool Psychologist
Kristin Singh was born and raised in Hawaii and remains an island girl at heart. She moved to California after high school to attend the University of California, Irvine where she earned a B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior. She later earned her M.A. in Psychology from Humboldt State University, with an emphasis in School Psychology.Kristin has worked as a school psychologist in various districts in San Diego County for the last 12 years, and is excited to be joining the High Tech High community to support all schools in the North County Village.Kristin lives with her husband, daughter, and two dogs in San Diego, CA. While away from work, Kristin enjoys dancing at live music concerts, watching her husband perform stand-up comedy, exploring San Diego through the eyes of a three-year-old with her daughter, and spending quality time at home with the whole family.
- Kathy Tempco Dean of Student AffairsXDean of Student Affairs
Kathy Tempco grew up in Palmdale, California and ventured out to San Diego, where she earned her B.A in Psychology. Deciding she loved San Diego, she stayed to pursue her passion of working with at-risk youth. After completing her M.S in Psychology and Educational Counseling, she's excited to continue at HTMNC in her 6th year with her role as Dean of Students and 504 Coordinator.
- Cindy Wallace Office ManagerXCindy WallaceOffice Manager
Cindy has always lived the life of an educator - with a B.S. and M.A. in Education and more than 25 years of experience in informal science programming. Originally from Maine, Cindy has lived on both coasts and while she misses the fall foliage, she loves the California weather! Cindy fell in love with High Tech High when her daughter joined the San Marcos campus (and was a member of the school's first graduating class in 2011!) and knew this was the next stop in her career. As the Office Manager Cindy will spend her time helping keep parents, students, and teachers supported and organized. She looks forward to being a part of shaping this year at HTMNC!