- Max Cady Math/ScienceXMath/Science
Max is passionate about pursuing the integration of collaboration, play, and curiosity into education. Max began his career in education working as an afterschool teacher, tutor and camp counselor. Max then worked for three years as a Learning Facilitator and Technology and Innovation Coordinator at the Liger Learning Center in Cambodia. The Liger Learning Center is a free boarding school for Cambodian students that utilizes project, experiential, and opportunity based learning to create entrepreneurial thinkers and agents of positive change in Cambodia.
Outside of education, Max currently enjoys biking, ultimate frisbee, and the delicious convenience of pressure cooking.
This will be Max’s second-year working with High Tech. Last year he taught middle school digital art at the North County campus.
Max is originally from New York City and graduated from Macalester College with a BA in Psychology in 2010 and from the Harvard Graduate school of Education with an Ed.M in 2016.
- Bryce John Exploratory
- Patricia Johnson Academic CoachXAcademic Coach
Hello! I am excited and honored to be a part of the 6th grade team and the HTMMA family this year! I began my journey here at High Tech by chance, being placed here as a part time student intern last December. This year as I finish up graduate school at the University of San Diego, where I am working towards a Masters in Special Education, in addition to my mild/moderate teaching credential, I will be continuing my journey here full time.
I am a San Diego native, who never plans to leave! I graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelors of science degree in child and family development with a specialization in the young child. I have been passionate about working with youth for as long as I can remember and truly believe that they are as much my teacher as I am theirs.
In my spare time I enjoy spending as much time as I can with my dog at the beach. I also enjoy hiking, camping and pretty much doing anything outdoors.
- Charlotte Macintyre Math/ScienceXMath/Science
Ms. Charlotte graduated from SDSU with a degree in Liberal Studies. She has known she has wanted to be a teacher for her entire life and played school for hours on end as a child. In fact, one year for Christmas she received an overhead projector to make the learning experience for her stuffed animals even better!
While attending SDSU, Ms. Charlotte spent a summer abroad in Okinawa, Japan working on US Military base Camp Foster running a summer camp for kids who lived on base. It was an incredible experience for her and she has had the travel bug ever since - she'd love to head to Europe next summer!
The 2017-2018 school year will be Ms. Charlotte's third year with the HTMMA family. In her first year, she worked for the before & after school program; her next step was into the classroom as an Academic Coach for 6th grade, and this year will be her first year co-teaching Humanities with Mr. Brady while earning her multiple subjects teaching credential through High Tech High's GSE.
In her free time, Ms. Charlotte loves spending time on the water, trying out new recipes, and spending time with her family.
- Laura Pardo Humanities
- Braden Philips HumanitiesXHumanities
I grew up in San Diego, and traveled to Los Angeles for college. I graduated from Loyola Marymount University with degrees in History and Education. I am currently enrolled in the HTH Graduate School of Education, and have one more year!
After 4 years I was tired of the traffic in LA, so I moved to the mountains of San Diego and taught Outdoor Education for a year at Camp Marston, where we are going this year for sixth grade camp! I loved and always will love the mountains, but decided to move back to the city to teach at HTMMA.
At HTMMA, I have been a coach, taught seventh grade for a year, and this is my third year teaching sixth grade. When I am not at school, I thoroughly enjoy drumming, reading, hiking, backpacking, camping and cooking, yummy food and traveling. My favorite books are The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain and Catch 22 by Joseph Heller.
- Barbara Wiesen Ed SpecialistXEd Specialist
This is my 2nd year at HTMMA and I am excited to be back. I moved to San Diego 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas with my partner Kasson, and our cat Scout. I had just completed my bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas in English and have always been passionate about education. In past I have worked as a private tutor and caregiver to children with special needs. I am currently enrolled in High Tech High’s District Intern Program to receive my teaching credentials in Special Education.
In my free time I love exploring the beaches and trails of San Diego, and going to local plays and musicals with my partner and friends. I also enjoy volunteering at the San Diego LGBTQ Community Center.
- Matthew Adams HumanitiesXHumanities
I grew up in the foothills of East County and developed a love for oaks, chaparral, and the pine forests of San Diego's mountains and high deserts.
Before joining HTMMA, I worked as a German instructor and language curriculum designer, university researcher, corpus linguist, and editor of online computer science courses at a Silicon Valley education startup. I hold a PhD in linguistics from Stanford and an MA in German from Georgetown. As an undergraduate, I double-majored in linguistics and German; I studied linguistics at UC Irvine and completed my German coursework at the University of Göttingen.
