- Tiffany Estevez Math / ScienceXMath / Science
Tiffany is originally from Los Angeles, California. Upon completing her Bachelor's Degree at the University of California, Riverside, Tiffany decided to pursue her Master's Degree in Social Justice and Critical Literacy in Curriculum Development at San Diego State University. Tiffany found her passion for education through her involvement with Upward Bound as an alumni, tutor, residential advisor, and instructor.
When Tiffany is outside of the classroom you can find her rooting for the Dodgers, camping, or enjoying live music.
- Hayden Gore HumanitiesXHumanities
After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in Government in 2000, Hayden served two years in the Peace Corps with his wife Lisa, where they both led health education programs in rural primary schools of San Jose Poaquil and Santa Apolonia, Guatemala. Upon returning to the United States, Hayden worked as a bilingual teacher in Fort Worth, Texas before following his passion for human rights and enrolling in the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, where he would eventually earn his MA in International Human Rights.
In 2009, he began working with the Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team in Lima, Peru, where he led their international training programs in Nepal and the Democratic Republic of Congo. When he finished his projects with the forensic team, Hayden was lucky enough to join the faculty at the American School of Lima as a Design Technology teacher. At the American School, he got his first introduction to project-based learning and witnessed the powerful change that happens in a classroom when students use their learning to address real world problems.
When Hayden is not in the classroom, he loves to spend time at the beach with Lisa and his two boys, James and Jude. He is a passionate surfer, reader and inquirer who is constantly inspired by his students’ thoughts and ideas.
- Edrick Macalaguim HumanitiesXHumanities
Edrick absolutely loves working at HTMCV. He is looking forward to a year of wicked-awesome projects that will allow him to learn and grow along side his students. Growing up, Edrick attended Bonita Middle and Eastlake High School, so he feels honored and blessed to be able to give back to the Chula Vista community. After high school, Edrick attended SDSU where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies and his Multiple Subject CLAD Credential. In 2008, he entered the HTH Graduate School of Education, and completed his course of study with a Master of Education degree in Teacher Leadership in 2010.
Before working at HTMCV, Edrick taught at Myrtle S. Finney Elementary for 11 years as a 6th grade teacher. Throughout his tenure, he had been able to hone his teaching skills by working with a diverse population of students. During his last four years in the district, Edrick had transformed his classroom into a High Tech High inspired environment; using project-based learning, critiquing protocols and concepts of “Beautiful Work”, the students in his class were engaged in a learning experience that supported deeper understanding and tremendous growth.
When Edrick is not in the classroom, you could find him training for his next endurance run, roaming the local trails on his mountain bike, or hitting some chip shots at the Bonita golf range. Recently, Edrick and his beautiful wife have caught the travel bug. With stamps from the Philippines and Mexico nestled in their passports, they are hoping to continue to add to their travels, creating new adventures and unforgettable memories.
- Lauren Reate HumanitiesXHumanities
Lauren is proud to be a San Diego native, born and raised in the La Mesa area. While she loves traveling abroad she couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. She attended San Diego State University for her B.A. in Deaf Education and American Sign Language and a minor in Classics. Three years later Lauren made the decision to apply for grad school – she is now attending the University of San Diego and will receive her M.A. of Education in May of 2015.
Lauren spent the last year student teaching at High Tech High Chula Vista in the ninth grade and when the opportunity to come over to the middle school came up she jumped at it. Lauren is thrilled to work with sixth graders and help them become strong members of the HTMCV community as well as avid academics in their own lives.
Lauren’s favorite way to relax after school is by reading a good book. When not reading she can usually be found spending time with friends or family – watching movies, going to the theater, or drinking coffee at her favorite café.
- Ivan Recendez Math/ScienceXMath/Science
Ivan is in his second year of his teaching career, and he can’t wait to continue an incredible journey at High Tech Middle Chula Vista. Ivan was part of the first graduating class at one of our very own schools, High Tech High. That’s right, he loved it so much he came back to us!
Before working at HTMCV, Ivan took part in leading training sessions on working with youth, risk management, and program development. He also led youth workshops and camping retreat weekends for the Los Angeles Unified School District while working as a youth leadership counselor at various school sites throughout San Diego. After working at High Tech Middle Media Arts as an Instructional Assistant, he realized that his true passion was in education. He attended San Diego State University where he earned a BS in Mathematics and earned his teaching credential from HTH.
