Staff Directory


9th Grade
  • Melinda Barnadas 9th Grade Multimedia
    
    Melinda Barnadas
    Melinda Barnadas
    9th Grade Multimedia


    I’m a visual artist who was born in Montreal, Canada with an Afro-Caribbean mother from Trinidad and a Spanish-Peruvian father from South America. I moved to California when I was 6 years old and have lived in 7 U.S. states, 1 Mexican state and 3 Canadian provinces.

    While living in Puebla, Mexico, I learned to speak Spanish and and am always looking to improve my Spanglish-speaking skills (por favor háblame en español).

    I have a B.F.A. in Painting/Art & Technology from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago. After graduating, I co-founded the art entity, Collective Magpie in 2008 with my Korean-American best friend, Tae Hwang. Together we began producing artwork in a collaborative, participatory and hands-on way, ultimately creating artworks together with thousands of people in different communities. Tae and I also took our collective arts practice to UC San Diego and completed an M.F.A. in Visual Arts together becoming the first collaboratively authored dissertation to receive two degrees - anywhere in the UC University system, hopefully opening a door for more people to receive acknowledgement for their work together.

    My passion to use my arts practice to support the voices of others has naturally evolved to the classroom, where I invite students to contribute their voices and perspectives on public art projects together with me. I've taught courses in sculpture, digital photography, inflatable engineering and public rhetoric at the university level and am excited to share those resources with HTHMA. But most of all, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work on a public project together with the incredible people who are students at HTHMA and share their perspectives with the world!

     
  • Cate Challen 9th Grade Math
    
    Cate Challen
    Cate Challen
    9th Grade Math


    I am an Australian native with a background in biotechnology and venture investing. After completing my Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry, I went on to complete a Doctor of Biotechnology degree at the University of Queensland, Australia focusing on the intersection of science and business. In my previous roles, I evaluated new technologies and modeled financial returns to inform operational decisions. I have always had a passion for science and mathematics, and I gain immense satisfaction from empowering students to make valuable contributions to society. My goal is to encourage students to see the beauty in science that is all around us and to appreciate the power of mathematics as a tool for understanding, communicating and decision-making.

    In addition to my professional focus, I am an avid traveler, adventurer and lover of the outdoors. Therefore, the opportunity to come to San Diego, a hub for innovation and a mecca for outdoor activities, was something I could not resist. In 2012 I moved here with my husband. We love to surf, hike, eat Mexican food and just generally enjoy the mild San Diego climate.

     
  • Trisha Ibarra 9th Grade Multimedia
    
    Trisha Ibarra
    Trisha Ibarra
    9th Grade Multimedia


    Trisha Oralie Martin Ibarra was born and raised in San Diego, CA. She spent the last eight years working as teaching artist in Chicago, IL and is excited to join the HTHMA community. Earning an MFA from Columbia College Chicago and a BA from San Diego State University, she was destined to make her way in both education and the arts. Her teaching and artistic practice are reflective of her Filipino heritage and the philosophy that all human kind, in tandem with the visible and invisible world, are one.

    When Trisha is not in the classroom, she can be found getting her hands dirty with her plants or artwork, organizing a community event, snuggled up with her pet reading or spending time with her family and friends...and yes, she loves dark chocolate and alternative milk lattes.
  • David Morales Spanish Teacher
    
    David Morales
    David Morales
    Spanish Teacher


    My name is Davíd Morales. I am a first-generation chicano from Barrio Logan and Southeast San Diego. I first realized the importance of education and its power to transform the lives of people as a high school student in Spanish class. In Maestro Villanueva’s class I would reclaim the Spanish language—my family’s language—its warmth, intimacy, and power, and learn about Mexico and Latin America—the histories, traditions, and struggles that people faced and movements that they led. It was knowledge in which I saw myself reflected, and knowledge that told a different narrative about my culture and family. This knowledge equipped me with critical thinking skills and helped me develop a sense of responsibility towards my own community.

