"Wherever I lay my hat, that's my home" ~Gaye, Strong & Whitfield
That's been me! Born in the United Kingdom a very long time ago, living on several continents, marrying a Brazilian wife, adopting children from different continents and finally ending up in San Diego.
I am grateful that, after 2 other distinct careers and staying at home to raise my young children, I have found a home at High Tech Middle North County. I have seen, through my own children (now in 10th, 9th and Kinder), that High Tech High mirrors my love for independent thought and teaching.
I am passionate about science and math. I believe that our society needs to be scientifically literate and have a grasp of math that enables us to be critical of the world. Not everyone needs to be a scientist or mathematician, however we all need to be able to cut through the dogmas that engulf our society; science and math knowledge can help us do that!
In my spare time I love to practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, play football (soccer), sail, travel with family and make things. I support Liverpool F.C. #YNWA and all the New England teams (Even w/o Brady)!
6th Grade Teacher
I grew up in Southern California, in a small beach village called Del Mar, CA. I attended Catholic High school before going after my dreams as a college baseball player. Starting at Palomar College in San Marcos, CA, I eventually, after dipping my toes in non-Southern California schools, made it to CSU San Marcos to finish my baseball career and graduate with a degree in Social Science in 2015. A social science degree has a major and a minor, I chose Psychology as my major degree emphasis, with a minor emphasis in History and Sociology. If you were wondering why I chose that major (my mother was), I always knew I wanted to become a teacher, but I also was paying for school out of my own pocket once I got to CSUSM. So, I was able to chose a major that let me take classes I was interested in, while also graduating in a shorter amount of time.
Years after completing my bachelors, I finished graduate school in 2020, receiving a Masters in Education in Teacher Leadership, with a Single-Subject Credential in Social Sciences.
And though my dreams as a player in baseball did not formulate, I have been fortunate enough to be a coach since 2017 in the high school ranks, at both Mission Bay HS and Torrey Pines HS.
Gratefully married to my wife Elena, we have two beautiful children, Luca, born 07/09/2017, and Leo, born 12/14/19. Living in the Central San Diego coastal region, we enjoy hanging out as a family, going to the beach for sunsets and shovel time, family bike rides along the 101 and around Mission Bay, and going on hikes through the beautiful local canyons and lagoons. I personally enjoy going on long beach runs, surfing, and playing or watching sports such as football, soccer, and baseball.
In September of the year 1986, in a hospital in Glendale, CA, Guy MacLaury (me) was born. A lot of people ask why my parents would name me Guy, and the truth of it is that they didn't have much of a choice. My grandpa is Guy, my dad is Guy, I'm Guy, and you can bet that when/if my wife and I have a son, his name will be Guy too. That's a lot of Guys.
Born and raised in Southern California, I have a strong bond with sand, water, mountains, dry winds and long drives. I've been teaching since my early twenties and I don't see any end in sight. While teaching guitar and woodshop in my early years, something latched ahold of me and I haven't been able to shake it since. I spent some time abroad teaching English as a Second Language, then moved back to California where I found other jobs teaching English. I received my Teaching Credential from San Diego State University in 2018. The teaching journey continues!
I am a curious, passionate, energetic, wondering, wandering, relaxed individual who takes all of these things and brings them into his classroom. Here is a list of passions/topics that will always get me talking and listening. Feel free to come on by with a cup of coffee and have a conversation.
-coffee (trees, roasting, drinking, etc.)
-having a daughter!
-hidden gems of SD County
-crock pot recipes
-stretches for back pain
-The Walking Dead TV show
6th Grade Math Teacher
Vanessa received her undergrad in Psychology from Cal State San Marcos and is currently working towards her Masters of Education and teaching credential at the University of San Diego. She grew up in Indio California and loves to spend her free time there with her family. She enjoys going to concerts with her friends and family and traveling to new places. Her goal as an educator is to facilitate collaborative Math that is beneficial and provides access to all students.
6th Grade Education Specialist
Lauren was born and raised in San Diego and has a love for walking barefoot and swimming for miles in the ocean. As a middle schooler, she attended High Tech Middle Media Arts and graduated from High Tech High International in 2011. In college, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Spanish in 2015 as well as a Masters in Education 2017. She put her degree to good use as an Education Specialist at a middle school in Whittier, California for 2 years. However, dreams of project based learning at HTH stayed on her mind. It was then she decided to apply for HTH as a teacher this time around! She has worked as an Education Specialist at HTMNC for the last 2 years.
