ABOUT OUR TEAM

The team behind SVHS combines experienced teachers and educators with startup experts, lawyers and website content developers.

David Smith—Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

A former executive with Apple Computer, David has more than 30 years’ experience of founding and managing technology startups. He holds a JD from Santa Clara University School of Law, Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing from the University of Westminster and a BS (Honors) Computer Science and Economics from the University of Leeds. In the 1990’s David founded and acted as CEO for SurfMonkey, the leading web browser and Internet safety service for children. David has authored several books on business and intellectual property and is recognized by IAM magazine as one of the world’s leading intellectual property strategists.

Ryan Teves—Co-Founder

Ryan is a high school teacher and tutor with more than 20 years’ experience. Ryan Teves graduated with a B.A. in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology from the University of California, and received a masters degree in secondary education. He also holds a single subject teaching credential for both science and math, and has a preliminary administration credential. Ryan founded the Brainstorms Learning Center in 2001, and has taught in every area of high school including public high schools, a private high school, summer school, a charter school, and a home school collective. Ryan also wrote and published a book entitled In Defense of the American Teen, an Insiders Commentary on the State of Our Secondary Schools, in 2010.

Jamie DeWitt—School Principal & Academic Advisor

Jamie DeWitt has 15 years’ experience in education as a classroom teacher, online high school teacher, and school administrator. Jamie earned her B.A. in History from University of California, San Diego, M.A. in Social Sciences from California State University, San Bernardino, and doctorate in education from Walden University. She has teaching credentials in both English and History, and an administrative services credential. Jamie has taught courses to middle school and high school students in all content areas, in a variety of educational settings including alternative public school, online charter school, and independent study.

Michaela Smith—Registrar & Chief Operating Officer

Michaela has been managing the development of websites and web-based businesses since the advent of the Internet more than 25 years ago. She developed the world’s first CD-ROM to be filled with paid advertising, the world’s first virtual reality trade show and led the team that created the award-winning SurfMonkey web portal for children. She has managed the development of sophisticated web-based software systems on the .Net/Windows and PHP/Linux platforms. Michaela manages customer service as well as the back office administration and website development activities for SVHS. She is usually the person you speak to when you click the Chat button below.

Emmanuel Ejiogu—Quality-Control

Working with Silicon Valley Business School, Emmanuel has more than 4 years’ experience developing online courseware, and managing quality control. Prior to this he was Deputy Director at the Service for Peace in Connecticut and worked on a variety of fundraising and business planning projects. With SVHS, Emmanuel supports the creation and management of SVHS courses on the Moodle platform. He undertakes quality control testing, customer support, project management, regulatory compliance management and various aspects of course development. Emmanuel holds a Bachelors Degree in Automotive Technology Engineering.

Mark Cameron White—General Counsel

Mark Cameron White holds a JD from University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, an MBA from Harvard University, Graduate School of Business and a BA, Economics, 1977 (Phi Beta Kappa) from Rutgers College, Rutgers University. Since 2007, Mark has been recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers magazine (independent research by Law & Politics). Mark formed and represented many notable Silicon Valley startups including Tesla Motors and Hotmail.

Sarah Legaspi—Teacher

Sarah is an Education Specialist with 7 years experience in the state of California. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from American Intercontinental Online University in 2004 and completed her Multiple Subject Credential in 2007 and Master’s of Science in Education in 2008 at California Baptist University. She has taught elementary, middle and high school core classes as well as intervention classes at the middle and high school level. During her years in teaching, she has been trained in many different curriculum and assessment programs. She has researched Common Core-aligned curriculum for adoption at the school site and at the state level.

Derek Postlewaite—Teacher

Derek is a social studies teacher who has taught online for about 5 years. He graduated with a Master of Arts in Teaching Social Studies at the Secondary Level from California University of Pennsylvania in the spring of 2012, and since then he has created, modified and administered multiple online courses within the social studies discipline, and taught 8th grade Civics & Economics & 6th US History I for 2 years in rural Virginia. Derek moved back to southwestern Pennsylvania in the summer of 2016 with his wife and 3 year old daughter, and began expanding his credentials by acquiring his TEFL certificate and working with Chinese students online, including elementary, secondary and adult. Derek also has experience in tutoring, assessment writing and evaluating lessons of other educators.

