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Support Staff
  • Justine Aldridge
    Justine Aldridge

    Staff Accountant

  • Veronica Alvarez Grajeda
    Veronica Alvarez Grajeda

    Director of Operations
    vgrajeda@hightechhigh.org    (619) 398-8785
    Veronica has been at HTH for nine years and works on a variety of operations-related projects at HTH from reporting for state and federal programs and liaising with our authorizers to overseeing the school lunch program and HTH admissions. Before coming to High Tech High, Veronica was a founding staff member of KIPP San Francisco Bay Academy and directed an academic enrichment program in San Francisco. She has a Masters of Public Administration in non-profit management and institutional analysis and education policy from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. Veronica was born and raised in Washington, DC and earned a BA in Spanish and Latin American studies from Barnard College.

  • Sarah Barnes
    Sarah Barnes

    Ed Specialist Program Manager
    sbarnes@hightechhigh.org    619-398-8640
    Sarah joined High Tech High in 2007 and has enjoyed working as both a general education teacher and an Ed Specialist at the K-12 level. Sarah has spent her career looking at school cultural practices that create opportunities for diverse learners to engage in classrooms together and feels most fulfilled when the lines between special education and general education are blurred. Sarah was awarded a Fulbright- Hays grant to study diversity in education in Brazil; specifically the inequitable systems that historically have marginalized indigenous and afro-brazilian communities. Her work in inclusion has also been informed by the semester she spent in Northern Uganda. Sarah participated in a teacher exchange program while supporting educational practices that integrated students who had experienced trauma into the classroom and community. Sarah maintains a multiple subject teaching credential, a single subject English credential, as well as her special education (ed specialist) credential with Autism authorization. She holds a Masters of Arts in Special Education.

    As Ed Specialist Program Manager Sarah supports inclusion and Special Education programs across the thirteen High Tech High schools and works with the High Tech High Credentialing program to implement professional development, coursework, and mentorship for new Ed Specialist teachers. Sarah also co-teaches the Inclusive Classrooms course for the HTH Graduate School of Education. She lives in Ocean Beach with her math teacher husband and their beautiful two year old daughter.

  • Christina Cassidy Forbrich
    Christina Cassidy Forbrich

    Director of Development
    ccassidy@hightechhigh.org    619-398-8652
    High Tech High Foundation Director, Christina Cassidy-Forbrich, is a proud San Diego native. Christina attended San Diego State University where she studied Qualitative Sociology and Economics, graduating with honors. Christina joined High Tech High in 2008 and through her work as Director of Development engages the HTH community with communications and fundraising campaigns in support of High Tech High schools. Outside of her passion for quality public education Christina is a technology and science-loving mom who enjoys travel, politics, photography, modern design, her family and friends.

  • Joanna Clark
    Joanna Clark

    Student Information System Administrator
    jclark@hightechhigh.org    619-243-5015
    Joanna Clark, a San Diego native, has worked in the field of education for over 11 years. She began working as a Special Education Technician at Lindbergh Schweitzer Elementary. She instructed elementary-aged children on the use of augmentative devices and computer software. Later with the San Diego Community College District, she worked in the Welfare-to-Work program developing programs for working mothers to complete their education through distance education courses. Joanna holds a Master's degree in Education and a Pupil Personnel Services Credential. Currently she is working towards her Doctorate in Education, emphasis in Technology and Learning.

  • Ben Daley
    Ben Daley

    Chief Academic Officer
    bdaley@hightechhigh.org    619-243-5027
    Ben Daley is the chief academic officer for High Tech High. He acts as an advisor to fifteen high school students and teaches and advises students in the HTH Graduate School of Education, where he is the Director of Clinical Sites. Ben joined High Tech High to teach physics as a founding faculty member in fall 2000. He was the second director of High Tech High Original Recipe.

    A New Hampshire native, Ben wisely moved to San Diego, CA at the first opportunity. As a student at Haverford College, Ben majored in physics and was credentialed in secondary physics and math. After graduation, he traveled to the Philippines and taught science and math at an international school in Manila. Upon his return to the U.S., he taught physics and AP physics at the Madeira School, a girls boarding school in suburban Washington, D.C. He then moved to California to coach basketball and to teach physics at Pomona and Pitzer Colleges. He earned an M.A. in science education at University of California, Santa Barbara and is currently pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership at University of California, San Diego. He is a member of the fifth class of the Aspen-Pahara Education Fellows and a Fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Ben is the proud parent of a boy (Coleman) and a girl (Greer).

