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Admin Team

Dominic Liechti

dominic@khanlabschool.org
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Dominic Liechti

Executive Director, Head of School, & President of the Board

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 15 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. 


Orly Friedman

orly@khanlabschool.org
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Orly Friedman

Head of Lower School & Assistant Head of 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. 


Brandon Rogers

Brandon Rogers

brandon@khanlabschool.org
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Brandon Rogers

Brandon Rogers

Head of Middle & Upper School

M.A. Georgia State University
B.S.Ed. University of Georgia
brandon@khanlabschool.org
After a nomadic childhood as a military brat, Brandon married a Georgia native just after college and settled down in Atlanta. His career as an educator started in the public school system, where he taught AP English, Film Studies, and Creative Writing. Once his wife Melissa earned her Ph.D., he took his turn to take a couple years off teaching pursuing his M.A. in English, focusing on contemporary literary criticism. He then spent 15 years at Atlanta International School, where he taught all levels of middle and high school International Baccalaureate English as well as Theory of Knowledge, an IB interdisciplinary course. During this time, he also served as Head of Year for Grade 12, Theory of Knowledge Department Head, English Department Head, and then Head of Languages in the Secondary School. Over the past 10 years, Brandon has traveled the country leading and coordinating teacher training workshops for the International Baccalaureate program.
Brandon has a background in creative and journalistic writing and still loves to dabble in creative projects when he gets the chance. He also loves movies, a good mixtape, and a good-natured and injury-free soccer game among friends. Above all, Brandon loves hanging out and goofing off with his wife Melissa, writer of poetry and gardener extraordinaire, and his son Lucas, child philosopher and LEGO® master. 


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. 


Kat Clark

kat@khanlabschool.org
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Kat Clark

Head of Marketing & Community

M.B.A. Candidate, Haas School of Business, U.C. Berkeley
B.A. Swarthmore College
kat@khanlabschool.org
Kat is a marketing strategist and community manager dedicated to the education space. She has worked at four schools in three states, helping communities identify their mission, branding, and data-driven plans for the future. She 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. Kat is passionate about education reform, servant leadership, and social-emotional learning, and she specializes in content marketing, social media, brand management, and graphic design. At Khan Lab School, she leads marketing strategy, content, art direction, internal community and communications, and public relations. Kat is an MBA candidate at Haas School of Business and 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. 


Antje Kirschner

antje@khanlabschool.org
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Antje Kirschner

Business Manager & 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! 


Lead Advisors

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. 

Yii Wen Chuah

yiiwen@khanlabschool.org
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Yii Wen Chuah

Lead Advisor, Level 2

M.A. Stanford University
B.A. Stanford University
yiiwen@khanlabschool.org
Yii Wen is passionate about multidisciplinary learning, and she loves creating projects for her students to learn deeply and develop diverse skill sets. She was born and raised in Singapore and came to the Bay Area in 2007 to earn her B.A. in Psychology at Stanford University. While in college, she discovered her passion for education and stayed at Stanford another year to pursue her teaching credential and M.A. in Education.
Prior to joining KLS, Yii Wen was a bilingual teacher in a Mandarin immersion school for five years. She taught academic content in English and Mandarin and enjoyed creating songs, chants, and stories for her first and third grade students. In her spare time, she loves to read biographies of interesting people, science fiction, and fantasy novels. She also enjoys baking, knitting, and hiking in California's breathtaking parks. 


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. 


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. 


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! 


Raina Grove

Raina Grove

raina@khanlabschool.org
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Raina Grove

Raina Grove

Lead Advisor, Level 5

M.Ed. University of Texas at Tyler
B.S. West Texas A&M University
raina@khanlabschool.org
Originally from Amarillo, Texas, Raina earned her Bachelor of Science from West Texas A&M University, where she attended on a full academic scholarship. She began her teaching career at the middle school she attended and took the place of her eighth grade science teacher. After four years, she packed up her family and moved to Austin to continue teaching middle school science and to take on running a science department and writing curriculum.
In 2011, Raina became an Education Specialist: Instructional Coach for the Region 13 Education Service Center, which serves as a liaison between the Texas Education Agency and local schools districts. In this role, she coached K-12 math and science teachers across the Austin region. She was also the lead coordinator for an Instructional Coach Network comprised of 200+ campus-based instructional coaches. Providing professional development experiences for teachers increased her appreciation for lifelong learning, and she loved impacting the lives of so many students. During her last year in this role, Raina pursued her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in STEM and Special Education from the University of Texas at Tyler.
After earning her master's degree, Raina received an offer to teach abroad in the United Arab Emirates. She and her family spent three years overseas, where Raina taught Science (in English) to Arabic speakers at a public school for girls in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This opportunity caused her to grow more than she ever imagined.
Raina's personal time is spent with her three teenage children, and her passion is traveling the world. Over the past three years, she has been able to visit 15 different countries, and she is always planning her next adventure.


