Zack Alexander, B.S., Math Department Head - Lead
Zack has been educating youth for over twelve years having operated a private tutoring business in Marin County with an emphasis in math and science, run a robotics camp for middle school students in Berkeley, and taught math in a private high school in San Rafael. Zack has a love for math and science, which he enjoys passing on to his students. He earned his B.S. in Bioresource Sciences at U.C. Berkeley and went on to complete graduate coursework at U.C. Davis in anatomy and physiology. Zack also teaches sailing for Cal Adventures in Berkeley and has taught downhill skiing for Squaw Valley USA.
Miguel Chan, B.S.
Miguel previously worked as a Math Empowerment Teacher for the nonprofit organization Making Waves Education Program located in Richmond, CA. Here he supported low income students in a one-to-one setting. Miguel found Tilden’s Prep model to be nearly identical to that of his previous job. Intrigued with this similarity, he started teaching at Tilden Prep in June, 2013. Miguel holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley and teaches a variety of courses including math through Calculus BC, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Computer Science and Spanish. In his spare time he works as an online math curriculum developer and webmaster for "MathFortress.com", an educational website that he created for the purpose of expanding his reach to a greater audience via unique video tutorials for various mathematical disciplines.
Keiko was born and raised in Tokyo. She started tutoring middle and high school students while in college, and following graduation, taught English and later became certified as a Japanese language teacher in Japan. She started teaching Japanese at Tilden in 2007, and has enjoyed teaching from Japanese 1 through the AP level to many students. She also enjoys watching Japanese anime, drama, and movies with Tilden students in the Japanese Club. In her spare time, Keiko enjoys flower arranging, and is a licensed teacher of Ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement).
Natalie Harris, B.A.
Natalie graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a B.A. in English Literature. While there, she focused on teaching underprivileged youth how to write and perform their own original screenplays. She is interested in the psychology of how different students learn and integrating this information into the daily classroom schedule. Her favorite book is Oscar Wilde's A Picture of Dorian Gray and one of her favorite historical events to study is The War of 1812. She swam competitively in high school and she has seen Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony award-winning play Hamilton(both topics she can talk about for hours).
Rachel Hertog, Ph.D.
Rachel graduated from from San Francisco State University with degrees in Marine Biology (BS) and Ecology and Systematic Biology (MS). From there, she continued her research at UC Davis in the Geology department with a concentration in Paleobiology. Before coming to Tilden, Rachel worked in the public programs department at the Exploratorium and deep in the shelves of the Invertebrate Zoology and Geology collections at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. She has a life-long dedication to inquiry-based science and exploration of the natural world. When she's not at Tilden, Rachel enjoys open-water swimming in the Bay, sailing, drawing, and experimenting with fermented foods.
Jackson Hoover, B.A.
Jackson was born and raised right outside Trenton, New Jersey. As an adolescent, he found he had a passion for teaching by running educational clinics for his local boy scout troop, through which he attained the rank of Eagle Scout. He went on to attend Richard Stockton University, a small state school in the backwoods of South Jersey, and graduated with a B.A. in Historical Studies as well as a B.A. in Education. He spent the next 6 years giving back to his home community teaching in Trenton Public Schools. Passionate about history, literature, and education, he loves finding new ways to incorporate current events and pop culture into his History and English courses. Having just moved to the Bay Area in the summer of 2020, he’s enjoyed exploring both the parks in northern California an all that the city has to offer.
Shiqiu Leng, B.A.
Shiqiu is a Mandarin Chinese teacher. She graduated from Beijing Normal University and obtained her B.A. degree. She has 15 years of extensive experience in teaching, from children to college students. Additionally, she taught Sunday school and Chinese school. Her background and interests have contributed greatly to her extensive knowledge regarding Chinese language and culture. Shiqiu is very patient, cordial, candid, outgoing, and friendly. She likes teaching and enjoys working with students.
Jason Martinez, B.S.