This year, she supports students and teachers as 7th grade's Literacy Partner and is very excited to be in this new role!
6th Grade Education Specialist
Kelsey Seale grew up in Sutter, CA, a small town in northern California. She received a B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Human Development from UC Davis in 2016. After graduation, she worked as a preschool teacher until she moved to the San Diego area in August of 2017, where she took on the role of a behavior interventionist for children with Autism. In February of 2018, she joined the HTMNC family where she began her journey as an Academic Coach. Now, Kelsey is an Education Specialist supporting the 6th grade! She plans to take the elements she learned as a coach, transfer them to her new role, and build upon them to ensure students feel not only supported in his/her/their classroom, but also feels included in the classroom, the community, and amongst their peers. Kelsey is patient and understanding of students of all learning abilities, and believes building trust and rapport with students maximizes their learning and positive outlook in school. All students are capable of learning and making a difference in the world!
6th Grade Humanities
I was born and raised in Montrose, CA, just outside of Los Angeles. I played softball at Santa Clara University for one year, then transferred to the University of Arizona (but I definitely didn't play with the 8-time national champs!). I graduated from U of A with a B.A. in psychology. After college I worked for a few years in the social work field as a crisis manager at a foster care home for Los Angeles youth.
I then returned to school to pursue a career in education! I have spent the last 6 years teaching middle school and have loved every minute of it. Middle school students bring so much joy, energy and quirkiness to my life, and I’m so excited to be continuing my career at High Tech High!
I love all things nature - camping, hiking, fishing. My family recently moved to the San Diego area, so we’re excited to start exploring!
HTMNC- 6th Grade Math/Science
I grew up in East County, San Diego, and then attended the University of California, Irvine to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering with a specialization in Structural Engineering. As a licensed Professional Engineer for the State of California, my work experience includes residential structural design and plan checking for the Laguna Beach Zoning Department.
After nearly 10 years in the Engineering/Building industry, I returned to San Diego and stumbled upon a teaching position with High Tech High. It is there that I discovered my true passion for teaching. My teaching experience includes six years as the Engineering & Design teacher at High Tech Middle Chula Vista, three years teaching Technology & Engineering at a private school in Encinitas, and two years teaching math/science at High Tech Middle North County. I actually started my teaching career at HTMNC and have loved being back at our beautiful village since the fall of 2020.
As a teacher, my goals are to always find the fun and provoke authentic design thinking. Some of my favorite school projects are 3D printing LED night lights and building candy dispensers with LEGO robotics.
At home in San Marcos, my husband and I have a modern-day “Brady Bunch” with my two sons, his two daughters, a dog named Arya, and a bearded dragon named Yuki. Some of my favorite things are spending time with my family and friends, traveling, eating delicious food, playing in our pool, building with LEGOs, walking Arya, singing karaoke, going to Disneyland, playing Just Dance with my kids, reading, and enjoying all of the amazing sights and activities the beautiful county of San Diego has to offer.
7th Grade Academic Coach
Roya was born in Chicago, Illinois, but has spend a majority of her life here in sunny San Diego. She has completed her Associates of Arts in Humanities and is currently finishing up her Bachelors degree at Cal State University- San Marcos in Literature and Writing. As an Academic Coach, Roya has the opportunity to spend quality time with the kids and form meaningful connections with them as she aids in their academic success.
Roya is a lover of all things fun. She especially enjoys reading a good book, superhero tv shows, most any show that can be abbreviated to "GG", and collecting water bottles although she is perpetually dehydrated.
Hello, my name is Conrad Farrow, but most people call me CJ. I have lived in California for most of my life, but moved to Idaho to attend Boise State University, where I earned my Bachelors in English Education. I am extremely passionate about reading, and using books as a way to explore unfamiliar ideas or strengthen my understanding of the world around me. I am passionate about discussions that help people understand, strengthen, and evaluate ideas in a respectful setting. Some of my go-to books are: The Book Thief, The Arc of the Scythe Series, A Long Way Down, The Fault in Our Stars, The Alchemist, and Water for Elephants.