    I have a B.A. from UC San Diego and a M.A. and teaching credential from Stanford University. I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to live, study, teach, and travel throughout Latin America- including Cuba, Ecuador, and México. I am finally back in my hometown after living in San Francisco for the past three years. I’m looking forward to serving my community and to encouraging my students to be proud of their histories, to feel empowered by their cultures, and to become well-educated advocates of their families and communities.

    https://maestrodavidmorales.weebly.com/
  • Anne Quinn 9th Grade Physics
    
    Anne Quinn
    Anne Quinn
    9th Grade Physics


    My name is Annie Quinn, and I am excited to join the High Tech High Media Arts community this year as a 9th grade physics teacher. I was born and raised in the Bay Area and moved to San Diego over a decade ago to study Neuroscience and Education at UCSD. After graduating, I spent a few years splitting my time working as a research assistant, Boys and Girls Club Director, and high school water polo coach before moving to Chicago to complete my graduate degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. During my first year of teaching, I hope to inspire students to develop an appreciation for scientific inquiry by creating engaging, hands-on, and meaningful experiences in our classroom and our community.

    When I’m not in the classroom, you will likely find me at the pool enjoying a swim workout or coaching the HTHPL water polo team (Go Storm!). My husband Alex and I jump at any opportunity to be outside hiking, camping, biking, or just enjoying the beautiful San Diego sun.
  • Lauren Reyna 9th Grade Humanities
    
    Lauren Reyna
    Lauren Reyna
    9th Grade Humanities


    Hello. My name is Lauren Reyna and I was born and raised here in San Diego, California. After graduating high school, I left the area for 12 years, living in Santa Cruz, the Bay Area, and Colorado. I care deeply about being an educator in the Humanities department and believe it is one of the most important roles I could take on in life. I am continuously inspired to engage with my students about the important issues that face our communities both globally and locally. I value teaching as a means to promote social justice and to empower my students with the knowledge and skills they need to advocate for themselves and others.


    During the last decade of my life, I have had the distinct privilege of earning a wealth of experiences academically and personally. I have a M.A. from San Francisco State in Philosophy, as well as a M.A. in Education from the University of Colorado, Denver. When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and my sweet dog named Selena. I love to engage in anything artistic, time writing my thoughts down, trying new foods, learning about other cultures, and cooking. My perfect day would be spent hanging out at the beach with a good book, and end with a scary movie and all-you-can-eat al pastor tacos.
  • Dan Slowik HTHMAPL - 9th Grade Humanities
    
    Dan Slowik
    Dan Slowik
    HTHMAPL - 9th Grade Humanities


    Prior to teaching, Dan attended the University of Dubuque, where he was a member of the men’s basketball team. Following his years at Dubuque, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Geography Education at Illinois State University. After college, Dan taught high school history on the South Side of Chicago for 4 years, where he also coached basketball. Dan’s teaching philosophy is to first gain students’ trust aided by a welcoming and open-minded environment (mixed with some terrible jokes) in order to foster individualized educational growth throughout the school year.
  • Chris Wakefield 9th Grade Math/Physics
    
    Chris Wakefield
    Chris Wakefield
    9th Grade Math/Physics


    Chris Wakefield is an experienced educator who has 18 years of educational experience, in which a decade was at High Tech High Media Arts.  Chris brings an innovative way of thinking to education focusing on student engagement.  He has developed more than 20 projects, while teaching Math and Physics at HTHMA that allowed students to design and build authentic, practical real-world products that challenged students to go beyond the classroom.  This semester students will examine exponential functions while they learn about student loans, mortgages, and 401k’s.  Students will also create works of art as they learn to manipulate Geometric Transformations.

    During the 2012-2013 school year, Chris was selected to work with the Innovation Unit in London, England to help schools transition to Project Based Learning.  From this experience, Chris learned how to structure projects so that students craving challenge are pushed with above grade level work while emerging learners get the support that they need to be successful.

    Chris holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia, a Master’s Degree from George Mason University, and a Master’s Degree in School Leadership from the High Tech High Graduate School of Education.  When he is not at school you will find Chris riding his road bike all around San Diego, having dinner with friends, and reading a book on the beach with his wife who he married in November 2017.



     
10th Grade
  • Matt Martin 10th Grade Chemistry
    
    Matt Martin
    Matt Martin
    10th Grade Chemistry


    I was at a loss as to what to write on my bio page… say I asked people closest to me for help. Here’s what I got…

    My Dad says…
    Matt's dad says he has always like Matt's sense of humor and intelligence. Seeing Matt grow up was like having his own Jeopardy contestant, except that Matt never answered in the form of a question. That was a little annoying. Before Google there was Matt.

