- Ricardo BorjaXRicardo BorjaKindergarten Teacher
Ricardo Borja was born and raised in East Los Angeles. After high school, Ricardo moved to San Diego where he attended Grossmont College and San Diego State University. Ricardo was fascinated by social group interactions, which led to a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and minor in Anthropology.
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.
- Danny LizzaXDanny LizzaKindergarten Teacher
As five year old explorers make sense of the world around them in different ways, Mr. Lizza intends to craft heads on, hearts on, hands on projects that will provide equitable learning opportunities for all of his kindergarteners, in celebration of their needs. He aims to help his students build social-emotional aptitude and self-efficacy. He aspires for young learners to create, make mistakes, try again, grapple some more, achieve and then take pride in their artistry. Each kindergarten day will be filled with child-driven play and song, movement and laughter.
Mr. Lizza was born and raised near Detroit, Michigan. He earned his BA in elementary education and his teaching credential from University of San Diego. Mr. Lizza has taught within the world of special education, and he has directed an outdoor day camp for inquisitive four year olds. He has engaged kindergarteners in SUPER FUN project based learning at HTeNC and in standards based learning at a public school in Michigan. Mr. Lizza has spent a heartwarming year educating patients with chronic health care needs at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor. But he is thrilled to return to purposeful, joyful kindergarten work at High Tech elementary.
Mr. Lizza is a beach volleyball player, a backyard trampolinist, a sidewalk jump roper and an inventor of games. He is a son, a brother and a cousin who loves to laugh. He enjoys zigzaggy bike rides beneath red-leaved trees. Adventure is out there!
- Cereescia SandovalXKindergarten Teacher
Cereescia in Keres, Pueblo translates as Mountain Bluebird. The bluebird in many cultures symbolizes transformation, growth, and indicates that greater sunshine is soon to come. I fully embrace the power of my name. As a teacher, I work to transform the traditional classroom into a student-centered space that hums with discovery, problem solving, and excitement. I am constantly evaluating the best ways to help grow the mind, body, and spirit of each child. To teach to the whole child I strive to incorporate challenging projects that invite collaboration while encouraging play and inciting joy.
Before arriving at High Tech Elementary, I was a graduate student at the University of Oregon. I received a degree in curriculum and education with endorsements in K-12 instruction. My decision to pursue my master’s was born out of a passion for teaching that developed while operating a preschool program in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I have also taught in many other capacities, including as a youth worker in inner city Chicago and an English teacher in Japan. Beyond being a teacher I am an outdoor enthusiast, a dedicated runner, and a traveler.
I incorporate my own life story into my teaching. I also value the cultures and understandings that every student brings with them into the classroom. My hope is that through the positive exchange of ideas and culture students will gain the confidence to find possibility in the face of probability.
- Lydia CallisXLydia Callis1st Grade Teacher
Lydia Callis is a transplant from Michigan, where she was born and raised, then attended Western Michigan University (WMU) to acquire her undergrad in English Literature with a Spanish Language Minor. Post graduation, she took her BA to sunny San Diego. In her former life she worked to improve transportation for the elderly and disabled, as a planner at the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and project manager for the American Red Cross, San Diego Chapter. Her realization to transform into an educator came through active involvement and initiating projects at the project based learning (PBL) schools her two children attended over the last several years. She was captivated to see the PBL approach creating deeper and more equitable learning environments for students of all backgrounds. Coupled with her love of children, she achieved her teaching credential through the High Tech High Apprentice program from 2015-2017, working in grades K-2. Lydia then spent the following year working with the 2nd grade team as an Academic Coach. She is beyond excited to continue her work at HTe by joining the 1st grade team as a classroom teacher.
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 year.
- Claire DekenXClaire Deken1st Grade Teacher
Claire is very excited to continue her teaching career with the first grade team in the fantastic community of HTe teachers, students, and families. Claire joined HTe as an Academic Coach for second grade in the spring of 2016, and is currently a student in the HTe credentialing program. She is thankful to have found a grade level that matches her sense of humor and attention span.
