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ABOUT OUR TEAM

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

Executives

David Smith—Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

A former Apple World Marketing Manager, 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.

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. 

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.

Teachers

Stephanie Belli—Teacher

Stephanie loves science and helping others experience the joy of discovery. She has over 20 years of experience teaching Biology and Chemistry in grades 6-12. Stephanie holds a BS degree from the University of California, Davis and is working on her Masters at Western Governors University. She holds credentials in Biology, Chemistry, and Animal Science.

Tim Clark—Teacher

Tim Clark has taught science in Southern California schools for over 30 years. He has spent those years teaching a variety of courses like biology, anatomy, earth science and physical science. Tim also has enjoyed connecting with students through coaching sports and being a club advisor. He earned his B.S. in Biological Science from U.C. Irvine in 1985, Single Subject Science Teaching Credential in 1992 and M.A. in Educational Technology from Azusa Pacific University in 2020.

 

LouAnn Cunningham—Teacher

LouAnn Cunningham has over 20 years of teaching experience at both the secondary and university levels. She obtained a B.S. degree from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. She then completed an M.A. at the University of Mississippi, where her focus was American Literature. Ms. Cunningham has taught English Composition courses at several universities and junior colleges. She has also been a high school classroom teacher for more than 20 years with several years of online teaching experience at the high school level as well.

Jim Daniel—Teacher

Jim has taught high school English in the San Francisco Bay Area for 27 years. He graduated from UCLA with a degree in English literature, spent his twenties cleaning rain gutters, writing about technology, and selling phone plans before realizing he would rather do something that actually mattered. Since this epiphany, he has taught 10th, 11th, and 12th grade English, in addition to a strategic support class, in the process designing and implementing rigorous curriculum and assessments for students of all levels. He also currently works for a non-profit organization that offers enrichment programs and support for highly motivated students from impoverished backgrounds ages 9 through college.

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, a Masters Degree in Education and is currently pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Education Management.

Heather Dunham—Teacher

Heather has over 25 years of teaching experience in science and math. She obtained her Bachelor of Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Chemistry with a minor in Environmental Science and Mathematics and her Master in Education for Science Teacher from Union College. She holds teaching certification in grades 7-12 Science, Chemistry, and Math from the state of New York and Montana. Heather has taught middle school, high school and community college and high school is her favorite.

Jeff Junior—Teacher

Jeff is passionate about making mathematics more clear for his students. No mathematics question is too small; such questions allow mathematics learning to occur. The utilization of the computer as a tool for helping to learn mathematics has always been an area of focus of Jeff’s. He holds an MS in Mathematics, Cleveland State University, Mathematics Teaching License (7-12), Ashland University, and BS in Applied Mathematics, Cleveland State University.

Richard Haislip—Teacher

Richard loves teaching mathematics in an energetic format where students take charge of their own learning. He has over 16 years of teaching high school students all levels of mathematics courses. Richard holds a bachelors degree from Bucknell University and a masters degree from National University.

Amanda Cohen—Teacher

Amanda began her love of teaching as an environmental science camp counselor in her teens. She majored in Psychology and Education at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She earned her M.Ed. at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has spent most of her career teaching science and math at the 7-9th grade level. She also spent 13 years working as a science specialist teaching hands-on labs for 4th and 5th graders. Most recently, she has been working with high school students who are working from home to earn credit on all high school subjects. When she has extra time, she loves spending time with her 16 year old daughter and taking long walks on the beach or in the mountains with her Fox Red Labrador puppy, Cowboy.

Graciela Helguero-Balcells—Teacher

As an adjunct University professor, Dr. Graciela Helguero-Balcells has taught Spanish at graduate and professional level as well as undergraduate and high-school levels. She holds a MA in Spanish/Political Science from St. John’s University, MA in Literature from New York University, MA TESOL Certification from America University and PhD in Higher Education Administration/International Education from Lynn University in Florida.

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.

