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Rachel holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she was on the Harvard Law Review, and a B.A. from Harvard-Radcliffe College. As a San Francisco native, she is thrilled to introduce her husband and young children to the natural beauty and culinary diversity of California, and to the practice of always bringing an extra layer. She wakes up every morning grateful to work in the service of young minds as they discover their profound potential for mastery and creativity. It is a privilege for her to work amongst innovators whose true focus is on students and their learning.
With more than two decades of experience in school, research, and business environments, Kim leads the KLS middle and upper school. Most recently, she was the Chief of Academics at US Performance Academy — an online middle-high school for elite athletes. During her career, she has held key leadership roles and led strategic initiatives at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, National Sports Academy, Emergent Academy and LRN. She has also been a consultant for a diverse set of companies and organizations. Kim holds a B.S. in Physics from Marlboro College, an M.S. in Astrophysics from the University of Arizona, and an M.Ed from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Kim and her husband love traveling, hiking, kayaking and trying to keep up with their four children.
Sonia is grateful to be returning to Khan Lab School for her fourth 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, gardening, traveling, and sitting down with a good book. Sonia has been a member of the KLS team since its founding in 2014.
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.
Theresa joined KLS in 2018 as the Head of Communications with a 14-year track-record in deploying impactful marketing strategies and developing lasting brands for startups and schools. She earned her master’s degree in Global Communications from the American University of Paris and also brings over a 5 years of leadership in admissions and higher education marketing.
Theresa led global outreach strategy for Stanford University's undergraduate admissions office while also directing marketing strategy for a medical-device startup (Lift Labs, creators of Liftware). Most recently she served as Director of Open Enrollment for Singularity University where she launched a new education program for executives on the future of learning. Theresa is passionate about education, diversity, and community and in her spare time continues to design experiences and advise brand strategy for startups and nonprofits. Theresa and her husband both grew up in the Bay Area and on the weekends enjoy taking their son on local adventures such as the zoo, steam train, museums, and hiking in the redwoods. As the daughter of two teachers, Theresa is thrilled to be part of a community dedicated to student-focused learning.
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 several years, Erica 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. A native Californian, Erica has developed a love of cold exotic places, repeatedly traveling to the Canadian Arctic and Alaska and spending much of her free time at hockey rinks, as a sometimes-player and ardent fan.
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!
With a lifelong passion to impact education, Cailin is thrilled to be a member of the Khan Lab School team. Prior to KLS, Cailin worked for Rocketship Education, a charter school management organization with 18 elementary schools across the country. At Rocketship, Cailin was on the national business team, where she played a critical role in developing and managing systems for the non-instructional elements of the network’s schools, ranging from overseeing and optimizing the organizations’ participation in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program to expanding Rocketship’s health screening services.
A long-time Bay Area resident (she went to high school down the street from KLS!), Cailin ventured east for college. She graduated magna cum laude from Boston College’s Lynch School of Education with a degree in Human Development and minor in English. While at BC, Cailin was a three-year board member of the Festival of Friendship, an event for special needs children in the greater Boston area.
Outside of her professional pursuits, Cailin is a member of the Spinsters of San Francisco, a young women’s professional and philanthropic organization. In 2017, she completed a term as Board Director where she led all volunteering operations and partnerships and established standards for how to evaluate which non-profit organization will receive Spinsters’ annual fundraising totals. Cailin loves to travel, cook, explore the culinary scene of San Francisco, and spend time with her friends, family, and 130-pound labrador, Jake.
Originally from a small town in Wisconsin, Jessica graduated from college in Minnesota and then her adventurous spirit brought her West. First to Portland, Oregon, then to Santa Barbara, and finally to the Bay Area. While in Portland, Jessica volunteered for a year of service as part of the AmeriCorps program which then led to pursuing her Masters degree in Public Health at Portland State University. After working in program development and implementing community-based programs in the non-profit public health sector for several years Jessica eventually settled in the Bay Area. It was here that Jessica decided to shift her career and pursue a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. While gaining the clinical experience required for obtaining licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) Jessica discovered her interest in working with children and families by working in several different schools from San Francisco to San Jose and in between. Jessica finds school-based mental health services to be a particularly effective way to connect with children, adolescents, and families in order to promote a holistic approach to supporting students.
Jessica has provided school-based counseling support for the past six years and in 2016 became a licensed MFT. In addition to her time at KLS Jessica works as a therapist in private practice where she sees children, adolescents, and adults. Jessica enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, cooking, traveling, reading, hiking, cheering on the Green Bay Packers, and exploring all of the amazing food and experiences the Bay Area has to offer.