Claire received her Bachelors in Mathematics from the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara, and spent about 4 years working in finance for a trading firm in Philadelphia before moving back home to San Diego. When she's not at school, Claire enjoys being outdoors, spending time with family, and eating delicious food.
- Cate HoffXCate Hoff1st Grade Teacher
I grew up outside of Boston with my four siblings. From a young age, I wanted to learn languages, travel, and share those experiences with others. I studied Spanish and Education at Roanoke College in VA and spent a semester at the University of Oviedo in Asturias, Spain. Some highlights from my eighteen years of teaching include earning a Master’s Degree in Education with a focus in Language and Literacy at San Francisco State University, teaching high school Spanish, bilingual Kindergarten through third grade, and volunteer teaching at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in Costa Rica, helping open HTeCV in 2011, and joining High Tech High's Graduate School of Education Teacher Leadership Program in 2014. Things that make me tick are my family, laughter, travel, art, being in nature, a great read, and good food. I am thrilled to be teaching our beloved kindergarteners at HTe this year!
- Alex AdamsXAlex Adams2nd Grade Apprentice Teacher
Alex is excited to be working at High Tech Elementary for another year! She started her career at HTe as an Academic Coach in first grade, and she can't believe her luck that she's following her first group of students into second grade for the 2018/2019 school year. She is now a first year student in HTe's credentialing program and is looking forward to having her own classroom some day.
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 exploring new places, eating good food, and spending time with family.
- Josh BenedickXJosh Benedick2nd Grade Teacher
Josh is thrilled to join the team at HTe as a 2nd-grade teacher. He was born and raised in Eastern Pennsylvania where he earned his bachelor’s degree from Penn State University in Elementary Education. He began his career as a kindergarten teacher for four years before moving to Brooklyn, New York. In NYC, he taught 2nd and 3rd grade over the five years he lived there. During this time, Josh also earned his master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Relay Graduate School of Education. After many years of dreaming about life on the west coast, Josh and his wife Lacey moved to San Diego. Josh was hired at HTe, Chula Vista as a full-time substitute for the 2017-2018 school year.
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!
- Desiree PowersX2nd Grade Teacher
Growing up in northern New Jersey, in the shadows of Manhattan, Desiree discovered her passion for learning and culture at a young age. With endless sights and attractions in her backyard, she would often find herself lost in one of the many museums or historical landmarks New York has to offer. Her thirst for knowledge is something she still carries today and has since developed into her desire to teach and share with others.
Desiree received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Certification of Elementary Education at William Paterson University. After graduating, she worked closely with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders, teaching academics as well as life skills for 3 years, before moving to sunny San Diego.
Desiree began her career at HTe Chula Vista in 2014, working with the 2nd Grade team as an academic coach. She stayed on to open HTe in Point Loma where she worked with the 2nd grade team for the first trimester and moved on to teach 5th Grade for the second and third trimesters. She is beyond excited to be working with the 2nd Grade team again as a teacher this year.When she is not teaching, Desiree enjoys traveling to Asia, catching up on a good book, or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the New York Mets.
- Janice SwaisgoodX2nd Grade Teacher
Janice is more than excited to return to the classroom and join the HTe team as a second grade teacher this year! She earned her B.A. in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Spanish from San Diego State University, where she went on to complete her Bilingual/Cross-Cultural Teaching Credential. After teaching for a few years, she completed her Master's Degree in Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Design from the University of California, San Diego.
Janice has enjoyed serving students and families in a variety of capacities throughout her career -- as a classroom teacher, a mentor teacher, a literacy specialist/intervention teacher, a resource teacher, an academic liaison for parents, and as a world language teacher (Spanish as a Second Language for grades 1-2).
For the past 7 years, Janice has 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.
You will often find Janice outside with her family, where they enjoy hiking, camping, traveling the world and other adventures together. Both of her sons are students in the High Tech Village in Point Loma.
