Staff Directory


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9th Grade
  • Ted Cuevas Physics
    
    Ted Cuevas
    Physics


    If you are reading this, I hope that I get the chance to meet you. I never know what to put in a bio of a couple of paragraphs, I would much rather have tea/coffee and swap stories!
    I have been with HTH Chula Vista since the beginning and love working in the community of Chula Vista. As a previous mechanical engineer, I enjoy infusing design and engineering processes and concepts into the projects and 9th grade year.
    I have particular interest teaching in the themes of sustainability and peace. I hope to bring these themes into the Physics course and explore ways to envision and make a new world.
    Personally, I just want to be the best human being I can be. I aspire to do so and hopefully instill this desire within our "Co-Op",which is the students and staff in the courses of Physics, Humanities (with instructor Sara Islas), and Art. Live long and prosper! (I am a Trekkie too.)
  • Kandy Galvez Humanities
    
    Kandy Galvez
    Humanities


  • Aurmon Harchegani Math
    
    Aurmon Harchegani
    Math


  • Gavin Ishihara-Wing Math
    
    Gavin Ishihara-Wing
    Math


    Gavin is excited to begin another year at HTHCV teaching math to his 9th and 11th graders. He was born and raised in San Francisco and moved down to San Diego to attend the University of California San Diego for his bachelor's degree in Psychology and a minor in Education. After graduating in 2009, he worked for two years at the Charter School of San Diego and at The Family and Learning Center in La Jolla. In 2012, while teaching at Kearny DMD, Gavin received his credential and master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of San Diego.

    In addition to doing math problems before going to bed, Gavin loves the outdoors and playing just about any sport. He enjoys playing basketball, football, dragonboat and outrigger. He is a huge San Francisco 49ers fan and is hoping for a Super Bowl year from them!
  • Regina Kruglyak Physics
    
    Regina Kruglyak
    Physics


    At the age of 8, I was faced with the awful conundrum of getting stuck in my bunk bed at night with the light on. I simply couldn’t abide this inefficiency of energy, needing to climb down from the top bunk to reach the switch. With some basics that I learned from the board game, Mouse Trap and a little bit of childhood ingenuity, I designed an elaborate system of pulleys and weights (in a Rube Goldberg manner) to spare my body the obnoxious overuse of kinetic energy; thus began my journey through the world of technology, science and the promise of untapped potential energy.

    Being born in the Soviet Union I understood from a very early age that education was the key to progress. With a lot of hard work and some luck, my family immigrated to the United States where I graduated with a degree in engineering geology from UCLA. In search of a practical way to implement my degree I eventually joined Peace Corps Honduras, building water systems in small villages. After returning home I was involved in urban design, materials testing, storm water inspections and redevelopment of contaminated sites. Getting to combine my engineering background with education feels like what my childhood self craved back in my days of building my light switch.

    When not teaching you can find me rock climbing, flying, doing yoga, camping, telling jokes about muffins, swimming in the ocean, making jewelry, attempting to catch a frisbee and trying to invent something revolutionary.
  • Leizl Manalo Academic Coach
    
    Leizl Manalo
    Academic Coach


    Ms. Leizl is incredibly honored to be working at High Tech High Chula Vista as an Academic Coach after being placed as a practicum student in the Spring of 2017. She is a San Diego native who earned her Bachelor of Arts in Applied Science from San Diego State University, where she found her passion working with children with disabilities. Ms. Leizl is currently in her 2nd year of her Master's and Credential program at University of San Diego, eager to receive her Education Specialist Teaching Credential and Master's in Special Education.

    Ms. Leizl's favorite pastimes are walking around Target, binge watching her favorite television shows, cuddling with her adorable German sheprador rescue, and snacking on Flamin' Hot Ruffles!
  • Kara Quinlan Physics
    
    Kara Quinlan
    Physics


    Teaching at HTHCV my is a dream of merging Physics, real world applications and the ingenuity of the mind. My classroom is about curiosity, craftsmanship based on the cores of Physics and engineering. The world of Physics is vast and energizing. I cannot wait for the opportunity to show you what you can accomplish through the lens of Physics!

