Faculty      -       Staff

Faculty


7th Grade


Pui Ho Wilson Tsang, Ph.D. – Algebra 1

Prior to becoming a Math Teacher, Wilson enjoyed a 20-year career spanning academic research, product development consulting, and medical device R&D. Wilson’s teaching philosophy is heavily influenced by the research of Jo Boaler, Professor of Math Education, Stanford University, who sees math as a creative subject as opposed to an exercise of procedure memorization. Wilson is excited about connecting classroom content to real-world applications for his students through his personal experience as a STEM professional.  He has also helped expand the computer-aided design curriculum at the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute. The importance of focus, coherence, and rigor is emphasized in his classroom. Wilson obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering at Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine in London, United Kingdom. He went on to complete his Master’s and Ph.D. in Aeronautics & Astronautics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Wilson obtained his Master’s in Education and Single-Subject Credential at Santa Clara University.

Away from work, Wilson enjoys spending time with his family, which includes boy-girl twins currently in high school.

Sarah Rahman – SLI Science 7

Sarah Rahman studied economics and math at SJSU and earned her education masters at Santa Clara University. In college, she worked as a behavioral management technician for autistic children, helping to mainstream high-functioning autistic students into math and science classes. Prior to joining the 49ers SLI teaching staff, she taught at Rolling Hills Middle School in Los Gatos. Before jumping into the world of education, she held a corporate job where she worked with a variety of new and exciting software programs for financial solutions. As a life-long learner, she hopes to spark the desire for high achievement and a pursuit of knowledge in all of her students. She strongly believes that science and technology open doors to exciting possibilities and discoveries in school, in the professional world, and in daily life. Her science classroom is a safe space for creative thinking where students learn to succeed both academically and as world citizens, by generating respect and responsibility for themselves and their classmates.

She has a daughter in high school and a son in middle school. When not in school, they enjoy traveling and experiencing other cultures, as well as biking, skiing and hiking as a family. Sarah herself loves to read and to take long walks around her neighborhood.

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8th Grade


Glenn Lillie – Geometry Honors

Glenn Lillie has taught math at Cabrillo Middle School since 1996, and was the math department chairperson for nineteen years. As part of the SCUSD math liaison team, he works to develop district wide curriculum, pilot materials, and assessments. Additionally, he has worked with Stanford University, as vice-principal of their summer school teaching program known as STEP. Growing up in Huntington Beach, California, Glenn graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a B.A. in Art and a professional clear multiple-subject teaching credential. Shortly after joining the Cabrillo family, he earned a supplementary mathematics teaching authorization through San Jose State, in order to teach math as a single subject. Additionally, he earned a M.A. in Education (Administration and Supervision) from San Jose State University. Glenn believes that an ideal learning environment should be a safe place for students to share ideas, take risks, and work collaboratively. He expects students to be prepared, have the desire to work hard, and be ready for any challenge.

When not teaching Glenn enjoys playing golf, traveling, exercising, and doing small, home construction projects.

Michelle Scilingo – SLI Science 8

Michelle Scilingo has enjoyed teaching secondary science since 1999. She spent her first nine years teaching Integrated Science and Biology, serving as Science Department Chair and Library Technology Teacher at Homestead High School in Cupertino. To increase her global awareness and empathy for students, she moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand to engage in non-profit work; she taught English in Thai schools, and middle school science at Grace International School. Upon returning to the United States, Michelle taught middle school science and served as Applied Math, Science, and Engineering (AMSE) program coordinator at Valley Christian Junior High. Michelle earned her B.S. in Physiology from U.C. Davis and M.A. in education from Stanford. Michelle loves working with children and is inspired by their unlimited energy, natural curiosity, and joy of learning. Her passion is cultivating an environment where kids can channel their energy and excitement into learning science and appreciating the world around them.  

When away from the classroom Michelle can be found spending quality time with her husband and three children exploring the world, working on DIY projects, and playing with LEGOs.