When Ivan is not in the classroom, he enjoys watching his beloved San Diego Chargers and Padres, solving math riddles, traveling, EATING, and spending time with his friends and family. As we all know, this year will be the fourth year of HTMCV, and he can’t wait to continue to work with such supportive and inspirational staff!
- Erin Bower Math/ScienceXMath/Science
Erin was so excited to join the 6th and 7th grade teams at HTMCV in 2016. She is a lifelong learner of psychology and science and hopes to bring her love of education to support the students and staff at high tech. When Erin is not at HTMCV, she can be found playing music in her bluegrass band or solo as a singer-songwriter in coffee shops and at events in San Diego and beyond. She also gets to develop her love of gardening by managing a community garden for Volunteers in Medicine in El Cajon.
- Adam Ko ScienceXScience
I am a Christian and love God. My wife, Jasmine, and I have been married for eight years and I simply adore her. We have two kids, Lily Faith and Audrey Grace, and they are our biggest joys in life.
My path to teaching began in the Boy Scouts. Being in scouting for 10 years ignited my passion for learning and adventure. Whether it was backpacking, whitewater rafting or rock climbing there was always something to learn and sharing that knowledge was vital to high adventure scouting.
From there I attended the University of California, San Diego and graduated with a B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in International Studies with an emphasis in Economics. I also attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia as part of an exchange program.
After college I joined the Peace Corps in Jordan as a Youth Development volunteer. Spending two years there I learned to appreciate the often misunderstood Middle East and Muslim faith, while learning Arabic.
Upon completion of my service I attended San Diego State University to get my credential in the Social Sciences. Afterwards, I joined the beloved King Chavez Charter School Organization and taught World History for one year before switching to my other passion, Math, which I taught for five years.
I recently completed a Masters in Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math at the University of San Diego.
It is my third year with the High Tech High organization and I cherish this great opportunity to learn.
When I'm not at school, I enjoy doing activities with my girls, training for my next triathlon race and cooking all types of foods. #blessed
- Callie Sprague HumanitiesXHumanities
Callie grew up in a small town in Massachusetts, where she lived with her parents, brother, and sister. After high school, Callie attended Providence College in Rhode Island. There, she earned her bachelor's degree in Marketing. After college, she worked for a human services agency in Boston where she worked with adults who have disabilities. Though she loved the work that she did there, she wanted to work with children, so she went back to school to become a teacher. She moved to San Diego where she earned her multiple subject teaching credential and master's degree in Education from USD. Outside of school, Callie loves spending time outdoors. She likes to hike, go camping, swim, ride her bike, kayak, and run. She also enjoy cooking, reading, and spending time with her wonderful friends and family. Callie has a passion for traveling and exploring the world, as well. While she was in college, Callie studied at the University of Granada in Spain, and she has also traveled through parts of Europe, South America, Northern Africa, and the United States. She loves to learn about languages, cultures, people, and history! Callie is thrilled to be starting her teaching career at HTMCV. She looks forward to growing and learning with her students and having an amazing year together!
- Julie Ruble HumanitiesXJulie RubleHumanities
Julie lived in Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, before moving across the country to attend High Tech High Graduate School of Education! Julie majored in Biology and English at Davidson College. For the past nine years she's taught middle school English, service learning, and lots of fun extras. She loves analyzing texts and believes, as she saw on a bumper sticker once, "All the world's a text." Teaching is her passion because she gets to form relationships with amazing students and partner with them to create innovative, effective, authentic projects to navigate.
Julie's also a writer. She writes poetry, memoir, and a food blog called Willow Bird Baking. Her other interests range far and wide: rescue dogs, yoga, reading, intersectional feminism, faith, sustainability, baking, kayaking, the outdoors, and food photography. She lives with her husband, Mike; her rescue poodle, Byrd; and her rescue turtle, Squirt.
- Priscila Farinas HumanitiesXHumanities
Born and raised in southern San Diego, I graduated from Southwest High School in Sweetwater Union High School District. Shortly after, I moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Education Studies Minor in 2011. It was through my undergraduate experiences when I truly discovered a passion for education. I later returned to UCLA where I earned my teaching credential in English and Master’s in Education. After working for two years in Los Angeles Unified School District as an 11th grade English teacher, I decided it was time to move back home to San Diego and teach in my hometown; one of my main goals. I soon discovered that High Tech Middle Chula Vista would be a great fit for me as an educator. Besides teaching, I really enjoy traveling. My most favorite adventures include three weeks backpacking throughout Europe and trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu for four days. On my free time, I love going to the beach, trying new restaurants, and the occasional nights in watching my favorite shows like Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory. I am also an avid runner having ran four half-marathons and currently training for my fifth one in Summer 2017!
