High Tech High

Fall 2020 Reopen Information Parent and Student Resources, Meal Services, and Distance Learning Information

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Dante Alvarado
Staff Accountant
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Lesley Anderson
Project EHS Instructional Coach
Lesley Anderson has been a math and science teacher at High Tech High Chula Vista for the past 6 years. In her new role this year as the Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator, Lesley will support all staff in designing safe and environmentally conscious projects for students. Lesley's experience working in labs around the world at NASA, NOAA, Ocean's Research in South Africa, and IceCube at the South Pole, have helped her identify best practices for safe laboratory work spaces.
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Sarah Barnes
Ed Specialist Program Manager
As Ed Specialist Program Manager for the High Tech High Teacher Center Sarah supports Inclusion and Special Education programs across the sixteen High Tech High schools and works with the High Tech High Teacher Center to implement professional development, coursework, and mentorship for new Ed Specialist teachers. Sarah joined High Tech High in 2007 and has enjoyed working as both a classroom humanities teacher and an Ed Specialist at the K–12 level. Sarah has spent her career looking at school cultural practices that create opportunities for diverse learners to engage in classrooms together. She is particularly interested in recent disability rights movements that herald Neurodiversity and enjoys unpacking this passion with graduate students and new teachers in the courses she teaches for new ed specialist and classroom teachers. Sarah’s work has been informed by the Fulbright–Hays grant she was awarded to study diversity in education in Brazil; specifically the inequitable systems that historically have marginalized indigenous and afro-Brazilian communities as well as the semester she spent in Northern Uganda where she participated in a teacher exchange program while supporting educational practices that integrated young woman who had experienced trauma and disability into the classroom and community. Sarah maintains a multiple subject teaching credential, a single subject English credential, as well as her special education (ed specialist) credential with Autism authorization. She holds a Masters of Arts in Special Education.
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Susan Battistuz
SIS Manager
Susan earned her teaching credential from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois and her Masters in Special Education from Chapman University. After teaching 7th and 8th grade in Chicago Public Schools, she taught in Costa Rica and Niger, West Africa. In 2001 she moved to San Diego and began teaching 9th grade math and physics at High Tech High. She helped open High Tech Middle in 2003 as a math & science teacher. In 2007 she helped open High Tech High North County as the Dean of Students. Susan was the founding Director of High Tech Middle North County from 2009 to 2014. With the opening of the new elementary school on campus Susan was charmed by curiosity and wonder in the younger students. She joined  HTeNC team as Site Manger in 2014. When Susan is not at school you can find her with Mr. Battistuz, chasing after their two sons, playing at the beach,  and riding her horses.
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Jessica Bess
Budget and Grant Analyst
Jessica Besswas born and raised in the Imperial Valley. Her educational background includes a BA in Speech Language Sciences & Technology and hopes to pursue her Master's degree in the near future. Her experience in accounting gave her the opportunity to join the business team at HTH.  Jessica is delighted to have the opportunity to work at High Tech High and be part of a great team.
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Amy Briggs
Director of Special Education
Amy Briggs, M. Ed., started her career in special education as a middle school co-teacher and inclusion specialist while working on her Master’s Degree in Special Education from Georgia State University.  After leaving Atlanta, Amy was an Education Specialist in a full inclusion school in Seattle for two years before pursuing her Education Administration Credential from the University of Washington in 2008. In 2009 Amy started working as a Central Office Administrator for Seattle Public Schools.  Amy moved to San Diego in 2011. This move led to becoming the Assistant Director of Special Education Services for Grossmont Union High School District.

More recently, Amy was the Coordinator of Special Education Services for San Dieguito Union High School District. For the last three years she has worked directly with site administration and teachers to improve programming throughout the district.  In May 2017, Amy won the Special Education Administrator of the Year award from the North Coastal Consortium of Special Education Community Advisory Committee for her collaborative work with families and staff and her effort in creating inclusive district programs that serve all students.