- Tiffany FlorioXTiffany Florio3rd Grade Teacher
Tiffany is a native New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn. Coming from a family of teachers, she also began to study early childhood education at CUNY Brooklyn College, where she earned her bachelors degree. After taking classes and working with a variety of grade levels, it was clear to her that she wanted to work with children in education.
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 KuciaXAllison Kucia3rd Grade Teacher
Allison is incredibly proud to have been a founding third grade teacher at HTe. She is originally from Connecticut, where she attended the University of Connecticut and graduated from their Integrated Bachelor’s/Master’s Teacher Education Program with her B.S. in Elementary Education, B.A. in English and M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction. Originally her intention was to attend a teacher education program in Connecticut to eventually teach in that state, but after a harsh winter on the East coast leading to a spur-of-the-moment trip to visit friends in California, she fell in love with San Diego. By the end of her week stay, she had made up her mind to relocate across the country to begin her teaching career.
Outside of the classroom, Allison most enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
- Madison O'MaraXMadison O'Mara3rd Grade Teacher
Madison is a San Diego native and a High Tech High graduate. She is thrilled to reunite with the High Tech High community and teach at HTe. Madison graduated with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Spanish from the University of Portland, in Portland, Oregon. After graduating, she traveled to New Zealand where she worked on a farm and explored New Zealand’s countryside through hiking and horseback riding. When she returned to the United States, she decided to become a preschool teacher. It was her time as a preschool teacher that ignited her love and passion for students and teaching. Madison spent the last two years at the University of San Diego where she earned her Master of Education and teaching credential.
In her spare time, Madison can be found outside hiking with her dog, camping, or horseback riding. She also enjoys traveling, cooking, drawing, and painting.
Madison is eager to be a part of the High Tech High community and share her love for education. She creates a classroom environment where students are collaborative, empathetic, and involved in their community.
- Michelle JaconetteX4th Grade Teacher
Michelle grew up in Santa Barbara, California and came to San Diego to attend UCSD. As an undergrad, Michelle worked as a photographer for the UCSD Guardian, and a writing mentor at the UCSD Writing Center. After graduating with a BA in Literature/ Writing, Michelle joined the High Tech community as an Academic Coach at High Tech Middle Media Arts. It was during her year as an AC that Michelle realized she wanted to be teacher.
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. 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 to faraway places, reading, writing letters, swimming in the ocean, camping, doing word puzzles, hiking and watching Jeopardy!
- Heather McNamaraXHeather McNamara4th Grade Teacher
Heather McNamara is excited for her second year teaching 4th grade, following two years as Academic Coach here at HTe. After previously teaching History and English at a traditional middle school, she prefers the creativity and excitement that project-based learning infuses into a classroom.
Heather prioritizes time with her family and loves to read with her boys (High Tech students), cook real food from scratch, make music, and be outdoors camping and skiing - usually with camera in hand! She also gets inordinate enjoyment out of watching her San Diego kids do things she never did growing up in New York - - including skating, surfing, and playing outdoor sports all year long.
- Julie SchneiderXJulie Schneider4th Grade Teacher
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.
- Natalie AlliX5th Grade Teacher
Natalie grew up in Salinas, California, a central coast agricultural town, and moved to Northern California to attend high school in Davis. After graduating high school, she attended San Diego State University, earning a B.A. in Liberal Studies with a minor in Spanish, and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She is a graduate of the High Tech High Master’s in Teacher Leadership Program. Natalie taught elementary school for eight years in Chula Vista, California. When she arrived to High Tech High she taught seventh grade math/science for 2 years and seventh grade humanities for 2 years at HTMMA. Natalie then returned to Chula Vista where she taught fifth grade at HTeCV. She is proud to be a founding teacher at HTePL where she taught fourth grade and is currently teaching 5th grade.
She enjoys traveling anywhere she can! Experiencing the cultures of the Philippines, Italy, Thailand, and Costa Rica were particularly fascinating. In her free time, Natalie enjoys spending time with her son Zeke, gardening, cuddling up with a great book, scuba diving, collecting insects and rocks, and photography.
