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Meet Our Team

Team members join KLS from all over the world, with home countries and states of Singapore, Germany, France, China, Florida, Michigan, Texas, and more. Our Advisors and Specialists have global teaching experience in countries such as El Salvador, Vietnam, India, Taiwan, the Philippines, the Czech Republic, the U.K., the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar in addition to the United States.

Announcing Our New Head of School

Rachel Skiffer was named Head of School on March 21, 2018, following a unanimous agreement by the Board of Directors. Rachel will join the KLS community on July 2, 2018, with Orly Friedman serving as Interim Head of School between April and July. Read the announcement about Rachel's appointment here and learn more about Orly below.

Wondering how to contact a department or the whole school? Click here for contact information.

Admin Team

Rachel Skiffer
Rachel Skiffer's picture

Rachel Skiffer

Head of School
rachel@khanlabschool.org
Rachel Skiffer's picture
Rachel Skiffer

Rachel Skiffer

Head of School

J.D. Harvard Law School
B.A. Harvard-Radcliffe College
rachel@khanlabschool.org

Rachel was named Head of School in 2018, and brings to KLS deep leadership deep experience in strategy, law, admissions, curriculum, financial aid, and college counseling. Rachel most recently worked at Phillips Academy (Andover), where she spent five years as the school’s Dean of Policy and Strategic Planning. Rachel has also held administrative leadership positions at San Francisco University High School and The Latin School of Chicago, and worked in admissions and financial aid at Harvard College. Prior to her career in education, Rachel spent time as a commercial real estate attorney with Kirkland & Ellis, and as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company.


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.


Orly Friedman's picture

Orly Friedman

Interim Head of School & Head of Lower School
orly@khanlabschool.org
Orly Friedman's picture

Orly Friedman

Interim Head of School & Head of Lower School

M.B.A. Stanford University
M.A. George Mason University, Early Childhood Education
B.A. Yale University
orly@khanlabschool.org

Orly joined the founding KLS team in 2014 as Curriculum and Process Design Fellow, and she served as School Director during the 2015-16 school year. Prior to KLS, Orly was the Director of Academic Innovation and a Computer Programming Instructor at Caliber Schools’ 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. 

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Chi-Ray Chien

Head of Operations & Technology
chi-ray@khanlabschool.org
Chi-Ray Chien's picture

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. 

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Erica Cosgrove

Career & College Advisor
erica@khanlabschool.org
Erica Cosgrove's picture

Erica Cosgrove

Career & College Advisor

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 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.

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Antje Kirschner

Business Manager & Executive Assistant
antje@khanlabschool.org
Antje Kirschner's picture

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! 

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Cailin Todd
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Cailin Todd

Admissions Manager
cailin@khanlabschool.org
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Cailin Todd

Cailin Todd

Admissions Manager

B.A. Boston College
cailin@khanlabschool.org

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.



 

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Saba Tauqir
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Saba Tauqir

Office Administrator & Marketing Associate
saba@khanlabschool.org
Saba Tauqir's picture
Saba Tauqir

Saba Tauqir

Office Administrator & Marketing Associate

B.A. University of California, Berkeley
saba@khanlabschool.org

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! 




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Lead Advisors

Sonia Cho's picture

Sonia Cho

Lead Advisor, Level 1
sonia@khanlabschool.org
Sonia Cho's picture

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 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.

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John Lubushkin
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John Lubushkin

Lead Advisor, Level 6
john@khanlabschool.org
John Lubushkin's picture
John Lubushkin

John Lubushkin

Lead Advisor, Level 6

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.

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Yii Wen Chuah

Lead Advisor, Level 2
yiiwen@khanlabschool.org
Yii Wen Chuah's picture

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. 

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Heather Stinnett

Lead Advisor, Level 3
heather@khanlabschool.org
Heather Stinnett's picture

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. 