I feel incredibly privileged to be around students and colleagues who want to make the world more livable, more just, and more interesting. I'm passionate about helping students become self-directed, flexible learners as well as thoughtful, compassionate citizens whose first impulse is to satisfy curiosity rather than judge. I'm also invested in helping students become craft-aware writers, using writing and reading as tools to discover more about themselves and the world around them and to use their own experiences as the basis for constructing meaningful text.
I love traveling. I have lived in Germany and France for extended periods of time, and I enjoy yearly trips to the Republic of Korea where my wife's family lives. I'm an avid desert and mountain camper, weekend hiker, and backpacker. In San Diego, I love exploring the Cuyamacas, Lagunas, and high desert on foot.
Sometimes I need to see stars or hear a language I don't speak well; camping and travel provide me with that escape. When I'm not escaping or teaching, I nurture interests in digital humanities, programming, language documentation and preservation, poetry, the German and Korean languages, and baseball.
This year, I have two main goals in my practice: collaboration and balance. I plan to incorporate a deeper sense of respect for our minds, bodies, and spirits in my teaching.
- Shane Duenow Makers TeacherXMakers Teacher
Mr. Shane is a graduate of the SDSU Applied Design School, with a focus in woodworking and furniture design. He lives in San Diego with my wife and two little dogs who they constantly bring joy and happiness to his life. He loves to ride my bicycle and try's to do so everyday. While riding through the city he has the opportunity to view the world from a different perspective. It is important to Mr. Shane that he reminds myself to step up and step back, seeing situations and problems from different perspectives to reveal answers that might not have been thought of. Mr. Shane enjoys making and discovering and looks forward to find new ways to alter our environments for the better!
- Nicole Hubbard Math and ScienceXMath and Science
Nicole Hubbard is originally from Chico, CA. She attended Cal Poly, SLO where she earned her B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering and later attended USC for her Master’s of Arts in Teaching and teaching credential. In 2006, she became a Math Fellow with the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation(KSTF). She continues her affiliation with KSTF as a senior fellow and team member of Project ASCENT.
Nicole moved to San Diego in 2007 and has been working with the High Tech High organization ever since, teaching math and physics at High Tech High International and then moving to 7th grade at High Tech Middle Media Arts in 2015.
When she is not teaching or working, Nicole enjoys spending time with her 3 year old Brody, her 9 month old daughter Zaya, and her husband, Brandon. You can usually get her to talk endlessly about her hometown of Chico, about Cal Poly, SLO, about babies and children, about traveling the world, and of course - about math, engineering, science, and learning. She is an avid traveler who has ventured on many international trips with and without her students, and also lived and taught in Thailand for one year. She is thrilled to work in an environment like HTMMA with amazing students and colleagues, and looks forward to a great year full of growth, learning and fun!
- Grace Matteson Math/ScienceXMath/Science
Ms. Grace grew up in Fairfield, California, where she spent most of her free time running in cross country races or rehearsing for ballet performances. She made the move to Southern California to attend UCLA, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology. During her time in Los Angeles, she interned at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, which sparked her passion for the ocean and education. After graduating, Ms. Grace worked in environmental education, teaching students about marine science, California coastal ecosystems, environmental stewardship and the importance of the ocean. Ms. Grace started the 2016-2017 school year as an Academic Coach at HTHMA, and finished off the year as a 6th grade Math/ Science teacher at HTMMA. Ms. Grace is excited to bring her passion for the outdoors into the classroom this year!
- Angee Mutter Inclusion SpecialistXInclusion Specialist
As a second-generation San Diego native I have been blessed to grow up in and around "America’s Finest City.” The daughter of an elementary school librarian, I avoided an early call to teaching and graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University with a degree in Journalism. I spent the next few years working for nonprofits, becoming a licensed massage therapist, and managing adult learners at the school’s massage clinic. My favorite part of the job was working with the students, helping them hone their craft and discover their love of healing. It was through a conversation with a veteran High Tech High teacher that ignited a fire to pursue my teaching credential. During the program I was continually drawn to work that focused on inclusive educational practices, and a desire to facilitate educational success for all students. After completing my Education Specialist (Mild/ Moderate) credential, I was fortunate to work at Greg Rogers Elementary where I taught a 2nd/ 3rd grade combo Special Day Class. During that time my students cultivated a garden from seeds, kept daily math and writing journals, and practiced important life skills to take with them beyond the classroom. It was with a heavy heart that I left my former students and school so that we could all grow and explore new opportunities.