When I am not teaching, I enjoy camping, hiking, swimming, and playing outdoor sports. When I am with friends and family we enjoy playing board games, barbecuing, or spending time at the beach. I am a very open and conversational person, so feel free to come to me with any questions or concerns that you may have. I look forward to continuing to learn as both a person and an educator.
Liz Ficara is joining High Tech High after teaching in Oakland for several years as a science teacher at the Middle and High School level. She loves project based learning and is thrilled to join HTH to fully embrace this style of pedagogy. Liz studied Environmental Science at UCLA and earned her Masters in Education from Loyola Marymount University. She spent several years working in outdoor education before becoming a classroom teacher. She loves getting outside and spending time in nature. Some of her favorite activities include cooking, hiking, biking and playing with her dog!
7th Grade Education Specialist
Katie was born and partly raised in sunny Southern California. At age 12, her parents decided to move to Boise, Idaho (land of the potatoes) where she spent her middle and high school years. After she graduated high school, she headed to Flagstaff, Arizona to attend Northern Arizona University. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education. Following graduation, she lived in the south of Thailand in a city called “Hat Yai” for around a year. There, she taught English conversation and science at an all boys Catholic school. After returning to the states, she spent one year teaching as an Education Specialist at an elementary school in Caldwell, Idaho.
In August 2019, Katie picked up and moved to beautiful San Diego. After her move to Idaho at age 12, she always knew she wanted to end up back in California. Before joining HTMNC, she spent two years as an Education Specialist at an elementary school in Chula Vista, CA.
As an educator, Katie truly values her relationships she builds with all students. She believes that every student is unique and has unique needs to be successful. Her goal is to empower students and help them become lifelong learners.
When Katie isn’t at school teaching, she spends her time going to hot yoga, relaxing at the beach, traveling and grocery shopping at her favorite store, Trader Joe’s. :P
I was born and raised in La Crosse, Wisconsin, a city located in Southwest Wisconsin, right across the Missipppi River from Minnesota. I grew up in a very musical family, but unlike my siblings and mom who naturally found themselves performing on stages, I far preferred the track, trails, and gymnastics gym. Being active in nature is my favorite pastime, so when the opportunity to run competitively at the University of San Francisco arose, I was ecstatic.
I attended the University of San Francisco and loved every moment of my experience. My Cross Country/Track Team was an incredible community of strong, inspiring indiviudals who supported my athletic and academic goals and endeavors. I became increasingly involved in the Urban Agriculture community on campus throughout my college career, and this work inspired me to apply for an Agriculture Program with the U.S. Peace Corps.
I worked as a Rural Aquaculture Extension Specialist (fancy for fish farmer) for two years in a village called Mpungu in the Northwestern province of Zambia, Africa. My primary work was focused on bringing about food security and sustainable incomes through the implementation of aquaculture systems. I collaborated with the Zambian Department of Fisheries as well as local cooperatives to implement sustainable growth strategies through educational workshops and individual site visits.
Though I wasn't working in a traditional classroom setting, I fell in love with the field of education during my time in Zambia. I joined Teach For America to get my credential and Masters Degree upon returning to the states. For the past three years, I have been teaching at the middle school level in Indianapolis, Indiana. I am all about learning through experiences and projects, so I am beyond thrilled for this new chapter of teaching at HTMNC!
Originally from Washington State, Emily has fallen in love with the southern California sun, surf, and sand life. In her free time, find her hiking, baking, drinking coffee, gardening, and playing board games.
Likes: Thai Food, boba, dark chocolate, green plants, the smell of rain, hiking, the beach, tennis, volleyball
Dislikes: Milk, cheese, sneezing, the smell of gasoline, olives, eggplant
Emily Kyle earned her BA degree in Spanish and Minor in English from Westmont College and her Master of Education and teaching credentials in English and Spanish from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
7th Grade Academic Coach
Lisset has a long and storied history with helping learners of all ages. Taking it all the way back to her very first job as a teen, she has served as a tutor for young learners, a helper for brand new readers, a classroom assistant, and beyond. Eventually, she worked her way to teaching skills for academic success to students entering prestigious universities as well as those attending community colleges. Sure, she has deviated here and there to other interests over the years, finding herself conducting global health policy research and consulting with a local entrepreneur, but in the end she just can't stay away from education!