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Kelsey Thingvold

Lead Advisor, Level 4
kelsey@khanlabschool.org
Kelsey Thingvold's picture

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! 

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Content Specialists

Debbie Alvarado's picture

Debbie Alvarado

Spanish Language Specialist
debbie@khanlabschool.org
Debbie Alvarado's picture

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. 

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Melissa Blanco

Math/Science Specialist, Lower School
melissa@khanlabschool.org
Melissa Blanco's picture

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. 

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Megan Burns

STEM Specialist, Middle & Upper School
megan@khanlabschool.org
Megan Burns's picture

Megan Burns

STEM Specialist, Middle & Upper 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. 

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Denise Gurer
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Denise Gurer

Computer Science & Physics Specialist
denise@khanlabschool.org
Denise Gurer's picture
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. 

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Katherine James

English Language Arts Specialist, Lower School
katherine@khanlabschool.org
Katherine James's picture

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. 

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Brandon Lee

Project Designer & Instructor, IL 1
brandonlee@khanlabschoool.org
Brandon Lee's picture

Brandon Lee

Project Designer & Instructor, IL 1

brandonlee@khanlabschoool.org

Brandon is so excited to join the Khan Lab School team. His educational experience started in college at Tufts University where he studied Child Development, with a focus on incorporating engineering into the elementary school classroom. For his senior project, he combined his passion for tech and language and developed a robotics curriculum for the Horace Mann School for the Deaf. After getting his MA in education at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, he launched Boston public school's first engineering program at the Dever-McCormack K-8. He soon realized that Boston was an unnecessarily dreary place that sunlight only touched 5 days out of the year and moved to San Diego. There he launched the engineering program at High Tech Elementary. After 3 years, Brandon was given the opportunity to help open an engineering-based high school by leading instruction and curriculum design. Now Brandon is moving on to create his fourth engineering lab in a school in Mountain View. In his spare time, Brandon likes to rock climb, make wedding cakes, convince his dog Mochi that the world is not a dangerous place, and re-watch Scrubs for the 30th time. 


Sabrina Maquet
Sabrina Maquet's picture

Sabrina Maquet

French Language Specialist
sabrina@khanlabschool.org
Sabrina Maquet's picture
Sabrina Maquet

Sabrina Maquet

French Language Specialist

B.A. Université Laval
B.A. École des Beaux-Arts
sabrina@khanlabschool.org

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.

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Janet Roitsch

Arts & Inner Wellness Specialist
janet@khanlabschool.org
Janet Roitsch's picture

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. 

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Sue Stern
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Sue Stern

English Language Arts Consultant, Lower School
sue@khanlabschool.org
Sue Stern's picture
Sue Stern

Sue Stern

English Language Arts Consultant, Lower School

M.Ed. Harvard Graduate School of Education
B.A. Harvard College
sue@khanlabschool.org

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. 


Sara Yao's picture

Sara Yao

Mandarin Language Specialist
sara@khanlabschool.org
Sara Yao's picture

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. 

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Devin Harris (GrowFit)'s picture

Devin Harris (GrowFit)

Outer Wellness
info@growfitpe.com
Devin Harris (GrowFit)'s picture

Devin Harris (GrowFit)

Outer Wellness

info@growfitpe.com

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.



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.



 


QuantumCamp @ KLS's picture

QuantumCamp @ KLS

STEM Labs
info@quantumcamp.com
QuantumCamp @ KLS's picture

QuantumCamp @ KLS

STEM Labs

info@quantumcamp.com

Supraja Sowrirajan (IL1)



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 Klass (IL2)



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 Norman (IL3)



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 Beltracchi (IL4)



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.



 


Associate Teachers

Sama Hamid's picture

Sama Hamid

Associate Teacher, IL1/IL2 & Extended Day
sama@khanlabschool.org
Sama Hamid's picture

Sama Hamid

Associate Teacher, IL1/IL2 & Extended Day

M.A.T. Primary/Junior Education, University of Toronto
B.S. University of Toronto
sama@khanlabschool.org

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.



