MEET THE STAFF
Ken is the co-founder and executive director of Design Tech High School. Ken completed his PhD in administration and policy analysis at Stanford University. As a teacher Ken held a variety of positions including: founding speech and debate coach of a team that grew from 15 students to 250 and was number one in Southern California, technology coordinator, conference champion football coach, a member of the USA Today All-teacher team, and National Board Certified teacher. While at Stanford Ken published several articles on school improvement and developed a school leadership course.
Director of Learning
Nicole began her career in education serving in the AmeriCorps program and using creative writing to mentor at-risk teens in Seattle. She then taught English and AVID at Sweetwater High School, just one mile from the U.S. - Mexico border, and finally moved to the Bay Area to work as an English and reading teacher and coordinator of the 9th and 10th grade interdisciplinary teams at Capuchino High School. She is committed to helping all kids excel in a rigorous learning environment by personalizing the learning experience and emphasizing creativity.
Director of Intersession
Wendy has served in the field of education for over 20 years, teaching students and families from infancy to early adulthood. Wendy began teaching K-5th grade students in Chicago with Kohl Children’s Museum and then joined the faculty at Westmont College Psychology Department in Santa Barbara, CA. Wendy’s most recent PhD work with UC Davis’ Family Research Group focused on family processes and outcomes during adolescence and the transition to adulthood. She has co-authored several articles and book chapters on adolescent development, family dynamics, sibling relationships, and the effects of economic hardship across generations. Prior to working at d.tech Wendy directed a Child Development program at Capucchino High School where she taught high school students to work with young children and families in student-led community preschool. This rewarding work of witnessing adolescents transform from typical teenagers to professional early childhood educators is what inspired Wendy to join the d.tech team and support students engaging in real-world problem solving.
Director of Development and Student Operations
Sarah has worked in education for ten years as a special education teacher and in a variety of teacher leader roles including: Special Education and Disproportionality Grant Coordinator, WASC coordinator, member of the California State Network of Educators reviewing formative assessment and professional development material for the Smarter Balanced Consortium’s Digital Library, and Race to the Top Peer Reviewer for the 2013 District Grant Competition. Sarah also created and monitored teacher training opportunities for the San Mateo Union High School district based on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Prior to her work as an educator, Sarah designed and deployed web sites for startup companies and corporations such as Nuance Communications.
Health and Wellness Coordinator
Christy has over twelve years of experience as an educator. She served an internship at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center in Colorado - a private, tuition-free, residential high school for students, and worked as an assistant teacher at the Galileo Outdoor Adventure Program, a self-contained classroom within Galileo High School. For the past twelve years, Christy has taught health, physical education, English Language Development, and study skills at three different high schools in the San Mateo Union High School District.
Director Design Realization Garage
Born and raised in the foothills of Tennessee, Galen is venturing out of the sunny south to join our team! After graduating from the oldest public residential STEM high school, he double-majored in biology and psychology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Galen has been a personal trainer at a rock wall, textbook store manager, board member of a science center, director of an after-school YMCA childcare program, and AmeriCorps construction crew leader with Habitat for Humanity. Most recently, Galen taught Innovative Technology and Robotics to elementary and middle school students, and handled technology integration and support for a K-12 independent school. His hobbies include cycling across the United States, making things, and creating systems and processes!
Partnership Developer, Founding Social Studies Teacher
Rob is a former professional programmer, technology executive and entrepreneur. He is a “career-switcher” who started his professional life as a programmer working at Intel and Oracle, then became an entrepreneur and founded two tech start-ups. He started his career in education student-teaching social studies at Crocker Middle School and Palo Alto High School, and then taught robotics, programming and design thinking at Bayside STEM Academy in San Mateo. Rob's passion for teaching started with his PhD parents and his goal is to channel his business experience, extensive travel and passion for history to create a classroom where history becomes theater.
Rob was recently appointed to be the representative of the California State Board of Education to the board of the California History and Social Studies Project (CHSSP). He is currently forging partnerships with companies to build out the intersession program and potential internships.