After college, Ricardo joined the High Tech High team as an academic coach at High Tech Elementary. He enjoyed working with his kindergarten class and being a part of students’ academic growth. Ricardo’s year as an academic coach sparked his passion for education and his journey to become a teacher. Last year, Ricardo was an Apprentice in a Second Grade classroom. This year, he is one of the Kindergarten Teachers and is excited for the school year.
Lydia is married, has two amazing kids, an equally amazing husband who she spends time with during, before and after she’s done her yoga, reading, running and photography. Most importantly she’s never stopped learning and looks forward to expanding her education through all the many and wonderful perspectives her students and colleagues will bring to her work everyday over the coming years.
Claire is very excited to continue teaching and learning with the first grade team in the fantastic community of HTe teachers, students, and families. Claire joined HTe in the spring of 2016, and is thankful to have found a grade level that matches her sense of humor and attention span. Her teaching style takes a healthy mix of influences from Maria from The Sound of Music, Tim Gunn from Project Runway, and the experiences of former students who will forever hold space in Claire's heart.
Claire received her Bachelors in Mathematics from the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara, and worked for a finance firm in Philadelphia before moving back home to San Diego and entering the childcare and education field. When she's not at school, Claire enjoys being outdoors, spending time with family, and eating delicious food.
Alex graduated from San Diego State in 2017 with a Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Studies - Elementary Education. Before her career at HTe, Alex was a writing tutor on SDSU's campus and spent her summers as a camp counselor for the Mission Valley YMCA. When not at school, she enjoys playing with her puppy, Risa, discussing the latest TV shows and movies, eating good food, and spending time with her family.
Janice has enjoyed serving students and families in a variety of capacities throughout her educational career -- as a classroom teacher, a mentor teacher, a literacy specialist/intervention teacher, a resource teacher, an academic liaison for parents/families, and as a world language teacher (Spanish as a Second Language for grades 1-2).
For over 6 years prior to joining the team at HTe, Janice worked for the Children & Nature Network (C&NN), a non-profit that is dedicated to connecting children, families and communities to nature for their health and well-being, and for that of our planet. As the Director of Family Initiatives for C&NN, her work carried her to several corners of the globe where she taught and trained people from a variety of backgrounds and philosophies about the many benefits of time spent in nature, as well as how to work with children and families in fostering their connections with each other and the natural world.
Still very connected to nature, you will often find Janice outside with her family, where they enjoy hiking, camping, exploring and traveling the world and creating other adventures together. Both of her sons are students down the street at High Tech High.
Kayla grew up in Northern California and moved to San Diego 12 years ago to attend UCSD. She earned her Bachelors degree in International Studies with a focus in Sociology. After college, Kayla decided to pursue her love for learning and joined High Tech High. After working as an Academic Coach for HTHMA, she completed the 2-year HTH District Intern Credential Program, earning her Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential while working as an Apprentice Teacher in Kindergarten and 2nd Grade. Kayla taught fifth grade at HTeNC and started teaching second grade at HTe in 2019. She feels very lucky to have gained experience across the organization and to be a part of the amazing HTe community.
Outside of school Kayla enjoys taking her dogs to the beach, practicing yoga, cooking, dabbling in interior design, reading, hiking, and being outdoors with her husband and two dogs.
Josh always creates a welcoming environment within his classroom believes in building strong relationships with his students and their families. Josh holds all of his students to high expectations and values honesty and respect.
In his free time Josh enjoys hiking, playing basketball, motorcycles and riding dirt bikes, hanging out at the beach and taking his dogs for walks at the park. Josh’s door is always open and welcomes you to come by and say hello!
In Brooklyn, she began working with preschoolers through the practice of Reggio Emilia. Following her passion for traveling, she moved to beautiful San Diego, continuing this practice, working on long term child centered projects with preschoolers. Her passions in teaching are incorporating the arts and sciences into her projects with the goal of giving children multiple outlets for their learning. She believes the bond between teacher and parent are highly impactful in a child's success.
When exploring elementary schools, she came across HTe and immediately felt connected to their philosophy and values. When beginning to work here, she also quickly formed connections with students and colleagues. She is absolutely excited to be working at this grade level and with such an amazing third grade team!