Jason graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2010 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a minor in Chemistry. He has been working as an educator for 10 years and values his role supporting students in their academic development. He has worked overseas for Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools in Kazakhstan, where he supported the Biology Department in the development and delivery of curriculum. In his spare time, Jason enjoys reading, hiking, playing guitar, and traveling.
Mark Rowles, M.A.
Mark received a B.A. in mathematics from Tulsa University, an M.A. in Mathematics from the University of Illinois, and did further post-graduate research at UC Berkeley. He was a Fulbright Fellow at Phillips Universitaet in Marburg, Germany, where he did research and conducted a graduate seminar. At Tilden, Mark has been an innovative contributor, developing cutting edge courses in Astronomy and Honors Multivariable Calculus. Mark believes that Mathematics has been the training ground for logical thinking ever since the Platonic Academy wrote over its portal: "Let no one enter here ignorant of Geometry." As such, Mathematics cooperates and coordinates with other disciplines at Tilden to support the education of a well-rounded student. Mark brings a wealth of experience along with his love of teaching mathematics to every class in his endeavor to make this subject come alive for each of his students.
Bee Schlotz, M.A., Special Education Department Head
Bee has a B.A. in linguistics and an M.A. in education from UC Santa Cruz, and has been a teacher in various capacities for 10 years. Having taught ages 6-20 in a wide variety of subjects, Bee has a special fondness for teaching students with cognitive differences such as ADD, ADHD, and autism, as well other students with troubled academic histories. Bee's educational philosophy is that if you build an environment where students feel understood, valued, safe, and gently challenged, learning will flourish organically. For Bee, the greatest joy is sharing a love of learning, especially in the fields of music, mathematics, language and literature.
Carolyn Smith, B.A., History Department Head
Carolyn was born and raised in Washington state, attending the University of Washington to earn her B.A. in history. During college, Carolyn coached water polo and swimming for clubs around the greater Seattle area. It was there where she learned to love teaching. She has been in California for the past 11 years, where she got her social studies credential from UC Davis and taught for a small school in Alameda. When Carolyn is not at work, she is at home with family, watching Netflix or cooking!
Cameron Bailey, B.A.
Cameron received his undergraduate degree in Classical Studies with an emphasis on civilizations from University of California Davis. He is a native of the Bay Area and attended high school at Monte Vista in Danville; he began working at Tilden in the summer of 2015. He has traveled throughout Europe and even lived for a few years as a youth in both England and Spain. He was thus afflicted with a love of soccer and an appreciation for the unique attributes of foreign cultures. Cameron is teaching History, Latin and Spanish at Tilden Prep.
Josiah Barron, B.S.
Josiah graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in Neurobiology. He started tutoring during college in math and science for students with disabilities. He then went on to teach middle school math and science. Josiah enjoys teaching math and science because they help us understand the world we live in. His hobbies outside of work include reading, hiking, camping, and fishing.
Reed Burkhart, M.S.
Reed holds degrees in mathematics, computers and electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology and UC Santa Barbara. He has used his science skills as a space engineer, designing satellites, as well as balancing these left brain activities with surfing, music, dance and other more right-brained, artistic and athletic, explorations. At Tilden, Reed helps students to break down abstract math or science concepts into their simplest essence, so helping students to achieve mastery whether math & science come easy to the student or not. Reed believes that there are as many different ways to learn as there are people, and that the key to learning is really as simple as a motivated student and an inspiring, caring teacher.
Spring Chen, M.B.A
Spring grew up in Beijing, China, where she received her B.S. in Electronics and B.A. in Economics from Peking University. She worked four years in Beijing and traveled extensively in China before came to the U.S. and graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana with an M.B.A. in Finance. Spring has taught Mandarin at all levels from beginners to AP test takers in the San Francisco Bay area schools since 2010. Student success is always her #1 priority in teaching. She is thrilled to work at Tilden where she can truly adapt her lesson plans according to individual learner’s pace and learning style in Tilden’s unique 1 on 1 classroom. Spring is most likely to be found recharging her batteries with gourmet food and cultural events in China each summer.
