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Debbie Alvarado

debbie@khanlabschool.org
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Debbie Alvarado

Spanish Language Specialist

San Francisco State University, Elementary Education
B.A. California State University, Sacramento
debbie@khanlabschool.org
Debbie has lived in the Bay Area since she was three years old. Her career as a teacher began in a dual-language Spanish immersion school in San Mateo, where she taught for seven years before becoming a full-time parent. Over the next 15 years, Debbie taught Spanish, English Language Arts, and Literature in a classroom environment as well as privately to students between first and tenth grades. One of Debbie’s richest experiences comes from a two-year period during which she lived in El Salvador with her family. There, she taught sixth and eighth grade Language Arts and gained an appreciation for the challenges faced everyday by people living a life so different from anything she had known before. Debbie has a passion for good books, cooking, writing, watching her kids play sports, and meeting new people. She loves to sing along with music on the radio (and sometimes even knows the right words). She thinks that a considerable percentage of things in life lie somewhere between humorous and downright funny, and she finds a lot of great material at home – with her husband and two teenage sons. 


Melissa Blanco

melissa@khanlabschool.org
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Melissa Blanco

Lower School Math/Science Specialist

M.Ed Technology, University of Florida
B.A. University of Florida
melissa@khanlabschool.org
Melissa helps students make giant leaps in learning by maximizing student engagement and ownership of the learning process. While earning her master’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Florida, Melissa gained a keen interest in blended learning and technology. Her research into educational technology led her to complete a pilot internship with Florida Virtual School and become a counselor for UF’s Digital Kids Tech Camp. Upon graduating, Melissa returned to her hometown of Tampa, FL where she taught for seven years in Title 1 elementary schools. Melissa began her career as a second grade teacher for predominantly low-income students, the majority of whom spoke English as a second language. She researched and incorporated alternative teaching methods, such as inductive teaching and project-based learning, to continually encourage critical thinking and discussion in the classroom. After two years, she transferred to Dunbar Elementary, an inner-city magnet school focused on medical and scientific exploration. Melissa taught second grade and gifted Math and Science before eventually becoming a fifth grade Math and Science instructor. In this role, Melissa challenged students to learn through engagement in authentic and open-ended problems they are likely to face in the future. This problem-based, student-centered approach to teaching and learning fostered 100% active participation and mastery of standards. Melissa recently spent a year in the Philippines, where she had the opportunity to learn more about her heritage and assist in opening a school for children in rural Leyte. When Melissa isn't learning something new with students, she enjoys playing the ukulele, going on adventures, and winning at board games. She is most excited about collaborating with students in her day-to-day work. 

Megan Burns

megan@khanlabschool.org
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Megan Burns

Middle School STEM Specialist

M.A.T. Secondary Education and Teaching, Wayne State University
B.A. Kalamazoo College
megan@khanlabschool.org
Megan was born and raised in Novi, a city in southeastern Michigan. She attended Kalamazoo College in her home state, where she graduated magna cum laude in Biology with a concentration in Health Studies. After volunteering in a second grade classroom, Megan found she had a passionate interest in sharing her love of learning, particularly in STEM-related fields. With this in mind, she completed a specialized STEM teaching fellowship that granted her a Master of Arts in Teaching at Wayne State University, while simultaneously completing her first two years of teaching Biology and Chemistry. Outside of work, Megan's biggest priority and interest lies in fulfilling the needs of her three-year-old border collie, Albus. She has also played competitive soccer since the age of 5, including three years of Division III soccer at Kalamazoo. Megan enjoys almost all outdoor activities, including pick-up soccer, hiking, biking, photography, and swimming. 


Monica Chan

Monica Chan

monica@khanlabschool.org
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Monica Chan

Monica Chan

Teaching Intern

Stanford University
monica@khanlabschool.org
Monica is currently a senior at Stanford University, pursuing her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and M.A. in Learning, Design & Technology (Education). Monica is deeply interested in novel STEM learning environments, and makerspaces / fabrication laboratories for interdisciplinary K-12 education. Apart from academics, Monica serves as a National Council Member for the UNICEF Campus Initiative and is an advocate for leveraging technology in humanitarian aid innovation. Before arriving in the U.S. for college, Monica grew up in Singapore, Switzerland, and China, so she brings with her a wealth of multicultural experiences. In her free time, Monica enjoys singing jazz music, watching musical theater, and occasionally challenging someone to a game of foosball – she has yet to find her equal.