    Matt’s Wife Katie Says…
    Matt is the most thoughtful and loyal person I know but more importantly, he is devilishly handsome. He is a natural teacher and has a gift for conveying the complexities of the world and answering the endless barrage of “Why?” questions from our 2 and 3 year old kids. He is a self-taught carpenter who routinely attempts insane projects, the house chef, and my mom’s favorite child. He loves traveling and experiencing all he can in life. His adventurous spirit is contagious to all around him and although he used to travel the world (and hopes to do more soon), he now spends time searching for the best bounce house and playgrounds for the kids.

    Matt’s Mom answered in the form of four limericks…

    There once was a lad named Matt Martin,
    Who loved studying math, science, and lichen,
    He amazed his teachers,
    Hit baseballs in the bleachers,
    And then saw the world while travelin’.

    There once was a lad named Matt Martin,
    Who loved golf, travelling and campin’,
    He challenged his teachers,
    Enjoyed exciting ventures,
    But, now he’s changing diapers!

    There once was a lad named Matt Martin,
    Who kept his fire rescue well hidden,
    He became quite a hero,
    But without any ego,
    And now he’s loved by a million!

    There once was a Matt from Pennsylvania,
    Who was always quite a bit of an outlaw,
    He played jokes on his teachers,
    Ran with all kinds of creatures,
    But always loved his grandma and grandpa!

    My sister says….
    I'm a show off, I play with fireworks too much, I learned everything I know from video games, well except the dog. I taught her everything she knows… about getting away with things, Brothers are like a box of chocolates… Sweet on the outside and nutty on the inside. She wouldn't trade me for the last person on earth…

    Matt’s Toddlers say…
    My Daddy is big and strong
  • Conan Martinez 10th Grade Humanities
    
    Conan Martinez
    Conan Martinez
    10th Grade Humanities


    I am from a very small town in the Central Valley in the heart of California. Almost every day of my childhood was spent outside earning scraped knees on baseball diamonds and grass fields. I am the son of immigrant parents from Central America and was raised with a large focus on family. My fondest memories as a kid are spending time at the lake or taking a day trip to the Giant Forest with my closest cousins.

    I have been fortunate enough to have traveled extensively all around the globe and believe in the value of creating connections between our local communities and the world around us. I am looking forward to this coming school year and am excited for the opportunities ahead of us.
  • Ernesto Orozco 10th Grade Spanish
    
    Ernesto Orozco
    Ernesto Orozco
    10th Grade Spanish


    I am originally from Long Beach, Ca and moved to San Diego after I got married.  My roots are from both Mexico and El Salvador. I graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Latin American & Latino Studies and Politics in 2006.  I received my Masters in Education and teaching credential to teach Spanish from UC San Diego in 2018. I am the son of immigrants, a teacher of color, a musician and a new father. This shapes what I teach, how I teach, and most importantly, why I teach.  When I am not in the classroom, I continue to play music, specifically, Son Jarocho. I also play soccer almost every weekend.

     

    Some of my favorites:

    Favorite Shows: Star Trek The Next Generation & The Simpsons

    Favorite Books: Always Running & 1984

    Favorite Quote: “Quien comienza por sentirse capaz, acaba por serlo”

    Favorite Rompecabeza: Borges y Yo by Jorge Luis Borges
  • Timothy Ro 10th/11th Grade Math
    
    Timothy Ro
    Timothy Ro
    10th/11th Grade Math


    I am excited to be returning to HTHMA for my second year of teaching. I am originally from Garden Grove, where I was born and raised in the recently dubbed "Orange County Koreatown," or what I personally elect to call it, "The Boulevard of the Korean American Dream." From there, I attended the University of Washington, Seattle to pursue a bachelor's in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. Along the way, I picked up part-time jobs in different educational capacities and I became hooked on the best teaching practices and reforming education in the US. I added a minor in Education, Learning, and Societies and am currently earning my teaching credential through the HTH Graduate School of Education.