Alex Jospé

Alex Jospé

alex@khanlabschool.org
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Alex Jospé

Alex Jospé

Lead Advisor, Level 6

M.A.T. University of San Francisco
B.A. University of California, Santa Cruz
alex@khanlabschool.org
Alex grew up in Concord, Massachusetts and attended Proctor Academy in New Hampshire. While still in high school, he spent one semester in Avignon, France and another traveling across the U.S. – from a cabin in New Hampshire to Baja, Mexico and back, which sparked his love for the outdoors and experiential learning. He earned a B.A. in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz and spent a semester abroad studying Pacific Island literature at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji. He then earned his M.A. in teaching from the University of San Francisco. During this time, he taught tenth and eleventh graders at Wallenberg High School in San Francisco and ran USF’s literacy tutoring program, which partnered San Francisco Unified School District students with USF undergraduates.
For 11 years prior to joining KLS, Alex worked at Lick-Wilmerding High School, where he was a faculty member and Chair of the English Department. He also served as an Advisor and implemented various service learning projects that combined his passion for sports and literature. He has designed seminar courses such as "Pacific Islands Literature" and "The Immigrant Experience in Literature" and enjoys sharing his love of multicultural literature with his students. Alex's favorite pastimes are soccer, tennis, hiking, reading, and spending time with his wife, Lisa, and their two daughters. 

Content Specialists

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

Math/Science Specialist, Lower School

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

STEM Specialist, Middle School

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. 


Denise Gurer

Denise Gurer

denise@khanlabschool.org
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Denise Gurer

Denise Gurer

Computer Science & Physics Specialist

Ph.D. Computer Science, Lehigh University
M.S. Computer Science, M.S. Physics, Lehigh University
B.S. Physics, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
denise@khanlabschool.org
Denise first studied physics and earned a B.S. from her hometown university, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and then pursued an M.S. in Physics at Lehigh University. During this time, she took numerous Computer Science classes and eventually realized that she had a knack and fondness for computers; she went on to earn M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Lehigh University. In part due to her love of science fiction, she decided to focus on artificial intelligence research.
Before becoming a teacher, Denise performed research at various high-tech companies, including TerraVert, LightCloud Software, 3Com Corporation, and SRI International, where most of her research involved applying AI to educational systems and network management. After her daughter was born in 2000, Denise became involved in her daughter's schools and realized how much she loved interacting with children and working in a classroom. She decided to pursue her passion and become a science teacher. Over the years, she has taught all forms of science (Physics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science) at the K-12 levels and Physics and Computer Science at the college level. Denise enjoys teaching children of all ages and sees science as a never-ending journey of learning. One of her favorite things to do is learn a new concept herself, figure out how to teach it through a hands-on activity, and then share that concept with her students.
When she is not teaching students, Denise loves to spend time with her daughter, who is a science aficionado and a senior in high school. Denise enjoys reading historical fiction, cooking, taking walks, and hanging out with her husband and her Himalayan cat, Lily. 


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

English Language Arts Specialist, Lower School

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. 


John Lubushkin

John Lubushkin

john@khanlabschool.org
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John Lubushkin

John Lubushkin

English/Humanities Specialist, Middle School

B.A. University of California, Santa Cruz
john@khanlabschool.org
Studying philosophy at UC Santa Cruz first sparked John’s curiosity and passion for the humanities. His studies culminated in a thesis comparing Stoic and Buddhist philosophies, for which he was awarded honors. After graduating, he decided to live abroad to expand his perspective and explore the education space in Vietnam. Six years later, he had achieved his learning goals in a wide range of learning environments: teaching English language acquisition in overcrowded classrooms, lecturing on classical literature at the region’s most prestigious public arts university, designing and teaching a full academic year for a fourth-grade homeschool student, and finally serving on the leadership team of a learning center that specializes in preparing students to enter top universities and boarding schools around the world.
In 2016, John resettled in Silicon Valley to take part in the new school movement blossoming here. As a teacher at Khan Lab School, his mission is to create impactful learning experiences for young adult learners in English Language Arts and the Humanities. John loves to see his students grow into voracious readers and prolific writers because he believes these skills are prerequisites for a democratic society. He aims to imbue his students with a sense of agency by inviting them to make unique contributions to the narrative of humanity with empathy and an entrepreneurial mindset.



 
Dustin Pierce

Dustin Pierce

dustin@khanlabschool.org
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Dustin Pierce

Dustin Pierce

Math Specialist, Middle & Upper School

M.S. Mathematics
B.S. Mathematics & Physics
dustin@khanlabschool.org
Prior to joining KLS in summer 2017, Dustin lived and worked at an international school in Taiwan. He was a math teacher there for four years and also coached the cross country and track teams. Before moving overseas, he worked at a boarding school in Tennessee as a residential dorm advisor, mathematics & physics teacher, and coach.
Dustin is an Appalachian native and enjoys endurance sports (especially trail running and triathlons), traveling, reading (primarily science, math, and philosophy), and learning languages.