Throughout her career, Amy has focused on supporting special education staff in inclusive practices.  Amy believes that all students deserve a quality education regardless of disability, and that students should be included with their general education peers to the greatest extent possible. She is thrilled to become part of the High Tech High team.
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Samantha Cervantes
Speech Language Pathologist
Sam was born and raised in Southern California and grew up with sunny days on the beach and family trips to the mountains--neither of which were too far away from home. She stayed local during college as she attended UCLA and earned her B.A. in Psychology while doing research in cognitive neuroscience. Following graduation, Sam shifted her focus to the field of Speech Language Pathology and earned her B.S. in Communication Disorders & Sciences from Utah State University. The next stop was graduate school. Sam relocated to the Pacific Northwest and attended the University of Oregon, where she earned her M.S. in Communication Disorders & Sciences.
Sam was drawn back to Southern California after graduate school. Her heart was drawn to San Diego and she quickly knew she could call it home. Sam began her career as a Speech Language Pathologist in private practice, working primarily with the pediatric population. Seeking a change to support students with communication challenges in their everyday lives, she discovered HTH and has found a deep passion for her work in special education. She has supported middle and high school students at the North County campus since 2016.
Sam lives with her husband and fur baby. She loves spending time with family and friends, is a self-proclaimed foodie and enjoys finding new local spots to eat, loves a good TV series to watch and relax, and has recently found a new passion for cooking.
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Joanna Clark
Chief Operations Officer
Joanna Clark, a San Diego native, has worked in the field of education for over 30 years.  She holds a Master's degree in Education and a PPS Credential in both K-12 and College Advising. She is working towards her Doctorate in Education, with an emphasis in Technology and Learning, for forever according to her mother.

After working in Operations for over 17 years, Joanna was promoted to Chief Operations Officer.  Five days later...Global Pandemic.  She is excited to assist High Tech High through these ever changing times and ensure that teachers are able to teach and students are able to learn.  And as always, keep the lights on.
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Diana Cornejo-Sanchez
Director of Intern & Induction Programs
Diana started her educational journey as a high school Humanities teacher with San Diego Unified. She then had the opportunity to be a founding teacher of High Tech High Media Arts, where she taught and mentored new teachers for over ten years. After teaching, she joined the University of San Diego’s Jacob’s Institute for Innovation in Education where she supported large urban school districts in strategic thinking to bring about systemic change to provide students with active learning experiences. Her work here led her to lead change as the Director of Urban Discovery Academy, a Tk-8 project based learning charter school. Her passion for supporting teachers all throughout her journey brought her back to High Tech High as the Director of the Intern and Induction programs, where she supports new teachers and their mentors.
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Ramon Cruz
Custodial Supervisor
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Shelby Dias
Admissions Specialist
Shelby is a San Diego native and she will be joining the enrollment team! She is currently working on her master’s in Organizational Leadership at PLNU and hopes to implement some of those skills with the team. She comes to us from Francis Parker School where she worked as part of their associate teacher staff and their admissions team. Her background is extensive in early childhood education and is passionate about community engagement. Shelby has always been captivated by High Tech’s project-based learning philosophy and is excited to be a part of letting more of San Diego know about us.
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Luis Elizarraraz
Director of Facilities
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Patrick Frost
General Counsel
Patrick Frost is General Counsel for High Tech High, supporting its Board and leadership with legal advice and counsel. Prior to joining HTH, Patrick spent 21 years with San Diego Unified School District, most recently as Assistant General Counsel. Patrick was born and raised in Sacramento, CA and came to San Diego for undergrad. While working in Human Resources at San Diego Unified as a Human Resources Analyst, Patrick studied law at night. After graduating law school and passing the bar, Patrick continued working for San Diego Unified in a variety of legal capacities. In his legal experience, Patrick has advised school district boards and staff in the areas of employment, labor, special education, Title IX, Uniform Complaints, the ADA, discrimination complaints, and various other educationally related issues. Patrick has represented the school district in a variety of forums including before the San Diego Superior Courts, CA 4th District Court of Appeal, U.S. District Court for the Southern District, Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), and other administrative hearings.
Patrick received his J.D. from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and holds a BA in Economics and Japanese Studies from UC San Diego. In addition, after undergrad, Patrick served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala and is fluent in Spanish.
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Veronica Grajeda
Director, Community Engagement & Admissions
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 manage HTH schools' outreach and admissions efforts and student supports through establishing and maintaining relationships with community partners.

Veronica has a B.A. in Spanish and Latin American Studies from Barnard College and a Masters of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management and Institutional Analysis from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
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Janie Griswold
Chief Learning Officer
Janie has been part of the High Tech High community since HTH opened its doors in the fall of 2000. She taught middle and high school humanities at High Tech High and High Tech Middle, and was the Director of High Tech Middle from 2007-2014. In her current role as Chief Learning Officer, she supports directors and teachers across the High Tech High schools. Janie has a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Washington, Seattle.