Ryan Dickson, M.A., English Department Head
Ryan has a passion for History and the Humanities and teaches these subjects at Tilden Preparatory Academy and local colleges. He holds degrees at the Baccalaureate and Master levels in History and is a dissertation short of his Doctorate. Ryan's love of learning has opened many doors for him and he has had the opportunity to study and conduct research at some of the most prestigious universities in the world including Stanford University, Trinity College-Dublin and Cambridge University. A lifelong learner committed to continued intellectual growth through education, Ryan is currently working towards acquiring a Master's in Information Science. It is Ryan's desire to instill in all of his students a lifelong love of learning.
Cliff Escobedo, M.A. Foreign Language Department Head
Cliff was born and raised in Mexico City until the age of 11. His family decided to move to the Unites States to seek better education opportunities for his brother and him. While attending College Park High School in Pleasant Hill; Cliff discovered that he had a passion for teaching and helping others with class work. Throughout his high school years, Cliff, his best friend Matt, and his brother held tutoring sessions during lunch in math, French and Spanish. During High School is when he knew he wanted to be a professor/teacher. After high school, Cliff went off to College and received a degree from U.C. Berkeley in Spanish Literature and Language. A couple of years later, he completed a M.A. program at San Francisco State. Cliff has tutored middle school and high school students for over 15 years and has taught college level courses for 5 years at D.V.C, St Mary’s College and Holy Names in Oakland. When Cliff is not working at Tilden or at one of the colleges, he loves going to the movies and traveling. He spends too much time in the movies! Another fun fact: he and his brother are twins.
Heather Feeney, MFA
Heather graduated from Sonoma State with honors and earned an MFA in Printmaking and Writing from California College of the Arts. She has taught K-12 and college students for over 10 years. She has served as a writing consultant at several university writing centers and edited academic papers in the fields of psychology, art history and education. College courses she has taught include Critical Thinking & Writing, Intro to Academic Writing, Sacred Art & Poetry, and World Cultures & Art Types. As an SAT/ACT tutor, she has successfully coached many high school juniors toward a higher score. Heather has also tutored elementary phonics and comprehension using methods from Lindamood-Bell and Orton-Gillingham learning systems.
Lara Fowler, B.A.
Lara Fowler is a Bay Area native and is thrilled to be working at Tilden. A language enthusiast from childhood, she earned her B.A. in French Language and Literature at the University of San Francisco, with an emphasis in North African post-colonial literature. She speaks English, French, Russian, and Spanish, and she has studied at the Institut Catholique in Paris, France, the Smolny Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Moscow State University in Moscow, Russia.
Lara is also a graduate of the San Francisco School of the Arts, where she majored in cello performance. She plays in several orchestras, and for the past three years has attended an annual summer workshop for advanced young cellists. She loves listening to classical music, and her favorite cellist is Jacqueline du Pré.
In addition to her music and languages, Lara is a passionate classic film scholar and writer. She has specific expertise in the silent and early sound era of Hollywood, and has written official press pieces for the San Francisco Silent Film Festival and the TCM Classic Film Festival. Her favorite movies include 'Show People', 'It Happened One Night', and 'The Thin Man'.
Tony Green, M.B.A.
Tony Green is currently in his first year as a Math/Science teacher at Tilden. His goal as an educator is to provide his students with the tools they need to succeed in today’s highly technical society. His teaching philosophy is from the viewpoint of a teacher who has worked in high technology for nearly 20 years. His aim is to share his experience and knowledge to put his students in a position to succeed in tomorrow’s fast-paced workplace. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware and a Master of Business Administration with a focus on Technology Management from the University of Phoenix. Tony has recently been selected as an Encorp STEM Fellow. The EnCorps Fellowship is a selective, unpaid fellowship for STEM professionals who are interested in exploring their role in teaching and education. The EnCorps STEM Teachers Program empowers science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professionals to transform public education by teaching in high needs schools. Tony is passionate about speaking on issues related to sustainability. He founded Speaking Green Communications to be a voice for sustainability and a voice for the adoption of alternative energy technologies. In his spare time, he volunteers with Rising Young Leaders, a non-profit dedicated to providing leadership skills to local youth and the Citizens Climate Lobby who are a non-profit, nonpartisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change. Fun Fact: While he was in the U.S. Navy, he served aboard a Nuclear Submarine. He has the distinction of being at Intersection of the International date line and the equator at midnight on January 1, 2000 becoming among the first people to enter the new millennium.