- Leandra Fernandez Math/ScienceXMath/Science
Leandra was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico and earned her degree in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University. While in college, she frequently After graduating, she decided to pursue her passion for education by working at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, a non-profit organization dedicated to using the tenets of Improvement Science to build schools' and teachers' capacity to improve. After coaching and supporting teams of community college instructors in improving their practice and systems, Leandra decided to try her hand at improving her own practice within the classroom. She is honored to be counted among the HTMCV staff and excited for the coming year!
- Kali Frederick HumanitiesXHumanities
She lived for seven years teaching and running around Brooklyn, N-Y-C,
but realized the beaches, the mountains and High Tech High were where she needed to be.
Degrees came from NYU, U of Minnesota and Pace for her Master,
focusing her studies on international conflicts and injustices and how to solve these issues faster.
At High Tech Middle Chula Vista, she advises Model United Nations,
debating, negotiating, and building international relations.
When the grades have been entered and the projects are done,
She likes to cook, read, throw clay, and have fun in the sun.
- James Holmes Math/ScienceXMath/Science
Five years ago, Jamie came to the High Tech campus and saw students and teachers connecting with each other through projects. Instantly, he knew that he wanted to be a part of this innovative educational experience where students learn through doing and experiencing. Originally from Texas, he started teaching and working in education in the private school sector as Athletic Director, math teacher, coach, and most memorably, running a comprehensive Outdoor Education program. Working with kids in the outdoors taught him many lessons including the powerful impact of community, integrated learning and interacting directly with the environment and lessons of the backcountry. Compelled to further my education and shape his teaching philosophy, he and his wife moved to New York City where he earned a Master's in Education at Teacher's College. After graduate school, he moved back to Texas and worked as an Upper School Dean of Students and math teacher for three years before making the move to High Tech Middle Media Arts.
However, missing the classroom and the personal connections he could make with students, he discovered High Tech and made the move to San Diego with his family in tow and helped opened High Tech Middle Media Arts in the Fall of 2005.
Now, in California, James has taken to the ocean learning to surf among all the other outdoor pursuits that bring him great joy- golf, hiking, fly fishing, camping and most of all hanging out with my family. James and his amazing wife Julie of 13 years have two beautiful children, the oldest, Gavin and youngest Bella Grace. The energy of the project-based classroom and the adventure of working with the middle school child is what makes his work as a teacher so much fun. Learning experientially and a love of making learning FUN is the hallmark of his teaching philosophy and is inherent in the project-based approach to learning.
- Kai Mathews HumanitiesXHumanities
Kai Mathews is my name and 8th grade Humanities is my game. I am a lover of books, Jon Stewart, and sour patch kids. I have come to HTMCV to learn what only experience could teach. I am an avid soccer player and though life and conventional wisdom have taught me otherwise, I still believe in Santa Claus, miracles, and storybook romances. I am an idealist, a positivist, and a lover of learning.
Prior to HTH, I was a researcher for the Mobile Technology Learning Center at the University of San Diego where I studied the use of technology in K-12 education. Prior to that I was a GEAR UP Grant Coordinator, first for CSU San Bernardino and then for UC San Diego. As a coordinator, I helped develop educational programs to support students and parents in underrepresented communities.
I have a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies with a specialization in K-12 education from the University of San Diego, a M.A. in Communication from Ellis University, and a B.A. in English with a minor in Creative Writing from Spelman College.
- Melissa Daniels DirectorXDirector
After five wonderful years of teaching 6th grade humanities at High Tech Middle, Melissa Daniels is thrilled to be a part of the founding faculty of High Tech Middle Chula Vista! Ms. Melissa came to High Tech High in 2006 after seven years of teaching at international schools in Cairo, Egypt and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. While overseas, Ms. Melissa was fortunate enough to travel to many fascinating places. Some of her most memorable experiences include swimming with pink dolphins in the Amazon, cruising down the Nile River, snorkeling in the Red Sea, trekking the hills of Thailand, and horseback riding in the Chilean Andes. Originally from North Carolina, Ms. Melissa earned her B.A. in English Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her M.Ed in Teaching English as a Second Language from George Mason University. In 2010, she earned another M.Ed in School Leadership from High Tech High's own Graduate School of Education. When she's not in the classroom, Ms. Melissa enjoys traveling, taking photographs, doing pilates and yoga, reading, going to the beach, and watching basketball games featuring her beloved UNC Tar Heels.