Hans Lehman—Teacher

Hans is a mathematics teachers with 18 years of experience. He holds a B.S. in Mathematics
with a concentration in teaching Secondary Education from Shippenburg University, and a Masters in Education from Walden University.  He enjoys teaching mathematics and answering student’s questions.  Hans is married with four kids and enjoys watching his kids play sports. His areas of expertise are Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Pre-Calculus.

Kim Lewis—Teacher

Kim has worked with Deaf and hard of hearing students and students learning American Sign Language for over 20 years. She has a B.A. from UC San Diego, a Certificate of American Sign Language from Vista College, and a M.A. and teaching credential from San Diego State University.

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.

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. 

Wendy Mcgowan—Teacher

Victoria Montes has been teaching for about 30 years. Wendy has 20 years of experience as a high school Spanish teacher with the last five as an online teacher.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish at California State University Hayward and during that time spent a semester abroad at the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain.  She also has a Masters in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education.  Wendy has taught high school Spanish levels 1, 2, and 3.  She received a scholarship for the Fulbright teacher exchange program and taught middle school in Aguascalientes, Mexico.  She lived in Mexico for six years in the states of Puebla and Nayarit. 

Steffen Mittelhaeuser—Teacher

Steffen Mittelhaeuser has over forty years experience as a commercial and fine art photographer. As an adjunct professor at Daytona State College Southeast Center for Photographic Studies he has developed and taught a wide range of Photography courses to both undergraduate and high-school students. He holds a MFA in Photography fromthe University of Michigan, and a BA from Bowling Green State University. His award-winning photography is held in the permanent collections of museums and has been internationally exhibited and published.

Callie Phillips—Teacher

Callie has several years of classroom teaching experience with experience building and grading online courses at the college level. She graduated with her Bachelor’s in Secondary Education: Social Studies Broadfield from Montana State University–Northern and is a licensed educator. She has taught a variety of grade levels in multiple subjects related to government, history, business, personal finance, etc. Callie is a strong advocate for online learning after growing up in rural Montana and recognizing the endless possibilities and resources that can be made available to students no matter their location or schedule via an online setting.

Derek Postlewaite—Teacher

Derek is a social studies teacher who has taught online since 2012. He graduated with a Master of Arts in Teaching Social Studies at the Secondary Level from California University of Pennsylvania in the spring of that same year, and since then he has created, modified and administered multiple online courses within the social studies discipline. He taught Civics & Economics and US History for two years in Virginia, and is also certified in English, as well as English as a Second Language, and has worked with several districts in the Pittsburgh area as a itinerant ESL teacher, arriving at multiple schools daily to serve the needs of English language learners. In addition, he is experienced in tutoring, assessment writing and evaluating the lessons of other educators.

Noah Roberts—Teacher

Noah has more than 10 years of experience in teaching languages and culture to students ranging from kindergarten to high school. He received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from Augusta State University in Augusta, GA, which included more than five months of studying Spanish at La Universidad de Salamanca in Spain. Noah also has two master’s degrees: Master of Arts in Teaching (Belhaven University) and Master of Divinity (Reformed Theological Seminary), where he learned Greek and Hebrew languages. He spent five years working at a school in Mérida, Yucatán, México, where he taught English to junior high and high schoolers. Afterwards, he taught Spanish at Davis Magnet International Baccalaureate School in Jackson, MS for 2 years and then started teaching at Rosa Scott High School.

Danielle St. Denis—Teacher

Danielle has a Bachelor’s of Mathematics, a Master’s of Education, and a Master’s in Data Analytics all from Slippery Rock University in western Pennsylvania. She has been tutoring and teaching students in math for over 14 years, and has a passion for helping students understand new concepts. With experience from elementary math topics to Calculus I and II (and everything in between), she most enjoys working with Algebra and Statistics. In her free time she enjoys traveling to new places, thrift shopping, and hanging out with her orange cat Morris.