Nick Chan

Nick Chan

nick@khanlabschool.org
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Nick Chan

Nick Chan

Associate Teacher, Extended Day

B.A. Cornell University
nick@khanlabschool.org
Nicholas Chan graduated from Cornell University in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in Government. During his last summer at school, Nick worked as an Educational Research Intern at the WGBH Educational Foundation, Boston's PBS and NPR affiliate. After moving to California in 2016, he began working as a Writing Tutor and Research & Evaluation Intern at 826 Valencia, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the writing skills of under-resourced students. While at 826, Nick learned more about project-based learning, the use of metrics in educational and personal development, and the importance of writing and communication for students' long-term success. In his free time, Nick enjoys soccer, music, learning languages, and strategy board games. He is particularly excited to be part of school built around student-centered learning and all opportunities to support individual students as they find innovative ways to blend new technology and classroom tools to creatively solve real world problems.


Chi-Ray Chien

chi-ray@khanlabschool.org
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Chi-Ray Chien

Head of Operations & Technology

M.S. Stanford University
B.S. Stanford University
chi-ray@khanlabschool.org
Chi-Ray graduated from Stanford University with B.A. and M.S. degrees in Biomechanical Engineering. He spent a few years applying his studies as General Manager for a local company, prototyping and manufacturing coronary stents. Soon, he decided to pursue his interest in system thinking, and he became an operations generalist for small-to-mid-sized organizations. Chi-Ray has held a number of roles similar to what he does at KLS, including serving as Director of Operations, Technology, and Facilities at a large church in Boston; working as Program Director for the Digital Media Academy at Stanford; and most recently, working as Director of IT and Employee Services at One Kings Lane (the online home goods retailer). In his spare time, Chi-Ray has been known to lead scouts, root for the New England Patriots, play banjo, listen to country music, wish he had a pick-up truck, and dream of seeing the U.S. on an extended RV trip with his wife, Erica, and kids, Timothy and Megan. You'd never guess he was born in Boston and raised in L.A. Chi-Ray has been a member of the KLS team since its founding in 2014. 



Sonia Cho

sonia@khanlabschool.org
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Sonia Cho

Lead Advisor, Level 1

M.S. Occupational Therapy, Thomas Jefferson University
B.S. Penn State University
sonia@khanlabschool.org
Sonia is grateful to be returning to Khan Lab School for her third year as the Level 1 Lead. Prior to KLS, Sonia worked as a school-based occupational therapist in Bay Area public and charter schools (K-5) for 15 years, where she helped support diverse learners. Her experiences include tutoring ESL students, teaching reading in after-school programs, and homeschooling her two children. Combining her expertise in child development and a passion for education, Sonia helped launch the Khan Academy Early Explorers Summer Program in 2013. It is her joy to cultivate children’s love of learning through creativity and personal connection. She is excited to be part of growing Khan Lab School’s mission through the development of her students and a collaborative team. In addition to being creative in the classroom, Sonia enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, laughing with friends, baking mochi desserts, gardening, and sitting down with a good book. Sonia has been a member of the KLS team since its founding in 2014. 

Kat Clark

kat@khanlabschool.org
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Kat Clark

Marketing & Communications Manager

B.A. Swarthmore College
kat@khanlabschool.org
Kat is a marketing strategist and community manager dedicated to the education space. Her passion for empowering students dates back to third grade, when she met with her principal to propose changes to the girls’ dress code. Since then, Kat has worked in marketing at four independent schools, helping communities identify their mission, branding, and data-driven plans for the future. Prior to joining Khan Lab School, Kat was the Director of Marketing & Communications at a school in Half Moon Bay, where she established the school’s messaging, digital communications, and web presence. Kat has also worked on the teams at Health for America and The Art Institute of Chicago, and she has volunteered as a teacher in Kenya, Zambia, and Philadelphia. She is passionate about education reform, servant leadership, and social-emotional learning, and she specializes in content marketing, brand management, website/graphic design, and digital storytelling. As part of Marketing & Communications at KLS, she leads art direction, design, public relations, and the organization's online presence. Kat has worked at schools in Illinois and New Jersey in addition to Silicon Valley, and she is originally from Racine, Wisconsin.