- Jeff GovoniXJeff Govoni5th Grade Teacher
- Cady Staff HwangX5th Grade Teacher
Cady Staff Hwang loves kids, science, literature, writing, poetry, math, U.S. history, being a mom and an auntie, playing soccer, surfing, gardening, cooking with her husband, and exploring outdoors with her daughter. Cady began her teaching career as a high school teacher - first, as a 12th grade ELD teacher at San Diego High School and then as a 9th and 10th grade English teacher at Madison High School. She has been teaching at High Tech High since 2005 and was a founding 8th grade teacher at both HTMMA and HTMCV.
Ms. Cady loves science and problem solving and spent one year as Ms. Cady the Science Lady teaching K-5 Science at HTeX. She fell in love with teaching elementary school and looks forward to continuing science explorations with her fifth graders. This is her second year as a member of the HTe family teaching on the 5th grade team with friends and inspiring colleagues. She is so excited to be teaming up with the amazing Mr. Brandon this year in the classroom!
Moving to San Diego from LA, she earned her undergraduate degree, her teaching credential and a Masters in Education at UCSD. She completed work for her second Masters in Teacher Leadership through the HTH Graduate School of Education where she focused on social entrepreneurship, empowerment and engagement in the classroom.
During the 2012-2013 school year, she moved to England to work with schools interested in implementing project-based learning. Last summer, she traveled to Australia to work with schools interested in pbl. She loves to discover new things and figure out solutions to problems, while celebrating life and learning along the way!
- Robin Rubenstein DirectorXRobin RubensteinDirector
Robin is excited to continue her work at HTH as the Director of High Tech Elementary. For the past several years Robin has supported instructional design and practice across several HTH elementary schools and was the founding Leadership Resident at HTe as part of the HTH Graduate School of Education.
Prior to her work at HTH, Robin was the Elementary School Principal at DREAM Charter School in New York City and a founding special education teacher at Harlem Success Academy. Robin received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona’s School of Education, a master’s degree in Special Education with a focus in Learning Disabilities from Hunter College in New York City, and a master’s degree in School Leadership from the HTH Graduate School of Education.
Robin is passionate about equity in education, constructivist learning, and teaching students with learning differences. When she’s not at school she loves spending time with her husband and two daughters (both HTe students), long days at the beach, dancing, and snuggle time.
She is committed to her own continuing education and work with the staff, students, and families at HTH as we work together to prepare our children for an amazing future!
- Allie Wong Dean of StudentsXAllie WongDean of Students
Alicia Wong is extremely passionate about High Tech High's mission and philosophy, mainly because as a graduate of High Tech High International herself, she has seen firsthand the benefits of student-centered, project-based learning. After graduating from HTHI in 2007, Alicia completed her bachelor's studies at Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, CA. She went on to obtain her Master's degree in teacher education and teaching credential from the University of Pennsylvania. Outside of school, Alicia's interests include soccer, musical theatre, reading, and traveling. Alicia taught at High Tech Middle from 2012-2016 and then attended the High Tech High Graduate School of Education for her second master's degree in Educational Leadership. She is excited to be continuing her learning journey this year as the Dean of Students at High Tech Elementary.
- Robert Beale Afterschool StaffXRobert BealeAfterschool Staff
- Annie Carter Inclusion SpecialistXAnnie CarterInclusion Specialist
As a San Diego native I have always felt a strong sense of responsibility to make my city a great place to learn. I wanted to have the educational environment in our schools mirror the natural beauty that surrounds us. As I completed my B.A. in Interdisciplinary Humanities from USD ('12); I knew I wanted to be an Ed. Specialist in a great school district. My degree allowed me to focus on the different philosophies of education and the social obligation to defend and protect all of our kids as they grow. I completed my M.A. in 2015 where I student taught in North County and in SDUSD. Those experiences solidified my sense of duty to support kids with special needs. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to be working at HTe with great staff and I am excited to be the Kindergarten and First Grade Inclusion Specialist! Outside of school you'll find me either playing with my dog (Rex), at one of my four older siblings' homes,taking a hike outside, or of course, perfecting my stir-fry recipe!