    I grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado and graduated from Colorado State University. There I studied mechanical engineering for 3 years and worked as an undergraduate energy engineer for the Department of Energy. Towards the end of my junior year at CSU I realized I would rather teach and work with youth than be an engineer. Senior year I changed majors to Natural Science and Physics in order to become a teacher in Colorado. I graduated in 2006 from CSU with a bachelors of science and teaching licensure ready to head out in the world. I have been teaching since 2006 in the following areas: Physics and AP Physics, Physical Science, Robotics, Earth System Science and as an adjunct professor with University of Colorado Denver for Physics. Also, I was very privileged to be a research physics teacher on a STEM grant through the Oakridge National Laboratories working on bio sensor microprocessors for brain cancer detection. I moved to San Diego 2012 and joined the wonderful HTHCV team.
  • Philip Rowland Art
    
    Philip Rowland
    Art


  • Anna Santoleri Humanities
    
    Anna Santoleri
    Humanities


    When I was in high school, I wanted to make movies. During the summer, I made short films about awkward dates, marbles, and my dog. However, when I taught film classes at a sleep-away camp the summer after my freshman year of college, I realized that I liked working with students more than making movies. Since then, I have tried to experience as many different teaching environments as possible. I taught in a women’s prison; I spent a year teaching in Malaysia; I ran an afterschool arts-based literacy program for elementary schoolers; I facilitated college sex-ed; I worked for an outdoor education and literacy program in Yosemite; I student-taught seventh grade English; I led youth crews for a conservation corps in Montana; and now, I get to work for High Tech High! This is a dream job for me—I am thrilled to be working for such an innovative and humanizing school.


    When not teaching, I am on the move: running or hiking on trails, playing soccer, camping, playing board games or card games or any game, and working with others to further causes that I care about. Or, I am thinking: about how to make classrooms more equitable and humanizing spaces, about engaging lessons, about effective communication techniques, about activism and organizing, or about whatever topic the podcast that I am listening to is discussing. When neither moving nor thinking, I’m listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks (narrated by Jim Dale—I highly recommend it) and wondering if the owl with my letter got lost.

  • Britt Shirk Humanities
    
    Britt Shirk
    Humanities


    Ms. Shirk is extremely excited and honored to be one of the fabulous 9th Grade Humanities teachers at HTHCV! She is originally from Charleston, South Carolina and attended the College of Charleston her first two years of her undergraduate work. She transferred to San Diego State University for her final years of undergraduate and obtained her degree in English and Comparative Literature. Ms. Shirk loves SDSU so much that she continued her graduate and credential work there to help move her closer to her dream of becoming a high school English teacher.

    The Sweetwater District has always been very near and dear to Ms. Shirk. She did her student teaching at Mar Vista Middle School and Hilltop High School. During the middle of her credentialing year, she was hired as a full time English teacher for Hilltop and made many wonderful student and colleague connections. The defining moment in her career, thus far, has been her acceptance into the High Tech High family. She is very passionate about her students and course content. When she is not teaching the youth of America she likes to spend time with family and friends, go to the gym, be by the water, read and watch junky reality television.
  • Steve Yagyagan Academic Coach
    
    Steve Yagyagan
    Academic Coach


10th Grade
  • Dalya Almansour Chemistry/RSP Intern
    
    Dalya Almansour
    Chemistry/RSP Intern


    Bachelor of Science: Public Health - University of California, Irvine

    Masters in Education: Special Education - University of San Diego
  • Caroline Chen Math
    
    Caroline Chen
    Math


    Hi! My name is Caroline Chen Yang and I'm currently a 12th grade math teacher here at HTHCV.

    I was born and raised in North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (go Tarheels!) where I majored in chemistry and minored in English. In 2005, I joined the Teach For America movement in Los Angeles and got my credential and Masters in Education at Loyola Marymount University.

    In the summer of 2009, I moved down to San Diego, got married to a wonderful man named Matt and started teaching at HTHCV where I've been ever since! For the past seven years, I've been a part of the 10th grade team, teaching either math or chemistry or a combination of the two. This year will be my first year teaching at the 12th grade level.

    Since being at HTHCV, Matt and I have expanded our family. We now have two daughters - Abby, who was born in 2013, and Thea, who was born in 2015.
  • Sara Clark Math
    
    Sara Clark
    Math


  • Char Engle Humanities
    
    Char Engle
    Humanities


    Hello! I begin most of my classes by asking my students to help me learn about who they are by giving me lists of random facts about them. In the spirit of practicing what I preach, here is a smattering of random facts about me:

    ---I'm a bit of a nerd.

