Staff Directory


9th Grade
  • Anna Chiles 9th Grade Humanities
    
    Anna Chiles
    Anna Chiles
    9th Grade Humanities


    I was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. After graduating high school, I ventured up to the Philadelphia, PA area to attend Bryn Mawr College, a wonderful liberal arts college for women. There, I studied Sociology, Education, and French, ultimately graduating with a Bachelor's degree in hand and a passion for teaching and learning. Since graduation from college, I have worked in education in 3 of the 4 corners of the continental US.
    The 2015-2016 school year marks my fourth year at High Tech High Media Arts. I am STILL thrilled to be in a city that I love pursuing my dream job as a Humanities teacher. I'm so lucky to be working alongside some of the most thoughtful and creative educators out there!

    When I'm not at school, you might find me with my two favorite beings: my husband, Wilson, and my dog, Scout (sorry, Mom). I love to read, travel, cook, and share meals with the people that I love. Here's to a great year!



    Favorite book of the summer: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Coolest places that I traveled to this summer: Portugal, Spain, France, Italy
  • Brenda Hernandez 9th Grade Humanities
    
    Brenda Hernandez
    Brenda Hernandez
    9th Grade Humanities


    I am a first generation Mexican-American citizen. Inspired by the trials and tribulations of my immigrant parents, I understood the importance of receiving an education. An education opens your world view and provides opportunities beyond our humble means. I worked my hardest and graduated with my B.A. in Political Science, American Politics from the University of California, San Diego.  Soon after graduation I interned with the State Senate, was hired by my local Assembly member, and then dedicated four years to a small Law firm in Solana Beach.

    Outside of my educational interests, I enjoy hiking, international politics and traveling. Over the last few years i've visited  10 different European countries, with plans this year to visit another five. Additionally, i've traveled extensively though Mexico and plan on making my first trip to Japan in 2019.
  • 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.
  • Scott Stambach 9th Grade Math/Physics
    
    Scott Stambach
    Scott Stambach
    9th Grade Math/Physics


    Hi my name is Scott. I teach physics and write books. I am the author of The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko. I have a huge crush on Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Also Steven Hawking. Lost is my favorite TV show. Anything else you'd like to know, just email me...
  • Chris Wakefield 9th Grade Physics
    
    Chris Wakefield
    Chris Wakefield
    9th Grade 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
  • Cate Challen 11th Grade Humanities
    
    Cate Challen
    Cate Challen
    11th Grade Humanities


    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.

     
  • Evan Coleman 10th Grade Humanities
    
    Evan Coleman
    Evan Coleman
    10th 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 10th-grade students of High Tech High Media Arts and welcomes any and all questions!
  • Matt Martin 10th Grade Math/Physics
    
    Matt Martin
    Matt Martin
    10th Grade Math/Physics


    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
  • 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
  • María-Elena Valenzuela 10th Grade Humanities
    
    María-Elena Valenzuela
    María-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 11th Grade Math
    
    Sirena Van Epp
    Sirena Van Epp
    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, the following year teaching 10th and 11th grade math, and last year as the 11th grade math teacher. She is beyond excited to be going back to team teaching 10th and 11th grade for the 2018-2019 school year.
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.

  • Jorge Cerna 11th Grade Humanities
    
    Jorge Cerna
    Jorge Cerna
    11th Grade Humanities


    Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are. - John Wooden

    Some quick facts about me are that I love my two daughters (my wife too), I have been shaped by the game of basketball, San Diego is my home, and learning from your experience is something I value.

    I am an 11th Grade Humanities teacher and entering my second year at HTHMA. A big part of what excites me about humanities is the ability to analyze what has happened, what is happening, and how to learn from it all. My educational experience includes a BA in Social Science, an MA in Kinesiology, and my teaching credential from National University. Prior to seeking a job in education, I worked as a college basketball coach at San Diego State University and Cal State Fullerton.

     
  • Cate Challen 11th Grade Humanities
    
    Cate Challen
    Cate Challen
    11th Grade Humanities


    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.

     
  • Brandon Davidson 11th Grade Biology
    
    Brandon Davidson
    Brandon Davidson
    11th Grade Biology


    I am excited to be in my 11th year with HTHMA and feel proud to call it my home. I will be transitioning to a new role this year as the Internship Coordinator at HTHMA. With this position, I will be working to support students and teachers with the internship experience in both 11th and 12 grade. I look forward to working with our students as they engage in the world of work outside of school and begin to develop work place identities. I feel strongly that these experiences help students to make informed choices about college and career and I am excited to help facilitate the internship programs at HTHMA.