Cherie Brown—Teacher

Cherie

Cherie has more that 20 years experience in education as a classroom teacher, online high school teacher, homeschool teacher and school administrator. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Biola University, received her teaching credential from Azusa Pacific University and her M.A. in Educational Technology from Boise State. She holds a credential in Mathematics, a multiple subject credential and an Administrative Credential. Cherie has taught and developed curriculum in a variety of educational settings, desiring to see all students come to an understanding that anyone can learn math if they have the right tools and believe they can succeed!

Arthur Marin—Teacher

 Arthur has more than 15 years teaching experience as a mathematics teacher and more than 10 years experience as an online teacher and tutor. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Applied Mathematics from the University of California, San Diego, received a single subject teaching credential in Mathematics from California State University, San Marcos and his Master of Arts in Mathematics Education from San Diego State University. Arthur has taught math courses for perspective elementary school teachers, helping students have deep understanding of mathematics.

Suzanne King—Teacher

Suzanne has more than 20 years teaching Spanish at the high school and elementary levels, She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish at Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA and her single subject Spanish Credential from Sonoma State University. She also studied in Oaxaca, Mexico where she taught English. Suzanne has worked as a high school Spanish teacher in Sonoma County for 16 years and has received extensive training in curriculum design and assessment. She is passionate about teaching language and culture and has traveled extensively throughout Latin America and Spain.

Christina McQueen—Teacher

Christina has over 10 years of teaching experience. She has taught both primary and secondary education, specializing in Spanish. Christina received her Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish at the University of Nevada, Reno and her Master’s in Teaching at Sierra Nevada College. She also has instructed ESL/ELL, P.E. and AVID, led student international trips to Spain, Costa Rica, and Japan, coached men’s and women’s volleyball, skiing, and snow-boarding, and has multiple educational training credentials. She also co-founded a non-profit English Language Learning school in Rivas, Nicaragua.

Cristina McFadden-Shopp—Teacher

Cristina is a Biology teacher with over 10 years of experience. She has taught a variety of science courses at the high school level including Biology, Environmental Science, Earth Science, and Marine Biology. Her experience is at both comprehensive high schools and independent study schools. Cristina received her Bachelor of Science, single-subject teaching credential in Biological Sciences, and Master of Arts in Education all from the University of California, Davis. 

Lawrence Decamora—Teacher

Lawrence teaches Java and other open source programming languages.  He has been a university instructor for 20 years while working with various industries, both in the public and in the private sectors as an IT Consultant. He also worked for 5 years as a Java trainer for Sun Microsystems, the original creators of the Java Technology.  He has authored a book on Java and designed various courses and curricula around this technology. Lawrence is an Oracle Certified Java Programmer and a Sun Certified Java Programmer. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science and a Masters Degree in Education.

Anand Chella Nadar—Head of I.T. & Software Development

Anand heads up a team of engineers responsible for developing the SVHS websites and managing the I.T. platform. His team of engineers includes Phaneendra Phaneendra who manages the .Net website, Sheik Ibrahim and Arul Ginesh who manage the Moodle sites and PHP code. Anand holds a B.E. degree in Computer Science from MS University Tirunelveli and an MBA in International Business from the Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu.

Dan Garrett—Member of the Board of Advisors

Dan Garrett is the Director, Technical Publication and Global Labeling at Intuitive Surgical, leading a department of project managers, technical writers, graphic designers, and labeling specialists to create and maintain Instructions for Use for robotic assisted surgical systems. Prior to this role, Dan has led training and education departments for customers, field service engineers, and manufacturing technicians for medical device and diagnostic companies in Silicon Valley. In the US Navy and Navy Reserves, Dan was an instructor, evaluator, leadership facilitator, and Senior Enlisted Leader. Dan holds a B.S. degree in Biochemistry from University of California, Riverside.

Eric Blanco—Member of the Board of Advisors

Eric is an experienced school counselor working with University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria High School and Ernest Righetti High School. He is the Past President (2017-2018) for the California Association of School Counselors and a Member of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). Eric holds an M.S., School Counseling, a P.P.S. Credential from University of La Verne and a B.S., Psychology from California Polytechnic State University.

Teaching Faculty and Course Development Teams

We are proud of the numerous credentialed teachers that we have on our team. They create courses, quizzes, finals, assignments, grade assignment submissions, and are instrumental in ensuring our courses comply with the various state standards.