    ---At Tufts University, I petitioned to take above the maximum course load because I couldn't narrow down the classes I wanted. This happened multiple times.

    ---I studied abroad in Japan twice.

    ---I’m an adventurous eater, and I've taken at least one bite of every horrifying thing placed in front of me.

    ---I spent three years in a Ph.D. program studying Political Science before pursuing teaching at the high school level.

    ---I played rugby in college. I was captain of my team senior year.

    ---I drink a lot of coffee.

    ---I have two beautiful rescue dogs, Zoe and Washburne.

    ---My oldest sister is a professor of computer science, my middle sister is a research biologist, and I am the black sheep that fell in love with history and words.

    ---My favorite word is kerfuffle.

    ---I cried while learning about the Rape of Nanking in the middle of an Asian American history class.

    ---I really and firmly believe that education will save or destroy us all, and that teaching these students is the most important thing I will ever do.

    If you'd like a more complete picture of my identity, my pedagogy, or my life, please don't hesitate to email me as I welcome all travelers on the path of lifelong learning. Thanks for reading all of this.
  • Laszlo Folks Humanities
    
    Laszlo Folks
    Humanities


    Originally from Santa Barbara, Laszlo moved to San Diego in 2006 to attend UCSD. There he studied Biological Anthropology and Political Science, completing his undergraduate degree in 2010. Laszlo is very excited to serve as one of HTHCV's 10th grade Humanities teachers for the 2015-2016 school year! While he is newer to this campus (this is his third year), he began his journey with the organization five years ago as an Academic Coach at the original High Tech High School. There he got to know many of the exciting teaching methods for our wonderful project based learning system. 
  • Marisol Franco Spanish
    
    Marisol Franco
    Spanish


    Marisol Franco-Flores (or Ms. Marisol) teaches Spanish at High Tech High Chula Vista and also serves as a Summer Bridge coordinator.  She is originally from the Orange County area, having moved to Chula Vista in 2008.  Before arriving to HTHCV, Marisol taught various levels of Spanish for three years at La Quinta High School in Westminster, CA. She graduated from UC Irvine in 2004 with a Bachelor's degree in Spanish and a minor in Educational Studies, obtaining her Master's degree in Teaching (Elementary and Secondary Education) at UC Irvine as well in 2005.

    Marisol loves many things... from contemporary Latin American literature to running (it's a very wide spectrum).  Most recently, the thing she enjoys most is spending time with her family, which includes her "chico especial," their little one (who is now a vibrant 4-year-old) and their 7-year-old "puppy".
  • Andres Perez Humanities
    
    Andres Perez
    Humanities


  • Yoli Soler-Gonzalez Spanish
    
    Yoli Soler-Gonzalez
    Spanish


    Yoli Soler grew up in the San Joaquin Valley surrounded by vineyards, cherry orchards, tons of cows, and of course her familia. She attended UC Davis, and earned a Degree in Sociology and Spanish with a minor in Chican@ Studies. Yoli launched her teaching career in Sacramento. She moved down to sunny SoCal in 2008, and this is her 8th year with HTHCV.
    Yoli loves teaching her students about the history and culture of Latin American countries. You will often find her and her students learning about these countries and their citizens, instead of conjugating verbs.
    Yoli has a yellow lab, named papas, he reminds her of Mufasa (he is old and wise), she also has a black lab mix, named Chelita (she reminds her of Sarabi, she is calm and caring), and another White lab mix named, Chiquis (yes, you guessed it she reminds her of Simba, lots of energy, and many times confused).   
    Yoli likes her students to call her Senorita Soler, she says it is part of the Spanish language to use such formalities.  For those who are looking into doing some traveling while at High Tech High,  Señorita Soler and Señorita Marisol Franco are planning another trip to Spain so stop by to get information.  
11th Grade
  • Lesley Anderson Biology
    
    Lesley Anderson
    Biology


    I am so excited to be starting my third year at HTHCV as an 11th grade biology and environmental science teacher! I majored in Biological Sciences at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where I competed on the track team and was involved in line dancing and rodeo. In my free time I love to travel, ride horses, and play volleyball, soccer, and run.

    My research experiences are what have driven me toward inquiry in the classroom and project based learning. As an undergraduate, I assisted a research team that tracked rattlesnakes on the Carrizo Plains to study their home ranges. I also helped with American bullfrog eradication in ponds in San Luis Obispo county to protect the endangered red-legged frog.