- Georgia Figueroa K-5 SupportXGeorgia FigueroaK-5 Support
Georgia is a San Diego native, born and raised. She earned her undergraduate degree from San Diego State University in Psychology with an emphasis in Psycholinguistics. Continuing her love for learning and working with children, she completed her graduate degree from University of California, San Diego in Education.
Georgia began her teaching career working in diverse schools all around San Diego county - El Cajon, National City, Chula Vista, and Encinitas. In 2011, Georgia was thrilled to be a founding faculty member of High Tech Elementary, Chula Vista (HTeCV); the second elementary school within the High Tech High organization. After teaching at HTeCV for several years, Georgia was equally enthused to help open another elementary within HTH. It is here, at High Tech Elementary in Point Loma, where she currently works as an Instructional Coach.
When Georgia isn't engaging in the meaningful work at HTe, she loves to get outdoors and travel with her husband, two daughters, and Boston Terrier.
- Sara Gallagher Speech TherapistXSara GallagherSpeech Therapist
Sara is a New Jersey native who moved to San Diego to attend UC San Diego. After earning an undergraduate degree in Cognitive Science, she stayed on in San Diego to attend San Diego State University’s Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences program. Sara has worked in pre-K through high school school settings, private practice, and as the speech-language pathology liason for San Diego Regional Center. She later returned to SDSU as an adjunct, teaching the clinical practicum for early intervention diagnostics to graduate students.
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.
- Julia Jacobsen Engineering TeacherXJulia JacobsenEngineering Teacher
Julia Jacobsen is an Engineering Scholar in Residence at High Tech Elementary. Julia's passion for teaching began in college when she spent a term teaching English in the Marshall Islands. She later worked as an AmeriCorps teacher in Beaverton, Oregon where she developed an after school engineering program. Before joining the team at HTe, Julia was a founding 4th grade teacher at High Tech Elementary Chula Vista. Julia is passionate about developing collaborative, innovative learning environments and developing young engineers, mathematicians, makers and thinkers.
- Shana Jones Inclusion SpecialistXInclusion Specialist
Shana is a native of New Jersey but always knew she would end up on the West Coast. Although she will begin working with Inclusion this year, she has taught First Grade for 8 years and Kindergarten here at HTe for 2 years. Despite her love for teaching, this is her second career. She earned a degree in Art Studio with a minor in Theatre Arts from the University of Maryland. After moving out to California to pursue theatre, she realized that teaching was really her passion. This came through working with San Diego Youth Repertory Theatre and teaching young children to create sets. She earned her teaching credential at SDSU and was thrilled to begin working in the classroom. Her background in theatre has really lent itself to working with young children and teachers because of the experience with collaboration and creating beautiful work.
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.
- Starry Krueger Theater TeacherXStarry KruegerTheater Teacher
When Starry was four, she played a cow in a production of "Farmer Duck" and fell in love with theater forever. She holds a bachelor's degree in theater from Skidmore College and a master's degree in elementary education from the University of New Haven. After graduating, Starry spent a year touring the U.S. and Canada with the Missoula Children's Theater. In 2015, Starry founded Imaginary Theater Company, a children's theater in New Haven, CT whose mission is to produce original plays that empower children to be the heroes of their own stories. When she isn't teaching, Starry can be found doing yoga and writing new plays.
- Cathryn Magielnicki School PsychologistXCathryn MagielnickiSchool Psychologist
I have been working within the field of Education since 2009 in various roles: Teacher, Creative Arts Therapist, Researcher and School Psychologist. I am a native New Yorker, who moved to Boston to pursue degrees in Child Development and School Psychology from Tufts University. Prior to pursuing a degree in School Psychology, I worked heavily in the field of research for various institutes including Tufts University, MIT, and Tufts Floating Hospital for Children where I looked at resiliency factors in students who participated in music programs, ADHD and the benefits of neurofeedback, and early indicators of Dyslexia. In 2012 I moved to San Diego where I taught in a Reggio-Based School and then moved back to Boston in 2014 to finish my degree in School Psychology. Upon returning to Boston, I worked in the Boston Public Schools as a School Psychology Intern. In 2016 I joined the High Tech Community! I am passionate about Social Emotional Learning, Social Justice, collaborating with parents and advocating for our students.