Lisset loves to learn herself, which drives her passion for helping learners of every ability and interest find and feed their curiosity. She holds a B.S. in Family and Human Development, and a Masters in Public Health with an emphasis in Global Health. Fun fact! Public Health doesn't only concern itself with pandemics like the one we are living through right now. Health of a population is actually the pursuit of well-being, not just the absence of disease, and this includes access to education. See how it all just keeps coming back to that?! Needless to say, Lisset is thrilled to be a part of the High Tech family and sparking lightbulb moments in 7th grade!
When she isn't in the classroom or marching up and down the school stairs (so many flights in a day!) she loves dancing, reading, exploring Southern California, and spending as much time as possible near the ocean. Also, you may not believe it, but Lisset has three children of her own! Her oldest is 15, so she also spends a lot of time wondering where the time has gone. :)
7th Grade Academic Coach
Roles: Academic Coach, Assistant Athletic Director, Sports Coach, Black Student Union (BSU) Coordinator, HTMNC Parent
Through my work as an Academic Coach with HTeNC and HTMNC, I have restored my passion for connecting with children, providing encouragement, and inspiring their development. I view each day as a new opportunity to lend my array of skills, life experience, and infectious positive energy towards enriching the High Tech community.
My educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Health Marketing & Communication, including 14 Early Childhood Education (ECE) credits.
As an Instructional Aide for San Elijo Elementary school, I had the opportunity to assist with Physical Education and also help students one-on-one in the classroom. As a result, it did not take long for the children, staff, and parents to realize my impact as a role model affecting positive change on campus.
Before entering the professional world I held various positions revolving around children including After-School Site Director, After-School Teacher, and Recreation Leader. I am originally from San Diego but have lived all through California; Long Beach, Oakland, Escondido, and currently San Marcos.
In my spare time, I enjoy creating music digitally, studying real estate investment strategies, and relaxing with my family: wife Vivi, son Jalen, daughter Kayla. In the summer you will likely find us poolside or at Moonlight Beach.
8th Grade Academic Coach
8th Grade Humanities
Hi! I am Miss Jessica Hortencia Macias, a Mexican-American (and part Pascua Yaqui Native American) born and raised in San Diego, California along with my older brother and younger brother. I always dreamed of being a teacher since I was a kindergarten student; I would come home and play teacher with my family. Now I get to live the dream and I couldn’t be any happier. I strive to make learning fun and approachable for all (check out my meme game). I am lucky enough to have taught at my alma mater for four years, which allowed me to receive my International Baccalaureate teaching certificates in English and Theory of Knowledge. I also gained experience teaching English 9 and English 11. In addition, I had the opportunity to run the Debate Club and Polynesian Dance Group as a part of the After School Program.
I am the first in my family to go to college and obtain a degree, which is one of my favorite accomplishments. I earned my bachelor’s degree in Single Subject English from San Diego State University then earned my master’s degree in Education and teaching credential from UC San Diego.
In my free time, you will catch me spoiling my dogs, cooking, baking, traveling, reading, writing, exploring Tijuana with my dad, or watching Ghost Adventures with my mom. I have two Pit Bull pups that are absolutely adorable. They love going for rides, visiting the beach, taking walks, and eating all their favorite treats. Fun Fact: I worked in an emergency veterinarian hospital one summer during college. I even helped the doctor with my parents’ dog’s surgery.
I jump on any opportunity to travel because it is one of my favorite things to do. I have been to Japan (twice), Thailand, Mexico, Canada, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, New York, and Massachusetts...so far. As J.R.R. Tolkien stated, “Not all who wander are lost.” In the next few years, I hope to travel to Scotland, Egypt, Ireland, Spain, and Italy. Going off of what Susan Sontag declared, “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”
Here are some of my favorites:
Disney Movies: Tangled, Princess and the Frog, Pocahontas, Hocus Pocus, Aladdin, and Hercules
Colors: Yellow, blue, burnt orange, violet
Animals: All of them, especially wolves and dogs
Seasons: Autumn and Spring
Food: My dad’s ceviche
Dessert: Tres leches
Authors: Emily Giffin, Sandra Cisneros, and Atticus
Time of Day: Sunrise/mornings
Flowers: Sunflowers, roses, and hydrangeas
Mr. Olivas grew up right here in San Diego. He loves traveling and has lived in many different places like Australia, Argentina, and recently in South Africa but always returns because San Diego truly is America's finest city! As a San Diego native, he loves the outdoors and especially the ocean. In high school he was on the swim team, water polo team, and surf team. He went to UCSD to study marine biology and has done some research on sharks at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. He also spent all of his summers lifeguarding at Mission Beach and helping to run the San Diego Junior Lifeguard program.