    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.
  • Chris Millow 12th Grade Humanities
    
    Chris Millow
    Chris Millow
    12th Grade Humanities


    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.
     
  • Sirena Van Epp 11th Grade Math
    
    Sirena Van Epp
    Sirena Van Epp
    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, the following year teaching 10th and 11th grade math, and last year as the 11th grade math teacher. She is beyond excited to be going back to team teaching 10th and 11th grade for the 2018-2019 school year.
12th Grade
  • Paola Capó-García 12th Grade English
    
    Paola Capó-García
    Paola Capó-García
    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 New York for a few years, I decided to pursue my M.A. in English from UC Davis and then my M.F.A. in Creative Writing from 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 dog, Furio, is my best friend.
  • Philip Estrada 12th Grade Physics
    
    Philip Estrada
    Philip Estrada
    12th Grade Physics


    I've been at High Tech High since fall 2016. I originally came to the school while completing prerequisite requirements for a Teachers Credential Program at SDSU. While on the HTH campus I learned about project based learning and was drawn to the positive and collaborative atmosphere. Now I'm pursuing a teaching credential through the Graduate School of Education at HTH. As an academic coach, tutor 9th and 10th grade students in all subjects, but specialize in math and science.

    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 and built my own computer last spring. 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, and San Francisco. We would like to visit Japan, Prague or Turkey in the future.
  • Hussein Munaim L12th Grade Engineering
    
    Hussein Munaim
    Hussein Munaim
    L12th Grade Engineering


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


    Margaret Noble
    Artist and Educator

    Teaching Website:
    http://nobleeducator.com/

    BIO
    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.
  • 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 
    Teaching and Learning
    .

    Even though I LOVE math, 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 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 11th year at HTHMA and continue to learn from and with my students on a daily basis.
  • Sani Vanderspek 12th Grade Humanities
    
    Sani Vanderspek
    Sani Vanderspek
    12th Grade Humanities


    This is my second year teaching humanities at HTHMA. I earned a BA from UC Berkeley in Gender and Women's Studies and an MS in Economic and Social History from the University of Oxford. Currently, I am working on a dual Single Subject Credential in English and Social Science.

     

    Outside of school, I spend most of my time learning and connecting the dots between random things to become a better friend, person, colleague, and educator in this surprising world. I also love to play soccer, get in the ocean, and spend summers far away.
ED Specialist
  • Joyce Chen
    
    Joyce Chen
    Joyce Chen


    A true California native, I was born and raised in Los Angeles - I love sunshine, beaches, and a mild temperature between 68 and 80 degrees, preferably with a crisp ocean breeze. After doing some university hopping, I received my BA in Communicative Disorders from California State University Fullerton and relocated to San Diego. I currently have a MS in Special Education from National University, and a MS in Learning Design and Technology from Purdue University.

    Working with students is incredibly rewarding, and is truly the best part of the job. My goal is to help students discover their passions and strengths during their schooling. Outside of work, I enjoy traveling, maintaining an active lifestyle, dabbling in aerial arts, and trying new restaurants.
  • Charley Hoff 9th Grade Inclusion Specialist
    
    Charley Hoff
    Charley Hoff
    9th Grade Inclusion Specialist


    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.
  • 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.
  • Michael Shear
    
    Michael Shear
    Michael Shear


    As the 12th grade Inclusion Specialist, I'm making it my goal to prepare my seniors for the outside world by helping them to actively develop contingency plans, as well as encouraging them to explore future college and career options.

    I've been called the Wade Wilson of teaching because I believe in readying my students for their future as heroes by reinforcing ambition, communicating clearly and including humor in every challenge.

    I was born in Central New York, and spent the first 20 years of my life there. While in New York, I attended Onondaga College and Syracuse University: Newhouse.

    In 2000, I moved to San Diego, and attended San Diego State University while working full-time as an editor. I graduated with a double major in Journalism/English and a minor in Comparative Literature, as well as a certification in CDIS/American Sign Language. I have worked in San Diego school districts for the last 6 years, and am beyond excited to make High Tech my new home!