Outside of work, I enjoy spending my time hiking, baking, traveling and cuddling with my dog.
- Trisha Magoon K-5 SupportXK-5 Support
Trisha is proud to be a native San Diegan who earned her Bachelors Degree and Teaching Credential from SDSU. After teaching for several years, she returned to school to earn her Masters Degree in Education at National University. She worked for many years in two local elementary schools where she taught 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grades, was a Literacy Resource Teacher and a Peer Coach.
In 2011, she was very fortunate to join the High Tech family as a founding faculty member at High Tech Elementary Chula Vista, where she enjoyed four great years! 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 our newest school, HTe in Point Loma! She could not be more proud and excited!
In her free time, Trisha enjoys spending time with her friends and family, reading, watching movies, traveling, watching sports, and being near the water (preferably a tropical beach, but just about any body of water will do)!
- Sylvia Martinez Site ManagerXSylvia MartinezSite Manager
Sylvia was born in Tijuana, Mexico and raised in San Diego with her loving parents and 3 siblings. Sylvia attended Sweetwater High School in National City, Ca.
Sylvia's most memorable moments growing up were the twice yearly trips her family would take to Chihuahua, Mexico where her maternal grandparents and extended family are from as well as monthly visits to her father's extended family in Los Angeles. Having come from a bi-racial, bi-cultural family background, Sylvia believes she's been blessed with "the best of both worlds."
In her spare time, Sylvia enjoys traveling, reading, & spending precious time with her four children, family & friends!
Favorites Questionnaire (by request)
My Birthday: August 16
Favorite Candy: Dark Chocolate w/Almonds
Favorite Flower: Gerber daisy
Favorite Drink: Peppermint & Chamomile teas (decaf)
- Riley Meehan Engineering TeacherXRiley MeehanEngineering Teacher
Riley is an engineer, maker, designer, educator, tinkerer, and lifelong learner. He believes that all children are budding engineers and that engineering provides authentic and practical opportunities to employ math, science, and critical thinking skills.
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.
- Jonathan Origel Before/Aftercare DirectorXJonathan OrigelBefore/Aftercare Director
- Scott Shepherd Outdoor Studies TeacherXScott ShepherdOutdoor Studies Teacher
Scott Shepherd is a San Diego native and outdoor enthusiast. His passion for the outdoors lead him to a bachelor's degree in Adventure Education from Fort Lewis College in Durango Colorado. Upon graduation, Scott returned to San Diego with a desire to bring the outdoors to those who may not have the opportunity to experience them. Through his work at Outdoor Outreach, Scott helped share the outdoors through rock climbing, surfing, kayaking, camping, snorkeling, mountain biking and snowboarding to over 1,000 individual youth from underserved communities of San Diego. After 3 years of teaching at High Tech Elementary, Scott is still passionate about finding new and innovative ways to connect young people to nature. When not teaching, Scott can be found surfing and exploring San Diego’s Marine Protected Areas or hiking with his family in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.
- Laurel Showstack Inclusion SpecialistXLaurel ShowstackInclusion Specialist
Originally from Virginia, Laurel has lived across the country and around the world, finally finding a new place to call home in 2016 in sunny San Diego. She earned her BA in International Studies from Old Dominion University, MS in Special Education from National University and a Clear Education Specialist Credential through the High Tech High Intern program. In her spare time, Laurel loves to read travel and try new foods. Her favorite life experiences are teaching abroad because she gets to experience culture first hand and feels like she is giving back to the community. She is passionate about reading and everyone have access to books that take them on adventures! This is Laurel's 4th year with the HTH family. She has been an Inclusion Specialist at HTM and HTeCV. She is very excited to join the HTe family year!