Jordan Griffin, B.A.
Jordan has a B.A. in Biological Sciences from San Jose State University. In her time there, she focused on fieldwork, specifically the conversation and evolutionary ecology of the Blue Oak Reserve preservation range. Jordan also has an extensive background in research labs, and has worked both in the academic and private sector. Her time at the Neurogenetics Research Laboratory at San Jose State University focused on identifying gene markers which lead to neural development anomalies, and her time at the Diffractive Optics Group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory focused on the developing field of biophotonics. Jordan began tutoring her peers when she was in high school, and continued the practice through college. She has experience teaching science, literary analysis, history, and advanced mathematics, and is excited to be here at Tilden to help her students tackle their trickiest subjects.
David Locey, M.A.
David was born in Marin County and following his graduation from Tamalpais High School, he ventured to the Pacific Northwest where he earned B.A. degrees at the University of Puget Sound and the University of Washington. He earned his M.A at Gonzaga University and administrative credentials at Eastern Washington University. David has a wide variety of experiences as an educator working with students as a teacher and administrator at almost every level from first grade to university graduate students. He worked in professional theater as an actor, director, and instructor. David is passionate about learning and appreciates working with Tilden’s staff and students. He has an unfinished book and the first scene of his play saved on his computer. David has traveled to every state and enjoys visiting the National Park system. He is an avid outdoorsman and loves sailing with his northwest friends.
Susana E. Maltez, B.S. Science Department Head
Susana earned her degree in Earth Science from UC Santa Cruz. She previously worked as a former Physics and Math tutor at Los Medanos College for STEM majors. She also has previous experience working with Junior and High School students as a private tutor. Susana formulates her lessons to best suit the student's individual needs. Susana believes students need repetition, encouragement, and constant participation in order to feel the desire to learn. She also believes that learning is a physiological activity which involves the body as a whole. Susana loves drawing and hiking as she enjoys being outdoors in nature. She has run the Mt. Diablo Summit twice. Susana teaches Math, Science, and Foreign Language.
Michael Mendoza, B.A.
I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Growing up in the Midwest, I had a peaceful and laid back upbringing. I’ve always have had an immense passion for life as well as a unquenchable curiosity for learning. Art, science, languages, culture, movies, astronomy, philosophy and even gardening are among the many interests that have inspired me growing up. My last year in high school, I met a fellow student who was deaf and I took it upon myself to learn sign language so we could have a friendship. I picked up the language rapidly and that experience landed me in college in the American Sign Language Interpreting program at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, New York. Upon graduation, I worked as an interpreter at a local Wisconsin college. I’ve always had the idea of moving to the West coast and when my brother and sister made the move to California, that was the push I needed. In July of 2014, I packed my bags and moved to beautiful California in hopes of wonderful and enriching experiences. I enjoy sight seeing, checking out local museums, trying out restaurants and spending time with friends. My philosophy is you must always live your life to the fullest and that anything you want, believe in yourself and you can make it happen!.
Ricky Munoz, B.A.
A Bay Area native, Ricky has a strong connection to and love for his community. Formerly pre-med, Ricky attended both Los Medanos college and UC Davis before graduating with his B.S. in Biochemistry from CSU East Bay. In addition to formerly tutoring both junior high and high school students, Ricky also tutored college students in Math, Engineering, and Science. Ricky is passionate about teaching students and helping them achieve their educational goals. In his spare time, Ricky enjoys giving back, volunteering at convalescent homes, playing guitar and singing for residents. Ricky also coaches a Bible Quiz team at his local church. Spending time with friends and family, Ricky is always up for a good board game or a trip to a local frozen yogurt shop.