Saba was a Storytelling & Content Marketing Intern at KLS before joining the team full-time as our Office Administrator & Marketing Associate. 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 was 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!
With a lifelong passion to impact education, Sama is thrilled to be a part of the Khan Lab School community. Sama earned a Bachelor of Science followed by a Master of Teaching degree from the University of Toronto in Canada. To cultivate students’ critical thinking skills and digital citizenship, Sama focused her master’s research on best practices to teach media literacy effectively in the classroom. She also collaborated with University of Toronto’s Diversity in Teaching team, where she developed a platform for educators to share resources to teach diverse learners.
Prior to KLS, Sama taught second and third graders through an inquiry-based approach at a Toronto private school for three years. She also brings over four years of teaching experience in diverse settings including tutoring centers and non-profit organizations such as March of Dimes Canada. In California, she aspired to broaden her horizon in education, so she became a Registered Behavior Therapist to teach children with autism to communicate with others through play-based learning. In her free time, Sama enjoys photography, traveling, hiking, snorkeling, and indulging in the food scene of San Francisco.
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.
Rachel believes that relationships are the foundation to growth and success in the classroom and is excited to be a part of a team that places students at the center of all choices. Rachel’s passion for teaching was developed early while teaching dance in her hometown in Southern California. While earning her B.A. in Psychology at UC San Diego, she continued developing her interest in education as a mentor in various San Diego public schools and as a tutor at a progressive school in La Jolla, California. Her studies as an undergraduate student motivated her to join Teach For America as a Las Vegas Valley Corps Member in 2012 and she has been committed to developing strong readers and joyful learners ever since! During her two years in Las Vegas, she taught 3rd grade and earned her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from UNLV. In 2014, Rachel moved to the Bay Area and has spent the past four years in various roles at Rocketship Public Schools: 3rd and 4th grade Humanities Teacher, Planning Specialist, and most recently, Manager on the Humanities Team supporting teachers through curriculum and professional development. In her free time, she enjoys taking tap and yoga classes, learning to play the piano, listening to podcasts, and spending time with her rabbit, dog, and cat!
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.
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!
Born and raised in the farm country of Woodland, California, Tristen grew up steeped in the outdoors and learned Spanish on the playground. After graduating from UC Davis, Tristen taught English in Costa Rica before returning to Davis to complete her master’s in English. She then moved to San Francisco and founded RCG Education, a boutique tutoring company focused on personalized reading and writing instruction. In her ten years of teaching in Silicon Valley, Tristen has only become more passionate about inquiry-based, student-centered education. In 2012, she joined San Francisco Court Appointed Special Advocates (SFCASA) and now serves as education rights holder for local youth in foster care. Tristen is also a publishing fiction writer and an active member of the Bay Area literary community. She was awarded the Tennessee Williams scholarship in fiction and was twice a finalist for Glimmer Train’s short story award. She approaches her work with contagious energy, respect for individuality, and a strong sense of social justice. When she is not teaching, reading, or writing, she is probably cooking something green, hiking along a river, or trying to convince her son to put his shoes on.
Gabrielle is excited to start her first year as a Level 5 Advisor for KLS. After studying advertising, math, and religion at Lee University she found herself wanting to wrap all of her interest into one and pursue a career in education. TEACH Charlotte offered her a lateral entry path into the classroom in 2012. Since then Gabrielle has taught pre-algebra and algebra for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and was also a founding 6th grade math teacher and secondary math specialist for KIPP DC. During her time in college Gabrielle was one of the 10 million individuals that benefited from Khan Academy’s online video library and is convinced that it was her saving grace to deeply understand calculus. She is thrilled to be a part of the advising and math team at KLS and glad to continue to be a teacher and a student.
As the daughter of a naval meteorologist Gabrielle spent half of her childhood in Europe and the other half in the States. She is still figuring out how to acquire her dual citizenship from her birth country of Italy so that she may one day play for them in the Olympics, contingent on her event being either ultimate frisbee or hide-and-go-seek. Gabrielle loves to learn about other cultures and is always looking to add eclectic dishes to her rolodex of recipes.
During her free time Gabrielle can be found painting her own version of the Rorschach test, drawing geometric compositions, or designing duct tape wallets. Live music is her niche and rock shows are her achilles heel. She and her husband love to explore and are always open to suggestions for great camping or fishing spots.
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.