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. 


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

info@growfitpe.com
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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.

 

Associate Teachers

Nick Chan

Nick Chan

nick@khanlabschool.org
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Nick Chan

Nick Chan

Associate Teacher

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.


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. 


Extended Day

Saloni Kalkat

Saloni Kalkat

saloni@khanlabschool.org
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Saloni Kalkat

Saloni Kalkat

Extended Day Coordinator

B.A. Scripps College
saloni@khanlabschool.org
A native of Los Altos, Saloni interned with KLS during the summer of 2016 and joined the team full-time in the summer of 2017. In addition to coordinating Extended Day, Saloni also teaches Art. She graduated from Scripps College with a B.A. in Fine Art and a minor in Digital Media Studies, and her paintings have won multiple regional and national awards. Outside of visual arts and education, Saloni enjoys singing, playing her guitar, hiking, and traveling with her family.


Interns

Shannon Cleary

Shannon Cleary

shannon@khanlabschool.org
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Shannon Cleary

Shannon Cleary

Marketing Intern

Stanford University
shannon@khanlabschool.org
Shannon is a rising senior at Stanford University, pursuing a B.S. in Science, Technology, & Society. Her academic concentrations are product design and management science, and she is looking to pursue a career in business development, product development, or marketing. Last summer, she loved working as a product team intern at InTouch Health, a telemedicine company, and this summer she is excited to jump into education. Shannon draws parallels between reforming healthcare to better serve patients and doctors and reforming education to better serve students and teachers. Apart from work and academics, she is an active member of Stanford's Varsity Women's Water Polo team. If not at practice or working, you can find Shannon in her hammock around campus, drawing, or cooking. 


Hiwad Haider

Hiwad Haider

hiwad@khanlabschool.org
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Hiwad Haider

Hiwad Haider

Operations & Technology Intern

Student at Prospect High School
hiwad@khanlabschool.org
High school student Hiwad Haider started volunteering at Khan Lab School in the summer of 2017. He is passionate about leadership and collaboration in the school setting. As president of his senior class, Hiwad works with the student body as well as staff to plan and oversee on-campus events. Hiwad also volunteers in the computer lab and cooking summer classes at his local elementary school. He is a captain of the varsity football team, where he plays wide receiver and outside linebacker. A first generation Afghan-American, Hiwad speaks Farsi, Pashto, English, and Mandarin. In his spare time, you can find Hiwad doing theater arts, cycling, or reading the news. Hiwad is inspired by Khan Lab School's innovative learning model and is proud to be able to help it grow.
Jessica Lee

Jessica Lee

jessicalee@khanlabschool.org
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Jessica Lee

Jessica Lee

Teaching Intern

Claremont McKenna College
jessicalee@khanlabschool.org
Jessica Lee is a graduate of Palo Alto High School who is continuing her education at Claremont McKenna College in fall 2017, where she will also be playing for the women's volleyball team. She has worked with children as part of an early childhood development class and is excited to learn more about childhood development through her work with Independence Level 1 at KLS. Jessica enjoys baking, hanging out with friends, and playing volleyball.
Izzy Phan

Izzy Phan

izzy@khanlabschool.org
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Izzy Phan

Izzy Phan

Teaching Intern

Scripps College
izzy@khanlabschool.org
Izzy is a rising sophomore at Scripps College in Claremont, CA, where she is pursuing a double major in Psychology and English. She is excited to intern at KLS this summer and explore her options in education. She taught dance classes while in high school and has continued as a creative writing mentor for elementary school students in college. Having grown up in Silicon Valley, Izzy fully embraces the local mindset. When she is not at KLS, she volunteers at Camp Okizu, an organization dedicated to providing support to families affected by childhood cancer. 


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! 




 
Amrita Venkatraman

Amrita Venkatraman

amrita@khanlabschool.org
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Amrita Venkatraman

Amrita Venkatraman

Computer Science Intern

Stanford University
amrita@khanlabschool.org
Amrita is an undergraduate student at Stanford University pursuing a double major in Computer Science and Psychology. She has spent her last three summers teaching low-income students fundamental CS concepts in East Palo Alto, and she "absolutely loves helping others grasp the beauty of programming." In her free time, Amrita enjoys hiking, reading, playing basketball, babysitting, and spending time with her younger brother.
Nicholas Verzic

Nicholas Verzic

interns@khanlabschool.org
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Nicholas Verzic

Nicholas Verzic

Operations & Technology Intern

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.