Demetri Papamichalis, B.S.
Demetri was born in Sacramento, California. However, he grew up in Greece in the city of Athens, where he learned to speak and write fluently in Greek. After graduating from high school he moved back to California and received his BS degree in Physics and minor in Mathematics from California State University of Sacramento in 2012. Currently, he is attending the graduate program in Physics with a concentration in Modern Optics at San Jose State University. He has extensive experience teaching physics and math as a Teacher Assistant for the department of Physics & Astronomy of SJSU. He passionately enjoys working with students and wants to inspire them to reach their fullest potential.
Joan Rickard, M.S.
Joan was born in Illinois prior to moving to Germany, where she spent the next 4 years of her life. She was raised in Simi Valley, CA and found her love for math in 2nd grade. She started tutoring professionally at 16. Joan got her BS in Civil Engineering at the US Coast Guard Academy and then spent 5 years as active duty Coast Guard. After leaving the Coast Guard, Joan relocated to the Bay Area where she received her MS in Civil Engineering from San Jose State. Joan is also a licensed Professional Engineer. She has been teaching for the last 3 years in Middle School and High School Math and Science. Joan has a passion for learning and is finally getting to turn her love for history into teaching a class this semester. Joan is teaching Math, Science and History at Tilden.
Christine Schreck, B.A.
Christine is a Bay Area native who received a BA in American Studies and Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame. She previously taught at a small Catholic High School. In the classroom, Christine enjoys helping students think critically and make connections between the concepts on the page and their lives. Outside of the classroom, Christine enjoys cheering for the Fighting Irish, writing, movie comedies, and trivia contests. Christine teaches the humanities at Tilden.
Joseph Vincent, B.A.
Joseph graduated from UCSC in 2016 with a BA in English Literature. He really enjoys teaching and that is mainly what he have been doing since graduation. Joseph’s hobbies include: hiking, playing guitar, reading novels, and learning foreign languages.
Tyler Wolfe, B.A.
Tyler is originally from New York, but he always wanted to live in California. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University where he studied pre-med and psychology. Tyler also competed on the varsity track team, which eventually led him to trail running. He made it to California, and his longest race has been 100k. Tyler now regularly trains on the slopes of Mt. Diablo as integrates himself into the Walnut Creek community. He especially enjoys teaching 1-on-1 at Tilden because of the flexibility it affords students to thrive in their education. Tyler teaches up to the AP level in math, science, psychology, and computer science. He brings experience from the healthcare industry to the classroom, and continues to be excited to help students explore their academic interests.
David Wright, M.A.
Mr. David Wright has been teaching music general music in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District for 26 years. He has also taught in the Lutheran and Catholic schools, and is presently teaching AP, basic music theory, and Jazz history to middle and high school students at Tilden Preparatory School along with his duties with the district.
When David isn’t directing teaching and exciting kids in the classroom he is a resident Flute soloist with the award winning Saringhimig Singers. Under the direction of George Hernandez they have toured all over Europe, the United States, and the East Bay.
David received his B.A. in music with a minor in English from Mount St. Mary’s College. A Who’s Who award in American colleges/ universities, and a M.A. from Cal State East Bay University in flute performance. His postgraduate work includes a credential in educational leadership and special-education.
“If I can help and motivate students to enjoy music and use it as a tool and ministry to serve, and bring joy to others throughout their childhood and adult lives, then it’s all worth it.”
“Our daughter is a proud graduate of Tilden who went on to UCSC. Tilden is an amazingly well run school brimming with talent and warmth and school spirit! The individualized teaching and daily progress reports take the load off the kids and the parents. It is both a challenging and encouraging environment and the teachers impart really useful skills for the rigors of a UC!”Anne O'Shea, Tilden Parent