- Tiffany Estevez 6th Grade Math/ScienceX6th Grade Math/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 a student and staff member in Riverside and San Diego.
This is Tiffany's fifth year at HTMCV and has felt a huge sense of pride and joy in being apart of such a vibrant learning community. She absolutely loves working with 6th graders as they journey through both their academic and self identity.
When Tiffany is outside of the classroom you can find her rooting for the Dodgers, camping, immersing herself in all things music, and planning her next traveling adventure!
- Hayden Gore 6th Grade HumanitiesX6th Grade Humanities
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.
- Lauren Reate 6th Grade HumanitiesX6th Grade Humanities
Lauren is proud to be a San Diego native, born and raised; 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 with a minor in Classics. In 2015 she received her M.A.Ed in Learning and Curriculum design from the University of San Diego.
Lauren has been teaching at HTMCV for five years and loves working with sixth grade because it is their introduction to middle school. She loves teaching about ancient civilizations, particularly ancient Greece and can't wait to nerd out about Greek mythology with a new crew of sixth graders each year.
Lauren's absolute favorite activity outside of school is traveling - she whole-heartedly believes one of the best ways to continue learning about our world is to go out and explore it. When she's not out exploring the physical world, she likes to jump into fictional ones while cozying up with a great book; her hope is that her "to read" pile never runs out.
- Ivan Recendez 6th Grade Math/ScienceX6th Grade Math/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!
- Anna Ancona 7th Grade HumanitiesXAnna Ancona7th Grade Humanities
Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Anna attended Cornell University where she studied English and French. Her love for books and reading led her to a job at a publishing company in Boston, where she worked for the Books for Young Readers division, preparing titles for publication. Though she loved the excitement of bringing new books into the world, she missed discussing her favorite books in the classroom setting, so she decided to pursue a career as a humanities teacher! This led her to Nashville, Tennessee, where she attended Vanderbilt University to earn her master's degree in education, and ultimately to High Tech High. She is so excited to be a part of this community!
Outside of school, Anna loves to hike, read, travel, and spend time with friends and family.
- Erin Bower 7th Grade Math/ScienceX7th Grade Math/Science
I studied Human Development with a minor in Neuroscience and Physiology at UCSD. Since then, I have had the pleasure to explore the fields of institutional research analysis, mentoring, farming, photography, music performance, and autism research. When I first heard about High Tech High, I knew immediately that I wanted to teach there. It was an honor to join the HTMCV community as an Academic Coach in 2016, and then as a 7th grade math and science teacher in 2017. I feel so fortunate to be enrolled in High Tech High's Graduate School of Education to push my understanding of the purpose of education.
In the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the right to education states that, "Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms." I am dedicated to understanding people holistically, fostering community, and promoting mental health education to young people, which is why social-emotional learning is such a huge part of my practice. When designing projects, I hope to empower students by connecting them to the broader community outside of our school to encourage their curiosity and activism.
When I am not at HTMCV, I can be found weeding in my garden, hiking Mission Trails, reading Harry Potter (I'm a Ravenclaw) or non-fiction, or playing guitar and singing with my friends.
- Adam Ko 7th Grade Math/ScienceX7th Grade Math/Science
I love God. I love my wife, Jasmine, and we have been married for ten 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 Islamic 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 completed a Masters in Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math at the University of San Diego.
It is my fifth year with the High Tech High organization and I cherish this great opportunity to learn and be inspired by my colleagues and students.
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 7th Grade HumanitiesX7th Grade Humanities
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!
- Elyse Farwell 8th Grade HumanitiesXElyse Farwell8th Grade Humanities
Although originally born here, Elyse has never lived in San Diego until her return to the United States this summer after teaching abroad in Quito, Ecuador where she lived and worked on her Spanish for the last three years. Before that, she received a B.A. in English Literature and her Secondary English teaching credential from Gonzaga University (go Zags!), followed by a M.A.Ed. in Reading Instruction at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
Elyse has a passion for traveling. She loves to experience other cultures and enjoys opening up that world to her students through literature and writing. In her free time, she can be found curled up with a good book, hiking, dancing, or spending quality time with her family and friends. She feels incredibly lucky to have joined the amazing HTH community this year, and looks forward to getting to know her students and watching them become readers and writers.
- Leandra Fernandez 8th Grade Math/ScienceX8th Grade Math/Science
Leandra was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico and earned her degree in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University. After graduating, she decided to pursue her passion for education by working at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, where she spent two years studying student-centered, constructivist math learning and teaching. This is her third year with HTMCV. In her free time, she likes to read, exercise, and spend time with her cat, Lupe.
- Anissa Hamdon-Morison 8th Grade HumanitiesXAnissa Hamdon-Morison8th Grade Humanities
Anissa traded in the snow for the surf when she moved to San Diego from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada last summer. She is new to the High Tech High family and is excited to be a part of such an incredible school!
Anissa completed her B.Ed in secondary education at the University of Alberta before beginning her teaching career. She went back to school to complete an M.Ed in policy studies because she is a believer in lifelong learning! She even took a creative writing class at UCSD this summer to continue on her learning journey, and she can’t wait to learn alongside her students and colleagues this year.
After school, Anissa likes to play tennis and visit the ocean (things she has learned to enjoy all year long in sunny San Diego!). She loves to cook and routinely watches MasterChef and TopChef to hone her craft. She’d be happy to talk to you anytime about traveling, good local restaurants and your favorite books.
- James Holmes 8th Grade Math/ScienceX8th Grade Math/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.