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Angela Guerrero
EL Coordinator
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  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, and is currently a doctoral candidate in UCSD & CSUSM's joint doctoral program for Equity in Education. She is excited to serve the HTHCV community as director, supporting teachers, students, families and community partners in continuing to grow rich, relevant and rigorous learning experiences for all.
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Patrick Hayman
Graphic Design Manager
Patrick has been working at High Tech High since 2006. He develops user-friendly web-based applications for multiple audiences including students, staff, donors, and those interested in learning more about the High Tech High community.
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Julie Holmes
Director of Credentialing Operations
As Director of Credentialing Operations, Julie Holmes oversees the High Tech High (HTH) Credentialing programs.  She’s responsible for the ongoing management of the HTH Preliminary and Clear teacher credential programs; advisement, certification and compliance issues; and the development of new programs within the California credentialing system.  

Born in Louisiana and raised in Texas, Julie graduated from Baylor University and then earned her teaching credential at the University of Texas, El Paso. Over the years, Julie has worked as an elementary teacher in private, district, and charter schools spanning Texas, New York and California. In 2008, Julie began working for the High Tech High Charter Organization, an integrated network of thirteen K-12 schools offering accredited, in-house, teacher certification programs and a Graduate School of Education.

Julie is a proud member of the HTH Credentialing Team, Credential Counselors & Analysts of California and holds her Leading Edge Certification for Online & Blended Teacher Training.  Julie is passionate about the value of teacher education and is committed to preparing California K-12 teachers.
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Tremier Johnson
Director of Human Resources
Tremier Johnson has a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Relations, as well as, a Master’s Degree Labor & Industrial Relations with a Human Resources Management emphasis.

He has worked as a Human Resources professional/executive in education, non-profit, healthcare and municipal government. His belief in the positive cultural and strategic impact of effective human resource practices has led to a lifetime of professional success.
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Cindy Kim
Executive Assistant to the CEO
A native San Diegan, Cindy graduated from Clairemont High School and attended Kelsey-Jenney Business College and Grossmont Community College. She has over 30 years of experience in a variety of administrative capacities. Before becoming a full-time stay-at-home mom, she was a keypunch operator in the data-processing departments for Fed-Mart and then at the Naval Undersea Center in Point Loma, known today as SPAWAR. The now out-dated IBM keypunch machines were Cindy's first experience using computer technology.

Cindy worked for the San Diego City Schools in various roles for ten years, as the School Improvement Coordinator at Benchley-Weinberger Elementary School, in the Placement and Appeal Department, and in the School-to-Career Career Development Office. Before coming to High Tech High in January, 2000, she was the administrative assistant to the Director of the Business Roundtable for Education at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. Cindy has been with High Tech High since its inception. She is the Executive Assistant to the CEO.
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Siarah Loyd
Admissions Specialist
Siarah is a San Diego native and alumni of High Tech High Media Arts (class of 2012). After graduating from HTHMA she went on to complete her undergrad at UC Santa Cruz, earning a Bachelor's in Comparative Literature. After several years working in Financial Aid Advising and Student Affairs at UC Santa Cruz, Siarah decided to join the HTH staff as a College Advising Assistant at HTHMA. She is now supporting the CMO Ops Team as the Admissions Specialist and is excited to support this team in advancing the High Tech High organization forward.
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Elizabeth Martinez
Accounts Payable Manager
Elizabeth Martinez was born in Salinas, California in 1994.

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

Her Journey in the High Tech High community began five years ago in March 2013, where she started as an Afterschool Assistant for High Tech Elementary Explorer, which at the time was known as Explorer Elementary Charter School. She would later become the After School Program Director which taught her the importance of having an after school program, a program where parents can leave their kids in good hands while they work, and a place where students can build/cultivate relationships with each other and with staff.