Erica Cosgrove

erica@khanlabschool.org
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Erica Cosgrove

Career & College Admissions Director

Ph.D. University of Cambridge
College Admissions & Career Planning Certificate, U.C. Berkeley Extension
B.S. University of California, Berkeley
erica@khanlabschool.org
Erica is passionate about working with teens to explore the world around them and discover their talents and personal purpose. She thrives on supporting students in learning about themselves and navigating the transition from high school to college and careers. For the last four years, Erica has worked as an independent advisor for students in California and around the world, exploring what they want to learn and why and leading them through the college and graduate school admissions process. Prior to becoming a college counselor, Erica taught Public Policy and International Relations at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Erica earned her Ph.D. from Cambridge University and completed a one-year fellowship at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. She earned her B.A. at U.C. Berkeley, and she completed her certificate in College and Career Planning at U.C. Berkeley Extension. Erica is fluent in French and is currently learning Spanish. 


Orly Friedman

orly@khanlabschool.org
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Orly Friedman

Head of Lower School

M.B.A. Stanford University
M.A. George Mason University, Early Childhood Education
B.A. Yale University
orly@khanlabschool.org
Orly joined the founding KLS team in 2014 as Curriculum and Process Design Fellow, and she served as School Director during the 2015-16 school year. Prior to KLS, Orly was the Director of Academic Innovation and a Computer Programing Instructor at Caliber School’s summer pilot in Richmond, CA. She has deep experience with blended learning, including working on and TAing the Coursera Course “Blended Learning: Personalizing Education for Students,” and she was a founding Math content creator for LearnZillion. Orly’s first experience teaching was in the summer of 2005 at Shanti Bhavan, a boarding school for Untouchables in rural Tamil Nadu, India. There, she worked with students in upper elementary and middle school on literature, civics, violin, and teamwork skills. After graduating from Yale University with a degree in Urban Studies, Orly joined Teach for America and taught kindergarten, second, and third grade in D.C. Public Schools. While in D.C, Orly earned her M.A. in Early Childhood Education from George Mason University. She moved to the west coast to pursue her M.B.A. at Stanford, and she currently serves on the board of Yavneh Day School in Los Gatos, CA. Orly enjoys spending her free time in the mountains. She has summited the Aiguille Du Tour, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Shasta with a ski descent. 


Sophie Hussenet

sophie@khanlabschool.org
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Sophie Hussenet

Lead Advisor, Level 2 & French Language Specialist

B.A. Education, La Haute École Francisco Ferrer
sophie@khanlabschool.org
Sophie is a Lower School Lead Advisor and Foreign Languages Specialist with a broad range of experience in education. From a multicultural family, Sophie grew up in France and studied education in Brussels, where she specialized in Elementary and Special Needs Education. California became her new home in 2007, and after some time spent in French immersion schools, Sophie decided to surf the startup wave. Prior to joining KLS, Sophie worked for a healthcare startup as their Business Development Manager, where she led marketing and partnership developments. During her years as a teacher, Sophie has created project-based curricula for different age groups emphasizing critical thinking, research, curiosity, and creativity as core values of her teaching philosophy. During her spare time, Sophie leads an education nonprofit to help children in Peru. She practices many sports intensively, loves travel, and is “almost a chef” in her kitchen. 


Katherine James

katherine@khanlabschool.org
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Katherine James

Lower School English Language Arts Specialist

B.A. Brown University
katherine@khanlabschool.org
Katherine holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Brown University, with an emphasis on poetry and long-form journalism. She comes to KLS from Reading Partners, where she ran a literacy intervention program at an elementary school in Richmond, CA. Over the past six years, Katherine has spent time working as an elementary reading and math tutor and as an after-school writing program director. She loves helping students find their voice and grow as readers and writers. She is also passionate about food and sustainability, and she has worked for a startup grocery cooperative, interned on a farm, and helped plan an environmental design conference. When she’s not working with students, you can find her baking all sorts of sweet things, playing music, puttering around in the woods, and writing poetry. 