Dave Stoner—Teacher

Dave has over 13 years teaching experience as an English teacher and several yeas as an online teacher and tutor. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, received a teaching certificate in English from Shippensburg University, and his Master of Arts in English from National University in San Diego. Dave has taught English, Communications, and Film courses, helping students have deep understanding of English Language Arts.

Nikki Wishard—Teacher

Nikki has more than 15 years of experience teaching Spanish at the high school level both in the classroom and online.  She holds a BSE in Spanish as well as a MS and a PhD in Education with a concentration in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. Nikki enjoys helping students develop a deep understanding of the Spanish language and explore the many cultures with which it is associated.

Customer Service

Emmanuel Ejiogu—Director of Quality Control

Emmanuel has been developing online courseware, and managing quality control since the school’s inception in 2013. 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.

Caitlin Aguero—Director of Customer Relations

Caitlin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Science from Eckerd College and multiple certifications as a Sailing Instructor (US Sailing Level 3 Head Instructor) and a Yoga Instructor (500-hr E-RYT). At Silicon Valley High School,  She is fluent in Spanish and is a credentialed science teacher. Caitlin is a firm believer in the SVHS platform and the benefits of learning through self paced curriculums that engage all types of learners. 

Alva Albay—Customer Service Representative

Alva is a customer service representative with Silicon Valley High School helping answer support questions from students, schools, counselors and others. Alva holds a Bachelor’s degree Library Science from Adventist University of the Philippines, a Masters in Library and Information Science from Polytechnic of the Philippines and is currently working on her Doctor of Educational Management. 

Deja Bryant—Customer Service Representative

Deja has over 10 years of customer service experience ranging from in person, phone, live chat, email, and social media support. She received her Associates of Art in Social and Behavioral Science. Since she was child, she has been involved in volunteer work as a teacher. Her volunteer work has taken her to 6/7 continents. She is a wanderlust who is devoted to providing friendly and efficient customer service to all.

Shona Hall—Customer Service

Shona has over 25 years of experience in business management and assists in running a small business with her family. She also has over 24 years of experience working in education teaching History, Science, Physical Education, and has worked as a Librarian, and Curriculum Coordinator for Charter Schools. Additionally, she has been homeschooling her own children for over 23 years and values online learning and all it has to offer. She is passionate about helping others in both business and education and excited to see all the opportunities at SVHS. In her free time Shona is a mentor Mom in her Community and volunteers as a Crisis Counselor.

Angie Lima—Customer Service

Angie is a customer service representative, supporting parents and students giving them the tools to ensure success in reaching their education goals. She has a passion for childhood development and education, and values the independent learning that SVHS has to offer. She was homeschooled herself and believes that has set the stage for her lifelong learning, which has become a requirement in this modern world. She was still in high school when she had the opportunity to study dental assisting, where she has spent the last 19 years. Working closely with the public, taking on managerial and customer service roles will aid her in this new journey. In her spare time, Angie loves to continue her own education, focusing on nutrition and health, as well as training for her next race or triathlon.

Meagan Schlueter—Customer Service

Meagan has a Bachelor’s degree in History and is a licensed teacher with 12 years of teaching experience in in-person and online environments. At Silicon Valley High School, Meagan helps answer questions from students, parents, schools, and counselors. She also works on our Quality Control team, helping to ensure that courses are up to date. Meagan enjoys being able to work each day helping students succeed with the SVHS platform.

Sales and Marketing

Collin Corbella—Business Representative

Collin helps support our sales and marketing efforts in a variety of ways. He has extensive experience in both fields and has been a welcome addition to our team. He believes strongly in the core values SVHS that with the right combination of self-paced learning activities and teacher support all students can become successful in their educational career.