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Extended Day

Saloni Kalkat
Saloni Kalkat's picture

Saloni Kalkat

Extended Day Coordinator & Art Specialist
saloni@khanlabschool.org
Saloni Kalkat's picture
Saloni Kalkat

Saloni Kalkat

Extended Day Coordinator & Art Specialist

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 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.

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Interns

angela chiang baby picture
Angela Chiang's picture

Angela Chiang

Learning Analyst Intern
angela@khanlabschool.org
Angela Chiang's picture
angela chiang baby picture

Angela Chiang

Learning Analyst Intern

University of California, Berkeley '21
angela@khanlabschool.org
Angela was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, but calls Taipei, Taiwan home because she grew up there. She attended an American school in Taiwan from grades K-12, and was inspired by the patience, passion, and selflessness of the teachers at her school. Curious about how all those qualities affected student learning and classroom dynamic, she started working as a teaching assistant at her high school and research assistant at Stanford's Graduate School of Education for three summers to learn more about the art and science of teaching. She brings her past work and research experience to KLS, and is thrilled to be a Learning Analyst Intern to provide an even more personalized learning experience for each student.

Angela is currently a rising sophomore studying at UC Berkeley and plans to double major in Cognitive Science and Data Science while pursuing a double minor in Creative Writing and Education. During her free time, she enjoys going to Soul Cycle, exploring new dessert places around the Bay, and soaking up the California sunshine whenever possible.


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Jennifer Darukhanawalla
Jennifer N Darukhanawalla's picture

Jennifer Nash Darukhanawalla

Storytelling Intern
jennifer@khanlabschool.org
Jennifer N Darukhanawalla's picture
Jennifer Darukhanawalla

Jennifer Nash Darukhanawalla

Storytelling Intern

San Jose State University '19
jennifer@khanlabschool.org

Raised in the Bay Area, Jennifer is a rising senior attending San Jose State University planning to double major with a B.A. in Design Studies and a B.S. in Advertising. As an arts student, she has always enjoyed studying works of art and interpreting different pieces in her own way as they pertain to her personally. She frequently uses studio art and photography as inspiration for her own work. Jennifer is also a part-time communications officer for a non-profit organization called Art Forum SF, which is based in the Bay Area and works to bring South Asian art to the Bay Area, from dance to theater, music, literature, and public speaking.

Jennifer has extensive knowledge of graphic design, photography, filmmaking, and editing. Being able to do what she loves creatively while bettering other people’s lives is a rare win-win scenario, and is something she looks forward to every day. Her hobbies include photographing events and making short films with her best friend, Victoria. She loves watching the newest flicks and is in constant search of good music. In her free time, Jennifer loves dancing and enjoys attending west coast swing and ballroom, latin, and nightclub dance classes. Ask her for a dance!

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Megha Devaraj
Megha Devaraj's picture

Megha Devaraj

STEM Intern
megha@khanlabschool.org
Megha Devaraj's picture
Megha Devaraj

Megha Devaraj

STEM Intern

University of Notre Dame '20
megha@khanlabschool.org

Megha is a rising sophomore at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, a land far, far away from sunny California. She is currently taking a gap year to pursue her interests in computer science and explore the world. Megha joined the KLS Team in Fall 2017 and works as a STEM Intern, which means you can usually find her grading math homework, perusing chemistry labs, and debugging code. She is excited to work, teach, and learn alongside the students and staff at KLS. 

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Megan Gürer's picture

Megan Gürer

MS/US Summer Intern
megangurer@khanlabschool.org
Megan Gürer's picture

Megan Gürer

MS/US Summer Intern

Wellesley College '22
megangurer@khanlabschool.org

Megan is a recent high school graduate and an incoming first year at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She is fascinated by science and never ceases to be amazed by the natural world. She’s particularly interested in pursuing a career in medicine to balance her passions for science and social advocacy. Throughout high school, Megan has been involved with numerous science projects. She was a summer intern at both the UC Santa Cruz Earth and Marine Sciences Department, where she studied the environmental impacts of water flow rate in riverways, and later the UCSC Genomics Institute in her junior year, where she investigated a possible genetic connection between Huntington’s disease and Type-2 diabetes. She also collaborated with scientists from the University of Hawaii Cancer Center to test the effects of the compound rocaglamide on inhibiting the NFkB protein pathway in lung cancer cells. In addition to research, Megan is passionate about encouraging underrepresented groups to discover their own passions for science. She founded Science Impacting Society (SIS), an organization that provides monthly science workshops for middle school girls in Santa Cruz County.



 



Megan is also an advocate for the environment and regularly volunteers at the Monterey Aquarium and led her school’s community garden and composting program, organized an environmental awareness conference for high school students, and co-founded an alliance of high school environmental clubs across Northern California.  When she’s not at KLS, Megan enjoys exploring nature of any kind, swimming, traveling, spending time with her family and composing piano music. At KLS, she hopes to instill a passion for inquiry and life-long learning.


Nick de Haes's picture

Nick de Haes

Marketing & Instructional Intern
nickdehaes@khanlabschool.org
Nick de Haes's picture

Nick de Haes

Marketing & Instructional Intern

University College London '16
nickdehaes@khanlabschool.org

Since graduating from University College London (UCL), Nick has worked with young people through a number of different mediums. First, he supported UnLtd - The UK Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs in rolling out a social ventures curriculum for UK schools. In the summer of 2016, he was brought on by the Hillary For America presidential campaign to lead their youth Get Out The Vote efforts in Virginia. Then, with immigrants under ever-increasing pressure internationally, he fully launched Express Yourself, a social enterprise supporting refugees in becoming more confident in English. This he kept going till he joined Teach For America in June 2017, which placed Nick in Oakland, California and where he works to this day. Outside of school, look out for someone huffing and puffing their way up a mountain. It may well be Nick.


Misha Reswick's picture

Misha Reswick

Math & CS Summer Intern
misha@khanlabschool.org
Misha Reswick's picture

Misha Reswick

Math & CS Summer Intern

Canada College '19
misha@khanlabschool.org

Misha is currently a senior in high school and has grown up here in the Bay Area for his whole life. He has a passion for many things, including but not limited to soccer, chess, scenic video making (via drone), playing and listening to music, the outdoors (hiking, camping, kayaking; you name it!), learning, teaching, robotics, programming/coding, and anything else that is engaging. During high school, Misha began a tutoring program at school with the approval of the vice principal, where high school students could drop in and get free help on anything math-related. Misha loves being able to be part of someone else’s learning experience. To him, it is the greatest thing to be able to see someone else become excited when learning something new. In his view, learning and teaching are some of the most fortunate things we have, and Misha greatly looks forward to taking part in both at Khan Lab School.


Varun Srivastava's picture

Varun Srivastava

LS Math Intern
varun@khanlabschool.org
Varun Srivastava's picture

Varun Srivastava

LS Math Intern

Fremont High School '19
varun@khanlabschool.org

 



Born and raised in the Bay Area, Varun is currently a senior at Fremont High School. Varun enjoys learning, sharing, and writing about mathematics, and is a member of several math circles. Varun has a deep passion for music, and is an experienced guitar player. He also enjoys camping, and recently went backpacking through the High Sierras. At school, he is Co-President of the Speech and Debate Team, and enjoys competing in Lincoln Douglas debate. He is excited to join the Khan Lab School team for Summer 2018 and share his joy of math to the students and staff.


Avery Wang
Avery Wang's picture

Avery Wang

STEM Intern
avery@khanlabschool.org
Avery Wang's picture
Avery Wang

Avery Wang

STEM Intern

Stanford University, ‘21
avery@khanlabschool.org

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.

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