    In my free time, I deeply enjoy playing board games and video games with old friends or trying to find the best food in San Diego!
  • Maria-Elena Valenzuela 10th Grade Humanities
    
    Maria-Elena Valenzuela
    Maria-Elena Valenzuela
    10th Grade Humanities


    I am from the city of Tijuana, Mexico. My parents are from Mexico: my father was a Bracero, a field worker and my mother worked in a factory. When I was twelve years old I began to cross the border on a daily basis to attend school in San Diego.  I am the first person in my family to graduate from high school and college.  I attended San Diego City College and worked in several organizations which focused on human rights. My first teaching experience was in an indigenous Maya community in Chiapas, Mexico. 

    I transferred to the University of California at Santa Cruz where I earned a B.A. degree in Latin American and Latino Studies as well as a M.A. degree in Education. I worked as a Spanish and Social Studies teacher at the high school level in Watsonville, California, a community located south of Santa Cruz and also earned a second M.A. degree in Educational Administration at Santa Clara University.  I coordinated an after school program and worked as an Assistant Principal of Student Services. For several years, I served as a faculty advisory to the Dream Club, which supports undocumented students and families. I currently live with my husband and step daughter in North Park. I greatly enjoy cooking, riding my bicycle, traveling and the arts!
  • Sirena Van Epp 10th/11th Grade Math
    
    Sirena Van Epp
    Sirena Van Epp
    10th/11th Grade Math


    As an East Coast native, Sirena grew up in Virginia and New Jersey before headed off to college on the West Coast. At Occidental College in Los Angeles, she studied mathematics and studio art while being involved in her school's club ultimate frisbee team and numerous tutoring programs in the math department. After graduating from Oxy in 2015, Sirena moved to San Diego where she spent a year as a teaching apprentice at HTHMA before coming on as a full time 10th and 11th grade math teacher. In 2019, Sirena earned her teaching credential for secondary math education at High Tech High's Graduate School of Education. She is currently working on her Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology through the University of Southern California.
11th Grade
  • Dan Allen 11th Grade Art
    
    Dan Allen
    Dan Allen
    11th Grade Art


    I began my art career at the age of four. I remember copying a coloring book page instead of coloring it in with crayons. My preschool teacher praised my ability to recreate the drawing that I seen in the book. My peers said that it was cool. My mother hung it on the refrigerator and later stored it with my other childhood memorabilia. It was the first time I can remember being congratulated. Fast forward to junior high school, with encouragement from my teachers, I was entering art fairs and winning awards for my artwork. While in high school I fell in love with ceramics and sculpture and got my first kiln and potter’s wheel (both of which I still have today). I received my art degree from San Diego State University and after college I began working for the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Later, I started a mural painting business for five years and I opened my own Art gallery in downtown San Diego which lasted for three years.


    I began teaching at High Tech High Media Arts in January 2015. This has allowed my artistic journey to come full circle. Now I am the teacher full of praise for the beauty that students share with me everyday. Thank you for taking the time to explore this amazing world.
  • Rachel Angeles 11th Grade Humanities
    
    Rachel Angeles
    Rachel Angeles
    11th Grade Humanities


    I am a San Diego native that does not like it when the weather is too hot or too cold.

    I teach 11th grade Humanities at High Tech High Media Arts. I received my undergraduate degree in sociology at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and my master's in education at National University. I have always wanted to be in education because I love being inspired by students, their families, and colleagues. If I wasn't teaching, I would be trying to perfect my family's old recipes from the Philippines in my own restaurant or living on a boat and fishing every single day.

  • Evan Coleman 11th Grade Humanities
    
    Evan Coleman
    Evan Coleman
    11th Grade Humanities


    Evan has traveled many miles from his distant home state of Massachusetts via Prius to dip his toes in the Pacific. He is a writer of essays and short stories, a son of dancers, a stand-up bassist, a certified barista, and a lover of the beautiful game (fútbol).

    After graduating from Brown University with a B.A. in Nonfiction writing, Evan spent two years teaching writing and coaching in Maine and two years in Boston, Massachusetts, while leading summer language, service, and journalism trips to Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand, Ecuador, the Galapagos, and Mexico. He is ecstatic to begin a new adventure with the 11th-grade students of High Tech High Media Arts and welcomes any and all questions!
  • Chris Millow 11th Grade Biology
    
    Chris Millow
    Chris Millow
    11th Grade Biology


    I've always been amazed and inspired by the biological diversity of our planet - about the countless living things in our backyard and beyond. The natural world presents endless opportunity for wonder, exploration, and discovery, and I'm excited about actively engaging others as conscious stewards of the world around them.