- Rod Buenviaje DirectorXRod BuenviajeDirector
Rod is a proud member of the High Tech High learning community. He is one of the founding staff of the original High Tech High in Pt. Loma and is currently teaching 11th grade mathematics at the Chula Vista campus. He earned a B.S. in mathematics from National University and a teaching credential through the HTH District intern program. He has participated in the Virtual Trade Mission Foundation’s global classroom in Singapore and Brunei and has been awarded the Christa Mcauliffe Award by the NEA Foundation. He continues to support new and developing teachers by serving as a mentor through the HTH intern program. Rod is passionate about mathematics and is excited to be a part of an innovative teaching community. Rod and his wife Jen spend most of their free time in awe of their beautiful children, Joshua and Katelyn.
- Edrick Macalaguim Dean of Student AffairsXEdrick MacalaguimDean of Student Affairs
Edrick has spent the last 17 years as an educator for the Chula Vista community, 11 years at Finney Elementary School for CVESD, and the last 6 years teaching at HTMCV. He is looking forward to continuing his service for the HTH community as HTMCV's new Dean of Student Affairs.
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.
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.
- 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.
- Marco Aquinde Academic CoachXMarco AquindeAcademic Coach
A San Diego native, Marco is so excited and grateful to be joining the High Tech Middle Chula Vista staff as an Academic Coach. He attended UCLA, where he earned a B.S. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics. While at UCLA, Marco served as a Resident Mentor for the first annual My Journey to College 9th Grade Summer Scholars Program (MyJTC), a summer college-preparation program that introduces rising 9th graders to college eligibility requirements. He also served as an Education Researcher for the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. These two particular experiences have helped shape Marco's passions for equity and education.
When not in the classroom, Marco enjoys singing a cappella music with his friends. Music and performance are, in fact, huge parts of his life. He also enjoys running, serving at his church, watching musicals/ movies, spending time with his family (specifically playing Mario Kart with his brothers), and traveling the world.
- Ruby Beltrán Inclusion SpecialistXInclusion Specialist
Ruby is proud to call Paramount, CA her hometown. She completed her B.A. from the University of San Diego with degrees in Anthropology and Ethnic Studies, minor in Women and Gender Studies.
Ruby is thrilled to have the opportunity to be at High Tech Middle Chula Vista as the 8th-Grade Inclusion Specialist!
During her spare time, she can be found teaching folklórico classes and be painting with the freshest neon palettes. Ruby is inspired by her friends and colleagues that share their historias (stories) of self-discovery and family, which grounds her work at HTMCV.
- Gabrielle Berens Art TeacherXArt Teacher
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 CoachXHannah BurnsAcademic Coach
- Jean Catubay Apprentice TeacherXJean CatubayApprentice Teacher
Jean has a deep passion for learning and connecting with others. In her initial role as an Academic Coach at HTMCV, she was struck by the kindness, curiosity, and engagement exhibited by the High Tech community. This collective energy inspired her to pursue her own academic goals - Jean is now studying through the HTH Graduate School of Education's Teacher Apprenticeship Program as a Humanities Student Teacher with 7th grade. Jean feels humbled to have earned the opportunity to learn amongst a robust and loving learning community.
Originally from the Bay Area, Jean earned her B.A. in English
Education from San Francisco State University. She loves spending time with her loved ones, eating great food, and listening to music that makes you feel something! She enjoys learning with students and (in doing so) refining her engagement with the world. She looks forward to a year filled with shared experiences of joy, triumph, and understanding.
- Lauren Dodds Afterschool Program AssistantXLauren DoddsAfterschool Program Assistant
- Alex Espiritu Afterschool CoordinatorXAlex EspirituAfterschool Coordinator
- William Ferrel Academic CoachXWilliam FerrelAcademic Coach
William is a native San Diegan new to HTMCV family working as an 8th grade Academic Coach. He earned his bachelors degree in Liberal Arts at San Diego State University. When not in the classroom he enjoys snorkeling, running marathons, baseball, conservation, and travelling.
- Dylan Jacobs Academic CoachXDylan JacobsAcademic Coach
Dylan started his High Tech educator career as a 7th grader at High Tech Middle Media Arts. From the very beginning he knew that High Tech was a special place and he wanted to come back and work here one day. After finding his passion for teaching through his experience at High Tech High International, Dylan went to Cornell University to study Human Development with a minor in Education and Rugby!
Dylan is thrilled to be back in the High Tech system while simultaneously pursuing his dream of training to be on the USA Rugby National team! Utilizing his love of sports and theater, Dylan has learned that passionate, commitment and willingness is important to inspire students and be happy. He is honored to be at a school that allows him to be his authentic self.
Aside from always thinking of new songs to write, you can find him with emergency juggling balls in his backpack for juggling emergencies!
- Wendy Maples Theatre TeacherXTheatre Teacher
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.
- Peter Pelham Academic CoachXPeter PelhamAcademic Coach
Peter joined the HTMCV family two years ago and has enjoyed working with students in the 7th and 8th grades. This year, he looks forward to being part of the energy and excitement that 6th graders bring to their classroom.
Originally from the east coast, Peter grew up in a family of educators. He earned a Masters in Literature from the American University in Washington, D.C. and spent numerous years working in schools and at the National Association of Independent Schools. When not at HTMCV, Peter can be found in the ocean surfing, in the mountains camping and climbing, or traveling the California coastline with friends and family.
- Vincent Phathanak IT DirectorXVincent PhathanakIT Director
- Patricia Porter Inclusion Administrative SupportXPatricia PorterInclusion Administrative 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.
- Philip Rowland Engineering TeacherXPhilip RowlandEngineering Teacher
- 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.
- Sarah Ng Inclusion SpecialistXSarah NgInclusion Specialist
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!