High Tech High

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Board & Governance





Three boards of directors support the mission and goals of High Tech High

  • The High Tech High Board will have governance and fiduciary level control over all HTH schools. The board operates as a public agency and conducts its meetings in accordance with the Brown Act.
  • HTH Learning is a private nonprofit overseeing the development and operation of the facilities that house High Tech High schools.
  • The High Tech High Foundation is a private nonprofit responsible for securing the philanthropic support needed to develop High Tech High schools.



View recent board agendas


High Tech High Board

Bernadette Bach, Trustee
Angela Bass, Trustee
Gary Jacobs, Chair
Albert Lin, Trustee
Héctor M. Pérez, Secretary


HTH Learning Board

Teddy Cruz, Trustee
Gary Jacobs, Chair
Kay McElrath, Treasurer


High Tech High Foundation Board

Veronica Grajeda, Chief Executive Officer and Treasurer
Therese Hymer, Secretary
Gary Jacobs, Chair


Correspondence to board members may be addressed to:

Board Member Name

c/o Clairelise Kip
High Tech High
2861 Womble Road
San Diego, CA 92106-6025


Directors of the Boards of High Tech High

Bernadette Bach

High Tech High Board Trustee

Bernadette Bach is an accomplished banking executive who recently retired after a 30-year career with City National Bank.

As CNB’s youngest female to be promoted to Senior Vice President in 1996, Bernadette co-created the Bank’s Non-Profit Tax-Exempt Loan Program to help finance local nonprofit organizations with below-market interest rate loans.  CNB now offers these loans nationally.

In 2010, Bernadette won the San Diego Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business” Award and was also nominated for SDDT’s Most Influential List. Over the years she served on various advisory boards and numerous committees, including the EDC, Connect and Athena. At CNB, she earned a place in the Presidents Club virtually every year and received the bank’s most prestigious award 13 times over the span of her career with CNB.

Bernadette began her banking career with Wells Fargo Corporate Banking in Chicago. She was later transferred to serve clients in LA and Orange counties.

Bernadette earned a BA in Finance from University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and completed graduate coursework at Loyola University in Chicago.

She resides in San Diego with her yellow lab and son, Scott, who is “visiting” from Seattle during COVID.



Dr. Angela Bass

Dr. Angela Bass

Trustee, High Tech High Board

Dr. Bass has spent nearly 40 years as a dedicated and passionate social justice educator. She has served in numerous roles within school districts and educational nonprofits as Teacher, Principal, Assistant Superintendent, Executive Director of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, and Superintendent of Instruction for the Honorable Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, with the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. She also served as Area Superintendent in the San Diego Unified School District and as Executive Director for New Leaders.

Currently, she serves as Director of Clinical Cal APA Supervision at San Diego State University, teaches in the doctoral program, and serves as an Executive Coach with the National Center for
Urban School Transformation.

She received her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from San Francisco State University, her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from United States International University, and her doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from Loyola Marymount University in 2011. She has focused many years on Transformational Leadership by developing and training aspiring leaders because she believes that leadership is a key lever in creating great schools. She loves to cook, read, mentor, and spend time with her family and friends.



Teddy Cruz

Teddy Cruz

Trustee, HTH Learning Board

Teddy Cruz is known internationally for his urban research on the Tijuana/San Diego border, advancing border neighborhoods as sites of cultural production from which to rethink urban policy, affordable housing, and civic infrastructure. Recipient of the Rome Prize in Architecture in 1991, his honors include the James Stirling Memorial Lecture On The City Prize, by the Canadian Center of Architecture and the London School of Economics in 2005, the Ford Foundation Visionaries Award in 2011, and the 2013 Architecture Award from the US Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including representing the US in the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale and “Small Scale Big Change” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2010. In 2013-14, he was appointed a special advisor on Urban and Public Initiatives for the City of San Diego, leading the development of the Civic Innovation Lab. Teddy is a professor in public culture and urbanism at University of California, San Diego, where he is founding co-director of the Center for Urban Ecologies and The Cross-Border Initiative.


Veronica Grajeda

Veronica Grajeda

High Tech High Foundation Board

Veronica started at High Tech High in 2007 as part of the central office’s operations team where she oversaw many projects ranging from Admissions to the school lunch program. Prior to that she worked in operations and finance for a KIPP school in San Francisco. Now Veronica works to support HTH schools’ outreach and admissions efforts and student support through establishing and maintaining relationships with community partners.

Veronica has a B.A. in Spanish and Latin American Studies from Barnard College and an Masters of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management and Institutional Analysis from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.



Therese Hymer

High Tech High Foundation

Therese Hymer is an attorney whose practice included twelve years in employment law at Gray, Cary, Ware & Freidenrich, and nine years as General Counsel and Vice President of Human Resources at Clark Security Products, a nationwide distributor.

Ms. Hymer has served as President and Secretary of the Explorer Elementary Charter School Board of Directors (now High Tech Elementary Explorer), President and Treasurer of the Unitarian Cooperative Preschool Board, has held a number of parent leadership positions supporting various High Tech High schools, and served on the board of Big Sister League of San Diego.

Ms. Hymer received a B.S. in Economics from Miami University in 1983 and a JD from Stanford University in 1986.