    In 2011, I was a part of a research team that tagged and tracked breaching great white sharks off the coast of South Africa. I also worked as an aquarist and cetacean monitor tracking whale and dolphin migrational patterns as a result of installation of a desalination plant. While I was there I had amazing experiences playing with baby tiger cubs, trekking on a safari, exploring underground caves, and cage diving with great whites.

    More recently, I spent the summer of 2014 working as a data analyst for NASA at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I helped to create an archival database for Arctic sea ice thickness through computer programming. During my research experience at JPL, I met the project managers for Mars Science Laboratory, SMAP (Soil Moisture Active-Passive) Satellite, and the LDSD (Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator) for the Mars 2020 mission and took a tour of the clean room to watch the assembly of SMAP. All of these opportunities provided inspiration for lessons in my classroom.

    This past summer I worked for NOAA at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in the Marine Mammal and Turtle Division conducting sea turtle genetics research. I am excited to continue working with scientists at NOAA throughout the school year to strengthen our partnership and hopefully get students involved in their research!
  • Rod Buenviaje Math
    
    Rod Buenviaje
    Math


    Rod is a proud member of the High Tech High learning community. He is one of the founding staff of the original High Tech High in Pt. Loma and is currently teaching 11th grade mathematics at the Chula Vista campus. He earned a B.S. in mathematics from National University and a teaching credential through the HTH District intern program. He has participated in the Virtual Trade Mission Foundation’s global classroom in Singapore and Brunei and has been awarded the Christa Mcauliffe Award by the NEA Foundation. He continues to support new and developing teachers by serving as a mentor through the HTH intern program. Rod is passionate about mathematics and is excited to be a part of an innovative teaching community. Rod and his wife Jen spend most of their free time in awe of their beautiful children, Joshua and Katelyn.
  • Michael Carter Math
    
    Michael Carter
    Math


    Bachelor of Arts: Mathematics, University of San Diego
    Masters in Education: Curriculum and Instruction, University of San Diego
  • Indira Esparza Humanities
    
    Indira Esparza
    Humanities


    I was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and came to San Diego at the age of two. I come from a line of siblings who are all first generation college graduates and I am the first in my family to complete a Master's Degree. I attended UCSD for undergrad and majored in Political Science with a minor in Education Studies. I loved UCSD so much that I decided to stay and do my Master's work in Education with a Single Subject Credential in English and a Bilingual Language Authorization in Spanish. I have always loved being in school and becoming a teacher is a dream come true.

    My main goals as an educator are to promote equity, promote bilingual education, and help students reach their education goals.

    In my space time I like to: run (training for a half marathon this year!), cook, travel, read, attend art shows, attend concerts, watch sports (LA Galaxy, Lakers, SD Chargers (patiently waiting for their return to SD), Gulls, Padres, Arsenal, Chivas), and go on adventures with my husband Chandler and our dog Wampa. I recently became a tia and love babysititng my nephew.
  • Mackenzie King Humanities
    
    Mackenzie King
    Humanities


    My name is Mackenzie (Mack) King, and I am privileged to call myself a High Tech High Chula Vista (HTHCV) teacher! I joined the High Tech High community in 2011 and have since taught at two HTH schools. I am thrilled that this coming academic year I have the opportunity to teach humanities with an awesome team of juniors!

    Before becoming a teacher, I worked at a District Attorney's office, studied bonobos at the San Diego Zoo, and worked for a 911 ambulance system as an EMT. I'm the type of person who has more interests than I can count which is why teaching at HTHCV is a perfect fit. Working at a project-based learning school allows me to pursue and explore all of my interests each year through different projects with a collaborative team of students to accompany me on that journey.

    Outside of teaching, I love reading, writing, cooking, watching movies, playing sports/CrossFit, drinking espresso, and eating lots of yummy food covered in hot sauce.
  • Nuvia Crisol Ruland Biology
    