    I hold a BS in Wildlife Conservation & Entomology from the University of Delaware, a MS in Ecology from SDSU, and received my Teaching Credential through the HTH Graduate School of Education (GSE). Currently, I am pursuing my M.Ed in School Leadership through the HTH GSE.

    Before joining High Tech High Media Arts, I worked for The Audubon Society, Alaska Department of Fish & Game, NOAA, EPA, Seattle Public Schools, and various environmental non-profits. My degrees and jobs have taken me around the world, allowing me to experience remarkable things – the stories of which I am happy to share with you in person.

    As the Biology/Environmental Science teacher at HTHMA, I lead our greenhouse and garden spaces, which I look forward to growing – along with help from students and teachers, families, and community members – as vibrant, verdant resources for years to come.

    My favorite part of working at HTHMA is the relationships we cultivate. Please reach out to me at any time with questions, concerns, or ideas; my door is always open.
     
  • Timothy Ro 10th/11th Grade Math
    
    Timothy Ro
    Timothy Ro
    10th/11th Grade Math


    I am excited to be returning to HTHMA for my second year of teaching. I am originally from Garden Grove, where I was born and raised in the recently dubbed "Orange County Koreatown," or what I personally elect to call it, "The Boulevard of the Korean American Dream." From there, I attended the University of Washington, Seattle to pursue a bachelor's in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. Along the way, I picked up part-time jobs in different educational capacities and I became hooked on the best teaching practices and reforming education in the US. I added a minor in Education, Learning, and Societies and am currently earning my teaching credential through the HTH Graduate School of Education.

    In my free time, I deeply enjoy playing board games and video games with old friends or trying to find the best food in San Diego!
  • Sirena Van Epp 10th/11th Grade Math
    
    Sirena Van Epp
    Sirena Van Epp
    10th/11th Grade Math


    As an East Coast native, Sirena grew up in Virginia and New Jersey before headed off to college on the West Coast. At Occidental College in Los Angeles, she studied mathematics and studio art while being involved in her school's club ultimate frisbee team and numerous tutoring programs in the math department. After graduating from Oxy in 2015, Sirena moved to San Diego where she spent a year as a teaching apprentice at HTHMA before coming on as a full time 10th and 11th grade math teacher. In 2019, Sirena earned her teaching credential for secondary math education at High Tech High's Graduate School of Education. She is currently working on her Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology through the University of Southern California.
12th Grade
  • Paola Capo-Garcia 12th Grade English
    
    Paola Capo-Garcia
    Paola Capo-Garcia
    12th Grade English


    I’m an educator, poet, and translator from San Juan, PR. I moved to the U.S. in 2005 and got my B.S. in Magazine Journalism and English & Textual Studies from Syracuse University. After working in online and print journalism in NYC for a few years, I decided to pursue my M.A. in English at UC Davis and then my M.F.A. in Creative Writing at UC San Diego. I’ve taught undergraduate literature, composition, and rhetoric courses at both universities and I’m excited to bring my college knowledge to the HTHMA classroom! My priorities as an educator are to introduce students (and myself) to underrepresented writers, explore the possibilities of language, and make students more confident as writers.

    Some facts about me: I think writing, in some ways, can save the world. Soy bilingüe. Eating is the most fun thing to do. Being from Puerto Rico means I’d rather be at the beach. I have seen every TV show ever, except Dr. Who. I used to be a dancer, now I can barely sway. I get an odd thrill from decorating a room. And my dogs, Furio and Boris, are my best friends.
  • Philip Estrada 12th Grade Physics
    
    Philip Estrada
    Philip Estrada
    12th Grade Physics


    I've been at High Tech High since fall 2016. After having a great experience volunteering as a math and science tutor I began pursuing a credential and eventually became a Physics and Engineering teacher at HTHMA where I get to use all sorts of great tools and make interesting things.