Silja has been teaching physics in the Bay Area for the past 5 years in a diverse range of populations from Palo Alto through to Alum Rock in San Jose. She loves sharing new ways to understand the world and finds that all students are engaged when offered hands on experiences that they can relate to their own lives. Silja sees teaching as an engineering challenge: a craft that can constantly be improved through iterative redesign. Her two overarching goals while teaching physics are to engage all students in science in order to increase diversity in our STEM community, and to convince all students to wear their seatbelt!
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 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 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.
Raquel hails from Madrid, Spain. She worked with the European Space Agency (ESA) for twelve years in projects related to Earth Observation as a Quality Assurance manager. She believes in quality for everything in life; be it products, processes or relationships. Raquel has always been interested in education. As a result, she got a degree from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid which allowed her to teach in the public school system in Spain. While working as an engineer for ESA, she volunteered with the Spanish Red Cross, teaching Spanish language and culture to immigrant children. She soon realized the big impact that this work had on both her and the children, and she felt passionate about it. She enrolled in the Faculty of Psychology at UNED and started on a new degree until she moved to California five years ago. At this time, she is a few credits away from finishing her degree.
Since moving to the Bay Area, she has been teaching Spanish at Stanford University as a volunteer at the Bechtel International Center. She has also been tutoring elementary, middle and high schoolers as well as teaching professional adults to learn or improve their Spanish skills. In her free time, Raquel enjoys discovering the National Parks (she hiked Half Dome in Yosemite last year) and learning about their flora and fauna. In the last five years she and her family have visited seventeen National Parks in the U.S. Her daughter Lucía has proudly become a Junior Ranger at each of them. She loves nature and she is saddened to see the environment destroyed without any care about the impact that it may have in the present and in the future. Apart from hiking and biking, she loves singing and having fun with friends around a table, chatting during the “sobremesa” (that wonderful cell phone-free situation where you keep talking after the meal has ended with people with whom you shared your lunch or dinner).
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.
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 for Independence Levels 5 & 6. 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.
Born in Mumbai, India, Nikita moved with her family to California when she was two years old. Nikita grew up in the Bay Area and attended college at UC Berkeley where she received her B.A. in Public Health. Her first major foray into the field of education, from which she would never look back, happened when she joined Teach for America as a 5th grade teacher for Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada. After a few years of roaming the Red Rocks and enjoying the Vegas sunshine, Nikita returned to her beloved California. She spent two more years as an upper elementary Literacy teacher at a San Jose charter school before a short stint as a Curriculum Designer at an EdTech startup in San Francisco. Since her very first year in the classroom, Nikita has valued the importance of personalized and deeper learning and has strived to find the balance between inquiry and mastery in her teaching and learning experiences. Nikita is passionate about children's literature and loves to spend her free time hiking, trying (and often failing at) new recipes, and traveling.
Sabrina grew up in the center of France in the beautiful region of Burgundy. She attended the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in Bourges, and with her diploma in hand, she left France to discover North America. During this period, she studied at Université Laval in Quebec City and obtained a bachelor's degree in visual arts and theater for kindergarten, elementary, and secondary school and a certification to teach French. Since then, she has taught in various schools in Canada as well as Denver and New York. Her experiences have enabled her to develop a solid understanding of the world of education and to develop intervention strategies as well as appropriate and effective materials for teaching and learning. During her spare time, Sabrina enjoys cooking, hiking, camping, and traveling.
Brett earned his B.A. in English Literature from DePauw University and his M.A.T from Gonzaga University with a concentration in Secondary Education. Before joining Khan Lab School, Brett spent five years at Tsinghua International School in Beijing, China, where he taught World Literature, AP English Literature, and served as the Head of the English Language Arts Department. During his time at Tsinghua, Brett established a summer reading program and helped develop best standards and practices for argumentative writing. Brett specializes in using literature to explore issues of social justice, most recently using One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich to examine how the disenfranchised can use writing to challenge and change the society they live in. In recent years, Brett and his students have experimented with using new media to tell stories, from podcasts and websites to video games and augmented reality. Brett’s favorite part of being an educator is encouraging students to consider their place in the world, and how they can participate ethically and responsibly as citizens of a plural society.
Needless to say, Brett is an avid reader. He is particularly interested in post-modernist literature and his favorite authors are Kafka, Flannery O'Connor and Donald Barthelme. Outside of class, Brett enjoys exploring new places and parks with his wife Georgia, son Vincent and dog Dahuang.
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.
Raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, Sue holds a bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from Harvard College and a master's degree in Teaching and Curriculum from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. As a child, Sue attended a one-room school – the collaboration of a single teacher and 24 children – and has been devoted to multi-age, self-paced learning ever since. With varied experience in both public and private settings, Sue comes to KLS most recently from Whitby School in Greenwich, Connecticut, where she developed International Baccalaureate Units of Inquiry and where she helped to establish differentiated reading and writing instruction for children in grades 3-6. Sue is deeply committed to nurturing a love of reading in all children and to helping each child discover his or her own unique voice as a writer. When she’s not at school, Sue loves to spend time with her husband, Peter, and their three children. Sue is also an avid cook and gardener and an occasional artist, pianist, and singer. The Sterns moved to California in the summer of 2016 and have become outdoor enthusiasts as they continue to discover the beautiful hiking trails and beaches that make this part of the country so special.
Viet joined KLS in 2018 as the Computer Science Specialist for IL5 & IL6. At KLS, he strives on introducing programming languages to middle & upper school students, and encourages them to apply their knowledge into solving some of the real world challenges. Viet holds a B.S in Computer Science from University of California in Davis, an M.S in Computer Science from San Jose State University. Currently, Viet is pursuing his Ph.D in Computer Engineering in University of California in Santa Cruz, where his research topics focus on applying Computer Vision and Machine Learning into assistive technology for people with visual impairments. Prior joining to his doctoral program, Viet collaborated as a software engineer for several tech company in the Silicon Valley. Aside from academia and industry, Viet is a traveler, scuba diver, backpacker, and miniature hobbyist.
Derek grew up in Monroe and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the third of four children to a Texan father and French mother. In addition to a very strange accent that he’s since lost, his upbringing instilled in him a love of languages, cultures, and travel that he’s maintained to this day. Eager to leave the “Deep South” after high school, Derek went to the only slightly less southern University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He entered college a pre-med chemistry major and exited it fully embracing his passion for the humanities, earning a B.A. in history and a minor in creative writing.
After graduation Derek moved to France, where he taught English as a Second Language to elementary students from largely immigrant communities in the suburban regions outside Bordeaux. A year later he returned to the U.S. to begin his graduate education at Stanford University. In the years since, he’s earned his M.A. in history, married his lovely wife Ariel, moved back to France to conduct archival research in Paris, and then moved back to the Bay Area to work on his dissertation while Ariel earned her Master’s in Library and Information Sciences. Along the way, he’s also taught numerous history and interdisciplinary courses at Stanford: 20th century U.S. history, Modern Europe and the World, history of science, art history, and more. His research looks at memory, mythmaking, and the intersection of politics and culture in modern France.
Now that Derek has successfully taught 1st through 5th graders and freshman through senior undergraduates, he is delighted to join Khan Lab School and complete his pedagogy bingo card by teaching middle-and high-school students. In addition to the importance of STEM education in the 21 st century, he believes it is crucial for children to develop their historical, critical thinking, and writing skills in order to thrive as members of our global society. He is grateful that KLS has allowed him to join this all-important mission. When he’s not in the classroom, Derek loves movies, podcasts, cooking, playing the drums or guitar poorly, and reading just about anything he can get his eyes on.
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.
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.
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.
Supraja grew up in India and pursued a master’s in Software Engineering from BITS Pilani, India. After working in software development for nine years, she changed gears into the field of teaching and education, as it became her passion. Supraja was a freelance educator in India for three years and later moved to the U.S. where she gradually specialized as a STEM educator and curriculum developer for the past four years. Supraja’s courses on education from Santa Clara university and MITx have given her tools to reach out to wider student learning communities. Besides teaching QuantumCamp Science, she works at the Tech Museum of Innovation as an Educational Lab Instructor. During her spare time, she teaches music, volunteers for an NGO that promotes education in rural parts of India, and enjoys spending time with family.
Tatty grew up in Seattle, Washington and went to college at UC Santa Cruz where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology. After graduating, she worked in science research, studying phosphate levels in Lake Tahoe and Western Honey bees in Rehovot, Israel. While working in research, Tatty discovered that her passion was in science education, and she has been teaching ever since. She has taught middle school science for four years, as a sixth grade science teacher and as a tutor for Classroom Matters. In her spare time, Tatty enjoys camping, cooking, and crafting!
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.
Sharon grew up in Colorado Springs and moved to the Bay Area to attend Stanford University, where she majored in Earth Systems. She participated in multiple field research programs at Stanford, from installing seismic sensors in Nevada with the Crustal Geophysics Lab, to measuring rainforest growth in Hawaii, to observing kelp forest ecology at Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey. Sharon is an experienced K-12 science teacher, having worked at several Bay Area museums, mostly recently Aquarium of the Bay, and is excited to join the QuantumCamp team. When she's not teaching science, Sharon enjoys working both onstage and backstage with local community theater groups.