Mr. Olivas has taught high school and middle school math and science at several High Tech High schools since 2008 (but HTM NC is obviously his favorite!) He loves designing projects that allow students to learn new skills and apply them to make authentic work. He is always planning projects around preserving our natural world and our place in it as human beings. He loves to get creative with art, photography, and video inside and outside of school. In a past life he thinks he was a lion and in this current life he thinks he is a Jedi.
Ms. Perro is a Massachusetts native who grew up in the small town of Northbridge, and made her way to the city of Boston to attend Emerson College. It was at Emerson that she realized her greatest purpose in life: to make a positive impact on the world around her. She decided the best way she could do that was in the classroom. After graduating, Ms. Perro began her teaching career as a 2011 Teach For America Corps Member in San Antonio, TX. She loved everything about teaching and working with her students, and even received the great honor of being named her school's Teacher of the Year, but felt the urge to move closer to her family and explore some additional artistic passions. In the fall of 2013, she moved back to the Boston area. She spent three years working at software companies during the day and performing improv comedy at night. She realized that she deeply missed her title of "Ms. Perro" and decided to seek teaching opportunities that allowed her to be creative and continue making a positive impact on the people around her. Combining her artistic abilities with her love for teaching, Ms. Perro became an Art Teacher at Brooke Charter School in East Boston, MA in 2016. At Brooke, Ms. Perro taught Art to 540+ K-8 students for two wonderful years before making her way to the west coast.
In 2018, Ms. Perro's partner, Brenna, became a doctor and matched for her medical residency at UCSD in California! They moved to San Diego together and fell in love with the city. Ms. Perro was absolutely thrilled to join the High Tech Middle North County team as the 6th Grade Maximizer. At the start of 2019, she transitions to her current role: 8th Grade Humanities Teacher! She LOVES teaching humanities because she is able to witness her students think deeply and become well-rounded leaders, already ready to take over the world! This fall, she is over-the-moon excited to meet her new students, share her love for reading, writing, history, and the world!
In her free time, Ms. Perro loves to go to the pool or beach, do yoga, go for (short) runs, read lots of books, draw pictures of her friends and family, watch silly comedy, make up ridiculous songs and videos and put them on YouTube, sing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" at Karaoke, make her way to the center of every dance circle with her impressive moves, make babies laugh, go to rallies and get involved in human rights causes, and find ways to be a strong female leader in the community.
Hello! My name is Julie Rea, but I go by Ms. Julie in the classroom. I am honored to be teaching Math/Science here at HTMNC. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Biology from Sonoma State University. While being a full-time student, I had the unique opportunity to be a part of the intercollegiate Women's tennis team at Sonoma State University. Through this experience, I found ways to build grit, perseverance, and mindfulness. My coach promoted a very healthy, mindful balance connecting positivity and promoted self-driven habits that have stayed with me and some pracitces I want to bring into the classroom.
During my senior year of college, I spent time researching Northern Elephant Seals and was working on an ongoing project measuring hormone levels. After graduation, I worked in a Biotechnology Lab and found my true passion would be working in a classroom. I always try and find unique ways to incorporate hands on science work into the classroom. Currently, I am earning my Master's of Education through the High Tech High Graduate School.
Outside of the classroom, I am the proud mom to a wonderful welsh terrier named Roger. I love spending time with my pups by taking them on walks, care rides, and going to the beach. I love spending time outdoors, making food AND eating food with friends and family, working out, and practicing self-care.
8th Grade Academic Support Teacher
Lynne earned both her BA degree in Sociology and her MA in Education from the University of California San Diego. After receiving her teaching credential, she worked in the Oceanside School District. Prior to joining HTMNC, Lynne taught fourth grade in Encinitas. She believes that every student is capable of learning and she is passionate about helping each child reach their highest potential. She loves working with middle school students and has been part of the HTMNC team for twelve years!