In August 2016 Elizabeth began a new journey/challenge in her life; transitioning to HIGH SCHOOL! She has greatly enjoyed being the Site Manager at The Gary & Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High. There are always new challenges, and new opportunities  that not only the children face but the staff as well. I truly believe HTH strives to help prepare our students for those challenges and how to overcome them, and also gives the staff the opportunity to expand their wings and grow to continue making this place an amazing place for everyone who walks through our doors.
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Wendy McDonald
Wendy grew up in San Diego and received her Bachelors Degree in Animal Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and went on to get a certificate from The Exotic Animal Training and Management Program in Moorpark, California. From there she worked as an Elephant Trainer in Vallejo, California. After two and a half years as a trainer she made the decision to move back to San Diego. While waiting to get a job at the San Diego Zoo, she started to work at HTH. Although she eventually got a job at the Zoo her heart brought her back to HTH. She is now the Associate Director of College Relations/Registrar and also provides Powerschool support for all 16 High Tech High schools.
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Rasheed Meadows
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Rasheed Hakim Meadows is the CEO of High Tech High (HTH), an integrated network of 16 charter schools serving more than 5000 students in grades K-12 across four campuses in San Diego, CA.
Before joining HTH, Dr. Meadows served as a Vice President at TNTP, overseeing the national organization’s consulting work in the Northeast, helping educators, schools, and school systems more effectively meet students’ needs. He also was a leader in TNTP’s equity innovation work, pushing the organization to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive place, and managing TNTP’s first team to help schools and districts do the same. Meadows also founded TNTP’s Bridge Fellowship, an award granted to “bold leaders with a history of advancing big ideas in their field,” aiming to improve outcomes and school experiences for Black and Latino young men.
Prior to joining TNTP, Rasheed served as Network Superintendent for Boston Public Schools, where he led schools serving over 5,000 students and directly supported 15 principals and their leadership teams. Rasheed began his career as a science and technology teacher before serving as Dean of Students at a large, public high school in Cambridge, MA. Later, he became a founding administrator at a Boston public middle school, and then Founding Headmaster at Boston’s Urban Science Academy, where he substantially raised graduation rates, narrowed achievement gaps, and achieved some of the highest graduation rates for special education students in the district.
Rasheed holds a bachelor’s in biology from Yale University, as well as a master’s in teaching and curriculum and a doctorate in education leadership from Harvard University
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Roberta Melgarejo

Roberta is a San Diego native and joined the High Tech High team in October of 2018. She holds a bachelor's degree in Accountancy, and a master's degree in Management Accounting.  In her spare time, Roberta enjoys spending time with her family and two energetic French bulldogs (Rosie & DOG).

Likes: Football, Chinese Food, traveling, hot sauce

Dislikes: Taking pictures, mushrooms, feeling rushed

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Cecilia Nevarez
Credential Analyst
Prior to moving into her current position as Credential Analyst at the HTH Teacher Center, Cecilia spent the last 20 years acquiring experience in outreach education, program management, special education and social services. Cecilia joined High Tech High in 2011 with the opening of High Tech Elementary & Middle Chula Vista. She is proud to have successfully launched four competitive archery programs beginning at the Chula Vista village and eventually carried over to the High Tech High Point Loma village. As Credential Analyst, Cecilia supports the HTH Preliminary and Clear teacher credential programs as well as the reviewing, analyzing and processing of applications for teaching credentials, certificates and permits. Cecilia thrives most on coaching and supporting others in achieving their goals.
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Michal Lynn OKelley
Director of Athletics and Wellness
A country girl at heart, Michal-Lynn "Coach" O'Kelley hails from Walnut Creek, Ca but spent most of her summers camping with her extended family ,water skiing, and country line dancing in Oklahoma. She received her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from University of Arkansas, where she also was a midfielder for the Division I Razorbacks. Michal-Lynn has coached youth soccer for the Albion premiere soccer club for over 10 years, and has served as their Director of Operations for most of those years. She also was one of High Tech Explorer Elementary's founding faculty, as its first PE teacher.  Coach O'Kelley has loved her time as the Director of Athletics and Wellness at High Tech High and spends her time cheering on the Storm at their games sporting her blue and yellow! She believes in building character through athletics and hopes to inspire athletes to push beyond their limits and release themselves to the game of life. When she is not working out, doing hot yoga, or watching soccer matches, she is hanging out with her family on bikes, at concerts, or with friends.
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Ericka Olson
Facilities Coordinator
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Maylynne RayosDP
Talent Operations Manager
Maylynne Rayos is the current Talent Operations Manager for the HTH CMO. She holds a BA in Child and Family Development, an MA in Education, Counseling & Guidance, and is a Certified Workforce Development Professional and Career Advisor. She has over 10 years of experience in Workforce Development, working with specialized populations and serving as a liaison between businesses and community job seekers.
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Kristy Renken
Payroll and Benefits Manager
Kristy has been with High Tech High since February 2008 and manages the employee payroll and health benefits for the organization.
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Larry Rosenstock
CEO Emeritus
Larry Rosenstock is the founding CEO of High Tech High, a network of public charter schools focused on project-based learning.