    Nuvia Crisol Ruland
    Biology


    Nuvia Ruland is a cauldron of hybridized dualities – scientist and artist – from which new discoveries spring. Her middle name, Crisol, Spanish for crucible or melting pot, holds the key to her passion for scientific research and art making. She’s been following these interests since she graduated from UC San Diego with a B.S. in biochemistry/cell biology and a minor in studio art. She is currently continuing her journey as a lifelong learner by pursuing a master’s degree in the GSE HTH Teacher Leadership program. For nearly 10 years she worked at Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. as a member of the Drug Discovery team. Our efforts in cardiovascular research led to the development of complex pharmaceuticals and were published in scientific journals. As a visual artist, she documented her bicultural experience of growing up in Los Angeles while frequenting Baja California, Mexico to visit her family. Her artwork has been displayed on both coasts and on both sides of the border and can be viewed at www.artecrisol.com. This year Nuvia celebrates eight years of marriage with her favorite artistic collaborator, Jim Ruland. They are actively involved in San Diego’s arts and literary community by creating and supporting events that contribute to the city’s cultural fabric. Nuvia, Jim and her 12-year-old stepdaughter are competitive board gamers and avid readers. They enjoy going to art shows, hiking the Sweetwater reservoir and playing on Coronado Beach. Nuvia is thrilled to continue marrying her two passions of science and art as an educator at HTH Chula Vista.
  • Colleen Stevenson Humanities
    
    Colleen Stevenson
    Humanities


    I’m a San Diego native who graduated from Chapman University with a degree in Creative Writing (cluster in Communication and Leadership). After completing my undergrad education I worked in politics across San Diego, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. doing political communication and campaign finance investigation. In 2016, I graduated from the University of San Diego with a Masters in Education. Before starting graduate school I also worked at a radio station in Laguna Beach hosting and producing morning and nighttime programs. I continue to produce podcasts and enjoy recording interviews with friends and family about their stories and life experiences.
  • Meghan White Biology
    
    Meghan White
    Biology


    My name is Meghan White and I am honored and blessed to teach biology and environmental science at High Tech High Chula Vista!
    I was born and raised in Huntington Beach, California where I fell in love with the ocean. I attended Whitman College where I double majored in biology and geology and had the opportunity to research coral reefs, algae, and bioluminescent proteins. I am a student athlete and as the team captain, helped my basketball team reach the NCAA championship for the first time.


    After college, I joined Teach for America and had the privilege to teach biology at Ace Charter High School for the past three years. I am beyond excited to have the pleasure and privilege to join the High Tech High Chula Vista family and to teach our HTHCV scientists.


    In my free time, I love to cook, travel, hike, body surf, watch Game of Thrones, play any sport especially basketball and spike ball, go to country concerts, and read for my monthly book club.
12th Grade
  • Maria Teresa Cesena English
    
    Maria Teresa Cesena
    English


    MariaTeresa Ceseña (a.k.a. Dr. C) was born and raised in Riverside, CA. After graduating from high school she attended UC Irvine to study archaeology; she dreamed of becoming the next Indiana Jones. She eventually transferred to UC Riverside where she graduated with a degree in Anthropology and Ethnic Studies. Her next move brought her to San Diego to complete a Ph.D. program in Ethnic Studies at UCSD. From 2008 to 2013 Dr. C taught courses in writing and Ethnic Studies at UCSD and the University of San Diego.

    Dr. C joined the HTHCV family in the Fall of 2013. Having taught at the university level for several years, she has a good sense of what college professors are expecting from their students and is committed to helping all students prepare for the transition from high school to college or wherever their journeys may lead.
  • Anatole Ginsberg Math
    
    Anatole Ginsberg
    Math


    Anatole was born and raised in San Diego. He completed the IB program at San Diego High before moving to Poughkeepsie, NY to attend Vassar College. Here he received a dual BA in Mathematics and Chinese, and headed a sketch comedy group on campus.

    After graduating in 2008 he moved to Shanghai, China. He spent two years working in Investor Relations before deciding his real passion was teaching. He taught IB Math at an international high school in Beijing for 3 years, helping students who hailed from other 30 countries.

    Anatole is thrilled to join the High Tech High team and take inspiration from their tremendous dedication to students. When he is not thinking about how to make math education a more positive experience, he spends his time playing competitive DotA, training cats and dogs, and performing in an improv group.
  • Angela Guerrero Instructional Coach
    
    Angela Guerrero
    Instructional Coach


    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 children 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. She is excited to start another year teaching so she can fulfill her dream of helping students grow as readers, writers and critical thinkers!