I joined the team at High Tech Elementary (HTe) for its founding year, where I learned about growth mindset, project based education and deeper learning. After two years at HTe I wanted to grow, challenge, and develop as an educator, which brought me to HTMMA. Inclusion is a call to action, and my goal when working with students is to foster an experience that promotes open communication, participation, and embraces the idea of community within the education process. As a mom myself, I understand the desire for my child to love learning, make lasting friendships, and feel that they belong. Fortunately, my son is only a toddler, so I have some time to hone my tiger-mom skills.
- Caroline Sailor Math/ScienceXMath/Science
I grew up in Central Ohio, where I spent my school years playing music in the band and orchestra, singing and dancing in the show choir and musicals, and running long distances in track and cross country. After high school I headed to Cambridge, MA to attend MIT for my undergraduate degree. While at MIT I studied chemistry and aero-astro engineering. I also had the great privilege to work in a MIT organic chemistry research lab and research labs at the MIT Media Lab. At the MIT Media Lab I worked on development and deployment of Fab Labs, digital fabrication based maker spaces.
After Cambridge I moved to Baltimore to go to graduate school at Johns Hopkins University where I studied Materials Science and Engineering. There I did research on ultrafast lasers, terahertz radiation, and laser ultrasound. While in graduate school I began to work with teachers in Baltimore City and the National Federation of the Blind under an NSF grant and fell in love with STEM education. My love of STEM education lead me to work at the Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES) where, in partnership with the Fab Foundation and MIT, I had the opportunity to work with schools and programs all over the world on the integration of digital fabrication with education.
While in Baltimore I met my husband. We live in Baltimore until 2014 when his job moved our children and us to Southern California. I now live in Vista with my husband and 3 boys. I spend most of my free time with my family exploring southern California and traveling. We love hiking and camping, but also enjoy the zoo, Legoland, and the museums in Balboa Park. I also love to cook and bake for friends and family, something I hope to bring into my work at High Tech Middle Media Arts.
- Priscilla Turner Academic CoachXAcademic Coach
Priscilla was born and raised in New York City but has been living and working in San Diego for the past two years. In NYC, she was an art teacher and program coordinator for a popular art studio, Scribble Art Workshop, as well as a museum educator for the Smithsonian's Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum. She studied Childhood Education and Spanish at Bennington College and later at the City College of New York. For the past two years, she was the first grade academic coach at High Tech Elementary and is excited to move up to 7th grade this year. She is also heavily involved in her community as a Board member for the Ocean Beach Town Council where she helps run community events such as the annual OB Holiday Parade. Priscilla loves to spend her free time with her husband Marcus, and pitbull Apollo either fishing, bbqing or hanging out with friends.
- Gina Wickstead HumanitiesXHumanities
Gina Wickstead has been a Language Arts and Social Studies teacher for 11 years, and taught for 10 years at Aki Kurose Middle School in Seattle. She received an undergraduate degree from The Evergreen State College and a Master’s in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University. In 2008 she received a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certificate. Along with teaching, she has been a staff and site supervisor for student teachers.
- Sarah Banuelos Academic CoachXAcademic Coach
Sarah Banuelos earned her Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from California State University, Sacramento, where she worked as a Teacher's Assistant in Social Psychology and was the president of the school's Sociology Honor's Society. After receiving her BA, Sarah earned her certification as a counselor specializing in addiction from the California Association of Addiction Recovery Resources. She worked in treatment centers for 5 years before making a career change to education in 2016. Ms. Sarah is originally from Southern California but has lived in 9 cities in California, including Santa Barbara, Sacramento and Santa Clara, and considers Northern California her home too. Sarah plans on making San Diego her home inevitably. Ms. Sarah loves connecting with her students and has always had a passion to work and help others. "I truly care about each and every student I work with. My goal is to make a positive impact on each student and give them the life skills and education that they deserve."
