Menlo News August 18, 2022

Meet the New Upper School Faculty and Staff

You’ll see some new faces around campus this year, and we’re excited for you to get to know them. From near and far, they’ve come to join the Menlo community, and we’re thrilled to welcome this dynamic group of professionals. Meet the new Upper School faculty and staff.

You can meet the new Middle School faculty and staff here.

Upper School

  • Upper School History

    I was born in Aspen but raised down the road in Santa Cruz where I attended Mount Madonna School. I studied at Bard College in upstate New York, and I began my teaching career in the South Bronx. Since then I taught at the American School of Milan in Italy for seven years and went on to become the Assistant Principal of the International School of Ho Chi Minh City. Entering my 15th year in education, I’ve also taught at Woodburn Maximum Security Prison in upstate New York, staffed in the United States House of Representatives, coached Junior Olympic Volleyball, and supported NGO advocacy efforts with the United Nations. 

    My wife and I recently welcomed identical twin girls into the world on Valentine’s Day, 2022. Before this milestone, I enjoyed beach volleyball, scuba diving reefs around the world, and anything from northern Italy. 

  • Upper School History

    I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, spending most of my formative years in Hayward, CA. I was the first in my family to pursue and achieve a four-year college degree: in History, a subject I absolutely love. After coming to the realization that education was a calling, I earned my teaching credential by serving as a resident teacher for Summit Public Schools in San Jose, CA. I followed this up by again teaching for Summit Public Schools, this time at the flagship campus in Redwood City.

    In my free time, I enjoy playing online video games, watching horror movies, reading, attending music festivals with family/friends, and trying new foods.

  • Upper School Counselor, Girls’ Basketball
    I proudly hail from Puerto Rico originally, where I was born and raised until the age of 11. My family and I then migrated to the state of Alabama until the end of my undergraduate college years, and I’ve lived in sunny California ever since.

    I started my post-college career as a non-profit youth worker in East Palo Alto and then went into the EdTech startup world before finally landing in counseling. I earned my M.A. in Counseling from Palo Alto University, then received my National Certified Counselor certification after a few years in the profession. I’m ecstatic that I get to do this work every day. My ultimate goal as a school counselor is to create therapeutic relationships with students where they feel fully accepted for who they are and where they can genuinely embrace their differences and unique abilities as strengths.

    Outside of Menlo, I enjoy playing and watching any sport you can think of, especially basketball. I’m also a percussionist with studio and touring experience.
  • Upper School Assistant Director

    I am entering my 18th year in education and my 10th year as a high school administrator. I have been fortunate to have had a wide range of experience in the classroom, with teaching experience in grades 4-12, both in the Bay Area and Honolulu, HI. My experience with coaching baseball and track is one of the main reasons I pursued a career in education. During my coaching experience, I learned about the value of building rapport and making connections while helping others reach their dreams and potential.

    In my free time, I enjoy playing golf and cheering on Chicago sports teams. Additionally, traveling has provided me with opportunities to meet many people from diverse cultures, which has positively impacted the way I interact with individuals from various backgrounds. Still, Ko Phi Phi and Mo’orea will always be on the top of my list.

    My family is an inspiration and spending time with my wife, Gabriella, and daughter, Ayla, is definitely my favorite thing to do outside my professional sphere.

  • Spanish

    As a native of Washington state, I came to Menlo eager to experience the Bay culture and year-round sun! My route to education has been anything but traditional. Growing up one of seven kids in a Mexican American household in the 1980s, my family was one of a few in our tiny hometown. I grew up fighting the stereotypes of my two cultures but never feeling like I fit in either. This struggle sparked my journey to teaching.