- Jessica Dorsey Site ManagerXJessica DorseySite Manager
Jessica was born and raised in San Diego, CA. She has been working in the HTH community since 2007. She feels blessed to have the opportunity to work with such a great community of students and staff. She is a wife, a mother of three beautiful girls, and has a total of 8 brothers and sisters. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, cooking, and enjoying what life has to offer.
- Andrea Bajonero Family Outreach CoordinatorXAndrea BajoneroFamily Outreach Coordinator
- Ruby Beltrán Ed Specialist ApprenticeXEd Specialist Apprentice
I am from Paramount, CA which is a little city in the greater Los Angeles area. I decided that I wanted to explore more of California, so I left L.A. to complete my B.A. from University of San Diego with degrees in Anthropology and Ethnic Studies, minor in Women and Gender Studies.
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be at High Tech High Chula Vista this year, as a 6th Grade Humanites Teacher! I love diving into written works by Julia Alvarez and Gloria Anzaldua.
During my spare time, I can be found teaching folklórico and learning more about the culture and power of dance. As well as, exploring pinterest for more quotes to post on my inspirational board.
- Gabrielle Berens ArtXArt
My love of creating and experimenting with various art forms and my passion for art history and design have led me to my dream career as a visual arts educator. I have a BFA in Studio Art Practices from Southern Methodist University, where I studied primarily drawing, painting, and printmaking, but also worked in ceramics, sculpture, digital media, and fiber arts. After graduation, I spent several years learning and experimenting with new art mediums and traveling the world looking for artistic inspiration and experiencing diverse global cultures. The majority of my teaching experience lies in middle school, but I have also worked at the high school and elementary school level, and most recently with adults with developmental disabilities. As an educator, I believe the visual arts offers ALL students an opportunity to experiment, problem solve, and express themselves. As an artist, I believe that visual art is a global language that has the power to connect us all!
- Hannah Burns Academic Coach
- Alex Espiritu Afterschool CoordinatorXAlex EspirituAfterschool Coordinator
- Charley Hoff Social/Emotional Learning CoordinatorXSocial/Emotional Learning Coordinator
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.
- Kyle Linnik Engineering & DesignXEngineering & Design
Growing up as a child, Kyle had one real passion in his education – Science. Not knowing what career to pursue, he began working towards his B.S. in Biology at SDSU. During his junior year, he met his wife Charlene Linnik, who just so happens to be the wonderful art instructor at High Tech Middle Point Loma. She introduced him to a new passion he never new he had – Education. Once he opened his eyes to this rewarding career path, he enrolled in SDSU’s credentialing program, rounding out his education.
Kyle had the amazing opportunity to be part of the founding team at High Tech Middle Chula Vista. Now entering their second year, Kyle is excited to push himself and his students to their maximum potential. "The sky's the limit right now, If you can dream it, we can do it."
When Kyle is not busy planning, teaching, and learning with his students, he enjoys nothing more than paddling out and catching a couple waves with his wife. His other hobbies include cooking, wood carving, and relaxing with a good movie.
- Wendy Maples TheatreXTheatre
Originally from New York, Miss Wendy holds a B.F.A. in Theatre Education from Arizona State University and a M.A. in Theatre from San Diego State University. Throughout her studies, she had the opportunity to direct a variety of student work, one-act and full-length plays. In 2005 she was nominated for a BRICK Award, honoring pioneers in youth service. A member of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, she has presented her work Nationally in Chicago, Washington D.C., Vancouver, Canada, and Atlanta, Georgia. She currently serves AATE as the Youth Network Chair, highlighting exciting theatre created for and by young artists throughout The United States!
In 2006, Ms. Maples founded Step UP Theatre, continuing her commitment to provide children with an early exposure to the performing arts. In 2009, Step UP Theatre became a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization, where she serves as Artistic Director. That same year, she was one of thirty directors selected nationally to attend the Directors Lab West in Pasadena, California. On stage, she has appeared in 'Dog Sees God', 'Fair Use' and 'Pippin' at the Diversionary Theatre.
