- Sarah Barnes Ed Specialist Program ManagerXSarah BarnesEd Specialist Program Manager
Sarah co-teaches the Inclusive Classrooms course for the GSE. Sarah joined High Tech High in 2007 and has enjoyed working as both a general education 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 and feels most fulfilled when the lines between special education and general education are blurred. Sarah was awarded a Fulbright- Hays grant to study diversity in education in Brazil; specifically the inequitable systems that historically have marginalized indigenous and afro-brazilian communities. Her work in inclusion has also been informed by the semester she spent in Northern Uganda. Sarah participated in a teacher exchange program while supporting educational practices that integrated students who had experienced trauma 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.
As Ed Specialist Program Manager Sarah supports inclusion and Special Education programs across the thirteen High Tech High schools and works with the High Tech High Credentialing program to implement professional development, coursework, and mentorship for new Ed Specialist teachers.
- Amy Briggs Director of Special EducationXAmy BriggsDirector 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.
- Joanna Clark Student Information System AdministratorXJoanna ClarkStudent Information System Administrator
Joanna Clark, a San Diego native, has worked in the field of education for over 25 years. Joanna holds a Master's degree in Education and a Pupil Personnel Services Credential. She is working towards her Doctorate in Education, emphasis in Technology and Learning, for forever according to her mother.
Joanna is the administrator for Powerschool, CALPADS, Attendance, Testing, and current and historical Student Data. In her spare time, she is a mother of 2 and an avid TV blogger.
- Lynley Connor Food and Nutrition Services ManagerXLynley ConnorFood and Nutrition Services Manager
Lynley recently moved to San Diego in March 2017 from New York, NY. She attended Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island to obtain her Associate's in Culinary Arts, and Bachelor's of Nutritional Science with a concentration in Clinical Dietetics. She is a trained Culinary Nutritionist that has worked for the Department of Education in the past running 7 school's food and nutrition programs in New York.
She is thrilled to work for HTH, and to improve upon the current food and nutrition programs offered by HTH. Lynley invites students and parents to join the Wellness Committee and to provide feedback and ideas in an effort to help the Food and Nutrition program grow.
- Diana Cornejo-Sanchez Director of Intern & Induction ProgramsXDiana Cornejo-SanchezDirector 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.
- Becky Cortez Special Ed Administrative AideXBecky CortezSpecial Ed Administrative Aide
Becky brings 22 years of experience from Firemans Fund Insurance. She currently works in the Special Education Department as an Office Assistant/Records Clerk.
Becky was born and raised in San Diego. On her time away from school, she sings at her local church and local events which is a passion of hers. She most loves spending time with her large Hawaiian family and friends.
- Paul Dooley Director of FacilitiesXPaul DooleyDirector of Facilities
Paul Dooley, HTH Director of Facilities, has over 30 years of experience in real estate development and construction. Paul has a Bachelor of Architecture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and has been a licensed General Contractor since 1988. Prior to coming to HTH, Paul was a partner in a development company that built single family homes and condominiums in Southern California. Paul joined HTH in 2008, and has overseen the development and construction of the Chula Vista and San Marcos campuses, as well as HTe in Point Loma. Paul also oversees the maintenance of all HTH facilities.
- Angelica Esparza Banuelos Admissions AssistantXAngelica Esparza BanuelosAdmissions Assistant
Angie, a San Diego native, recently graduated from UC San Diego with a BS in Human Development and a History + Science & Tech point of concentration. Her previous work and involvement with TRiO Upward Bound Programs, AVID, SDSU Step Up, OASIS Summer Bridge, and UCSD's Student Success Coaching Program has led to her deep appreciation and passion for equitable education. Although her undergraduate research focused on early childhood education, Angie hopes to be as involved in supporting the first-gen, underrepresented communities rising into higher education.
Fun facts: Studied abroad in Ecuador and Nicaragua, Self-taught in acoustic guitar and ukulele
- Janie Griswold Chief Learning OfficerXJanie GriswoldChief 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. She is currently Director of New Teacher Development. She supports new teachers at High Tech High schools, and leads the HTH Teacher Intern Program. She has Masters of Arts in Teaching from the University of Washington, Seattle.
- Felicia Hamwey Accounts Payable ManagerXFelicia HamweyAccounts Payable Manager
Felicia is the Accounts Payable Manager for all 13 of the High Tech High Schools. She became part of the HTH community as a parent in 2004 and joined the business office in 2010.
Born and raised in Boston, Felicia earned her Bachelor’s degree from Colby College in Maine and her MBA from Northeastern University in Boston. She has worked in a variety of accounting roles from a tax specialist to a bookkeeper but enjoys working most at HTH because doing what she loves best while supporting the students and staff at HTH makes it one of the most rewarding jobs ever.
- Patrick Hayman Graphic Design ManagerXPatrick HaymanGraphic Design Manager
Patrick 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.Patrick earned his B.F.A. from the University of Arizona, has an extensive background in photography, probably eats way too much chocolate, and has been working at High Tech High since 2006.In his free time he enjoys building stuff, repairing things way beyond his skill level, and trying to keep his garden from overtaking the neighborhood.