     
  • Aurmon Harchegani Math
    
    Aurmon Harchegani
    Math


  • Gavin Ishihara-Wing Math
    
    Gavin Ishihara-Wing
    Math


    Gavin is excited to begin another year at HTHCV teaching math to his 9th and 11th graders. He was born and raised in San Francisco and moved down to San Diego to attend the University of California San Diego for his bachelor's degree in Psychology and a minor in Education. After graduating in 2009, he worked for two years at the Charter School of San Diego and at The Family and Learning Center in La Jolla. In 2012, while teaching at Kearny DMD, Gavin received his credential and master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of San Diego.

    In addition to doing math problems before going to bed, Gavin loves the outdoors and playing just about any sport. He enjoys playing basketball, football, dragonboat and outrigger. He is a huge San Francisco 49ers fan and is hoping for a Super Bowl year from them!
  • Enrique Lugo Art
    
    Enrique Lugo
    Art


    I was born and raised in San Diego, Baja California by Brave & Beautiful Mexican Immigrants. I am a screen printer, graphic designer, illustrator, and painter. As an artist I was first inspired by my father who would sit and paint with me since an early age. Thanks to the example set forth by my older sister, I earned a degree in Graphic Communication from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. After nearly 10 years of searching for my path, I have finally found my way and am very proud to call myself an Educator!

    I have been part of the High Tech High family since 2012 when I started at High Tech High Media Arts as an Academic Coach. Today you can find me sharing my passion for Art at the High Tech High Chula Vista campus.

    My goals as a teacher are to:
    Empower Youth
    Encourage Creativity
    & Enjoy Life!

    "...We are Educators, we are BORN to make a difference..." - Rita Pierson
  • Henry Maxfield English
    
    Henry Maxfield
    English


    I am incredibly excited and thankful to be starting my first year teaching at High Tech High Chula Vista. I feel extremely privileged to have this opportunity to teach at such an amazing school, with extremely intelligent and gifted students, and to learn from such a caring staff. I moved to San Diego for this job in August of 2014, knowing only 2 people that promptly moved to England upon my arrival. Before San Diego, I was living in Eugene, Oregon obtaining my masters degree in education and my teaching credential in social studies and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) in secondary school. Prior to that, Denver, Colorado was my home from 2004-2013. I received my undergraduate degree at the University of Denver in Political Science in 2008. I have been a sous chef at 2 different restaurants, basically built a food cart business from the ground up, worked at 2 nationally award-winning breweries, and nearly made the decision to dedicate my life to rock climbing (which is still one of my biggest passions).

    Growing up in a small town in rural New Hampshire, I quickly recognized the importance of family and community. I am very close to my family, although though they couldn't live physically much farther away while still living in the U.S.A., and I make several trips to visit them every year. One of the most vital things that I believe students can take away from my teaching is how powerful and transformative the power of people united can be. Knowing the connections that we have to our family and our community can only help us to better understand ourselves and aid us in realizing our full potential as human beings. The main reason that I have dedicated my life to education is because I believe that it is one of the most powerful tools for transforming the world into the best possible place it can be. It is my hope that I help my students realize their power as individuals and as part of larger communities of people so that they may change the world for the better in their own way.
  • Mark Poole Principals of Engineering
    
    Mark Poole
    Principals of Engineering


    I am in my 8th year here at HTH Chula Vista after a semester long hiatus where I was researching the development of 21st century skills in the Finnish school system on a Fulbright Grant. In my classroom I help students develop these skills through collaborative design projects that require a entrepreneurial mindset and a great deal of self-direction. Before teaching at HTH I was a design engineer for a bearing manufacturer. I discovered that the massive amount of applied science content that is taught in a traditional engineering curriculum is rarely applied in the workplace; it's the 21st century skills that I truly needed to be successful. This has shaped my understanding of what is valuable in the classroom and has helped me to define a set of learning goals that applies to all students, regardless of whether or not they pursue engineering.

    Outside of school I am an avid music lover. I enjoy listening to live music and I am often moved by the level of positivity that comes from a group of people dancing and having a good time together. I dabble in creating music as well and have been playing guitar for over 20 years. I enjoy sharing my love of music with the students and try as often as possible to design projects around music.
  • Danielle Slomka English
    
    Danielle Slomka
    English


     
    I was born and raised in San Diego, but recently moved back to be closer to family and continue my teaching career in a new capacity!


    I studied Social Work and Sociology at the undergraduate level, which quickly opened my eyes to the importance of free, quality education for all children. I moved to Nashville, TN where I earned my credential and Masters of Education and taught 6th and 7th grades. I approach teaching from the lens of both a social worker and an educator and aim to create an equitable and fun community of learners who feel supported and empowered to reach their full potential and apply what they learn in the classroom to the real world.