    Outside of school, I like surfing, rock climbing, homebrewing and cooking at home with my wife in Point Loma. I'm interested in technology and taking things apart, so I help students fix their phones. I'm fortunate to have been able to travel over the last few years and together with my wife have been to Paris and Southern France, Copenhagen, London, New York, Mexico, Germany, Austria and San Francisco. We would like to visit Japan, Prague or Turkey in the future.
  • Cris Fitch 12th Grade Engineering
    
    Cris Fitch
    Cris Fitch
    12th Grade Engineering


    Hi - I'm Cris, a STEM enthusiast with a broad and deep knowledge of many technical fields, including linguistics, physics, engineering, software, and spaceflight. I'm a retired software engineer/project manager, and I've been an engineering mentor at High Tech High Media Arts for about 10 years now. I also teach Japanese on Saturday mornings. I like both cats & dogs.

    Many years ago I graduated from MIT with degrees in computer science and electrical engineering and a thesis in Artificial Intelligence (AI). I've worked in industry creating video games (Atari's Desert Falcon, Leland's Pig Out), on sonar & natural language at BBN (makers of the first internet routers), and at the School of Aerospace Engineering on circadian rhythms and pilot scheduling. During the first dot com boom I built an eBay clone called the Virtual Swap Meet and a video search engine called Vidbot, but unfortunately these failed to get off the ground. My most successful contribution was a decade of work at SYSTRAN, a machine translation company, leading to its deployment on the web for clients like Google (i.e. the first versions of Google Translate). I've always had a soft spot in my heart for languages.

    I've been involved with the engineering program at HTHMA since the spring of 2009, when I began volunteering my time to work with Karl Wendt and his students on underwater robots. Coming in on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I've helped students get their projects designed, built, and debugged for the last decade. I worked with Hailey Kim and Brendan Cavalier during their years here, and provided Philip Estrada a bit of support as he took over the reins in 2018. We've built bridges, furniture, toys, wheeled vehicles, sheds, cat & mouse robots, salt shakers, 3D printers, quadcopters, boats, and lots of other things besides. This last semester I taught a course in Architecture, and we built scale, wood-frame houses.

     
  • Margaret Noble 12th Grade Multimedia
    
    Margaret Noble
    Margaret Noble
    12th Grade Multimedia


    Margaret Noble

    Computer Programming and Art

    Teaching Websites:

    https://www.codingforart.com/

    https://nobleeducator.com/

    Margaret Noble was born in Texas, raised in San Diego and received her key artistic training in Chicago. She holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of California, San Diego and an MFA in Sound Art from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Margaret Noble came to education from industry as a professional artist and since her start at High Tech High, she has consistently supported learners in producing meaningful and cutting edge student artworks. Her classes have exhibited projects at The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, The Museum of Photographic Arts San Diego, The San Diego Museum of Art, Sushi Performance Arts Center, The San Diego Art Institute and the University of California San Diego. Her students have also won several awards for their service and projects.

    Margaret Noble’s students leave her class prepared for the world with critical analytical and practical skills in design and technology. Her students experience an authentic art studio laboratory and community driven art exhibitions grounded in the professional practice of contemporary art using computer programming. Students produce a variety of diverse digital media including animations, video games, interactive narratives, and performances.
  • Mele Sato 12th Grade Math
    
    Mele Sato
    Mele Sato
    12th Grade Math


    I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai'i and moved to the mainland to attend Harvey Mudd College. It was there that I received my B.S. in mathematics and a concentration in music. After teaching in the Los Angeles area I furthered my passion for teaching mathematics by attending the University of California at Santa Barbara where I earned my teaching credentials in both mathematics and physics as well as my Masters in Mathematics Education.

    Even though I LOVE maths, I frequently find myself cooking all sorts of yummy food, making music, swimming in the ocean, playing soccer, rock climbing, hiking and camping, scarfing down some ono ramen, and knitting all sorts of maths and crafts!

    In August 2018 I joined the High Tech High Graduate School of Education to earn my Masters in School Leadership while continuing to teach in the 12th grade. I am thrilled to be entering my 12th year at HTHMA and continue to learn from and with my students on a daily basis.
ED Specialist
  • Charley Hoff
    
    Charley Hoff
    Charley Hoff


    Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area, I've been passionate about education reform for some time now. I’ve taught in various school reform settings such as a dual language K-8 Charter School, a reopened urban middle school and a restructured comprehensive high school. I joined the High tech community six years ago and meandered from HTHMA to HTeCV and now HTMCV. Along the way I earned a M.Ed. in Educational Psychology from Pepperdine University and a M.A. in Mild/Moderate Education Specialists from San Francisco State University. In my free time, I love spending time with Cate,Calvin, Audrey and Dudley as well as Hiking, Kayaking, Traveling, and obsessing over the 49ers.
  • Steve Kirchberg Academic Coach
    