Antje Kirschner

antje@khanlabschool.org
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Antje Kirschner

Office Administrator & Executive Assistant

B.S. Business Management, Western Governors University
Landesberufsschule für das Hotel - und Gaststättengewerbe
Hotelfachfrau, Panorama Hotel Mercure
antje@khanlabschool.org
Antje’s professional life began with three years of vocational training at a 4-star hotel in Southern Germany, where she became a Certified Specialist in Hotel Business. After her training, she lived and worked in Berlin. In desperate need of sunshine, and after winning a competition for hotel business graduates, Antje transferred to a 5-star golf and spa resort hotel on the Balearic Island of Majorca. She supported the Front Office team for two years and later supported the Sales and Marketing department. While there, she learned Spanish, some Catalan, some golf, and acquired a love for exotic and local foods specialties like Ensaimada, Frit Mallorquín, and tapas. After about four years, Antje said, “¡Adéu, Palma!” and followed her husband to Lausanne, Switzerland. She added goat cheese fondue and excellent chocolate to her list of favorite foods, French and some Japanese to her languages, and discovered her love of hiking. Since 2012, Antje has called the Bay Area her home, where she enjoys poké, ramen, sushi, and (occasionally) grass-fed beef. She went back to school to earn a B.S. in Business Management from Western Governors University; this self-paced online program is one of the reasons she became a passionate advocate for student-centered learning. On the weekends, Antje often goes “glamping” with her husband and two young girls in their tiny house Cricket Trailer. She loves baking pastries and sumi-e painting (although, the black ink has been dried up for many, many months now). Antje is excited to be part of the KLS team and help with sailing the seas of learner-centered education! 



Dominic Liechti

dominic@khanlabschool.org
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Dominic Liechti

Executive Director & Head of School

M.B.A. International Institute for Management Development (IMD)
M.A. School and Education Management, Zurich University of Teacher Education
Teaching Credential, College of Education in Bern, Switzerland
dominic@khanlabschool.org
Dominic is a goal-driven leader with over 14 years of experience in international business administration and educational leadership. He specializes in strategy, organizational change management, and implementing technology-based solutions to complement the holistic student learning process. Prior to joining KLS in 2016, Dominic was the Managing Director of the German American International School in Menlo Park, where he founded and directed the International Middle School and the go-to-market strategy for the High School, spearheaded the International Baccalaureate accreditation process, and led the entire political negotiation of the new facility and its complex relocation process. He was previously the Principal at an inner-city junior high in Zurich, Switzerland, where he strategized and led improvements for an economically disadvantaged student population; this work included partnering with a group of subject-matter experts to design and execute an innovative advisory program that prepares students for admission to vocational studies.
For over six years prior to his headship, Dominic dedicated his career to personalized and project-based learning in the classroom: he taught innovative courses in Technology, Science, Math, Design, Physical Education, French, and German. Outside of KLS, Dominic serves as the President and Chairman of the Board at Learn4life, a Swiss nonprofit organization he founded in 2004. Learn4life is committed to affordable education and has served over 2,000 economically disadvantaged students to date.
Raised in Switzerland, Dominic speaks Swiss German, German, English, French, and Italian. Dominic holds his teaching credential from the College of Education in Bern, Switzerland; his M.A. in School and Education Management from Zurich University of Teacher Education; and his M.B.A. from the world-renowned International Institute for Management Development (IMD) with a focus on Leadership, Strategy, Globalization, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation. 