    I am thrilled to teach 12th grade students and support each of them in their last year of high school and the transition to college and careers.
  • Megan Willis Engineering
    
    Megan Willis
    Engineering


    Megan is extremely excited to join the High Tech High Chula Vista family as a 12th grade Engineering and Art teacher. Megan is originally from Cleveland Ohio, one of the greatest cities in the mid-west with its erratic weather patterns, empty steel manufacturing plants, tasty polish pierogies and of course the Cleveland Browns.

    Megan attended the Ohio State University where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Architecture. After a few years of working in the architectural profession, she decided it was time to go back to school for her Master’s degree. That is what brought her to San Diego. In 2007 Megan received her Master’s degree in Architecture from the New School of Architecture and Design. Shortly after graduation Megan began working with Estudio Teddy Cruz, an architectural practice engaged in social issues. She collaborated with ETC for four years. It was while working at Estudio Teddy Cruz that Megan began teaching as an adjunct instructor at the New School of Architecture and Design and loved it from the very start. Having the opportunity to both teach and practice her passion is to have the best of both worlds. It is this real world work experience and teaching experience that Megan is so excited to bring to the High Tech High classroom.

    When Megan is not teaching she enjoys exploring the city and its neighborhoods by bike or foot. She also loves traveling, visiting home (Cleveland) and spending time with her family and friends.
All School
  • Tim McNamara Director
    
    Tim McNamara
    Director


    Tim McNamara joined High Tech High Chula Vista as a humanities teacher in 2010, drawn to the excitement of student exhibitions and a thriving, practitioner-focused adult learning community. Tim has designed and facilitated course projects in sketch comedy, journalism, poetry translation, open-source software design, and more. Prior to joining High Tech High, Tim taught courses at several universities, including San Diego State, with a focus on rhetorical and authentic approaches to reading and writing. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Notre Dame, a master’s of fine arts in creative writing at San Diego State University, and a master’s of education in school leadership at the High Tech High Graduate School of Education. Tim has supported several schools (including Chicago Tech Academy) as they transformed themselves into more joyful, student-centered environments. Read Tim's thoughts on college prep here and here.
  • Ray Trinidad Dean of Students
    
    Ray Trinidad
    Dean of Students


    Ray Trinidad has been involved in education, enrichment programs and youth development for over 18 years. He most enjoyed working with high-risk youth at the National City Police Department in the Youth Diversion Department. Ray is also a youth program development consultant for the Los Angeles Unified School District and the California Department of Education. He loves football, softball, running, napping and spending time with his wife and three sons.
  • Elizabeth Castro Site Manager
    
    Elizabeth Castro
    Site Manager


    Elizabeth was born and raised in San Diego and has lived in Chula Vista most of her life. Mother of two children, Elizabeth decided to become a stay at home mom. During these years at home she went on to Beauty College in the evenings and is a licensed Esthetician and Makeup Artist. Elizabeth's true passion has always been her children. Her son is a HTHCV graduate and her daughter currently attends HTHCV. Her favorite place to be is on the sidelines at her daughters Soccer games.
    Elizabeth takes great pride in representing High Tech High Chula Vista both as a parent and an employee.
  • Michelle Alderete Associate Director of College Advising, Site Manager, Title IX Coordinator
    
    Michelle Alderete
    Associate Director of College Advising, Site Manager, Title IX Coordinator


    Michelle was born in Minnesota, but as a navy "brat," moved a lot, attending about 10 elementary schools before landing in Chula Vista. She married her high school sweetheart, and they have three great kids, Haley, Hannah & Hayden (HTHCV c/o 2012, '16 & '29 respectively). She earned her B.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University, M.Ed. in Counseling from the University of San Diego, and a certificate in College Counseling through UCLA Extension.  This year marks her 10th anniversary with HTHCV, as well as 4th year working with UCSD as an external college application reader. When she's not pestering seniors about important deadlines, critiquing their college essays, or simply admiring their tenacity, she enjoys spending time with her family--especially her little one who is a constant reminder of all that is good in the world.
  • Rah-Ben Coates Director of College Advising
    
    Rah-Ben Coates
    Director of College Advising


  • Andrea Bajonero Family Outreach Coordinator
    
    Andrea Bajonero
    Family Outreach Coordinator


  • Alan Botterman CrASH Site Coordinator/Athletic Director
    
    Alan Botterman
    CrASH Site Coordinator/Athletic Director


  • Ria Fay-Berquist GSE Resident
    
    Ria Fay-Berquist
    GSE Resident


  • Mary Gamboa Academic Coach
    
    Mary Gamboa
    Academic Coach


  • Angela Guerrero Instructional Coach
    
    Angela Guerrero
    Instructional Coach


    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 children 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. She is excited to start another year teaching so she can fulfill her dream of helping students grow as readers, writers and critical thinkers!

