Future Ready SD Symposium Presenter Biographies



Brittney Cairns
Cathedral Catholic High School
Twitter: @ELATeachBritt 

Brittney Cairns is a 10th grade English teacher at Cathedral Catholic High School. She graduated from California State University, San Marcos with a degree in Literature & Writing and from the University of Leeds in England with a master's degree in American Literature & Culture.  After a few years of traveling, and subsequently learning about her own culture, she pursued her passion of teaching and became a graduate of the University of San Diego with a master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction. Brittney is passionate about bringing her student's world into the classroom and bridging the gap between classroom education and real-world experiences.  She believes in student centered learning and challenging her students to recognize the various perspectives of the world.


Georgia Figueroa
San Diego Unified School District, High Tech High
Twitter: @georgia_fig

After graduating from San Diego State University in 2008 with a BA in Psychology and an emphasis in Psycholinguistics, Georgia decided to pursue her passion for working with children. In 2010, Georgia earned her Multiple-Subjects Teaching Credential along with a Master’s in Education from the University of California, San Diego. Georgia taught 3rd grade in National City before joining the High Tech organization. In 2011, she served as a founding faculty member for the first High Tech Elementary in Chula Vista. She instructed 3rd graders for four years at HTeCV. In 2015, she opened up another High Tech Elementary, in Point Loma. Here, she co-teaches a 2nd grade classroom and engages in Improvement Science Research for her organization partnered with Carnegie Foundation. Georgia believes in teaching the whole child by truly working to understand who her students are as individuals. She strives to help students discover the world around them and how they hope to impact it through hands-on, collaborative, inquiry-based projects. When Georgia is not working with children, she enjoys spending time with her family. You can find them surfing at the beach, camping and hiking around National Parks, or enjoying home cooked meals with good friends. 


Megan Foxley & Kim Moreno-Smith
Sullivan Middle School & Oceanside High School
Twitter: @mdfoxley | @KMorenoSmith

Megan Foxley is an 8th grade English teacher at Sullivan Middle School in Bonsall, CA.  She is an alumnus of San Francisco State University where she earned a BA in English Literature.  She is passionate about curriculum that engages the middle school spirit, develops 21st century skills, and establishes a connection between education and the larger world. Her current aspirations include improving an existing 20% Time Project by using blogging and TedEd Club to expand this community connection.

Kimberly Moreno is the 9th-12th grade designated ELD teacher at Oceanside High School in Oceanside, CA. She is an alumnus of the University of Southern California where she double majored in Chicano Studies and Sociology. Having taught in middle school for 15 years prior to Oceanside High, she felt it was important to serve a need in her own community and take the leap to high school. Her passion lies in exploring current teaching practices in order to better engage kids, families and communities who have a difficult time finding their connection and place in our education system. Being 1 to 1 Chromebooks in her ELD program, she is continuously looking for innovative ways to bring access and rigor to her students. What she admires most about the tech world of teaching is that educators simply “give their knowledge away!” She aspires to grow as an educator while integrating technology to transform ELD instruction in order to contribute to the circle of learning.

Norma Gamez 
Barbara Worth Junior High

Norma is a Common Sense Digital Citizenship Certified Educator, and a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) she is currently teaching technology at Barbara Worth Junior High. Before becoming a technology teacher she was an education technology/outreach specialist for the Imperial County Office of Education and K12 High Speed Network. She has a passion for integrating technology in the classroom and collaborating with other teachers in the creation of meaningful and engaging learning experiences for students.

Chris Garcia

Chris Garcia
Chula Vista Elementary School District
Twitter @chrisgarcia03

Chris is a 6th grade teacher in the Chula Vista Elementary School District. He is an alumnus of the University of California, Davis where he majored in Sociology and minored in Music. He then went to continue graduate school at the University of San Diego where he earned his master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction. He is passionate about integrating technology into all forms of instruction and supporting his campus, Enrique S. Camarena Elementary. Chris is eager to continually learn and often finds himself at Google for Education conferences and the San Diego Computer – Using Educators (SDCUE) learning/sharing what he’s doing in the classroom.

Jamie Holmes
San Diego Unified School District, High Tech High

Jamie Holmes is a career educator with more than 20 years experience including outdoor education, administration and consulting/professional development as well as 11 years as an 8th grade math/science project-based learning teacher at High Tech Middle in Chula Vista. David is interested in and has worked with a variety of progressive learning strategies including project-based learning, student-centered learning techniques and harnessing the collective energy of student collaboration. He enjoys promoting different perspectives of learning and crafting genuine student-centered learning experiences such as using projects to excite and engage learners in the classroom. Experiential learning is how he began his career and still embodies his teaching approach. His students are always expected to demonstrate future ready habits of heart and mind: active, collaborative and thoughtful.