Larry taught carpentry in urban high schools for eleven years before working as staff attorney at the Harvard Center for Law and Education. Returning to public schools, he served as Director of the Rindge School of Technical Arts and then Principal of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.

Mr. Rosenstock directed the New Urban High School Project of the U.S. Department of Education. He has served as a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Visiting Associate Professor at UC Berkeley School of Education.

Larry is the recipient of the Ashoka Fellowship and the McGraw Prize in Education, and serves as an advisor to numerous commissions and boards nationally and internationally. He holds a JD from Boston University Law School, an M.Ed from Cambridge College, a BA from Brandeis University and a Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa from Cambridge College. Larry is the 2019 World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Laureate.

High Tech High now has 16 K-12 schools, a teacher-credentialing program, and a graduate school of education.
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Casey Salmon
Associate Director of Special Education
Casey Salmon has taught at a variety of grade levels over the past eighteen years. After college, she moved to Houston, Texas where she taught third grade for two years with a program called Teach for America. Those two years were eye-opening and completely changed her views on education. She became passionate about ensuring that all students had an equal opportunity to be successful.

Missing California, Casey moved to San Diego in the summer of 2002. She spent a year working at a small, private school in North County, where she taught English to 6th-9th graders who needed more individual attention and a smaller classroom size than their neighborhood schools could provide.  Through this experience she was inspired to return to school to learn more about how to meet the needs of students with learning differences. She received her Education Specialist credential from San Diego State University in 2005, and completed her M. Ed in Education with an emphasis in Special Education from Point Loma Nazarene University in 2007.

This will be Casey’s fifteenth school year working for High Tech High. She worked at High Tech High as an Inclusion Specialist for a year. Then, in the Fall of 2005, Casey became the Inclusion Specialist at High Tech Middle and supported school leadership through the role of Associate Director. In 2016 Casey became the Director at HTMMA where she was lucky enough to work with amazing staff and students in a dynamic, project based setting that focused on positive school culture. Currently she is the Associate Director of Special Education for the HTH charter schools. For fun she enjoys spending time with her four year old twins, swimming, reading, traveling and cooking.
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Shari San Agustin
Special Ed Administrator
I have had the pleasure of working in Special Education for over 30 years.  In that time I have wore many hats and have enjoyed all the different roles working directly with children who have special needs to working behind the scenes with Admin Staff.  Every opportunity to be a small part of helping students grow has been wonderful.  Working at HTH since 2014 has been the cherry on top.  I look forward every year to see the happy faces, hear the chatter of students in the halls as they are working on the projects and working closely with the tremendous Admin Team in the SpEd Department.

On a personal note, I am the grandma to two little girls, Ava & Belle.  They bring me more joy than I have words for.  I am grateful and blessed.
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Daren Sefcik
Chief Technology Officer
Daren was born in Oceanside, CA and has lived in San Diego all of his life. During his youth he traveled to many parts of the world and at the age of 19 he married in Caracas, Venezuela and has been married for 21 years and has 3 boys who all attend High Tech High schools.

After 14 years of owning and operating a motorcycle repair business he realized computers and technology were the future and in 1995 started his technology career as a UNIX Systems Administrator for a San Diego based Sun Microsystems VAR. 11 years later he joined the High Tech High team as the Director of Technology. Daren has been involved with many aspects of computer technology ranging from java programing to SQL database design and network security. He has also contributed to many Open Source projects over the years.
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Kristin Singh
Associate Director of Special Education
Kristin 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 worked as a school psychologist in various districts in San Diego County before joining the High Tech High community in 2016 as the school psychologist in the North County Village. Kristin now serves as the Associate Director of Special Education for High Tech High.

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 with her daughter, and spending quality time at home with the whole family.
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Amanda Theisen
Business Operations Analyst
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Amanda Thomas
Food and Nutrition Services Manager
Amanda Thomas was born and raised in San Diego. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, she is both passionate and experienced in creating nutritious and delicious meals to all students. She has a Bachelor's in Food & Nutrition Services from San Diego State University and a Master's Degree in Dietetics  Administration from Utah State University. Amanda strives to provide our students with the highest quality meals daily!
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Marisa Thompson
Program Manager