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Rachel Skiffer

Rachel Skiffer
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Rachel Skiffer

Rachel Skiffer

Head of School

J.D. Harvard Law School
B.A. Harvard-Radcliffe College
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.

Sonia Cho
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Sonia Cho

Head of Lower School

M.S. Occupational Therapy, Thomas Jefferson University
B.S. Penn State University
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.

Kim Dow
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Kim Dow

Head of Upper School

M.Ed Harvard University
M.A. University of Arizona
B.A. Marlboro College
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.

Amelia Geser
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Amelia Geser

Associate Teacher & Extended Day Program Assistant

B.A. Grinnell College
Amelia received her Bachelor's Degree in art history from Grinnell College in May of 2019, and has since moved to the Bay Area to pursue a career in education. Amelia first encountered her love for teaching as a high-schooler growing up in New York City, where she tutored at an after school program in the Bronx and later worked at various summer camps. After graduating from Grinnell College Amelia worked as a summer program coordinator at the Castilleja School, inspiring her to pursue a full-time job in education. She is extremely excited to begin her journey at Khan Lab School and hopes to bring her love of art history to a younger audience. In her free time, Amelia enjoys biking, reading, and planning her future travels. 

Andrew Ng
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Andrew Ng

Product Manager

M.A. Stanford University
B.A. University of California, Berkeley
A Fresno native, Andrew is passionate about his mission in life: to enable others in their pursuit of purpose, growth, and self-determination. With experiences as a management consultant, assistant researcher, restaurant waiter, and technical product manager, Andrew is excited to help KLS pioneer a new mastery-based generation of schools. Additionally, Andrew is shamelessly in love with puppies. If he is not busy petting puppies, you can find him composing musical pieces in his apartment, coaching competitors at local fencing gyms, hiking throughout various national parks, and/or eating culinary delicacies all over world.

Brandon Lee
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Brandon Lee

Level 2 Advisor and Director of Projects

M.Ed. University of Massachusetts, Boston
B.A. Tufts University
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. 

Brett Ramsay
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Brett Ramsay

English Specialist, MS/US

M.I.T. Gonzaga University
B.A. DePauw University
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.

Chi-Ray Chien
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Chi-Ray Chien

Head of Operations & Technology

M.S. Stanford University
B.S. Stanford University
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. 

Danny Sommer
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Danny Sommer

Level 5 Advisor & Middle School Science Specialist
Dan is a lifelong educator who has held leadership positions with every organization he has worked with.  Dan holds an M.S. in Land Resources and a B.A. in Environmental Studies.  He spent 10 years with Outward Bound guiding experiential learning programs focused on social/emotional development.  Dan has organized and safely guided students in wilderness environments for 1000 days.  Dan has been a classroom science and math teacher for the past 20 years at The Harker School and Harvard-Westlake School where he taught students in grades 4-9.  In his leadership roles at these schools he guided traditional science departments towards more experiential, student centered, project based learning through curriculum development and role modeling best practices.  In 2018 Dan co-founded Expedition Academy Santa Cruz, a middle school based on personalized learning, interdisciplinary projects and social emotional learning. He is a 4.0 Schools Essentials Fellow.
derek vanderpool

Derek Vanderpool
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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 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.

Derry Akin

Devin Harris
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Devin Harris

Director of Athletics
Devin has over 13 years of experience working with students. Prior to joining KLS, 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.

Drew Bent
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Drew Bent

Personalized Learning Designer

B.A. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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.

Emily Ward
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Emily Ward

Level 3 Advisor & Lower School ELA Specialist

B.A. Princeton Universtiy
Emily's own non-traditional school experience has inspired her passion for student-centered, mastery-based, innovative education models. Thus drawn to KLS, she is so excited to be joining the team! Since graduating from Princeton University with a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a teaching certificate in ELA, she has enjoyed teaching in both traditional and non-traditional classroom settings in South Korea, the East Coast, and the Bay Area. Committed to being a lifelong learner, Emily is an avid reader who also enjoys travelling, trying new recipes, and exploring national parks.