    After graduating high school, I fled to Bellingham, WA, and obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Western Washington University, where I tutored Spanish and fell in love with sharing my culture and language. Upon receiving my Bachelor’s degree I took a two-year hiatus before returning to my studies. At the University of Washington I taught Spanish and was model TA while earning my Master’s degree in Hispanic Studies. I taught high school and college Spanish for four years before leaving the classroom to raise my kids. During this time I worked part time as a paraprofessional in various elementary schools focusing on language acquisition and reading fluency. I passionately spent the last four years establishing a Spanish program at Cascade High School in Leavenworth, WA, where I taught all levels of Spanish, introduced College in the High School, and created a Spanish class for heritage speakers.

    When I am not focused on teaching, I am hanging out with my two favorite people, my kids Talia and Taj. Together we hike, camp, and spoil our 8-year-old pup, Rosie Posie. I also love feeding my creativity through party planning, cooking, baking, and gardening.

  • Director of Sports Performance and Wellness, Program Director for Boys Soccer

    I’m originally from Seattle, Washington. Most recently, I served as Director of Performance for the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer. Prior to that, my experiences include Head of Athletic Performance for the San Jose Earthquakes, US Soccer, Performance Coach, San Jose Sharks, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Santa Clara University, Director of Performance, Analysis/Strength and Conditioning Coach/Volunteer Assistant, Coach for Women’s Soccer, Trinity Lutheran College, Head Women’s Soccer Coach, Pierce College, Head Men’s Soccer Coach, various Youth Club Programs either Coaching and Performance Staff. 

    When I’m not coaching, I enjoy exploring and hanging out with family and friends as much as possible. 

  • Upper School Mathematics, JV Boys’ and Girls’ Tennis Coach

    I joined Menlo School as a math teacher and tennis coach in the fall of 2022. As an alumnus of this school, it’s a treat to return to this school as an educator.

    I graduated from USC with a degree in Business Administration, concentrating in corporate finance. It was there that I developed my love of teaching as an assistant in several undergraduate courses, including statistics, financial modeling, and strategic communication. I also volunteered to teach earthquake science at a local school as an undergraduate. After staying to complete my master’s in financial accounting, I worked at Deloitte & Touche for several years in their audit practice.

    An emphasis in life science companies led to further exploration in the public health sector. It was there that I rediscovered a love for teaching. I’ve since taught mathematics at the Nueva School and the College Preparatory School, respectively. 

  • Upper School Mathematics

    As a teacher with experience internationally and locally in Northern California, I’m excited to be a part of Menlo’s wonderful academic team. From 1994 to 1997, I taught conversational English in Korea and Thailand and then, after a long but exciting motorcycle trip across the USA, I settled in California ultimately teaching at Mission High School in San Francisco. In 2007, I earned my MA in Mathematics, became a college professor at Holy Names University, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College. I also taught at Pinewood School in Los Altos. From 2015-2021, I taught at Notre Dame High School in Belmont, and this past year I was a teacher at Priory School in Portola Valley.

    I live in Pacifica with my wife and two children (ages 17 and 19) where we enjoy the coastal life: surfing, hiking, and the cool fog. 

  • Associate Director of College Counseling

    I joined Menlo School’s College Counseling team in the summer of 2022. My previous experiences include college counseling at Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, Director of College Completion at College Track in East Palo Alto, and Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at UC Berkeley.

    I bring my passion and experience in the realms of college applications, college decisions, and college completion to support students in their search for the campus environments that best suit their academic interests, intellectual pursuits, and desired communities.

    I love to travel the world with my wife, experience all the food the Bay Area has to offer, and go on walks with our two-year-old Goldendoodle named Dobby! 

  • Upper School History

    Born and raised in the Bay Area, I feel an immense connection in supporting the community I’ve called home for so much of my life. From an early age, I knew not only that I wanted to be a teacher, but more importantly, I wanted to be part of an educational system that allowed each of us to recognize the importance of every individual’s story and the immense power each of us holds with our thoughts and actions. Working and learning under fantastic educators throughout my secondary and higher education at UC Davis and Stanford’s STEP program only furthered my passion and dedication toward teaching, education, and supporting my community.

    In my spare time, I enjoy watching Bay Area sports, cooking, trying new boba places, and spending time with my partner and our attention-seeking dogs, Bella and Milo.