- Maria Heredia Chief Operations Officer/General CounselXMaria HerediaChief Operations Officer/General Counsel
Maria Heredia’s work focuses on supporting innovative and effective educational opportunities for students and teachers. She has been actively involved with charter schools and education nonprofits in California for twenty years. She works with High Tech High in the dual role of Chief Operations Officer and General Counsel focusing on school operations and policy. Previously Maria served as Senior Vice President of Legal Advocacy and General Counsel to the California Charter Schools Association. At CCSA, Maria worked to expand advocacy efforts on behalf of California charter schools, while leading an action that significantly increased the facilities available to children attending charter schools in Los Angeles. Prior to that she worked in private practice. Maria has enjoyed teaching graduate level classes in education law and policy and volunteering with local nonprofits. She is a graduate of Stanford Law School where she focused on the Lawyering for Social Change curriculum, and Harvard University where she earned an A.B. in American History and Literature.
- Julie Holmes Director of Credentialing OperationsXJulie HolmesDirector 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.
- Cindy Kim Executive Assistant to the CEOXCindy KimExecutive 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 18 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.
- Wendy McDonald RegistrarXWendy McDonaldRegistrar
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. Now, many years later she is the Associate Director of College Relations and Registrar for all 11 High Tech High schools.
- Roberta Melgarejo Senior AccountantXRoberta MelgarejoSenior Accountant
- Cecilia Nevarez Credential AnalystXCecilia NevarezCredential Analyst
- Charity Noles Human Resources CoordinatorXCharity NolesHuman Resources Coordinator
Charity supports High Tech High (HTH) directors with recruitment and internal professional development. She first joined the organization in 2015 as a Credential Analyst for HTH’s adult learning programs. Charity was born and raised in San Diego’s wonderfully diverse South Bay. She served eight years as a Human Resources Specialist in the U.S. Army Reserve, while attending Southwestern College and ultimately completing a B.A. in Organizational Behavior from National University. Charity is dedicated to improving educational opportunities for students by attracting and retaining an intellectually curious and collaborative teaching faculty.
- Michal-Lynn O'Kelley Director of Athletics and WellnessXMichal-Lynn O'KelleyDirector 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.
- Ericka Olson Facilities CoordinatorXEricka OlsonFacilities Coordinator
- Jessica Ortega Accounting CoordinatorXJessica OrtegaAccounting Coordinator
Jessica Ortega was 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.
- Marisela Ortiz Operations ManagerXMarisela OrtizOperations Manager
Originally from Ventura County, Mari Ortiz moved to San Diego in 2008 to begin her undergraduate studies at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). She graduated in 2013 with a BA in Sociology with an emphasis in Law and Society and two minors in Political Science and International Migration Studies. While at UCSD, Mari participated in the Mexican Migration Field Research Program (MMFRP) through which she studied occupational health in both Mexico and the U.S. After graduation, Mari worked in the legal field, most recently, Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves, and Savitch, LLP. She brings her legal background to High Tech High and assists the Chief Operations Officer/General Counsel with the implementation of various organizational projects and programs. Mari is currently applying to law school to pursue a J.D. degree.
- Susan Park Compliance OfficerXSusan ParkCompliance Officer
Prior to joining the High Tech High team, Susan worked at the San Diego Unified School District (Office of Charter Schools Program Manager), O'Farrell Charter School (Director of Operations), Franklin Templeton (Shareholder Reports Writer), and Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost (Attorney). Susan holds a bachelor's degree (American Literature), a master's degree (Education), a law degree, and a teaching credential (English).
- Kristy Renken Payroll and Benefits ManagerXKristy RenkenPayroll and Benefits Manager
Kristy has been with High Tech High since February 2008 and manages the employee payroll and health benefits for the organization.
- Larry Rosenstock Chief Executive OfficerXLarry RosenstockChief Executive Officer
Larry Rosenstock is the founder and 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.
High Tech High Learning now comprises twelve K-12 schools, a teacher-credentialing program, and a graduate school of education.
- Casey Salmon Associate Director of Special EducationXCasey SalmonAssociate Director of Special Education
Casey Salmon has taught at a variety of grade levels over the past sixteen years. After graduating from Westmont 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 smaller classroom sizes 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 challenges. 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 thirteenth school year working for the High Tech High organization. She worked at HTH as an Inclusion Specialist for a year and has spent the rest of her time working at HTM as an Inclusion Specialist and supporting school leadership through the role of Associate Director. She truly loves her job and feels very lucky to have the opportunity to work with such amazing teachers and students. For fun she enjoys playing with her two year old twins, training for triathlons, reading, scuba diving, traveling and cooking.
- Shari San Agustin Special Education AdministratorXShari San AgustinSpecial Education 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.
- Daren Sefcik Director of Information TechnologyXDaren SefcikDirector of Information Technology
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.
- Kristin Singh Associate Director of Special EducationXKristin SinghAssociate Director of Special Education
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 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.
- Amanda Theisen Payroll Accounting SpecialistXAmanda TheisenPayroll Accounting Specialist
- Michelle Valles Admissions ManagerXMichelle VallesAdmissions Manager
Michelle formed part of the first graduating class of High Tech High Media Arts in 2008 and is delighted to work with High Tech High. Michelle attended San Diego State University where she received her undergraduate degree in Philosophy. Michelle knows from personal experience what High Tech High has to offer for its students and is passionate about sharing the HTH experience with the local community.