     
  • Andrea Hernandez CrASH
    
    Andrea Hernandez
    CrASH


  • Francina Hester Education Resource Specialist
    
    Francina Hester
    Education Resource Specialist


    Francina was born and raised in a small rural town in North Carolina. Looking for adventure, she joined the Navy and served on active duty for 20 years. During that time, Francina developed a love for teaching and served as mentor in various youth programs including Drug Education for Youth and Campaign Drug Free. She also served a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Juveniles in New Orleans, Louisiana. The love for children she found through community service inspired Francina to pursue a MA and teaching credential in Special Education and English/Language Arts. On the homefront, her husband Dan, children (Jasmine, Easter, and Nicholas), Angel the dog, and Sharon the cat, keep Francina very busy and full of life. She also enjoys reading historical romance novels and writing during her free time.

  • David Hua IT
    
    David Hua
    IT


    David Hua is a lifelong San Diegan who attended UCSD and received a BS in Electrical Engineering in 2005.  Upon finishing college, Dave joined the High Tech High family at HTHI and helped startup HTHCV in 2007.  He is excited for the 2017-18 school year as HTHCV embarks on our 11th year and the K8 starts their 7th year.  It has been quite a journey but he has enjoyed every step of the way and loves the family oriented atmosphere down in South Bay and working for such a dynamic and innovative organization.

    Dave is proud to be going into his 13th year with the High Tech High family and has enjoyed learning a lot from students throughout the years.  He truly enjoys working and advising students in their quest to go to college and feels lucky to have a chance to convince kids he's not just an ordinary IT "geek" hiding in "the Dave Cave" as students call his office.  In his free time, he loves to spend time with his family, travel the world, go to the beach, hike/camp, eat lots of food, and root for the Chargers and Padres in his favorite city in the world, San Diego.  There's no place like 127.0.0.1 :).
  • Juan Marquez Academic Coach
    
    Juan Marquez
    Academic Coach


  • Kyle Maxey Ed Specialist
    
    Kyle Maxey
    Ed Specialist


  • Mary Lou Paredes Academic Coach
    
    Mary Lou Paredes
    Academic Coach


  • Alec Patton Internship & Professional Learning Coordinator
    
    Alec Patton
    Internship & Professional Learning Coordinator


    Alec has been teaching at High Tech High Chula Vista for two awesome years, and taught at High Tech High North County for two awesome years before that!

    Prior to joining High Tech High, Alec worked at the Innovation Unit in London, England. The Innovation Unit is a non-profit company that works with the people who provide public services to help them find innovative solutions to difficult problems. While he was working at the Innovation Unit, Alec wrote and/or edited several publications about innovative education around the world. He also wrote lots and lots of blog posts.

    Alec first became interested in project-based learning when he was doing his PhD at the University of Sheffield (in England).
  • Robert Pe CrASH Tennis Coach
    
    Robert Pe
    CrASH Tennis Coach


  • Eva Perez Ed Specialist Intern
    
    Eva Perez
    Ed Specialist Intern


  • Alberto Rojas-Duran Academic Coach
    
    Alberto Rojas-Duran
    Academic Coach


  • Shameka Thompson CrASH Assistant Athletic Director
    
    Shameka Thompson
    CrASH Assistant Athletic Director


  • Jacob Troutman Education Resource Specialist
    
    Jacob Troutman
    Education Resource Specialist


  • Joseph Valdivia CrASH Radio Program Advisor
    
    Joseph Valdivia
    CrASH Radio Program Advisor


  • Marie Walden Special Ed Coordinator
    
    Marie Walden
    Special Ed Coordinator


  • Lexi Wiggins Student Teacher
    
    Lexi Wiggins
    Student Teacher


  • Anthony Williams CrASH
    
    Anthony Williams
    CrASH