- Zac Clarke Inclusion SpecialistXZac ClarkeInclusion Specialist
Zac is excited to be going into his 8th year here at HTMMA. He’s originally from the middle of nowhere in Ontario, Canada. Staying true to his heritage, he loves real maple syrup, the metric system, and hockey. Since moving to San Diego four years ago with his family, Zac hasn’t had to shovel snow once, and all of his relatives are jealous. A long time ago he attended Trent University, where he earned a B.A. and later, a couple of teaching credentials. Before moving to San Diego, Zac taught in schools across Canada and overseas. Lately Zac has been obsessed with graphic novels, guitars, and really well made pencil sharpeners.
- Jennie Ganesan HumanitiesXHumanities
I'm thrilled to be back at the High Tech High Village and teaching 8th grade Humanities this year at HTMMA!
I was born and raised in Northern New Jersey and earned my Bachelor's degree at Hofstra University in Long Island NY in History and Secondary Education. I taught Social Studies for six years in NY and NJ. My students and I often took our classroom outdoors to NYC, museums and historical sites.
I left the East Coast for year round warm weather and found myself in sunny San Diego. I taught at High Tech Middle, Ideate High Academy and Innovations Academy over the past 13 years. I love teaching Humanities and being able to share my passions: history, writing and the arts with my students.
When I'm not teaching, I enjoy cooking, attempting DIYs and reading. I also enjoy exploring San Diego with my husband and my two kiddos.
- David Gillingham Math/ScienceXMath/Science
David is extremely passionate about designing, making and exploring the unknown. He spent 3 years working as a low voltage electrician, during which time he developed a great adoration of building, tinkering, and problem solving. He believes that the universe is an untapped well of knowledge just waiting to be consumed and looks forward to inspiring that enthusiasm for learning in every student he encounters.
He came to HTM in May of 2011 and became the Extended Services Director. He began his first year teaching in 7th grade in 2013, teaching math and life science. His favorite project was when his students researched animals in captivity, designed Zoo enclosures for those animals and their natural habitats, and presented those designs to Architects at the San Diego Zoo. Last year, he taught 8th grade math and physics and was ecstatic to work with some of the same students. Building on their success from 7th grade, his students hosted an Air Pressure Carnival and constructed steel Marble Roller Coasters that demonstrated properties of motion. He also has co-directed the Summer Bridge Program for incoming 6th graders for the last 5 years. Before coming to High Tech Middle, David was the after school program director at Francis Parker Lower School, working there for 6 years, during which time he grew to understand the value of building relationships in an educational setting. David graduated Magna Cum Laude from National University in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in mathematics and later obtained his single subject teaching credential in mathematics and science from High Tech High Graduate School of Education. Most recently, in the spring of 2017 David completed his Masters in Education in School Leadership through the High Tech High Graduate School of Education. He has traveled Paris, Mexico, safaried in South Africa, and survived driving on the streets of Italy. In his free time, he enjoys boogie boarding at the beach, playing the drums and listening to music and working on his golf handicap!
- Antonette Hrycyk HumanitiesXHumanities
I'm originally from Western Pennsylvania, about 45 minutes north of Pittsburgh (Go Penguins, Go Steelers!). I moved to Columbus, Ohio when I was 17 to attend THE Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!), where I majored in Anthropology and Comparative Studies, though I had a total of six majors in my four years there.
Following college, I worked for the YMCA of Central Ohio and the YMCA of San Diego teaching Outdoor Education (aka 6th grade science camp). While working for Camp Marston in Julian, CA, I first met the fantastic staff of High Tech Middle Media Arts - little did I know that I would be working there in four years!
Wanting to go back to school to learn more about informal learning (aka learning not in a super structured school setting), I attended the University of Colorado at Boulder for my Master's of Science in Museum Studies, where I focused on museum education and evaluation. I moved back to San Diego (accompanied by a cat named Mr. Abby) because of my love for the city and my partner's love for working at High Tech. Though I still love museums, I feel like working with the students of HTMMA on their exhibitions and turning our school into a living and breathing museum is where I am best served. I began working at HTMMA as an academic coach and this is my third year working as a Humanities teacher in 8th grade.
I live in Ocean Beach with Mr. Brady, my dog Herman, and my cat Mr. Abby. I enjoy running long distances, rock climbing, waking up early, a great non-fiction book, finding new podcasts, a good cup of coffee, and laughing. My personal heroes include Mr. Rogers, Leslie Knope, Jonas Salk, and Eleanor Roosevelt.
- Marc Shulman Math/ScienceXMath/Science
I was born in Israel. Most of my family is there except for my parents who are on the east coast (Maryland.) I moved to Maryland when I was only 3, but I still call Israel my home. I feel a certain overwhelming emotion come over me when I am there, I simply feel home.