Some of Tiffany's favorite things:
The color blue, watching her favorite NY sports teams (Jets, Mets, Rangers), boating and jet skiing; San Diego sunsets, traveling, her two nieces Brooklyn and Reese, Christmas, Comic Con, and cooking.
Allison is ecstatic to announce that her journey at HTe has provided her with 4 years in Third Grade, 1 year in Fifth Grade, "Yearbook Advisor" in the school's student-led Yearbook Committee, leadership opportunities in science (NGSS) and mathematics (MAIC), and most recently a spot on the Third Grade team for her 6th year of teaching!
Outside of the classroom, Allison most enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
Charlotte joined the High Tech family in January 2020 as a Kindergarten Support Teacher at High Tech Elementary Explorer and is excited to join the 4th grade team at HTe for the 2020-21 school year!
Charlotte loves spending time with her husband and their dog, Kenji, who is very spoiled with long walks, long hikes, and trips to the beach.
In order to pursue teaching, Michelle decided to leave sunny California to attend Columbia Teachers College in New York City where she earned a MA in English Education and her teaching credential. After a year of hard work and a winter of snowy commutes, Michelle was thrilled to come back to the High Tech family as a 4th grade teacher at High Tech Elementary! Michelle was a founding faculty member at HTe in 2015.
When she is not at school, Michelle enjoys traveling, reading, swimming in the ocean, camping, doing word puzzles, hiking and watching Jeopardy!
Jeff is into hands on, messy projects that challenge students to figure out the results on their own. But he also understands that learning great basic skills and developing successful habits of mind also needs to be covered at the elementary level. In Jeff's class your child should feel safe to be his or herself and know that he or she is an important part of the classroom community.
After graduation in 2014, Jen left Nebraska to follow her passion and explore the world of education. That journey brought her to many different schools all over the country and world which allowed her to develop and hone her ability to support the holistic development of children. All of those experiences eventually brought Jen to the High Tech community in 2018 which she was drawn to for its emphasis on equity, authenticity and inclusion. Jen earned her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential through High Tech’s Graduate School and also worked as a Teacher Apprentice at HTeCV and as a Teacher Assistant at HTeX. She is so excited to join the HTe community and is eager to get to know and build relationships with her students, their families and her colleagues.
Outside of being a teacher, Jen enjoys quality time with loved ones, being active (especially bicycling), exploring nature, creating, experimenting in the kitchen, and playing with other people’s pets.
Julie hopes to educate students through facilitation while they discover that their ideas, emotion and futures matter. She strives to make the most of time in school by challenging students with eye-opening content and tasks that lead to self-discovery when accomplished.
While earning her B.A. in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Science Education at Maryville University in St. Louis, Julie enjoyed partaking in outdoor education opportunities. She volunteered weekly at Litzsinger Road Ecology Center and spent a Summer working at Teton Science Schools through Americorps in Jackson, Wyoming. During her time as a student she also worked as a Lead Behavior Assistant, providing ABA therapy for children with autism.
For the past two years, Julie has taught 5th graders in the Pattonville School District in St. Louis, Missouri. After learning about project-based learning and implementing it in her classroom through student-led projects on global warming and palm oil deforestation, Julie decided to move to San Diego to be a part of a school community that promoted equity, creativity, collaboration, and other 21st century skills through project-based learning.
When Julie is not teaching and learning from her students, she is reading outside with (and to) her two cats.
As such, Marissa lives every day “being more” than the day before. Every challenge provides a new learning opportunity, and she seizes these with passion.
Now finishing her teaching credential in special education, Marissa is excited and ready to take on the new school year! She is a universal educator who designs liberating experiences for thoughtful and clever students so that they can realize their power and become confident, resourceful leaders. Marissa strives to impart to students her love of learning, empathy for peers, and kindness to everyone.
I'm a relatively new transplant from Hilo, Hawaii. My psychology history began as a senior in high school, where I became so interested in learning about "why people do what they do," I took Psych in the fall and AP Psych in the spring, and knew it would become my future. I received my undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. Before applying to graduate school, I worked as a researcher at the Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu, HI. My project focused on the effects of culture-based education on student academics and well-being. I then headed back to the northwest to receive my Education Specialist degree in School Psychology from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. I returned home where I was a school psychologist for nine years. I then took up the exciting opportunity to relocate to San Diego and High Tech High (Elementary and International) with my family. I love this profession as a combination of edu cation and psychology, and have special interests in executive functioning, cultural/ethnic identity, mindfulness, and resiliency.