  • Carlos De La Rosa
    Carlos De La Rosa

    Maintenance Technician

  • Paul Dooley
    Paul Dooley

    Director of Facilities
    pdooley@hightechhigh.org    619-398-8634

  • Susan Edge
    Susan Edge

    Business Manager

  • Luis Elizarraraz
    Luis Elizarraraz

    Maintenance Manager
    lelizarraraz@hightechhigh.org    619-254-9577

  • Felicia Hamwey
    Felicia Hamwey

    Staff Accountant/AP

  • Patrick Hayman
    Patrick Hayman

    Web Developer
    Patrick develops user-friendly web-based applications for multiple audiences including students, staff, donors, and those interested in learning more about the High Tech High community. Patrick received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Arizona and did post graduate work there and at Northern Arizona University. 4

  • Maria Heredia
    Maria Heredia

    Chief Operations Officer/General Counsel
    Maria Heredia’s work focuses on supporting innovative and effective educational opportunities for students and teachers.  She has been actively involved with charter schools and education nonprofits in California for twenty years.  She works with High Tech High in the dual role of Chief Operations Officer and General Counsel focusing on school operations and policy. Previously Maria served as Senior Vice President of Legal Advocacy and General Counsel to the California Charter Schools Association. At CCSA, Maria worked to expand advocacy efforts on behalf of California charter schools, while leading an action that significantly increased the facilities available to children attending charter schools in Los Angeles. Prior to that she worked in private practice. Maria has enjoyed teaching graduate level classes in education law and policy and volunteering with local nonprofits.  She is a graduate of Stanford Law School where she focused on the Lawyering for Social Change curriculum, and Harvard University where she earned an A.B. in American History and Literature.

  • Julie Holmes
    Julie Holmes

    Credential Analyst
    juholmes@hightechhigh.org    619-398-4928

  • Jose Jimenez
    Jose Jimenez

    Maintenance Technician

  • Marci Jubelirer
    Marci Jubelirer

    Associate Director of Special Education

  • Cindy Kim
    Cindy Kim

    Executive Assistant
    ckim@hightechhigh.org    619-243-5014
    A native San Diegan, Cindy graduated from Clairemont High School and attended Kelsey-Jenney Business College and Grossmont Community College. She has over 18 years of experience in a variety of administrative capacities. Before becoming a full-time stay-at-home mom, she was a keypunch operator in the data-processing departments for Fed-Mart and then at the Naval Undersea Center in Point Loma, known today as SPAWAR. The now out-dated IBM keypunch machines were Cindy's first experience using computer technology.

    Cindy worked for the San Diego City Schools in various roles for ten years, as the School Improvement Coordinator at Benchley-Weinberger Elementary School, in the Placement and Appeal Department, and in the School-to-Career Career Development Office. Before coming to High Tech High, she was the administrative assistant to the Director of the Business Roundtable for Education at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. Cindy has been with High Tech High since its inception. She is the Executive Assistant to the CEO.

  • Wendy McDonald
    Wendy McDonald

    Wendy grew up in San Diego and received her Bachelors Degree in Animal Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and went on to get a certificate from The Exotic Animal Training and Management Program in Moorpark, California. From there she worked as an Elephant Trainer in Vallejo, California. After two and a half years as a trainer she made the decision to move back to San Diego. While waiting to get a job at the San Diego Zoo, she started to work at HTH. Although she eventually got a job at the Zoo her heart brought her back to HTH. Now, many years later she is the Associate Director of College Relations and Registrar for all 11 High Tech High schools.

  • Kay McElrath
    Kay McElrath

    Chief Financial Officer
    kmcelrath@hightechhigh.org    619-814-5084
    Kay has worked on the business side of public education for the past 26 years. Prior to joining High Tech High in 2007 as CFO, she served as Budget Supervisor and later, Director of Payroll and Benefits, for San Diego Unified. Prior to coming west to California, she managed a nonprofit arts organization in Iowa, was assistant manager of the Des Moines Convention Center, and served as an accountant for the Salt Lake County Treasurer. She is a graduate of Iowa State University.  Kay also serves the GSE as CFO.