Sebastian James—Business Representative / Creative Director

Sebastian is one of our business representatives, with experience in graphic design, sales, and advertising. An animation degree and a keen eye for web design; he designed the website and all graphics across the website and advertising channels. As well as being our lead creative he has experience in customer support, sales, and advertising. Sebastian has experience as an entrepreneur and has worked in sales alongside his animation passion for 13 years. Sebastian is responsible for the growth of company sales and producing marketing creatives.

Enric Batalla—Search Marketing Strategist

Enric handles social media management and online marketing with SVHS. In this capacity he engages with thousands of potential customers. He raises awareness of SVHS with schools, students, parents and various online groups and organizations, increasing SEO visibility and brand recognition. Enric holds a Master’s in Digital Marketing from ESIC University currently #18 in Europe and #109 in the World (Bloomberg). He also holds a BBA from Florida Atlantic University with honors and a Bachelor’s in Marketing Management from ESIC University with honors.

Engineering

Anand Chella Nadar—Chief Technical Officer

Anand has more than 15 years’ experience in software design & development, web applications development, system security, mobile App development and ERP solutions. He heads up a team of engineers responsible for developing the SVHS websites and managing the I.T. platform. His team of close to 50 engineers includes Arul Ginesh and Sheik Ibrahim 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.

Arul Ginesh—Engineering Team Lead

Arul is an experienced full-stack web application developer who has been leading the development for SVHS on the Moodle platform for more than 5 years. Arul holds a Bachelor of Computer Science & Engineering from Anna University.

Ajay Kumar—Senior Software Engineer

Ajay is a more than 9 of years’ experience in software design & development, web applications development, ERP, CRM and LMS Development. Ajay has 9 year’s experience working on Moodle eLearning, VTiger CRM, Suite CRM, Sugar CRM and on PHP, MYSQL. He holds a B.Tech. degree in Computer Science from UPTU (Lucknow) and Pursing MBA in Cyber Security from Amity University (Online) Noida (India).

Kirupa Lakshmi—Technical Lead

Kirupa Lakshmi has 12 years of experience in full stack web development with 6 years in experience in the education domain working on the Moodle LMS. Lakshmi has been customizing Moodle themes, core libraries and has extensive knowledge of the Moodle Backend. She has experience in frameworks like Codeignitier, Zend, Smarty and Shopify, Odoo ERP System, Mysql. Lakshmi holds Master of Computer Application from Bharathidasan University, Tamilnadu.

Senthamizh Selvi—Senior Software Engineer

Selvi has 7 years of experience in software development and web application development. She has 5 years of experience working on Moodle LMS and more than a year of experience in phonegap(Cordova) mobile app development and the Codeignitier framework. Selvi holds a B.Tech degree from Ganadipathy Tulsi’s Jain Engineering, India. In her free times, she enjoy spend time with friends & family, cooking & listening to music, and playing outdoor games.

Sheik Ibrahim A—Senior Software Engineer

Sheik is a a full-stack web developer with knowledge in different front end and back end languages, responsive frameworks, databases, and best code practices. Sheik has been developing and customizing Moodle for more than 5 years. Sheik holds a Bachelor of Computer Science & Engineering from Anna University.

Abhishek Lal—Senior Software Engineer

Abhishek has been developing for SVHS on the Moodle platform since 2020. He holds a Masters in Computer Applications from Cochin University of Science and Technology.

Afshan Anjum—Quality Analyst

Afshan has been managing quality control and testing of Moodle software for SVHS since 2020. She holds a bachelor degree in computer science and engineering from G Madegowda Institute of Technology (GMIT).

David Quintero—Learning Technology Engineer

As Learning Technology Consultant within the e-Learning Software Development industry, Dave incorporates years of experience in e-learning technology, managing and leading Project Management and Engineering Teams. While making sure all quality standards are met within an organization, Dave has made sure to provide powerful input to Fortune 500 corporations, State Universities throughout the US and government funded organizations by optimizing live systems and guiding evolution of internal processes, e-learning tools and platforms.

Advisory Board

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.

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.

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.

University of California, A-G Approved Course List

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