I got my undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland (Go Terps!) in Elementary Education with an emphasis in math and science education. I have always known I wanted to be a teacher. My mother and her twin were both teachers and my last name “Shulman” basically translates in Hebrew to “School Man.” I guess you can say that teaching was my calling and I answered it loud and clear. This is the career I was put on this planet to do. I love my job so much and the creative freedom that I have make my class an unforgettable experience.
I have been living in San Diego since August of 2006 and have been teaching in the High Tech High system for the same amount of time. Before coming to High Tech Middle Media Arts, I was a teacher for 5 years in Maryland. I started teaching in Gaithersburg, Maryland, my home town (where I grew up) and taught at Forest Oak Middle School in my community for 5 years. I taught 6-8 grade math and science. I had an amazing time and wonderful experiences teaching on the east coast, ones that could never be duplicated. Many of my students have graduated or are still in college today or have graduated college already and I still keep in contact with many of them.
I then made the move across the United States to wonderful San Diego, California. I scored a dream job teaching in the High Tech High “Village.” I taught 6th grade math/science at High Tech Middle Media Arts for three years, 7th and 8th grade math/science at High Tech Middle for 7 years and finally 5th grade at High Tech Elementary for a year and have loved every second in each position I've had! I earned my Masters Degree at the High Tech High Graduate School of Education with a degree in Teacher Leadership as well. After 15 years in the middle school, I decided I needed a change. Typically teachers move to a higher grade, but I knew 5th grade was my new adventure. I got to work with some of the best people I've ever met. While I had an amazing experience as a 5th grade teacher, I most at home as an 8th grade teacher, so I am thrilled to be back at my original stomping grounds, HTMMA (where I met my beautiful wife!)
I love to surf. My wife and I try to get out as often as we can. If you are ever out surfing in OB, let me know. I simply love being outside. I also have a coffee addiction. If you see me drinking coffee you can yell at me and tell me to stop. I drink about 6-8 cups a day. I probably won’t, but try anyways! I enjoy building things. Get ready to use a lot of power tools and wear your construction tool belt, because we have a lot to build this year.
Most importantly I have a wife named Sarah (who works for the HTH Grad School Credentialing office,) a beautiful 4 year old daughter and a 1 year old daughter who are all the center of my world. I feel I am the luckiest person because I have a family I couldn't be prouder of and a job I wake up daily excited to go to.
I am excited for this year to come. I have so many amazing ideas for an outlandish, amazing, and unforgettable year. Get ready to work hard and play harder!
- David Smith Fine ArtsXFine Arts
David Smith’s images are diverse in character, stemming from his urban upbringing to college life as the University of San Diego and beyond. He instills life lessons and values with each of his works. Painting ekphrastically unlocks the attribute of creating images that speak to the viewer. His ambitions dwell in revealing an interconnection between subjects that do not necessarily mesh. As long as an attempt to marry these subjects progress, his strongest paintings surface. Painting on found, discarded, or appropriated substrates able the material to voice itself.
Ultimately, his intention is to make works that communicate for groups that are so often predetermined and judged. As a young artist, David feels it is his responsibility to be the voice for the certain subjects in his work. Having grown up in Compton, Los Angeles, experiences inform his paintings because they develop a ruggedness which display their imposing presence to the observer which is why he paints on such a large scale.
Maya Lin, Isamu Noguchi, and Christo Javacheff are public artists that stimulate his series of images and installations. Encouraged by their ideology and the procedures of addressing the public, David persists. The work is not geared at the attention of a specific audience or genre; it is constructed for the people rather. Like Christo, some series are about an unveiling of something that is too often overlooked. By bringing the outside in, David Smith’s hope is to give onlookers insight.
- Casey Salmon DirectorXCasey SalmonDirector
Casey Salmon has taught at a variety of grade levels over the past sixteen years. After graduating from Westmont College, she moved to Houston, Texas where she taught third grade for two years with a program called Teach for America. Those two years were eye-opening and completely changed her views on education. She became passionate about ensuring that all students had an equal opportunity to be successful.
Missing California, Casey moved to San Diego in the summer of 2002. She spent a year working at a small, private school in North County, where she taught English to 6th-9th graders who needed more individual attention and smaller classroom sizes than their neighborhood schools could provide. Through this experience she was inspired to return to school to learn more about how to meet the needs of students with learning challenges. She received her Education Specialist credential from San Diego State University in 2005, and completed her M. Ed in Education with an emphasis in Special Education from Point Loma Nazarene University in 2007.