As a self-identified "nerd" and "lifelong learner," I am always looking for opportunities to learn more about myself, others, and helping others learn more about themselves. I identify with traits such as "introvert, "empath," and "Highly Sensitive Person," and believe that these qualities allow me the compassion, care, strength, and drive to help others define and develop themselves to succeed (their definition of the word). When not doing this, I am exploring San Diego with my little family.
Some of my favorite things include: nature, the ocean (it's cold here!), traveling, Harry Potter (Hufflepuff represent!), sea otters, baking, learning and experiencing other cultures, spa activities, my family, and animal encounters.
Sara is excited to be a part of HTe’s founding faculty. After working for three years at High Tech’s Chula Vista campus, she quickly embraced the full inclusion philosophy that allows her to help students develop and expand their communication skills in the classroom setting.
Outside of work, Sara spends her time with her two young children and husband. She takes advantage of any opportunity to travel back east, but never tires of all that San Diego has to offer.
Shana also received A Masters in Language Arts and a Reading Specialist Credential from SDSU. This year she transitions to Inclusion at HTe and looks forward to learning more about helping support students with special needs through their Inclusion Program.
In her free time Shana enjoys spending time with her son Waylon and her husband Zach. She loves surfing, running, hiking, camping, traveling, home projects and reading non-fiction books about music and adventures. Her last trip was to Peru for her Honeymoon where she hiked Machu Picchu and surfed the coast (Haunchaco). She hopes to go on many more adventures including New Zealand, Iceland and Ireland.
Mr. Lizza was born and raised near Detroit, Michigan. He earned a B.A. in elementary education and a multiple subject teaching credential from University of San Diego. He acquired a physical education credential through UCLA, a meditation and mindfulness certification from Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga, and a kids yoga teacher certification through Cosmic Kids Yoga.
Mr. Lizza taught within the world of special education, and he directed an outdoor day camp for inquisitive four year olds. Throughout college, he served as a head lifeguard and led swimming lessons. Mr. Lizza educated K-12 patients with chronic health care needs at University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. He has taught kindergarten at a standards-based school in Michigan, HTeNC and HTe. Movement & Mindfulness is Mr. Lizza’s passion project.
Mr. Lizza is a beach volleyball player, a backyard trampolinist, a sidewalk jump roper and an inventor of games. He loves laughing with his cousins, eating spoonfuls of peanut butter and biking beside the ocean. Adventure is out there!
Then, in 2011, she was very fortunate to join the High Tech family as a founding faculty member at our first elementary school, HTe Chula Vista, where she enjoyed four great years as a 1st grade teacher! In fact, she enjoyed the challenging and rewarding work of project based learning in the elementary classroom so much that she decided to help bring that same work to a new community by becoming a founding faculty member at HTe Point Loma in 2015! There, she taught 1st grade for 3 years, and is currently working to support teachers and students across the school as an Instructional Coach.
In her free time, Trisha enjoys spending time with her friends and family, swimming, reading, watching movies, traveling, watching sports, and being near the water (preferably a tropical beach, but just about any body of water will do)!
Riley grew up in Los Angeles, so he's no newbie to the west coast, but he is brand new to San Diego and just arrived after spending the previous six years in Boston, MA. Before joining the High Tech High team, he spent time working as an engineer, educator, and researcher. He has experience working on state of the art engineering projects with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He has taught engineering to learners from kindergarten to college and in many places from El Salvador to Minnesota. And most recently, he was a researcher in Boston while getting his Masters of Science in STEM Education at Tufts University. While working at Tufts, his research lived in the worlds of education, engineering, design, and sociology – focusing on how educational institutions design and make sense of the use of makerspaces as reflecting the existing commitments of a school community. He hopes to bring the lessons from that work to HTe and continue to cultivate learning spaces that support children in their engineering endeavors.
Riley is really excited to be joining the HTH family and is always looking to make new connections. His biggest weakness is not being able to say no, so feel free to contact him with any new ideas or ask him to get involved with whatever you’re working on – he'll definitely say yes.