Brooke Love

brooke@khanlabschool.org
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Brooke Love

Associate Teacher, Level 1

M.S. Elementary Education and Teaching, Radford University
B.A. Virginia Tech
brooke@khanlabschool.org
Brooke is excited to be a part of the Khan Lab School community as an Associate Teacher. Before joining the team, she taught pre-kindergarten in Mountain View for four years, where she was the primary phonics teacher. In addition to social and emotional learning, Brooke worked with her students on letter sounds, letter formations, and the blending of sounds to form words. Prior to teaching pre-K, she student-taught for a year in kindergarten and fourth grade classrooms. She has been working with children of various ages and backgrounds for eight years. Throughout this time, Brooke has learned as much from her students as they have from her. Originally from Virginia, Brooke holds a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree from Radford University in Elementary Education. In 2011, she moved from Virginia to California. Although a huge change, this has been an amazing experience full of adventures. Outside of teaching, Brooke enjoys hiking, traveling, family time, board games, and playing tennis. She is currently into cooking (but still has a lot to learn!). Teaching young children has always been a passion of Brooke’s. It brings her great joy to see students taking part in and enjoying their education. She looks forward to learning and growing with our community. 


John Lubushkin

John Lubushkin

john@khanlabschool.org
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John Lubushkin

John Lubushkin

Associate Teacher, Extended Day

B.A. University of California, Santa Cruz
john@khanlabschool.org
John’s story as an educator begins in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam where he spent six years exploring learning and teaching in a variety of settings, including Everest Education, Vietnam’s National University, full-year homeschooling, middle school curriculum design, and teacher education. While teaching language arts to English language learners abroad, John found that many of the grammar-related difficulties his students faced stemmed from the lack of a cohesive system for learning. He noticed that in traditional schools, students are taught “bytes” of grammar in isolation, rarely catching glimpses of how they fit into the big picture. Through this experience in Vietnam, John found his calling: to revolutionize the way young people learn and think about grammar.
John believes that a growth mindset and receptive attitude are prerequisites for student learning. He aims to provide a safe environment where ideas are taken seriously and collaboration is an essential part of the learning experience. For John, teaching consists of providing rich opportunities for learners to apply their content knowledge in real contexts, working side-by-side with their peers.
A devoted student of philosophy, John is captivated by American Pragmatists such as John Dewey and William James, as well as the history of science and its relationship with Ancient Greek thought and the Enlightenment. He earned his bachelor’s in Philosophy from the University of California, Santa Cruz and loves music, guitar, yoga, mindfulness meditation, and the outdoors. So far, John hasn’t found a genre of music that he doesn’t like. 


Mikki McMillion

mikki@khanlabschool.org
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Mikki McMillion

Lead Advisor, Level 5

B.A. San Jose State University
mikki@khanlabschool.org
Mikki has 20 years of experience as a high school English teacher, with additional experience in ESL, Speech, and the Advanced Placement program. She is currently on a quest to support comprehensive and personalized learning that disrupts the traditional standard. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a passion for education, innovative creativity, and giving a voice to the underdog. Mikki thrives on working as an entrepreneur in education as she reinvents lessons, team strategies, and the definition of an educator. She enjoys losing herself in a good book, hiking with her husband, Mike, and spending time with their three teenagers and two cats. Mikki learns and laughs with her students each day, and is grateful to be a part of the growing KLS community. 


Janet Roitsch

janet@khanlabschool.org
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Janet Roitsch

Arts & Inner Wellness Specialist

M.Ed. Leipzig University
AMI Deutschland Diploma, Montessori Teacher Education, K-8
janet@khanlabschool.org
Originally from Germany, Janet holds a master's in Elementary and Music Education from Leipzig University and an AMI Montessori Diploma. She has a deep passion for student-initiated learning in multi-age groupings, which led her to become one of the first Elementary Montessori teachers in East Germany in 2002. She helped establish two independent Montessori schools, both as a full-time teacher and as a school principal. After moving to the Bay Area in 2007, Janet expanded her classroom teaching experience, worked as a one-on-one tutor, and taught classical guitar. She was a second grade, music, and visual art teacher for 7 years at the German American International School in Menlo Park, where she was deeply involved in project-based curriculum development. Her appreciation for student-centered learning was deepened through her experience of the GAIS International Baccalaureate program. Janet spends time in silent meditation retreats and is committed to lovingly encouraging awareness in her students. She believes that mindfulness is a tool that any person, of any age, can utilize throughout life. When she is not teaching, Janet loves to paint, make music with her piano-playing husband, sing, and sail. 