    Steve Kirchberg
    Steve Kirchberg
    Academic Coach


  • Molly Maher
    
    Molly Maher
    Molly Maher


    Hello, my name is Molly Maher and this is my fourth year teaching high school students. I am new to California and traveled exactly 1,737 miles from my home town of Indiana to join the High Tech High team the first of August.  I went to school at Marymount University just outside of Washington D.C. to play college lacrosse and taught two years at an urban high school in our nation’s capitol. Since landing in San Diego two weeks ago, I am trying to learn to surf (you can see me getting barreled at the local beaches). I enjoy learning, trying new activities, and find Ellen DeGeneres hilarious. I can never get enough of traveling…I love to visit other countries, learn about their cultures and share time with people from all different backgrounds. People describe me as enthusiastic and high energy, but that is usually after my first coffee. I can’t wait to meet my new students and already know we are going to have a wonderful year!
  • Julia Mekrut
    
    Julia Mekrut
    Julia Mekrut


    I am thrilled to be part of the HTHMA Community! In 2013, during my Masters Program in School Counseling, I interned at HTH and discovered my love and appreciation of including the needs of all students in the classroom. When my internship ended, I became a school counselor, AP Psychology teacher, and special education coordinator at a local high school for five years. Now, as an Education Specialist, I am excited to be back in this inclusive community. I believe in meeting the individual needs of all students and emphasizing their academic potential and growth. Outside of my love for education, I also enjoy surfing, learning the ukulele, and traveling.
  • Chris Wakefield 9th Grade Math/Physics
    
    Chris Wakefield
    Chris Wakefield
    9th Grade Math/Physics


    Chris Wakefield is an experienced educator who has 18 years of educational experience, in which a decade was at High Tech High Media Arts.  Chris brings an innovative way of thinking to education focusing on student engagement.  He has developed more than 20 projects, while teaching Math and Physics at HTHMA that allowed students to design and build authentic, practical real-world products that challenged students to go beyond the classroom.  This semester students will examine exponential functions while they learn about student loans, mortgages, and 401k’s.  Students will also create works of art as they learn to manipulate Geometric Transformations.

    During the 2012-2013 school year, Chris was selected to work with the Innovation Unit in London, England to help schools transition to Project Based Learning.  From this experience, Chris learned how to structure projects so that students craving challenge are pushed with above grade level work while emerging learners get the support that they need to be successful.

    Chris holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia, a Master’s Degree from George Mason University, and a Master’s Degree in School Leadership from the High Tech High Graduate School of Education.  When he is not at school you will find Chris riding his road bike all around San Diego, having dinner with friends, and reading a book on the beach with his wife who he married in November 2017.



     
All School
  • Isaac Jones Director
    
    Isaac Jones
    Isaac Jones
    Director


    I am extremely proud to be the Director of HTHMA.  Over the past 15 years, I have taught in New York City, Costa Rica, and at High Tech High.  Most recently, I was the Director of High Tech High North County for 6 years, before moving to HTHMA before the 2017-2018 school year.  As an educator, I believe strongly in engaging all students through real-world projects that force us to question, analyze, and wonder. Please feel free to contact me with questions, ideas, and concerns.

    "Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself." John Dewey
  • Ray Trinidad Dean of Students
    
    Ray Trinidad
    Ray Trinidad
    Dean of Students


  • Liliana Abbott Community Outreach Assistant
    
    Liliana Abbott
    Liliana Abbott
    Community Outreach Assistant


  • Viviana Aguilar Site Manager
    
    Viviana Aguilar
    Viviana Aguilar
    Site Manager


    Viviana was born and raised in San Diego. She graduated from Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in 2013. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids Ariel & Maximiliano.  They enjoy going to the Xoloitzcuintles de Tijuana Soccer games and trying new restaurants around San Diego.  Viviana has been part of the High Tech High family, as two of her siblings currently attend High Tech High Chula Vista.