Lynne is originally from Los Angeles and fell in love with San Diego while attending UCSD. She lives in Carlsbad and loves spending time with her family. She loves going camping, sailing, and traveling to different parts of the world. Some of her favorite travel adventures include; hiking the Inca Trail, visiting schools in Thailand, and discovering foods from other cultures. She loves hiking and exploring our beautiful national parks.
8th Grade Education Specialist
Serena retired from the USMC after 21 years and is now excited to be a part of the HTHMNC team and support Middle School students as an Education Specialist! She had a number of different careers in the military, from Aircraft Maintenance Technician to Intelligence Officer, and deployed to multiple countries. While in the USMC, she earned her B.S. in Aviation Management from Southern Illinois University, M.A. in International Relations from University of Oklahoma, and her M.A. in Teaching from the University of Southern California. She is currently pursuing her EdD at Pepperdine and hopes to have an impact by providing equitable education to students with various learning differences. Serena has 3 children and 1 granddaughter! Her oldest daughter graduated from San Diego State University with her degree in Mechanical engineering with an emphasis in Bioengineering and is expected to attend the University of San Diego for Law School in Fall 2022. Her son is a senior in high school, VP of the Student Body, Varsity Track/Soccer, and hopes to attend SDSU like his sister. Her youngest daughter is in 8th grade and does competitive gymnastics at the Junior Olympic level.
Kelly is a caffeine-based life form who has an unnatural obsession with tree sloths and pugs. It has been said that her laugh can be heard across campus. She graduated from the University of California, San Diego, where she competed on the inner-tube water polo team. However, she considers herself a bit of a rebel, as she has never waited the full 15 minutes after eating before getting in a pool.
She is deathly afraid of cheese sticks and driving behind small trucks filled with household goods. She does not like to eat potato chips that are folded over onto themselves because at that point, they are more like worthless taco shells. She is a member of the pro-Oxford comma faction, preferring to avoid ambiguity. She has never eaten a Big Mac (and doesn't intend to). Though she works on the skill daily, Kelly has not yet been able to master the art of negotiating with her 7 year old. She shares a passion for Disneyland with her 10 year old and bonds with her husband at Chipotle.
Kelly has a Master's degree in education, an administrative credential, and considers it a privilege to have been able to spend the last 15 years sharing in the crazy that is middle school.
Dean of Students
Renee graduated from Cal State San Bernardino in 2011 and earned her BA degree in Liberal Arts. With a passion for education, Renee pursued her graduate degree in Educational Counseling, along with a credential in Pupil Personnel Services. Before joining the High Tech High community, Renee gained experience working with youth in multiple settings as a lifeguard, in hospitals, and with foster youth. Renee moved from San Bernardino to work at High Tech in 2012 in the AfterCare program as a Youth Leader. During that time, she developed a deep passion for students with special needs and pursued work within the community as an academic coach. After spending 5 years in the classroom in this role, Renee is excited to use her growing knowledge base, educational background, and experience to support a greater amount of students as High Tech Middle North County’s Social Emotional Coordinator. Renee is devoted to positively impacting her students and enabling them to become successful, not only academically, but personally. When Renee is not at work, you can find her with her yorkie, Ariel, crocheting blankets for loved ones, swimming, or discovering her new home in San Diego.
Cindy has always lived the life of an educator - with a B.S. and M.A. in Education and more than 25 years of experience in informal science programming. Originally from Maine, Cindy has lived on both coasts and while she misses the fall foliage, she loves the California weather! Cindy fell in love with High Tech High when her daughter joined the San Marcos campus (and was a member of the school's first graduating class in 2011!) and knew this was the next stop in her career. As the Site Manager Cindy will spend her time helping keep parents, students, and teachers supported and organized. She looks forward to being a part of shaping this year at HTMNC!
I go by just “Acker” no “Mr” needed. I truly love the world of project based learning because we all get to learn together! In my daily journeys I find myself thinking about project ideas...all...the...time. Being a design/maker-educator I get to be inspired by my students and the community every day. Bringing together elements of humanities, science, math and engineering is what makes me so excited about about teaching in a project based school. I never want to stop learning and find myself trying new things even if it is outside my "comfort zone". My son Ryland has been a student at the School of Rock from the age of three. Seeing him perform over the past six years has inspired me to begin learning the electric guitar and bass. Just recently I joined a class on how to be in a band! Less boredom, more fun, deeper learning and lots of laughter on the way!
