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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 works on a variety of projects at HTH from reporting for state and federal programs and liaising with our authorizers to school lunch and admissions. She has been at HTH for seven years.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 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

    sbarnes@hightechhigh.org    619-398-8627
    The task that remains is to cope with our interdependence to see ourselves reflected in every other human being, and to respect and honor our differences- Melba Patillo Beals
    (Member of the Little Rock Nine)

    I believe passionately in the importance of this interdependence. It is my life’s goal to teach in a way that inspires students to see themselves reflected in others, while inspiring them to see the possibilities that lie within. Before coming to High Tech High, I received my BA and my Teaching Credential from the University of San Diego. I then received my Masters of Arts in Special Education from Point Loma Nazarene University. Having the opportunity to work as both a general education teacher and as a special education teacher has fostered my passion for creating opportunities for all students to access curriculum. When I am not teaching I love to: read, run, surf, practice yoga, and travel. I am happiest when I can combine these loves together. Recently I tromped through Brazil and South Africa while completing a Fulbright research grant about diversity in Education. Prior to that, I spent time in Northern Uganda working with returning child soldiers which taught me the value of addressing a student’s emotional needs in conjunction with their educational ones. Working with students and families anywhere is an honor; I look forward to serving you.

  • Christina Cassidy Forbrich
    Christina Cassidy Forbrich

    Development Officer
    ccassidy@hightechhigh.org    619-398-8652
    High Tech High Foundation Director, Christina Cassidy-Forbrich, is a proud San Diego native. Christina grew up in Serra Mesa and attended San Diego State University where she studied Qualitative Sociology and Economics, graduating with honors. Christina joined High Tech High in 2008 and dedicates her time to raising critical funds to support the growing community of High Tech High schools. Outside of her passion for quality public education Christina is a tech-phile, pop-culture trivia nerd who enjoys travel, photography, learning new things, mid-century modern design and time spent with her family & 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.

  • Maria Heredia
    Maria Heredia

    Chief Administrative Officer/General Counsel

  • Julie Holmes
    Julie Holmes

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

  • Jose Jimenez
    Jose Jimenez

    Maintenance Technician

  • 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

  • Amy Reising
    Amy Reising

    Director of Credentialing and Teacher Development

  • Kristy Renken
    Kristy Renken

    Staff Accountant: Human Resources/Payroll

  • Roland Rivera
    Roland Rivera

    Maintenance Technician

  • Valerie Root
    Valerie Root

    Environmental Health & Safety Coordinator
    vroot@hightechhigh.org    949-309-0024
    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.

  • David Squillaci
    David Squillaci

    Maintenance Technician

  • Michelle Valles
    Michelle Valles

    mvalles@hightechhigh.org    (619) 398 8786
    Michelle is a High Tech High Media Arts Alumni; she formed part of the first graduating class in 2008 and is excited to work in the school that watched her grow. This will be Michelle's second year working with the High Tech High Community as the admissions and outreach coordinator. 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. Michelle was admitted to San Diego State University as a marketing undergraduate, but graduated with a philosophy degree. Ever since taking her first philosophy class, she is determining to live everyday as if it were the last.
    When Michelle is not working, you will find her taking photos of random objects, cooking or traveling the world along her beloved husband.

  • Robert Walker
    Robert Walker

    Maintenance Technician

  • Katie Wright
    Katie Wright

    Director of Special Education
    kwright@hightechhigh.org    (619) 398-8642
    Katie began working at High Tech High in 2005, supporting admissions, outreach, grant writing, and grant reporting for the High Tech High central office. In 2007, Katie began working as a Humanities Teacher at High Tech Middle Media Arts. In 2009, she moved in to the role of Inclusion Specialist, and one year later, she assumed the additional role of Academic Dean. During her time as Inclusion Specialist and Dean, Katie developed a passion for collaborating with classroom teachers to foster inclusive and equitable classroom practice at HTMMA. Katie led professional development for teachers and academic coaches, and she developed a social-emotional learning curriculum for the school's advisory program. Katie holds her single subject English Language Arts teaching credential, and her mild-moderate Education Specialist credential. Katie also holds an M.Ed in School Leadership from the High Tech High Graduate School of Education.

    As Director of Special Education, Katie supports inclusion and Special Education programs across the twelve High Tech High schools. Katie's action research for her Master's program was focused on the development of a rich professional adult learning community of Inclusion Specialists at HTH, and Katie continues to regularly lead professional development in support of this learning community. As Director of Special Education, Katie collaborates with HTH Directors, teachers, students and parents to support equity and inclusive practice with an emphasis on the merging of hands, minds and hearts in the classroom.

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