Sarah remembers wanting to be a teacher since her first days of preschool in New York. She first came to the Bay Area in 2011 to attend Stanford as an undergraduate, where she studied child language development through the Human Biology program. Her interests in linguistics and in Mandarin Chinese led her to stay on at Stanford for a master’s in East Asian Studies. She has taught in classroom settings for two years: as a 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade English teacher during her year as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant in Taiwan, and as a student teacher in a high school Chinese class through Stanford’s Teacher Education Program. She recently graduated from the Stanford Teacher Education Program with a master’s in education, and is excited to integrate her interests in children’s social, cognitive, and literacy development through her role as Independence Level 2 associate teacher. In her free time she enjoys knitting, sewing, and trying new recipes.
A graduate of the Florida State University, Julia earned her bachelor’s in biological studies with a focus in computational biology and botany. Her undergraduate research included field work in the Apalachicola National Forest studying herpetofauna and writing models to investigate interspecies evolution. Coming from a family of educators, Julia has always had a passion for education and giving back to the community. After college, she served with AmeriCorps in Washington, D.C. for Kid Power, an after-school program serving Title I Schools, writing science curriculum and overseeing the middle school programs. In her spare time, Julia is an avid road cyclist, lover of the outdoors, and is enjoying exploring her new home on the West Coast.
Drew first became interested in education reform as a student in Bay Area public schools, leading him to intern at Khan Academy in 2012-13. He is excited to return to the next iteration of Sal Khan’s vision — having seen his own interests morph from education technology to the broader question of what a modern classroom might look like. Drew has volunteered and taught in a variety of educational settings, from a high school in the Italian countryside to a charter school in Cambridge, MA. On a bike trip across America, Drew and six others hosted hands-on STEM Learning Festivals for hundreds of students in Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and Utah. At KLS, he will be helping build out the analytics that allow math teachers to track students’ progress. He draws upon his physics and computer science degrees from MIT, as well as his previous analytics experience at the ACLU. He is currently pursuing an MA at the Stanford Graduate School of Education.
A Fresno native, Andrew is passionate about his mission in life: to enable others in their pursuit of purpose and self-determination. Joining KLS in 2018, he is excited to contribute his experiences in education, business, and design, to help pioneer a new mastery-based generation of schools.
Before KLS, Andrew worked as a management consultant, assistant researcher, restaurant waiter, and technical product manager. At Berkeley, he studied Public Policy, Computer Science, Public Health, and majored in Political Economy. At Stanford, he is currently studying Education, pursuing Business Administration, and competing on the Varsity Men’s Fencing team.
Andrew is shamelessly in love with puppies. If he is not busy petting puppies, you can find him hiking throughout various National Parks on the weekends, eating ferociously, or composing musical pieces.
Raised in Taiwan, Avery is currently a freshman studying Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at Stanford University. He is passionate about improving the accessibility of STEM education and emphasizing problem-solving skills in STEM, and was excited to join the Khan Lab School team in Fall 2017.
In high school, Avery created computational models in synthetic biology for the award-winning TAS_TAIPEI team, in the International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition. He is still actively involved in mentoring iGEM teams. Avery also has extensive teaching experience, having trained a competitive math team throughout high school, and now teaches as a Section Leader in Stanford’s introductory computer science course. Avery hopes to bring his skills as a scientist and a teacher to create a transformative learning experience in STEM for all KLS students.
When not mesmerized in a math problem or a scientific computer simulation, Avery plays competitive chess, and enjoys all kinds of strategy games. In the occasion that a break from STEM-related activities is warranted, he is heavily involved in musical theater productions.
We seek opportunities to express thanks to our community
We create possibilities and push boundaries with focused direction and inventive spirit
We pause and consider others’ perspectives
We work in concert with each other to find constructive solutions
We acknowledge our limitations and learn from those around us
We believe in empowering and supporting one another to take purposeful initiative
We believe there is always more to discover, explore, and learn
We believe that positivity fosters a joyful atmosphere
We believe we are essential to the the success of our school
We believe self-reflection leads to stronger outcomes
We actively greet one another
We speak truthfully and conduct ourselves ethically
We evolve by being agile
We overcome challenges with courageous spirit
We make purposeful and sustainable choices to be successful
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