This will be Casey’s thirteenth school year working for the High Tech High organization. She worked at HTH as an Inclusion Specialist for a year and has spent the rest of her time working at HTM as an Inclusion Specialist and supporting school leadership through the role of Associate Director. She truly loves her job and feels very lucky to have the opportunity to work with such amazing teachers and students. For fun she enjoys playing with her two year old twins, training for triathlons, reading, scuba diving, traveling and cooking.
- Sarah Foat Student Support CoordinatorXStudent Support Coordinator
I received a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from San Diego State University and a couple years later decided that education was my true calling. In between my BA and teaching credential, I moved to the east coast and worked as an animal caregiver in an animal shelter. For as long as I can remember advocating for the ethical treatment of all creatures has been a passion of mine. When I moved back to San Diego, I continued working with animals at the San Diego Humane Society. Knowing that I wanted to move forward with my career in education, I returned to SDSU and earned my teaching credential in Mild to Moderate Disabilities. I started at HTMMA as an academic coach and then moved into the school’s Inclusion Specialist team. This year, I am incredibly excited to be taking on the role of Student Support Coordinator. I genuinely enjoy working with the students at HTMMA and look forward to our adventures this coming year!
As a San Diego native, I naturally feel at home near the beach exploring tide pools or swimming about the ocean waves. Growing up eating some of the best Mexican food around, it has turned into my soul food. Some of my hobbies include rock climbing, snowboarding, and wake boarding. Dance and yoga have also been a huge part of my life as I find expressive body movement to be vital. When I’m not involved in one of these activities, you will find me spending time with my partner, Reuben, and my black cat, Jackson. Reuben and I met on a study aboard trip while in Japan, and I met Jackson in an animal shelter in Massachusetts. These two guys bring me so much joy.
- Eduardo Gallardo IT CoordinatorXIT Coordinator
Mr. Eduardo as the students call him, is the IT Administrator for High Tech Middle and High Tech Middle Media Arts. He is an alumni from High Tech High.He enjoys working in the IT department helping out students and staff with their technology needs. During his free time he enjoys watching soccer and exploring new places outside of San Diego.
- Naiby Mencias Site ManagerXNaiby MenciasSite Manager
Naiby received her bachelor's degree from San Diego State University in English with an emphasis on linguistics. After a couple years of working many different roles at High Tech Middle, she has found a great place where she can utilize her bilingual skills and provide support for spanish speaking parents at High Tech Middle Media Arts. Naiby loves being a part of the High Tech community. In her free time she enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with her familia.
- Cecilia Nevarez Extended Services CoordinatorXCecilia NevarezExtended Services Coordinator
Cecilia is native to San Diego and grew up with four brothers and three sisters. She spent much of her childhood with her family in Mexico. Her father trained her in archery and music appreciation and her mother gave her the skills of all things creative including sewing, cooking and adventuring. She currently lives with two little Jack Russell Terriers and most of her family remains close. Cecilia began working with High Tech Chula Vista in 2011 during which time she launched the middle and high school OAS Archery teams. In the summer of 2013 she ventured to Catalina Island and began working as the manager of Visitor Services for the Santa Catalina Island Company. After two years as an island resident, Cecilia returned to San Diego and to High Tech.
Prior to moving into her current position at HTMMA in 2015, Cecilia spent the last 20 years gaining experience and education in the field of wildlife conservation, outreach education as well as special education and social services. Cecilia’s first work experience, over 20 years ago, was volunteering for animal care and group presentations at the Chula Vista Living Coast Discovery Center. With that experience as a launching point and later gaining a degree in biology she was able to have the privilege of working for many years at the San Diego Wild Animal Park primarily with the charismatic mega fauna such as rhinos, giraffes, and elephants!
It was during her time in college that she gained experience working with youth first at a teen runaway shelter, followed by a position as counselor at a children’s home in New York. When she returned to San Diego after a year in New York, she worked closely with middle school SED students in a self-contained classroom setting for three years. Because of the rich and rewarding experiences she has had guiding youth in achieving good character and great ambition, as well as helping them to tap into their best talents and strengths, Cecilia is now working on an M.A. in Transformational Leadership and in the future looks forward to devoting herself to others in the field of personal and spiritual development.