  • Upper School Mathematics

    My first educational position was as a teaching assistant (2007) while pursuing a masters degree. Since then I have held a variety of positions including content expert for middle school science in Denver area schools, teaching assistant, college math instructor (Denver and Beijing), college math professor (Sacramento), and middle school science teacher. I have also worked in construction, engineering, CNC programming, and even truck driving.

    Outside of work I enjoy cooking, designing electronic gadgets, computer programming, riding my motorcycle, photography, and anything else that catches my attention. Because I love learning, I enjoy trying new hobbies and activities.

  • Head Librarian

    As a Bay Area native, I was raised on the Peninsula and continue to call it my home. I grew up with a deep fondness for reading, learning, and helping others, so at a young age I thought I might become a teacher.

    I was the first in my family to graduate from college with a BA in English, all the while not certain if I would in fact take a traditional teaching path. To support my studies, I worked several part-time jobs and my favorite quickly made itself known: the library. It was while working alongside some incredible librarians at Redwood City Public Library that I discovered I could apply my passions and ambitions through librarianship. With this spark of inspiration, I continued my studies at SJSU. Throughout grad school I began working at Burlingame High School, overseeing the library and connecting with some awesome teens. After I earned my MLIS, I received my first professional librarian job as a Reference and Instruction Librarian at Palo Alto University. Though I enjoyed the thoughtful and academic environment of the university library, I missed all the energy and enthusiasm of the school library. Joining the Menlo community means I now get the best of both worlds and I am extremely excited to be a part of it!

    When I’m not in and around libraries, you can find me diving into my next good read or movie, enjoying live music, traveling, hanging with my family and friends, popping into a local bookshop, and cozying up with Zushi, my crazy cat.

  • Applied Science and Engineering Teacher

    Originally hailing from the East Coast, I made a quick escape to the west immediately after graduating from the University of Delaware. My teaching career started in 1997 at the Webb Schools of California where I taught 9th grade science and coached wrestling. After my years at Webb, I headed to the Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles where I enjoyed teaching a variety of subjects and coaching for 16 years. Now, I’m joining Menlo after four years at the Thacher School in Ojai where I taught science classes, coached, and led multiple backcountry trips into the wilderness.

    In my spare time, I enjoy skiing, surfing, paragliding, and backpacking with my wife Melanie and our dog Moose.

  • Varsity Baseball Head Coach, Middle School Physical Education Teacher, Sports Science/Data Analysis Specialist
  • Mandarin 

    I was born and raised in Taiwan and earned my master’s degree from “The” Ohio State University in 2009. Before relocating to California in 2013, I taught ESL and Mandarin at a public school. Since then, I’ve taught Mandarin to 6th-12th graders in both private and public schools for over a decade. I joined Menlo in 2019 for a year and taught all five levels of Mandarin. Currently, I work in the Palo Alto school district and will be teaching one class in Menlo this year. I am very excited to return to this community again.

    In my spare time, I enjoy singing karaoke, baking, exploring gourmet foods, and traveling with my family. 

  • Middle School Physical Education, Track and Field Assistant Coach, Upper School Football Assistant Coach

    After 26 years of teaching, coaching, and holding various administrative roles, I joined Menlo in 2021 as a part-time physical education teacher and varsity football coach. I am excited to join the Student Life team and continue to work in the Athletics department.

    Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, I bleed black and gold. Following graduate school in my beloved city, I gained valuable experience as a classroom teacher and coach working for a few years in public schools. I returned to my alma mater, the Kiski School, to teach history, coach football and basketball, and serve as a dorm supervisor. From there, I became the Dean of Students, AP US History teacher, varsity football head coach, and varsity girls’ basketball head coach at the St. Mary’s School in Medford, OR.

    The past 18 years, before arriving at Menlo in 2021, were spent at University School in Hunting Valley, OH, where I taught various levels of high school history, worked as a class dean, coached varsity football and freshman basketball, and lead the varsity track and field team as head coach.