Jonathan LeMaster 
Oak Valley Middle School and Co-founder of LiteracyTA
Twitter: @literacyta

Jonathan LeMaster teaches English Language Arts at Oak Valley Middle School in Poway Unified School District. Jonathan authored AVID's Critical Reading: Deep Reading Strategies for Expository Texts, developed and wrote for AVID Weekly for five years, and co-founded LiteracyTA with Lee Ramsey. Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master of Arts degree in Rhetoric and Writing Studies.  Jonathan has dedicated his career to helping elementary, secondary and post-secondary students develop the reading, speaking and writing skills they need to succeed in college and at work. His education and 12 years of teaching experience (in secondary and post-secondary) has led him to develop tools and resources for students, teachers and parents. His motivation stems from the potential that he sees in every student and from the work of inspired educators who make a difference in students' lives every day.


Trevor Mattea
High Tech High
Twitter: @tsmattea

Trevor Mattea is a 4th grade teacher at High Tech Elementary Chula Vista, a project-based school in the San Diego area. Prior to working for High Tech High, he was a 2nd and 3rd grade teacher at Stevenson PACT Elementary School, a progressive choice school with parent participation in the Mountain View, California. He is the host of New Books in Education as well as the former director of Imagineerz Learning, a summer camp focused on integrating social-emotional learning with making and design thinking. As an educator, his interests include supporting student-directed learning, fostering creativity and sharing student work outside the classroom. For the past four years, Trevor has led workshops on digital portfolios, digital photography, Google Apps and project-based learning for teachers throughout California. He is a Google Certified Educator and an EdTech Team Spotlight Speaker. He was recognized as the Silicon Valley CUE Outstanding Emerging Teacher in 2015. He holds an MA in Education from Stanford University and an AB in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis.

Scott Moss

Scott H. Moss
San Diego Unified School District
Twitter: @scotthmoss

Scott is a Google Certified Teacher and a CUE Lead Learner. He earned the National Teacher Award from Time Warner Cable in June 2007 for his work in educational technology.  Scott has worked in public education for 28 years and in higher education for 18 years. He has taught at the elementary, middle and high school levels. He has had educational management jobs in two districts and did a one-year stint at the San Diego County Office of Education. He received his MA in Educational Technology from San Diego State University in 1994. Scott works as associate faculty at National University in the Instructional and Educational Technology program. He has also taught courses for UCLA Extension, San Diego State University and others.


Elise Ochenduszko & Jessica Janes
Twitter: @E_Ochenduszko | @jessicaejanes

Elise Ochenduszko is in her eleventh year in education and second year as Principal at Roosevelt Middle School in the Vista Unified School District. She is dedicated to supporting 21st century learning environments where teachers and students engage in relevant, personalized learning experiences. She believes all students should have equitable access to technology and Open Educations Resources and that relationships are essential as we strive to sustain a school culture where students are supported in building confidence and pursuing their passions.

Jessica Janes is in her second year of teaching at Roosevelt Middle School in Vista Unified School District. Her goal as a science teacher is to support students in thinking critically about the world around them. She cultivates curiosity in her classroom and promotes question asking and solution seeking. Jessica realizes that building a strong scientific literacy foundation at a young age is essential to creating thoughtful, open minded, life long active learners.

Aimee Step James  dz

Aimee Plette, James Masters, Stephanie Wilcox & Maria Flaherty
Twitter: @asandersplette | @CoachtoLearn

Aimee Plette has been teaching for over 17 years.  She is completing her fourth year as an instructional coach in the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District.  She is an advocate for anything and everything student-centered and outcome-based.

James Masters has taught in 3rd through 7th grade over the past 14 years.  This year he became one of the STEM teachers on assignment for the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District.  He believes that success comes from working as a team and greatly appreciates all the teachers he’s been able to learn from over the years. 

Maria Flaherty has been teaching for over 30 years. Much of her experience has been in the K-2 area. For three years, she was an Instructional Coach at a K-8 school on Camp Pendleton. This year, she's continuing the adventure as a STEM Coach in the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District. Her enthusiasm and passion for learning about the world keeps her a life long learner.