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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Karolina Kopczynski—Teacher

Dr. Kopczynski earned her B.A in Spanish from UMASS, Amherst where she also studied, French, German, Italian and Russian. She obtained her M.A.T. in Spanish and ESOL from the School for International Training, VT. She completed her Ed.D. from the University of Phoenix in Curriculum and Instruction and two additional Master degrees from the University of Jaén in Spain and the University Iberoamericana in Puerto Rico. She developed curricula and taught all levels of Spanish. Dr. Kopczynski has presented at World Language Conferences and held international webinars  on Use of Technology in a Foreign Language Classroom.

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

Marc Derek Smith—Teacher

Marc has been teaching English for more than 19 years. He holds an ED. S. Education Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Educational Technology from Liberty University, an M.A. Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Instructional Technology from George Mason University, a Bachelors of Arts in English and Teacher Certification from Norfolk State University, and he is currently working on his doctorate degree. Marc has published poems, articles, written scripts, and is working on a book. When he’s not teaching he loves repelling, hiking, and riding his Harley.

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.

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.

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.

Sebastian James—Business Representative

Sebastian is one of our customer service representatives and lead designer of SVHS. With a backround in customer relations for several graphic design firms, Sebastian has experience coordinating on behalf of these firms with several large technology corporations. He has volunteered his time as a graphic designer to raise money for his local education community to help acquire the funding needed to maintain various local education programs. As the lead designer of our website, Sebastian has extensive knowledge of our learning platform and business model.

Collin Corbella—Business Representative

With over 4 years of experience in sales, marketing, and customer relationship management, Collin assists both our customer support team as well as business development activities at SVHS. He has a passion for helping students succeed with over 6 years working as a private tutor during his time in high school and as a student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where he studied to earn his Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering. He prides himself on maintaining strong relationships with our partner high schools, valued counselors, and education specialists. He has a strong belief in the value of video-based learning that SVHS provides as he was always a student who learned better working independently at his own pace rather than inside of a classroom through the lecture-based system utilized in traditional education settings. He maintains the core values of SVHS believing that with the right combination of self-paced learning activities and teacher support all students can become successful in their educational career.

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.

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