Heather Stinnett

heather@khanlabschool.org
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Heather Stinnett

Lead Advisor, Level 3

B.A. University of Central Florida
heather@khanlabschool.org
Heather is a lifelong learner and Florida native on a mission to shake up education. She holds a B.A. in Modern Languages from the University of Central Florida, and she has also studied Cognitive Science at the master’s level. She is delighted to spend her days experimenting and digging deep into innovative learning models and helping to develop a dynamic and rigorous personalized learning program. Heather has taught students from age 5 to 65 in a range of subjects, from the Université de Lille in France to Florida to California. She especially loves working with elementary school kiddos, as they ask the most interesting questions and have a contagious enthusiasm for learning. Her hobbies include cooking and baking dishes from around the world, stinky cheese, hiking in National Parks, reading, travel, belly dancing to music of all kinds, and laughing as much as possible. Heather has been a member of the KLS team since its founding in 2014. 


Saba Tauqir

Saba Tauqir

saba@khanlabschool.org
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Saba Tauqir

Saba Tauqir

Storytelling & Content Marketing Intern

B.A. University of California, Berkeley
saba@khanlabschool.org
Saba is a recent graduate who could not stay away from the school setting for long. At Berkeley, she fell in love with both teaching and editorial work. She volunteered at her local Sunday school every weekend and interned at the 1947 Partition Archive, where she was able to educate a global audience about the history of the Indian subcontinent. Saba also managed the Partition Archive's social media accounts and learned the importance of strong storytelling in content marketing. She sees education as being the motivating factor behind all of her past experiences; she has a desire to constantly acquire and share knowledge.
For Saba, it has been exciting to learn about the KLS focus on social-emotional learning and personalized goals. She has seen firsthand how, the more children are empowered and respected, the more they surprise the world with their capabilities. Saba also has a special affinity for students who are learning English as a second language. Since she moved from Pakistan in second grade, she understands children’s struggles to communicate and assimilate after moving to a new country. As a part-time teacher at a local tutoring center, she is able to work closely with immigrant students to help them link their mother tongue to English.
In her free time, Saba enjoys visiting family, teaching her cockatiel to whistle via YouTube videos, doing henna tattoos for brides, and auditing classes at her alma mater “just for fun.” She often wishes she was a student at KLS and could participate in the same activities as the students, but she is enjoying her role on staff very much! 

Kelsey Thingvold

kelsey@khanlabschool.org
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Kelsey Thingvold

Lead Advisor, Level 4

B.A. Elementary Education, University of Wisconsin–Superior
kelsey@khanlabschool.org
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Superior, Kelsey earned her bachelor’s in Elementary Education while playing for the varsity basketball team. Her athletic experience exposed her to the world of international teaching, and Kelsey embarked on a four-year teaching career overseas, certified to deliver England's National Curriculum. In Prague, the Czech Republic, and Qatar, she taught students of all ages and learned about the local cultures. She began her master’s program in 2015 in Mallorca, Spain, and she is currently pursuing a degree and certification in English as a Second Language. Since childhood, Kelsey has loved being a part of the education scene – she built makeshift classrooms in the basement of her home where all the neighborhood children would come together to learn. You could say she’s always been a believer in the mixed-aged, “one room schoolhouse” shared learning experience. She loves helping others find their passions within academics and personal pursuits. Kelsey is especially excited to join the team at KLS, a place that is providing meaningful, purposeful, relevant, and respectful teaching/learning experiences to students and families. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, camping, museums, music, and spending time with family and friends. She also enjoys cheering on the Golden State Warriors, which makes working in the Bay Area an even more exciting opportunity! 


