HTEM Staff Directory
Michelina is a Clairemont local and a High Tech High Alum! She attended SDSU and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Television, Film and New Media. After graduation, she worked in the film department at SDSU teaching set design to undergrads. This experience led her to pursue her multiple subjects K-8 teaching credential through the HTH Graduate School of Education. She worked at HTeCV teaching 4th grade and Kindergarten, then went on to work as a founding Kindergarten teacher at HTe Mesa. She continued her studies earning her Master's of Education in Teaching and Learning in June, 2020.
Michelina is inspired by project-based learning. She feels that it has the power to guide student learning in an organic and meaningful way. Michelina incorporates play into all aspects of learning inside of her classroom. She uses play as a tool to engage students and solidify their learning! She believes that students need to feel happy and safe in order to be successful learners. She strives to create a home-like classroom setting where students feel comfortable taking risks, explore their passions, and grow their minds! She strives to be a culturally-responsive teacher who highlights student's uniqueness. She believes it is important for students to learn about their communities, families, backgrounds and traditions and celebrate them together!
In her free time, you can find Michelina surfing, roller skating, fishing, or searching for reptiles on a hike! She is a lover of ALL nature, from spiders to leopard sharks. She also loves to cook, explore, and spend time with family, friends, her cat named Cricket, and her snake named Happy.
A little bit about my educational background: I am a 1st generation college graduate. I attended San Diego State University where I received both my Bachelors of Arts degree and my bilingual multiple-subject teaching credential. I also just recently received my Masters of Arts in Teaching with an emphasis on Language Arts from SDSU. GO AZTECS!
I’m a dog momma, so in my spare time you can find me walking my 3 year old bulldog while exploring some community events and trying out some delicious new foods.
When the opportunity came for me to pack up and make San Diego home in 2015, I took it! I received a Bachelors of Arts degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Elementary Education and Literacy from SDSU. I received my multiple-subject teaching credential and my Masters of Arts in Teaching degree from Point Loma Nazarene University. I have worked with the HTH organization as an academic coach, student teacher, and substitute teacher at the HTePL and HTeCV campuses since 2017. I'm looking forward to continuing to grow and learn with the HTH organization as a founding HTeM teacher.
Outside of the classroom, a few of my favorite things to do are: eating really good food (noodles are my favorite!); planning and doodling in my Passion Planner; and I especially love being outdoors, it means I can spend some quality time in the sun with my husband Jimmy and our Olde English Bulldog Blu(berry) and French Bulldog Potato!
I look forward to spending this year learning and growing with you!
As an elementary school educator, I believe that a classroom should be a stimulating project-based learning environment where children feel welcomed and safe. It is my priority to build strong, trusting relationships with my students while guiding them to fulfill their full potential. I encourage the use of evidence-based teaching strategies to encompass all learning styles and abilities to ensure the development of lifelong learning skills.
My name is Rachel Taylor (Ms. Taylor), and I am overjoyed to be welcoming your scholar into our classroom after a mostly virtual school year! This will be my fifth year teaching overall and my fourth year teaching third grade. I previously taught in Washington, D.C. and I am so excited to be a part of the San Diego community! I studied English and Media Studies at the University of Virginia and received my Masters of Education with a concentration in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University. Third grade is my FAVORITE grade because we are introduced to so many new reading and math skills! When I am not in the classroom, I love spending time reading, hiking, surfing, and playing with animals. I can’t wait to explore learning with you this school year!
During her free time, you can catch her strolling through the Little Italy’s Mercato or out with her dog. She loves to be active in the Italian community and enjoys spending time with her niece and nephew. She is highly competitive and plays in a number of adult leagues around San Diego with her husband.
My degree allowed me to focus on the different philosophies within education and the social obligation to defend and protect all of our kids as they grow. I have spent the last 5 years at High Tech Elementary in Point Loma working as an Inclusion Specialist across all K-5 grade levels. My experiences within High Tech have solidified my sense of duty to advocate for kids with special needs. The inclusive foundation of our school system is what drew me to expand my knowledge further with a diverse community. Through High Tech’s PBL model, I am lucky to support students and help foster their own magical curiosity in their learning through hands-on projects. Through team collaboration between students, family and teachers, I ensure that all voices and perspectives are heard, seen and valued. It is High Tech’s inclusive setting that allows me to facilitate an understanding among students that all types of learners are key members of a strong community. I feel passionate that in order to provide equitable learning opportunities it is crucial to assist students in developing relationships with diverse populations, and with that cultivate empathetic hearts.
I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to be working and learning at HTeMesa with wonderful staff and I am excited to be the Kindergarten and Third Grade Inclusion Specialist!
Outside of school you'll find me either playing with my dog (Penny), trampling along a new trail, camping across the country in search for the perfect mountain sunrise, or perfecting my stir-fry recipe!
I am a San Diego native, I grew up in the North Park area but did all of my schooling in Point Loma. I studied Psychology and Child Development at San Diego State where I received my B.A. in 2019. My goals for the future would be to get a Masters in counseling and become an in-school therapist within the next year or two. My dream job has always been working with kids in a school setting, focusing mostly on mental and emotional well-being.
A bit about my background; I began working at 18 with Girl Scout's Outreach program visiting lower-income schools around San Diego, providing a fun and educational experience for girls in K-6th grade. After two wonderful years, I moved onto ABA therapy with Easterseals SoCal working exclusively with children on the Autism Spectrum. I gained a lot of training and hands-on experience that I still implement to this day. These were some of the best work experiences I had while still being a full-time college student!
From there, I began to focus my attention in the elementary school setting becoming a special education/general classroom aide at America's Finest Charter School. It was here that I realized how important it is to support children in their everyday academic setting. I worked with two 3rd grade classes, one 5th grade class, and two 6th grade classes, giving me a new challenge to focus on the different milestones kids face at different ages! Truly an amazing experience.
Now I have been working at HTeM since its opening and couldn't be happier! The values High Tech implements for their students, their families, and their staff is truly remarkable. I am grateful to be able to watch our students grow and prosper through project-based learning with HTeM!
Outside of school, I love taking my two dogs Daisy and Ollie on adventures around San Diego. You can find us at the park, hiking a new trail, or hanging out at the dog beach. I also love to spend time with my friends and family, going on road trips, and exploring new places around SD!
I’m thrilled to be joining the Clairemont neighborhood and the greater High Tech High community alongside my husband and four children. We all look forward to making San Diego our new home.
Erica will be joining the High Tech Mesa organization as the English Learner Coordinator.
She was born and raised in Texas and is a recent transplant. Erica has been in education for over 20 years. Before joining the High Tech Team, she taught multiple grade levels from early childhood to adult learners. Some of her most memorable work has been working on diverse campuses with students and families at a Migrant School, Gifted and Talented school and as a founding member of an International Baccalaureate PYP during candidacy and authorization. She has served various educational roles: Teacher, Job Embedded Trainer, District Math Coach, District Instructional Coach, and Independent Educational Consultant.
Erica holds a Master’s degree in Math Curriculum and Instruction, a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, an Associate’s degree in Spanish and is Texas and California Multi Subject and ESL credentialed. Erica is Concept Based Curriculum and Instruction Certified, and a Professional Development and Instructional Coaching Specialist. She has served on impactful committees including TEKS Revisions for Elementary Math with the Texas Education Agency. Erica is an active presenter for educational conferences and agencies such as Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Conference for the Advancement of Math Teachers (CAMT), Texas Association of Gifted and Talented (TAGT) and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).
Erica enjoys mentoring, movies, shopping, cooking, dancing, and all things music. Her greatest joy is spending time with family, friends and her dog LuLu.