    She has been working with the community for about 5 years as part of the IHSS Public Authority County of San Diego. One of her many roles was to travel around the county and train caregivers.  Her community and mommy experience will serve her well as the new Site Manager for the HTHMA family.
  • Kendra Barnes Student Support Coordinator
    
    Kendra Barnes
    Kendra Barnes
    Student Support Coordinator


    My name is Kendra Barnes, I am currently a GSE resident and acting 10th grade Lead this year for high Tech Media Arts. I am a true artist of mixed mediums an Educator, Social Scientist and visionary with infinite possibilities.

    I have been a child care professional for over 10 years specializing in creative curriculum and redirection. My desire is to positively impact my youth in unique and encouraging ways.
  • Misty Bonta School Psychologist
    
    Misty Bonta
    Misty Bonta
    School Psychologist


    Misty Bonta is the SANDCASP Past President and serves on the CASP Board. She is a Licensed Educational Psychologist (LEP) with over 12 years of experience working in various educational environments. She has served as a Teacher, Administrator and School Psychologist and possesses extensive experience in elementary, middle, and high school settings.  Her specialty is working with children who have severe emotional, behavioral, social, and academic needs and building/maintaining strong collaborative relationships with staff, teachers, students, and families. She is a proven leader with a demonstrated ability to be a change agent for students, schools, districts, and the field of School Psychology. Misty has been a professor at Alliant University and currently works at High Tech High and High Tech High Media Arts. Her life passions include health, love, music, art, food, culture, animals, travel, and trying to make this world a better place one day at a time.
  • Brad Bookser IT Director
    
    Brad Bookser
    Brad Bookser
    IT Director


  • Brandon Davidson Internship Coordinator
    
    Brandon Davidson
    Brandon Davidson
    Internship Coordinator


    I am excited to be in my 12th year with HTHMA and feel proud to call it my home. As the Internship Coordinator, I will be working to support students and teachers with the internship experience in both 11th and 12 grade and career exploration opportunities for all grades. I look forward to working with our students as they engage in the world of work outside of school and begin to develop workplace identities. I feel strongly that these experiences help students know themselves and make informed choices about college, career and life after high school.


    I was born in Boston, Massachusetts, grew up in the greater Boston area and attended Williams College, graduating with a degree in Biology. While still in the Boston area, I spent time volunteering at the New England Aquarium and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. I then worked to create educational tours for students and teachers to visit destinations all over the world before making the move to San Diego. Once in San Diego, I attended San Diego State University where I received my teaching credential and found my way to HTHMA. My passions outside of school include my family, travel, cooking, CrossFit, backpacking, the ocean and reading.
  • Joseph Davidson Director of College Advising
    
    Joseph Davidson
    Joseph Davidson
    Director of College Advising


    Being a first generation college student is at the core of what has driven Joseph to pursue a career focused on helping students navigate the college admissions process. Early in his career, Joseph's passion for and commitment to serving students was recognized as he was named the recipient of the College Board's annual Ned Tibby Award. A native of Seattle, WA and a graduate of Washington State University, Joseph joined the High Tech High Media Arts community with nearly 15 years of college admissions experience. He has served in various roles at multiple nationally and internationally recognized institutions such as Washington State University, University of San Diego, and The Ohio State University. In addition to Joseph's admissions experience, he has also built an extensive network of college admissions professionals through active involvement in the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, Western Association for College Admissions Counseling, and the Regional Admissions Counselors of California organizations.

    Outside of work Joseph continues to pursue his love for creating music, performance, and creative writing. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, having fun, and watching sports. Especially the Seahawks!
  • Denise Nguyen Speech Language Pathologist
    
    Denise Nguyen
    Denise Nguyen
    Speech Language Pathologist


  • Tony Thomas IT Systems Manager
    
    Tony Thomas
    Tony Thomas
    IT Systems Manager


    Hailed from the Keystone State, Pennsylvania, where I grew until my early twenties. Then started my journey west to start college, at the University of Montana, in Missoula. Earned a Bachelors of Science in Nursing, from Montana State University, in Bozeman. Along the way I studied ceramics in Missoula as well. That is where I realized my interest  in the arts. Over the years since I have occasionally joined a studio to throw pots. More recently I have been in a Ceramics Career Tech Education class at Coronado Adult Education. Joined HTH from Mater Dei Catholic High School. Where I worked as a IT Systems Administrator for 8 years. I love being a part of the education system. When away from school I enjoy anything outdoors and active. I love the mountains and the ocean.