Nicholas Verzic

Nicholas Verzic

interns@khanlabschool.org
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Nicholas Verzic

Nicholas Verzic

Student Intern

High School Student at Bellarmine College Preparatory School
interns@khanlabschool.org
Nick Verzic, a local high school student, has been volunteering as an intern at KLS since summer 2016.
"I feel that KLS allows students to learn without boundaries," Nick writes. "Not only does KLS promote a strong emphasis on math and programming, two of my favorite subjects, it gives students the freedom to apply that knowledge in an array of different situations."
Nick has worked with KLS students on a variety of projects. He teaches a small group class in JavaScript and mentors students in math. He is currently developing a new programming project using PHP, HTML, CSS, and JS, and he is the lead coach for our mixed-age Math Olympiad club.
"It is an amazingly proactive and energetic environment, and I enjoy every minute of it! My goal is to try and show everyone that once you learn one programming language, like JavaScript, it is not a huge stretch to learn another, like Python or C (my personal favorite!). It is an honor to be here."
Outside of his internship at KLS, Nick participates in VEX Robotics, software development, and tennis. He and his cousin Robert – a current KLS student – also founded a website that promotes local philanthropy. They have worked together with the Humane Society of Silicon Valley and the Los Altos Library.

Lauren Wesnak

lauren@khanlabschool.org
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Lauren Wesnak

Middle School English/Humanities Specialist & Extended Day Coordinator

M.A.T. University of Vermont
B.A. University of New Hampshire
lauren@khanlabschool.org
After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in English Teaching, Lauren spent three years working at the Rock Point School in Burlington, VT. Her passion for travel and education gave her the opportunity to lead students on service learning trips to Puerto Rico and Costa Rica. Lauren earned her Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Vermont, where she interned with Williston Central School. During this time, she traveled to New Zealand to study education and culture, where she quickly felt a connection with their teaching practices and philosophies. After completing her internship, Lauren became a full-time Humanities Teacher at Williston Central, where she used project-based learning to integrate English Language Arts and Social Studies. During her four years at Williston Central, Lauren also produced the school musicals, assistant-coached the girls’ soccer team, and developed a partnership with a school in New Zealand. Through this international partnership, her classes discussed current events and worked on projects with students on the other side of the globe. Lauren's love for teaching young adults is accompanied by passions for the arts, soccer, paddle boarding, and travel. 


Sara Yao

sara@khanlabschool.org
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Sara Yao

Mandarin Language Specialist

M.S. Stanford University
B.S. & M.S. Tsinghua University
sara@khanlabschool.org
Sara loves working with students, and she enjoys looking into a child's bright eyes while speaking to him or her. Several years after earning her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, Sara left her engineering job to look after her son. As a parent, Sara observed that as much as modern education has improved since when she was a child, it remains a challenge for children to answer the “why,” “what,” and “how” of their learning. Sara is honored to be a part of KLS, which she believes is making fundamental changes to education. From 2011 to 2013, Sara taught Mandarin at J.B. Preschool in Los Altos, where more than half of the children heard and spoke Mandarin for the first time. Sara was amazed to see how quickly the children learned a second language and felt truly rewarded by their progress. Since 2015, Sara has been an active volunteer at Almond Elementary School in Los Altos. As a trained Asset Building Champions (ABC) reader, Sara reads themed books monthly in the classroom and helps students build their social and emotional skills. Together, Sara learns with the children about acceptance, kindness, giving, and persistence. Before she shifted her life focus to parenting and her career focus to child development, Sara worked as a mechanical engineer in the medical device industry. Sara designed a device to treat skin cancer, which has since been utilized by physicians. Sara received her B.S. and M.S. in Mechanics from Tsinghua University, China, and her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. Sara and her husband, Jason, enjoy parenting their son, Lucas, and helping him find his own “why,” “what,” and “how” of lifelong learning. As the Mandarin Specialist at KLS, Sara helps students find meaning and purpose in their Mandarin learning. 


GrowFit @ KLS

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GrowFit @ KLS

Outer Wellness

info@growfitpe.com
Joe Callinan, GrowFit Co-Founder & CEO

Six years ago, Joe co-founded GrowFit to help provide physical education programs to schools in the Bay Area. He believes in empowering students to learn at their own pace through developmentally appropriate learning progressions. Joe's dedicated team encourages a love of fitness by creating a non-competitive environment grounded in self-improvement and mastery. As an organization, GrowFit utilizes outstanding instructors, deep research, and a focus on fundamental motor skill development to prepare students for healthy and active lives. The GrowFit curriculum incorporates significant amounts of aerobic exercise to provide students with immediate health benefits. Prior to GrowFit, Joe spent eight years working for a $4 billion dollar technology company. During that time, he was a Product Leader for QuickBooks Self-Employed and QuickBooks Financing. Joe earned his B.A. and M.A. from California Polytechnic State University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Devin Harris, GrowFit Educator