Greta Farrell
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Greta Farrell

Upper School Math Specialist

S.B. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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.

Jacob E. A.
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Jacob E. A.

Music Specialist

M.O.M. San Francisco State University
B.A. University of California, Santa Cruz
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.

Janan Sabeh
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Janan Sabeh

Director of College Counseling and Internships at Khan Lab School

B.A., University of San Francisco.
Originally from Sacramento, Janan has a “Nor Cal” background, having also graduated from the University of San Francisco with a B.A. in Politics. During her time as an undergraduate, she studied abroad in Cairo, Egypt and had a transformational educational experience. So after graduating college she returned to Egypt to study Arabic intensively at the American University of Cairo. She worked in the NGO sector, writing grant proposals and fundraising for the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights, but eventually she returned to education in order to help other students have life-changing educational experiences, as she did. 

Janan worked as an EducationUSA advisor, a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, to advise students, free of charge, on how to apply to U.S. colleges and universities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. During this time the Egyptian Revolution occurred (and she was evacuated twice!), which eventually led her to Jordan. In Jordan she worked for King’s Academy, a liberal arts boarding school. While there she managed the school’s standardized testing, counseled over 200 students through the college admissions process, and raised awareness among higher education institutions about the new school. 

She is still in touch with many of her former students, who have gone on to graduate from colleges and universities around the world. Some of which are even working and studying right here in the Bay Area! Nothing brings her greater joy than helping students achieve their dreams and hearing about their successes later on in life. In her free time, Janan enjoys hiking, yoga, cuddling with her dog, and traveling the world. She’s traveled to 30+ countries so far and can’t wait to see more!

Jason Bush
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Jason Bush

Upper School Spanish Specialist

Ph.D. Ohio State University
M.A. California State University, Northridge
B.A. University of California, Los Angeles
Jason Bush is an experienced educator in the fields of Spanish language teaching, Latin American Studies, and Theatre History.  After receiving his BA in Theater from University of California, Los Angeles, and his MA in Theatre Studies from California State University, Northridge, Jason decided to explore Latin American cultures during his Ph.D studies in Theatre History and Performance Studies at The Ohio State University.  At Ohio State, Jason conducted extensive ethnographic research on Peruvian indigenous performance on the global stage. In the process of living and working in Peru, Jason became proficient in written and spoken Spanish. While writing his dissertation Jason decided to try his hand at teaching Spanish and he absolutely fell in love with language teaching.  He has extensive classroom experience teaching Middle School and High School Spanish at Basis Independent School, Stratford School and university level Spanish at The Ohio State University and San Jose State University. In addition, Jason has developed a specialized expertise in individualized instruction in Spanish, tailoring a personalized educational experience that draws on students’ interests and preferred learning styles at AJ Tutoring, Fusion Academy, and Tilden Preparatory School.  He is currently continuing his education by finishing his MA in Spanish at San Jose State University with a specialization in second language acquisition and applied linguistics. His favorite part of teaching language is helping provide students with the tools in order to express themselves in new ways, communicate to new groups of people, and explore cultures in different parts of the world.

Jen Battad
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Jen Battad

Office Administrator
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.

Jessica Peters
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Jessica Peters

School Counselor

M.A. California Institute of Integral Studies
M.P.H. Portland State University
B.A. Winona State University
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.


Jonah Zimmermann
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Jonah Zimmermann

Associate Teacher & Computer Science Specialist

B.S. Grinnell College
Jonah is thrilled to be welcomed into the wonderful community of learners that is KLS! He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Grinnell College, class of 2018, where he worked as a researcher into different ways to structure Introductory Computer Science curriculums for elementary and middle school students. After graduating from Grinnell College, Jonah worked as a tutor for middle and high school students in Chicago, spurring him to continue his passion for Computer Science education, and he greatly looks forward to continuing this journey at KLS. In his free time, he enjoys video games and appreciating California winters (or lack thereof).