    I live in Palo Alto with my wife and three children. In my spare time, I particularly love to watch my son’s wrestling matches, my daughter’s softball games, and my oldest daughter’s dance performances.


  • Photographer and Digital Content Specialist

    Originally from the Bay Area, I’ve spent eight years in Los Angeles attending college and beginning my career in communications. At Loyola Marymount University I pursued my interests in photography, graphic design, and video, earning a degree in Multimedia studies with an Art History minor. Before joining Menlo School, I served as the Multimedia Specialist and Yearbook Coordinator at Windward School in Los Angeles, producing magazines and annual reports and partnering with the Advancement team on fundraising campaigns.

    I am a technology and photography enthusiast—if you have any questions in those fields, you’ve come to the right person! In my free time, I enjoy exploring National Parks and doing landscape photography.

    I’m excited to be working with such a welcoming team of professionals at Menlo School!

  • Accountant
  • Child Care Center Teacher
  • Communications Manager

    Originally from Missouri, I’ve been a California transplant since 2006. Prior to arriving here, I lived in Geneva, Switzerland, working as a Behavioral Therapist. After earning my BA in Psychology from the University of Tampa, I began my career in Mental Health, working as a Crisis Specialist for a nonprofit behavioral health organization.

    I joined Menlo in the spring of 2008 as the Assistant to the Dean of Students. In 2012 I took some time off from work when my children were newly hatched, then transitioned to design work for a few years. However, I dearly missed the day-to-day life of working in a school and was brought back on staff at Menlo as the Assistant to the Dean of Students in the fall of 2017. In my new role as Communications Manager, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to blend my passions for project management, design, and communication.

    I live in San Jose with my husband, daughter, son, and cat. I enjoy cooking, reading, making art, and hiking around the beautiful Bay Area.

  • Educational Technology Lead, Freshmen Dean

    I grew up in the East Bay before moving to Southern California to complete my undergraduate and Master’s degrees. I taught eight years of middle school history before moving back to the Bay Area in 2017, where I taught five years of U.S. History and was the Educational Technology Specialist for a private school. I love being in the classroom, making history relevant and relatable for students, supporting teachers to enhance their lessons and the student learning experience through technology integration.

    In addition to teaching and Ed Tech, I enjoy traveling. I studied abroad in South Africa in college and spent some time volunteering for a nonprofit after completing my Bachelor’s degree. My love for other cultures and people groups allowed me to take students on volunteer and learning trips to the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and The Navajo Nation. Additionally, I’ve coached middle school and JV high school volleyball.

    In my free time, I love staying active, whether exercising, hiking, or spending time by the water. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, especially if good food is involved. 

  • Business Office Administrative Coordinator
  • Associate Director of Admissions - Middle School

    I am a Bay Area native and Menlo alum! After graduating from Menlo in 2014, I attended Carleton College where I majored in psychology and neuroscience. After college, I worked in the admissions office for two years at Woodland School in Portola Valley before moving to Nashville, Tennessee, to get my master’s at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of Education. I am excited to return to Menlo and to work with the admissions team. I had a wonderful experience here as a student, and I am excited to help connect future classes with the opportunities a Menlo education provides.

    Outside of work I love to cook, try new restaurants, read, hike, and spend time with my friends and family. 

  • Director of Admissions and Financial Aid

    I’ve worked in education since 2004. I started at the nonprofit, Making Waves Education Program before transitioning to independent schools and working exclusively in the world of admissions for the last decade. Highlights of my career have included advising student affinity groups and clubs and working as an advocate for small cohorts.

    I love meeting and working with new families and introducing prospective students to the myriad opportunities at independent schools to learn and grow. I am excited to join the vibrant and kind community at Menlo.

    Activities I enjoy outside of work include reading, writing, traveling, surfing, watching basketball, and spending time with my dogs. Some of my favorite international travel destinations have been Cuba, Belize, and Australia.