Gary Jacobs

Gary Jacobs

Chairman and CEO, Jacobs Investment LLC
Chairman, High Tech High Board, HTH Learning, and High Tech High Foundation.

Mr. Gary Jacobs is the Managing Director of Jacobs Investment Company LLC (JIC). JIC was created in 1997 to participate in real estate development throughout the United States. In partnership with several developers, JIC has invested over sixty million dollars in projects ranging from government services to residential to commercial. Mr. Jacobs serves as Chairman of the Board of DermTech International, Ora Bio Ltd. and Nutrinia Ltd. Mr. Jacobs is also a director of Next Generation Technologies, GEO2 Technologies Inc., Flourinex Active Ltd. and Fallbrook Technologies.

In the community, Mr. Jacobs serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of High Tech High charter high schools, Graduate School of Education and national high school reform movement. HTH is founded on three design principles: personalization, adult-world connection, and a common intellectual mission. He also serves as Chair of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Social Sciences at University of California at San Diego UCSD. He and his wife, Jerri-Ann, created the Gary and Jerri-Ann Graduate Fellowship in Social Sciences Endowment and the Jerri-Ann and Gary Jacobs Chair in Social Sciences.

In addition, Mr. Jacobs is a past president of the United Jewish Federation of San Diego County. He and Jerri-Ann have endowed the Jerri-Ann and Gary Jacobs Teen Director position and created an endowment for the senior department at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, Jacobs Family Campus. Mr. Jacobs is also a board member of the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture, Jewish Community Foundation, The San Diego Foundation and the UCSD Board of Overseers.

In the summer of 2000, Mr. Jacobs created and funded the Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs International Teen Leadership Institute. The institute brings together ten Jewish teenagers from San Diego, ten Jewish teenagers from the Shaar HarNegev region in Israel, ten Israeli Bedouin teenagers from Segev Shalom and ten Palestinian teenagers from Gaza for a year long program during which participants and staff travel together to San Diego, study historical Muslim/Jewish relations in Spain for a week and then in Israel for a week to study with a modern perspective.

Mr. Jacobs graduated in 1979 from the University of California at San Diego with a B.A. in Management Science. He worked as a Software Programmer and Engineer at Linkabit Inc. and QUALCOMM from 1979 through 1996, then as a Senior Education Specialist until 2000 working with K-12 educational institutions to enhance science and math studies.
Mr. Jacobs lives in Del Mar with his wife Jerri-Ann, son Adam, daughters Sara, Beth, and Mara, and their dogs, Jasmine and Goldie.

Albert Lin

Albert Lin

High Tech High Board

Albert Lin is an award winning scientist, technologists, explorer and adventurer with a knack for storytelling both on stage and the big screen. As a problem solver he has reinvented how we explore. From the international award winning effort to search for the tomb of Genghis Khan in Mongolia using satellites, crowdsourcing, drones, and ground penetrating radar, to his recent efforts redefining human bionic capabilities with float tanks and plant medicines Dr. Lin has made headlines around the world. His innovations and passion for science have led to requested briefings from the Pentagon, multiple tech startups and an invitation to serve as an advisor to the Harvard Business School, and requests by both National Geographic and the US Dept of State to represent science and innovation to foreign nations through global speaking tours. His on screen presence is diverse, with an Emmy award winning promotional campaign (National Geographic’s “Next Generation Explorer”), numerous digital spotlights, and explorer/host/narrator roles in major documentary films with National Geographic, and the BBC. As an avid outdoorsman scaled “the Nose” on Yosemite’s El Cap, backpacked across the globe, and surfs wherever there are waves. With a middle name that literally translates to “Citizen of the Universe” Albert is at home anywhere. Albert is an award winning Explorer of the National Geographic Society, serial entrepreneur, UCSD scientist, and storyteller. From the remote highlands of Mongolia to the jungles of Guatemala he has applied an innovator’s approach to exploration.

Kay McElrath

Kay McElrath

Treasurer, HTH Learning

Kay McElrath served as Chief Financial Officer of High Tech High and HTH Learning from 2007 – 2016. She created the financing strategy for major school construction projects undertaken during that period of time. Prior to joining the HTH organization, she worked for San Diego Unified for almost two decades including the roles of Budget Supervisor and Director of Payroll and Benefits. She also worked for the Salt Lake County Treasurer (Staff Accountant), the City of Des Moines (Assistant Manager), and the Des Moines Ballet (General Manager). She is now happily retired and working hard on her golf game.



Hector M. Perez

Héctor M. Pérez

High Tech High Board

Héctor M Pérz is currently Graduate Programs Coordinator at Woodbury University School of Architecture in San Diego and Principal at De-Arc – a small unorthodox design studio in La Jolla, CA with projects that fluctuate between art, artifacts, buildings and academia. Alternating between solo and collaborative efforts, his projects include: in(fo)SITEs -Information Centers for In-SITE 2001 in Tijuana & San Diego / Lifeguard Stations – in La Jolla Shores & Cove / FrameWorks – a public art-fence commissioned by San Diego Museum of Art / South Oxnard Community Library – a 20,000 sf library / LA ESQUINA – a 4000 sf live-work project designed and developed by Perez in Barrio Logan.

Héctor has taught design studios and workshops at Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (CPSLO), NewSchool of Architecture & Design (NSA+D), Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) and Woodbury University.



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