Speech Language Pathologist
Sam was born and raised in Southern California and grew up with sunny days on the beach and family trips to the mountains--neither of which were too far away from home. She stayed local during college as she attended UCLA and earned her B.A. in Psychology while doing research in cognitive neuroscience. Following graduation, Sam shifted her focus to the field of Speech Language Pathology and earned her B.S. in Communication Disorders & Sciences from Utah State University. The next stop was graduate school. Sam relocated to the Pacific Northwest and attended the University of Oregon, where she earned her M.S. in Communication Disorders & Sciences.
Sam was drawn back to Southern California after graduate school. Her heart was drawn to San Diego and she quickly knew she could call it home. Sam began her career as a Speech Language Pathologist in private practice, working primarily with the pediatric population. Seeking a change to support students with communication challenges in their everyday lives, she discovered HTH and has found a deep passion for her work in special education. She has supported middle and high school students at the North County campus since 2016.
Sam lives with her husband and fur baby. She loves spending time with family and friends, is a self-proclaimed foodie and enjoys finding new local spots to eat, loves a good TV series to watch and relax, and has recently found a new passion for cooking.
Bret comes to us all the way from Detroit, Michigan. He has spent 5 years as a history teacher in Inglewood, CA and 4 years as a teacher for students with brain injuries in Boston, MA. Bret has a passion for sports that is borderline obsessive. He claims that he is better than everyone at every sport, including hockey, golf, baseball, softball, tennis, football, curling, shot put, synchronized swimming, and equestrian dressage (that's a real sport).
In his free time, he can be found watching any Michigan based sports team on television, spending time with his family, or writing hilarious bios for himself.
Community Outreach Coordinator
Jocelyn was born and raised in Mexico City. She came to the United States 20 years ago and has lived in North County since. She first came about High Tech High when she was looking for an innovative teaching style for her younger brother and sister to prosper from. 7 years later both of her younger siblings have graduated and are continuing with higher education. She holds a degree from the Universidad Autonoma de México and a certification from the University of San Diego. Jocelyn has extensive experience in community leadership, communications and parent engagement, serving in various volunteer roles at the Consulate of Mexico, San Diego Department of Education and Migrant Education. She has been with High Tech High since 2011 serving as the outreach coordinator. The main focus of her work involves assisting Spanish speaking families but sharing the unique teaching styles of HTH with the community. She advocates for diversity, primarily within the school, as it helps students create a valuable connection with the surrounding communities. She is passionate about the work she does and finds it rewarding to see that her help has made a difference in the lives of the individuals whom she has helped. When not at work she enjoys spending the day with her family at Disneyland or enjoys being part of the audience for Mexican Folkloric dancer, gymnast, cheerleader ten year old daughter and nine month old baby girl!
HTMNC IT Director
In 2015 Mr. Vega was nominated for a best featured performance by the San Diego critics circle for his performance as the Lion in "Oz" at Lamb's Players Theatre. Mr. Vega was the 2013-2014 Artist in Residence and honor's lecturer at U.C.S.D's Thurgood Marshall College. He grew up in this very neighborhood. Mr. Vega got his start as a ford foundation scholar with the Old Globe Theatre’s Teatro Meta, a bilingual actor training program. He attended United States International University in San Diego and London receiving a Bachelor of fine art in Musical Theatre. Mr. Vega is now a vested member of the Actors Equity Association in Canada and the U.S. His singing and acting jobs have taken him to Canada, Mexico and nearly every state in the U.S. You may have also seen him in a few commercials as well. Mr. Vega has been a teaching artist for Playwrights Project, Lambs Players Theater, San Diego Junior Theatre and The Globe Theater’s Teatro Meta. San Diego audiences have seen him onstage in musicals, comedies and classical dramas. Shows include “Quincenera” by Broadway playwright and T.V. writer Rick Najera, Broadway and Hollywood legend Luis Valdez’s “Corridos Remix” and The Merchant of Venice at the San Diego Rep. Mr. Vega worked as a director and adjunct professor of theatre for California State University San Marcos while earning California teaching credentials in drama, social science and introductory mathematics. Mr. Vega is a founding charter member of the San Diego Shakespeare Society. He is married to his wonderful wife Sarah and has twin seven year olds daughters and a six year old daughter who all attend High Tech High.
Visual Arts Teacher