Julia Doscher
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Julia Doscher

Level 1 Advisor and Math Specialist

B.S. Florida State University
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. 

Julio Morales

Marie-Helene Bauguil
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Marie-Helene Bauguil

Lower School Art Specialist

M.A. Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Architecture de Toulouse
Ed.D. San Jose State University
French-born Marie-Helene Bauguil is a visual artist and educator with 13+ years of experience teaching fine arts to children and adults. She believes that deep inside each person, there lives an artist. She strives to create learning environments in which students allow their inner artist-self to grow and flourish. In addition to teaching studio art techniques and media, she has designed and implemented arts programs in a variety of settings, and has mentored teachers and volunteers in how to teach art. She holds a Master in Architecture and recently completed an Ed.D in Educational Leadership.  When she is not working or passionately advocating for the arts and arts education, Marie-Helene enjoys meeting with friends, hiking, and gardening. 

Melissa Blanco
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Melissa Blanco

Level 2 Advisor & Math Coordinator

M.Ed. Technology, University of Florida
B.A. University of Florida
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. 

Michael Hurley
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Michael Hurley

Level 3 Advisor & Lower School Math Specialist
Originally from the Greater Los Angeles area, Michael is thrilled to be a part of the KLS team. He has experience teaching 7th grade math and science, and most recently taught 4th grade in Oakland, CA. Now entering his sixth year of teaching, Michael is ready to work with IL3 students as a math specialist and advisor. He earned his B.A. in Liberal Arts from Cal Poly Pomona and his M.Ed. from Harvard University in Mind, Brain, and Education. He strongly believes in grounding learning in authentic, real-world problems. When not in the classroom, Michael enjoys long-distance running, whether on the road or trails and is a huge Clippers fan (sorry, Warriors!) He is looking forward to discovering all of the outdoor opportunities that the Bay Area has to offer. 

Mikki McMillion
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Mikki McMillion

Level 4 Advisor and ELA/Social Studies Specialist

B.A. from San Jose State University
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.

Parisa Badizadegan
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Parisa Badizadegan

Level 4 Advisor & Lower School Math Specialist

M. Ed. University of Utah
B.S. University of Utah
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.

Patrick Neary
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Patrick Neary

Art Specialist & Design Specialist

M.A. University of San Francisco
B.F.A. California Institute of the Arts
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.

Renee Scherer

Shannon Rossi
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Shannon Rossi

Level 2 Advisor & ELA Specialist

B.A. San Jose State University
Shannon is a Bay Area native who has dedicated her  teaching career to early childhood education, working in a variety of settings primarily with children ages 3 to 8 years old.  She earned her BA in Liberal Studies and completed her Multiple Subject Credential coursework at San Jose State University. During her tenure with the Diocese of San Jose, Shannon was certificated in Blended Learning through Santa Clara University’s Academy of Blended Learning.  She helped to implement, manage, and produce a school-wide theater arts program as well as direct annual musicals in her classroom. Shannon is beyond excited to be a part of the KLS team and looks forward to collaborating, designing and implementing instruction, and sharing favorite picture books with her class.  When not creating engaging learning experiences for her students, Shannon enjoys gardening, cooking, catching comedy shows and theatrical productions with her family, supporting her daughter on both the stage and soccer field, and collecting smashed pennies and two-dollar bills.

Sharifa Khan
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Sharifa Khan

Level 1 Advisor and ELA Specialist

M.A. University of California, Santa Cruz
B.A. California State University, San Francisco
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.

Theresa Pathak
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Theresa Pathak

Director of Strategic Communications & Marketing

M.A. University of Paris
B.B.A. Loyola Marymount University
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.

Tim Clem

Tooba Hamid
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Tooba Hamid

Middle & Upper School Math Specialist

M.A. University of Reading, U.K.
B.A. University of Reading, U.K.
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.


QuantumCamp @ KLS
QuantumCamp @ KLS's picture

QuantumCamp @ KLS

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.