  • Michal-Lynn O'Kelley
    Michal-Lynn O'Kelley

    Director of Athletics and Wellness

  • Ericka Olson
    Ericka Olson

    Facilities Assistant
    eolson@hightechhigh.org    619-840-1981

  • Marisela Ortiz
    Marisela Ortiz

    Program Manager
    mortiz@hightechhigh.org    ​619-243-5000 Ext. 50259
    Originally from Ventura County, Mari Ortiz moved to San Diego in 2008 to begin her undergraduate studies at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). She graduated in 2013 with a BA in Sociology with an emphasis in Law and Society and two minors in Political Science and International Migration Studies. While at UCSD, Mari participated in the Mexican Migration Field Research Program (MMFRP) through which she studied occupational health in both Mexico and the U.S. After graduation, Mari worked in the legal field, most recently, Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves, and Savitch, LLP. She brings her legal background to High Tech High and assists the Chief Operations Officer/General Counsel with the implementation of various organizational projects and programs.

  • Kristy Renken
    Kristy Renken

    Staff Accountant: Human Resources/Payroll

  • Valerie Root
    Valerie Root

    Environmental Health & Safety Coordinator
    vroot@hightechhigh.org    (760)759-2730
    Valerie grew up in Orange County, California and moved to Berkeley, California to work for a non-profit environmental organization when she was 19. After attending community college in Oakland she moved to Santa Cruz to complete her undergraduate degree in Chemistry. She found research narrow and unfulfilling and decided to pursue a teaching career. She started as a special education middle school math instructor in Seaside, California.
    In 2009 Valerie moved to San Diego and began working as a Chemistry teacher at HTH Chula Vista. For the following four years she taught Environmental Science and earned single-subject teaching credentials in Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Math. During a one year hiatus from HTH she earned a Masters of Public Health at San Diego State University.
    Valerie has returned to HTH as the Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator and works to prevent accidents and protect staff and students from hazards.

  • Larry Rosenstock
    Larry Rosenstock

    Chief Executive Officer
    lrosenstock@hightechhigh.org    619-243-5014
    Larry Rosenstock is the founder and CEO of High Tech High, a network of public charter schools focused on project-based learning.

    Larry taught carpentry in urban high schools for eleven years before working as staff attorney at the Harvard Center for Law and Education. Returning to public schools, he served as Director of the Rindge School of Technical Arts and then Principal of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.

    Mr. Rosenstock directed the New Urban High School Project of the U.S. Department of Education. He has served as a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Visiting Associate Professor at UC Berkeley School of Education.

    Larry is the recipient of the Ashoka Fellowship and the McGraw Prize in Education, and serves as an advisor to numerous commissions and boards nationally and internationally. He holds a JD from Boston University Law School, an M.Ed from Cambridge College, a BA from Brandeis University and a Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa from Cambridge College.

    High Tech High Learning now comprises twelve K-12 schools, a teacher-credentialing program, and a graduate school of education.

  • Daren Sefcik
    Daren Sefcik

    Director of Information Technology
    dsefcik@hightechhigh.org    619-243-5009
    Daren was born in Oceanside, CA and has lived in San Diego all of his life. During his youth he traveled to many parts of the world and at the age of 19 he married in Caracas, Venezuela and has been married for 21 years and has 3 boys who all attend High Tech High schools.

    After 14 years of owning and operating a motorcycle repair business he realized computers and technology were the future and in 1995 started his technology career as a UNIX Systems Administrator for a San Diego based Sun Microsystems VAR. 11 years later he joined the High Tech High team as the Director of Technology. Daren has been involved with many aspects of computer technology ranging from java programing to SQL database design and network security. He has also contributed to many Open Source projects over the years.

  • Emilio Torres
    Emilio Torres

    Director of Special Education
    eatorres@hightechhigh.org    619.398.8642

  • Michelle Valles
    Michelle Valles

    mvalles@hightechhigh.org    (619) 398 8786
    Michelle formed part of the first graduating class of High Tech High Media Arts in 2008 and is delighted to work with High Tech High. Michelle attended San Diego State University where she received her undergraduate degree in Philosophy. This will be Michelle's third year working as the admissions and outreach coordinator for all the 13 High Tech High Schools. Michelle knows from personal experience what High Tech High has to offer for its students and is passionate about sharing the HTH experience with the local community.

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