When she’s not directing or performing around San Diego, Wendy is usually on a plane visiting family members in every corner of the globe! She is thrilled and honored to be teaching theatre at HTMCV!
- Natalie Padilla Academic CoachXNatalie PadillaAcademic Coach
Natalie graduated from Cal State Los Angeles with a Bachelors in Liberal Studies. She was excited to joined HTMCV in 2015 as an Academic Coach. She loves engaging with students one on one and seeing there growth academically. In her spare time she enjoys cooking,hiking, exploring new places and spending time with her family.
- Patricia Porter Inclusion SupportXPatricia PorterInclusion Support
Patricia has been with HTMCV since November 2015 working with the inclusion team as an administrative assistant. She was originally in the Real Estate/Legal field for over 15 years but took time off to be a full time soccer mom. Patricia was born in Chile but was raised in the San Fernando Valley and moved to San Diego when her husband was stationed here 19 years ago. She has been with her husband for 19 years and has two beautiful 10 year old twin boys.
- Carly Sumrow Inclusion SpecialistXCarly SumrowInclusion Specialist
I always wanted to be a professional student. As a child, I devoured books in my free time, carried the dictionary with me everywhere I went, and practically had to be torn out of the classroom when the bell rang each day at 2:30. That insatiable love of learning only grew as I progressed through the grades. I discovered more complex concepts to explore and more invaluable teachers and mentors to challenge me. One day while pondering what I wanted to do with my life I mused to my mom, “I wish I could just get paid to go to school and be a student forever.” In all her infinite wisdom my mom replied back with another question. “What’s stopping you?” It is that question that led me to the classroom.
While working towards my Bachelor’s Degree in English at San Diego State University I worked as an AVID tutor at Steele Canyon High School, which further solidified my passion to teach and continually grow as a learner myself. After an amazing, humbling, and unforgettable year of student teaching some of the brightest and most resilient 11th graders I have ever had the privilege of working with, I received my Single Subject credential in English. I feel so fortunate that all my experiences have led me to the High Tech High family, first as an Academic Coach and this year as an Ed Specialist Intern. I can’t wait to embark on the journey towards my Ed Specialist Credential and Masters in Teacher Leadership this year at HTH and am so looking forward to building a community that is dedicated to inspiring in children the same passion for learning I have.
- Jordan Templeton GSE Leadership Residents
- Cara Wade Academic CoachXCara WadeAcademic Coach
- Joi Ward GSE Leadership ResidentsXGSE Leadership Residents
Joi was born in Norfolk, VA but spent most of her teenage years growing up in Providence Rhode Island. Before joining the High Tech High GSE, Joi worked for two years as a Public Allies Health, Wellness and Counseling Fellow at Eagle Rock School in Colorado. During her time at Eagle Rock, Joi realized that building relationships with students played an integral role in creating learning environments that addressed the needs of a diverse group of learners.She is constantly inspired by youth and enjoys contributing to their academic and personal growth. Joi is a graduate of Scripps college where she studied sociology and music.In her free time, she loves exploring new cities, photographing the people she loves and binge watching all her favorite shows on Netflix. Joi is excited to be apart of the High Tech community and looks forward to growing both professionally and personally.
- Cyndi Witte Academic CoachXCyndi WitteAcademic Coach
- Sarah Ng Inclusion SupportXSarah NgInclusion Support
Sarah Ng was born and raised in a small coastal town, Pacifica, which is located a little south of San Francisco. Ever since she was little she always knew that she wanted to be a teacher. From teaching her stuffed animals in her living room to assisting her mom in her classroom, she had always had the passion to educate. When she had the opportunity to work as an Academic Coach at High Tech High Chula Vista, she fell in love with the HTH community and the philosophy of teaching. Sarah attended CSU Monterey Bay earning a degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in Kinesiology. She decided to follow her passion of education and continued the trek down south to San Diego. She currently attends Point Loma Nazarene University, where she is earning a Masters of Teaching as well as a dual credential in Special Education and Multiple Subjects (Elementary). In her free time Sarah loves exploring the good ol’ outdoors... She loves to go paddle boarding in the La Jolla Shore, scuba diving unexplored reefs, hiking new trails, traveling to new places and, of course, reading great books in the sunshine. She is eager to meet the fabulous new friends at HTmCV and is excited for an amazing school year!