    When I'm not in school, you can find me at the archery range with my 80# compound bow (Vera) and my 45# recurve (Velma). I enjoy board game nights with friends (Betrayal at House on the Hill and Dead of Winter are faves!), watching hockey (GO GULLS!), going to my favorite restaurants for theme nights (Wing Wednesday, Taco Tuesday and Tiki Thursday) hiking and getting mileage outdoors when properly baited--a bag of dried bacon usually does the trick! I also read compulsively, binge watch TV shows and have a media library of movies and games that easily exceeds 5,000 titles!
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
  • Ady Kayrouz Dean of Students
    
    Ady Kayrouz
    Ady Kayrouz
    Dean of Students


    Ady joins the HTHMA staff as Dean of Students after serving as the GSE Professional Development Coordinator, where she collaborated with educators, administrators, schools, districts and policy makers across the globe, to provide adult learning and professional development opportunities.  She initially joined the HTH family as a Humanities teacher, after having served in a number of districts, schools and organizations in California and Rhode Island.  Ady is a passionate, career educator and consultant, with a committed focus on education reform and equity.  Experienced in program and curriculum design, leadership, administration, professional development, consultation, instructional pedagogy, student-centric methodologies, assessment design and community outreach, Ady’s work is centered around constructivist learning and transformative changes.  Ady holds a B.A in English and a M.A. in Literature, and is fluent in Spanish, Arabic and French.
  • 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
    
    Kendra Barnes
    Kendra Barnes
    Student


    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


  • 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!
  • Hussein Munaim L12th Grade Engineering
    
    Hussein Munaim
    Hussein Munaim
    L12th Grade Engineering


  • Alexandra Sanches Family Outreach
    
    Alexandra Sanches
    Alexandra Sanches
    Family Outreach


    Ale is excited to join HTHMA as the Community Outreach Coordinator, her mission is to engage families  to become active participants in the education of their students. She is from the gorgeous city of Sao Paulo, Brazil and had the privilege of growing up between two Latin Cultures ~ Brazilian and Bolivian. Ale holds a Bachelor’s in Business from University of Engineer and Business (FEI-ESAN) and also studied one year and half “Controller” (Financial Consulting-FECAP).

    She moved from Brazil to San Diego with her husband 17 years ago and has three beautiful boys. She enjoys being with her sons in the soccer practice, games, swimming classes, and of course being at the beach with friends. Ale speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese fluently and loves to hear from all families! Please reach out if you have any questions.

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    Ale esta muy emocionada de unir HTHMA como Coordinadora de Asistencia a la Comunidad, su misión es involucrar a las familias para que participen activamente en la educación de sus estudiantes. Ella es de la hermosa ciudad de Sao Paulo, Brasil y tuvo el privilegio de crecer entre dos culturas latinas ~ Brasil y Bolivia. Ale tiene una licenciatura en Negocios de la Universidad de Ingeniería y Negocios (ESAN-FEI) y también estudió un año y medio “Controller” (Consultora Financiera-FECAP).

    Ella se trasladó desde Brasil a San Diego con su marido hace 17 años y tiene tres hermosos niños. A ella le gusta estar con sus hijos en la práctica de fútbol, juegos, clases de natación, y por supuesto estar en la playa con los amigos. Ale habla Inglés, español y portugués con fluidez y le gusta escuchar a todas las familias! Ponte en contacto si tiene alguna pregunta.

     
  • Tony Thomas IT Director
    
    Tony Thomas
    Tony Thomas
    IT Director


    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.
  • Paul Yumbla Student
    
    Paul Yumbla
    Paul Yumbla
    Student


    Paul Yumbla is currently a New School Creation Fellow at HTHMA. His goal for this year to be inspired by the great work being done at this school as a way to adopt and implement a project based learning model to a school he is co-creating in Denver, opening fall of 2020!
     
    Paul was born in Cuenca, Ecuador and moved to the US when he was 4. Paul graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in English literature. He joined Teach For America shortly after and began honing his craft and developing a critical eye for the current system of education that remains intact today.
     
    Paul is the founder of The Moxie Collective. This collective aims to revolutionize the way schools approach college readiness and prepare students for the real world. Moxie plans on doing this in three ways; building with and for the southwest Denver community, storytelling as a medium to recognize, and unpacking and affirming unique cultural identities. The Moxie Collective focuses on peer-to-peer mentorship that fosters not only a sense of community but a culture of accountability that is owned and developed by the student.
     
    Connect with Paul: