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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 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.



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Kim Dow's picture

Kim Dow

Head of Middle & Upper School
kim@khanlabschool.org
Kim Dow's picture

Kim Dow

Head of Middle & Upper School

M.Ed Harvard University
M.A. University of Arizona
B.A. Marlboro College
kim@khanlabschool.org

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.



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Sonia Cho's picture

Sonia Cho

Interim Head of Lower School & Lead Advisor, Level 1
sonia@khanlabschool.org
Sonia Cho's picture

Sonia Cho

Interim Head of Lower School & 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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Chi-Ray Chien's picture

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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Theresa Pathak's picture

Theresa Pathak

Head of Communications
theresa@khanlabschool.org
Theresa Pathak's picture

Theresa Pathak

Head of Communications

M.A. University of Paris
B.B.A. Loyola Marymount University
theresa@khanlabschool.org

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.



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Antje Kirschner's picture

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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Jessica Peters's picture

Jessica Peters

School Counselor
jessica@khanlabschool.org
Jessica Peters's picture

Jessica Peters

School Counselor

M.A. California Institute of Integral Studies
M.P.H. Portland State University
B.A. Winona State University
jessica@khanlabschool.org

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.



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Saba Tauqir
Saba Tauqir's picture

Saba Tauqir

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

Saba Tauqir

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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Jen Battad's picture

Jen Battad

Office Administrator
jen@khanlabschool.org
Jen Battad's picture

Jen Battad

Office Administrator

jen@khanlabschool.org

Born and raised in San Francisco, Jen discovered her interest in education while volunteering in her children’s classrooms. She loves being around kids and shares their enthusiasm for learning. Prior to KLS, she worked as an administrative assistant for 10 years at a Bay Area school district, where she helped facilitate the daily operations of a school site. In her spare time, she loves hanging out with her husband and two daughters, traveling, trying new restaurants, and taking long walks with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.


Lead Advisors

Sharifa Khan's picture

Sharifa Khan

Level 1 Advisor and Specialist
sharifa@khanlabschool.org
Sharifa Khan's picture

Sharifa Khan

Level 1 Advisor and Specialist

M.A. University of California, Santa Cruz
B.A. California State University, San Francisco
sharifa@khanlabschool.org

Sharifa’s diverse experience as an educator and Program Manager has allowed her to reach students throughout the Bay Area and Sacramento. She has attained her Master of Arts in Education and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Sharifa has six years of experience as an elementary school teacher and an additional seven years of experience serving students as a tutor, paraeducator, student teacher and substitute teacher. In her role as a Program Manager for a non-profit organization focused on educational programs, she oversaw all aspects of a program that supported early literacy skills for Oakland’s youngest readers.  As a lead teacher in an after-school program, she used Creative Writing to motivate English language learners to expand their literacy skills. Sharifa has over 13 years of experience in education and working alongside veteran teachers to hone in on best teaching practices in order to facilitate her students’ academic, social, and emotional growth.



Sharifa is dedicated to lifelong learning, which inspires her to travel, immerse herself in different cultures and continually build her community of friends. When she’s not traveling with her husband or in the classroom, she spends her time teaching her pet cat Sammy new tricks.



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Rachel Smallwood's picture

Rachel Smallwood

Lead Advisor, Level 2
rachelsmallwood@khanlabschool.org
Rachel Smallwood's picture

Rachel Smallwood

Lead Advisor, Level 2

M.A. University of Nevada, Las Vegas
B.A. University of California, San Diego
rachelsmallwood@khanlabschool.org

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!  



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Parisa Badizadegan's picture

Parisa Badizadegan

Lower School Math Specialist & Advisor
parisa@khanlabschool.org
Parisa Badizadegan's picture

Parisa Badizadegan

Lower School Math Specialist & Advisor

M. Ed. University of Utah
B.S. University of Utah
parisa@khanlabschool.org

As a Utah native and newcomer to the Bay, Parisa is excited about being a part of the KLS team because of the focus on a technology-empowered, student-centered, mastery-learning approach to education. Her research during her B.S. and M.Ed. from the University of Utah (Go Utes!) focused on the power of effective technology integration and instructional design in the classroom, specifically with an emphasis on technology as a cognitive partner in learning to foster analysis, evaluation, communication, collaboration, and creation. With more than five years of experience in different learning settings, including public, charter, and private school, tutoring, and educational summer camps, working with students from Kindergarten up through 6th grade, Parisa comes ready to support deep thinking processes and the social-emotional learning of diverse students populations. She believes in the power of using authentic problems, project-based learning, and hands-on experiences to help her students discover the intricacies and relationships among math concepts in real life. Her favorite part about teaching is the joy of igniting a passion for learning in her students, just as she loves the thrill of discovering a new topic about how our world works. Parisa is excited to continue growing the KLS vision of reimagining the way education empowers youth to find their individual, fullest potential. When Parisa is not in the classroom or reading about teaching and learning, she enjoys even more reading, listening to music, watching and playing sports, and exploring the amazing outdoor and cultural opportunities of the Bay area with her family and friends.



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Heather Stinnett's picture

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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Brandon Lee's picture

Brandon Lee

Level 3 Advisor & Director of Projects
brandonlee@khanlabschool.org
Brandon Lee's picture

Brandon Lee

Level 3 Advisor & Director of Projects

M.Ed. University of Massachusetts, Boston
B.A. Tufts University
brandonlee@khanlabschool.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. 



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Kelsey Thingvold's picture

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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Mikki McMillion's picture

Mikki McMillion

Level 4 Advisor and ELA/Social Studies Specialist
mikki@khanlabschool.org
Mikki McMillion's picture

Mikki McMillion

Level 4 Advisor and ELA/Social Studies Specialist

B.A. from San Jose State University
mikki@khanlabschool.org

Mikki taught 9-12 grade English for 24 years at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino.  Her classes included Speech and Debate, English Language Learners, and Advanced Placement English.  At Monta Vista she founded programs such as the New Student Support Program, Art and Literature Course, and the Life Skills Summer Training. She joined Khan Lab School for two years as Level 4 and Level 5 Advisor and as Upper School Administrative Assistant.  For two years she ventured to Oxford Day Academy in East Palo Alto as their Founding High School English Instructor and Staff Coordinator.  She is grateful to return to Khan Lab School to continue to challenge and widen her practice, and to support the growth of the school community.  Her work history demonstrates consistent passion for education, innovative creativity, and giving the underdog a voice.



In addition to working for students, Mikki enjoys reading, hiking, laughing with friends, and hanging out with her three children who continually grow love and wisdom in her life.



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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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Content Specialists

Tooba Hamid's picture

Tooba Hamid

Math Specialist
tooba@khanlabschool.org
Tooba Hamid's picture

Tooba Hamid

Math Specialist

M.A. University of Reading, U.K.
B.A. University of Reading, U.K.
tooba@khanlabschool.org

With a lifelong passion for teaching and education, Tooba is excited to be a part of KLS. She received her Bachelor’s in Business and Information Technology (BBIT) followed by her Masters in Business and Economics from University of Reading (U.K). Her Masters dissertation was on “Competition in the Airline Industry: International Airline Alliances and Low Cost Carriers”, where she did an extensive research by using various mathematical and statistical modeling techniques and tools such as E-views and SPSS to prove her hypothesis. She was also part of “UK Women Entrepreneurship Project” which empowers and supports women entrepreneurs throughout the United Kingdom.



Prior to joining KLS, Tooba worked in UK’s leading private schools for 11+ years, thus bringing a wealth of UK’s educational practices to KLS. Tooba has worked as a lecturer for A-levels (High School) in Business and Economics. She was also involved in teaching Pre-calculus and Calculus courses in mathematics. Aside from work, Tooba enjoys cooking, baked, and spending time with her two kids.



 


Allie Xiong's picture

Allie Xiong

C.S. Consultant & US Mandarin Specialist
allie@khanlabschool.org
Allie Xiong's picture

Allie Xiong

C.S. Consultant & US Mandarin Specialist

M.S. Computer Science, Colorado Technical University
B.S. Computer Science, Beijing Normal University, China
allie@khanlabschool.org

Allie has worked as a software engineer and program manager in the tech industry for over 10 years. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Beijing Normal University and an M.S. in Computer Science from Colorado Technical University.  She discovered her passion for education and youth empowerment while volunteering for non-profit educational foundations. She has worked for Galileo Innovation Summer Camp as the lead computer programming instructor and in 2014, she began working as a Computer Science instructor at CSU Monterey Bay and Foothill College. Allie is a certified YES! mindfulness and stress management instructor and has taught at schools such as Stanford University, San Jose University, Gunn High, Palo Alto High, Lynbrook High. Her specialties include project-based learning for STEM education, mindfulness, and SEL. Allie is also a certified yoga and meditation instructor and she teaches yoga at Apple, Cisco and YMCA.

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Patrick Neary's picture

Patrick Neary

Art Specialist
patrick@khanlabschool.org
Patrick Neary's picture

Patrick Neary

Art Specialist

M.A. University of San Francisco
B.F.A. California Institute of the Arts
patrick@khanlabschool.org
Patrick holds a BFA from the School of Art/Design, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), and a Masters in Digital Media and Learning from the School of Education, University of San Francisco.  Before becoming a teacher, Patrick was in the digital visual effects and animation business, and has earned production credits on twenty-eight feature films.  He has taught sculpting and high-end computer graphics at the college level, digital arts to high school and middle school students, and fine arts and Make/maker projects to both middle and lower school kids.  Project-based learning has been at the core of his entire teaching experience, and he greatly values the benefits of having students draw as much as possible.
Patrick is an avid photographer, and a fine artist who uses both traditional and digital media.  He has a life-long interest in science and natural history, and has most recently been studying the life-cycles of local north bay salmon species and their watershed habitats.  He and his wife enjoy spending time with their cat.
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Jacob E A.'s picture

Jacob E. A.

Music Specialist
jacob@khanlabschool.org
Jacob E A.'s picture

Jacob E. A.

Music Specialist

M.O.M. San Francisco State University
B.A. University of California, Santa Cruz
jacob@khanlabschool.org

Jacob was born and raised in San Francisco and first performed music professionally at 15. After seeking a BA in Music Performance at UCSC, he pursued a MOM at SF State University with an emphasis in Music History. He has toured and recorded with some top artists in the field including Nicki Minaj, Zap Mama and Chris Isaak, scored movies and theater productions. In between performances and recordings, Jacob taught at Universities in US and Canada and helped to design the music curriculum for Waldorf elementary and middle school.  He is passionate about music education and excited to become a member of the Khan Lab School team.


Drew Bent's picture

Drew Bent

Personalized Learning Designer
drew@khanlabschool.org
Drew Bent's picture

Drew Bent

Personalized Learning Designer

B.A. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
drew@khanlabschool.org

Drew first became interested in education reform as a student in Bay Area public schools, leading him to intern as a software developer at Khan Academy in 2012-13. He has been 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 draws upon his physics and computer science degrees from MIT. He is currently pursuing an MA/MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and Stanford Graduate School of Business.



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Melissa Blanco's picture

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's picture

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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Raquel R Garrido's picture

Raquel Rubalcaba Garrido

Spanish Language Specialist
raquel@khanlabschool.org
Raquel R Garrido's picture

Raquel Rubalcaba Garrido

Spanish Language Specialist

M.Sc. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain
raquel@khanlabschool.org

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).


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Saloni Kalkat
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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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Nikita Khetan

English Language Arts Specialist, Lower School
nikita@khanlabschool.org
Nikita Khetan's picture

Nikita Khetan

English Language Arts Specialist, Lower School

B.A. University of California, Berkeley
M.Ed. University of Las Vegas, Nevada
nikita@khanlabschool.org

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.  



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Sabrina Maquet
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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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Brett Ramsay

English Specialist, MS/US
brett@khanlabschool.org
Brett Ramsay's picture

Brett Ramsay

English Specialist, MS/US

M.I.T. Gonzaga University
B.A. DePauw University
brett@khanlabschool.org

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.

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Viet Trinh

Computer Science Specialist, Middle & Upper School
viet@khanlabschool.org
Viet Trinh's picture

Viet Trinh

Computer Science Specialist, Middle & Upper School

B.S University of California, Davis
M.S San Jose State University
viet@khanlabschool.org

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 vanderpool
Derek Vanderpool's picture

Derek Vanderpool

Humanities Specialist, Middle & Upper School
derek@khanlabschool.org
Derek Vanderpool's picture
derek vanderpool

Derek Vanderpool

Humanities Specialist, Middle & Upper School

Ph.D. Candidate Stanford University
M.A. Stanford University
B.A. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
derek@khanlabschool.org

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.


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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.



 


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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

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Sarah Case's picture

Sarah Case

Associate Teacher, IL2
sarah@khanlabschool.org
Sarah Case's picture
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Sarah Case

Associate Teacher, IL2

M.A. Stanford Teacher Education Program
M.A. Stanford University
B.A. Stanford University
sarah@khanlabschool.org

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.


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Julia Doscher

Associate Teacher, IL1
julia@khanlabschool.org
Julia Doscher's picture

Julia Doscher

Associate Teacher, IL1

B.S. Florida State University
julia@khanlabschool.org

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. 


Interns

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Greta Farrell

Math Intern
greta@khanlabschool.org
Greta Farrell's picture

Greta Farrell

Math Intern

S.B. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
greta@khanlabschool.org

Greta knew she wanted to be an educator after teaching beginner ski lessons for three-year-olds during high school. She has been exploring and learning from different school environments ever since—during college, Greta spent time volunteering and teaching at an urban charter school, a rural public school, and a boarding school. Her favorite moments in the classroom are those when she is learning along with her students. Greta comes to KLS after graduating from MIT in 2018 with a degree in mathematical economics and a minor in public policy. As an undergraduate, she worked with the Eliciting Learner Knowledge team at MIT’s Teaching Systems Lab to design and research educational games for pre-service teacher training. A pre-service teacher herself, Greta is currently a master’s candidate in the inaugural class of the Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning, a new graduate school of education in collaboration with MIT. When she is not in the classroom, Greta enjoys sailing, drinking tea, doing crosswords in pen, and experimenting in the kitchen.



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Avery Wang
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Avery Wang

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

Avery Wang

Math 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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