We are happy to welcome Devin Harris as our Outer Wellness teacher. Devin has over 13 years of experience working with students. Prior to joining GrowFit, he was an outdoor education teacher and basketball coach for both elementary and middle school students. In his spare time, he enjoys being outdoors, dancing, and playing baseball. Devin is currently pursuing a degree in child development and looks forward to a long career in physical education.

 

QuantumCamp @ KLS

info@quantumcamp.com
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QuantumCamp @ KLS

STEM Labs

info@quantumcamp.com
Shreya Padmanabhan

Shreya was born in Palo Alto and lived in St. Louis, Singapore, and Massachusetts before moving back to the Bay Area to launch her career. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Education, as well as state licensure to teach elementary education. During her time at Mount Holyoke, Shreya focused on alternative education methods, gaining professional experience teaching and developing curriculum in Singapore, India, and locally. Shreya has a passion for teaching Math, and she is thrilled to have a spot on the QC team that allows her to apply her skills while continuing to develop that passion. She’s excited to be a part of the QC team and community, where she has the opportunity to get students excited about Math!

Rachel Cortez

Rachel grew up in Fremont and was homeschooled beginning in the sixth grade. At age 15, she passed the California State High School Equivalency exam and left the following fall to study abroad in Cambridge, England. She then studied paleobiology at UC Santa Barbara. At age 17, Rachel wrote meteorology and oceanography curricula that were approved by the United States Coast Guard for Captain’s licensing courses. She has been teaching meteorology, oceanography, and navigation to C Quest Marine students for over 10 years. Most recently, she has been inspiring students from Capitola to Santa Rosa and San Francisco to Discovery Bay as the Mad Scientist "Rocket Rachel." She is thrilled to be part of the QC Team and aims to bring the joy of learning into the classroom for QC students.

Stephanie Norman

Stephanie hails from Honolulu, Hawaii. She moved to southern California to pursue her undergraduate degree in Engineering at Harvey Mudd College. After working in the aerospace industry for a couple of years, she decided to pursue her interest in medical research and received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at UC Davis. While researching, tutoring, and lecturing, she soon realized that she loves to teach, especially in small group settings where she can connect with students at a deeper level. Stephanie was previously a science instructor with QuantumCamp for two years, and she now specializes full-time in QC math instruction. She brings a love of science and engineering, as well as athletics, cooking, and play, to her philosophy of teaching math applications so that everyone can appreciate and enjoy the beauty of math beyond the numbers.

Jayne Carlisle

Jayne was born in North Carolina and studied Biology and Chemistry at Appalachian State University. She then moved to Orange, TX to work as an environmental educator at Shangri La Botanical Gardens. There, she fell in love with teaching. Jayne taught Pre-AP and AP Chemistry for 5 years through the Texas Teaching Fellows program. The experience was challenging, but always rewarding; at every step of the way, she improved her ability to explain complex concepts clearly and break them down into more manageable pieces. Jayne loves one-on-one tutoring and small group teaching. She enjoys helping students see how Chemistry relates to their lives and the lives of others around them, and she adapts her style of instruction to the unique ways students learn. In her free time, you can find Jayne playing with her German Shepherd and beagle, exploring the outdoors, or performing stand-up and improv.

Andy Caskanette

Andy hails from Ontario, Canada where he moved between Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Guelph. He received a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Waterloo, with his coursework including both Child Psychology and Educational Psychology. After a detour into the private sector, Andy returned to school to follow his passion: educational game design. He received a diploma from Humber College for game development, in which he took a leadership and design role for all of his projects. Andy has also tutored at the high school and college level for over six years. His mathematical passions include statistics, combinatorics, and algebra, especially as they apply to game design. Andy is an avid player and teacher of board games, having run his club in college. Some of his other hobbies include: hiking and biking with his wife and dogs, reading, movies, and video games.