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9th Grade


Marlene Spector – Algebra 2 Honors

Marlene B. Spector comes to the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute from the east coast, Baltimore, Maryland.  She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of Maryland, College Park, and her teaching credential years later from National University. She is a second career teacher and has been teaching math in Santa Clara Unified School District since 2005.  Prior to a teaching career, Ms. Spector worked as a Business Process Analyst for Apple, as well as a trainer/analyst for a legal software company specializing in case management for lawyers. Before joining the STEM Leadership Institute team, Ms. Spector was the GAINS advisor at Santa Clara High School for 7 years and has always pushed young minds to think smart, creatively, and outside of the box.

She has a son and a daughter who are young adults, and her daughter made her a grandmother in April 2016. In her little spare time, Ms. Spector enjoys painting and drawing.

Suzanne Miller-Moody – Biology

Suzanne Miller-Moody has taught middle school and high school science since 1997. Her first college degree, a B.A in Biology, came from the University of Delaware.  She earned her second degree, a B.S. in Biology Education, from the University of Maryland, College Park. She began her teaching career with middle school students in the schools outside of Washington, D.C. and switched to teaching high school students when she and her husband moved to California. Her expertise has been cultivated through various venues starting with museum education as a college student, moving to outdoor education as a college graduate, before finally settling into a classroom setting in both public and private institutions. Her current role as the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute Biology teacher is seen as another opportunity to teach in a less traditional format and to experience exciting STEM opportunities.

When not spending time in the Fab Lab at Santa Clara High School or working with students, Suzanne enjoys exploring cities, museums, zoos, aquariums, traveling, and (slowly) running local 10Ks.

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10th Grade


Tracy McClennan – Trigonometry Honors

Tracy has been teaching math at Santa Clara High School since 2016 and previously taught math and engineering electives at another nearby high school for 5 years. She holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an MS in Aerospace Engineering from Penn State University, and an MA and teaching credential from Stanford University. She became interested in teaching during her time as an undergraduate; when she served as a physics TA and led an orientation course for engineering freshmen. Before diving into the teaching profession, she spent several years gaining practical experience in the engineering field, with Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Engines, BMW, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, and Royal Canadian Air Force CH149 Cormorant Search and Rescue Helicopters. She enjoys sharing her enthusiasm for engineering and her wealth of practical experience with SLI students.

Outside the classroom Tracy can be found traveling the world with her husband, son and daughter, quilting, and exploring the great outdoors!

Alan Tan – Chemistry

Alan Tan received his Bachelors of Science degree from UC Davis and his teaching credential from San Jose State University. Before joining the 49ers SLI faculty in 2017, Alan taught chemistry and AP chemistry for San Jose Unified School District for four years. Prior to working as a teacher, he served as a tech support agent for iPhones at Apple and as an AVID tutor for the Sacramento County of Education. His AVID teachers from middle and high school fostered a love of learning and always challenged Alan to be his best, ultimately inspiring him to become a teacher himself. He particularly enjoys leading students through labs, demos, and other hands-on activities where they can observe the physical results of chemistry at work.

In his free time, Alan enjoys playing sports, going to the gym, and painting/customizing shoes. Alan also plays in basketball leagues and tournaments around the Bay Area. 

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11th Grade


Jyothi Sunkara – AP Seminar

Jyothi Sunkara began teaching in 2010 and worked at Kehillah Jewish High School and Menlo Atherton High School prior to joining the Science Department at Santa Clara High. With an undergraduate degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering and a masters degree in Computer Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, she thoroughly enjoyed working in the fast-paced world of software engineering and the camaraderie among a close-knit group of techies. However, after volunteering in schools (chairing science fair committees, leading Tech Challenge projects, etc.), her next career move became very clear. In 2009, she obtained her single-subject credentials from San Jose State University for physics and mathematics. She was selected for the Teacher Institute at the SF Exploratorium, an intensive three-week immersion experience of science learning.

On her own time, Jyothi enjoys attending physics shows and other physics-related conferences/learning opportunities. When she isn’t immersed in science, her fondest pastime is hanging out with her husband and three children, participating in whatever they are up to at the moment. Her other favorite activities include reading books on spirituality, the human mind, science fiction, and mysteries; working out; traveling; experimenting with recipes from different cuisines; and playing with her dog.

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12th Grade


Kate Flowers Rossner – AP Research

For the last 23 years, Kate Flowers Rossner has taught English in California after graduating in 1997 with a BFA from the University of Evansville in her home state of Indiana. She earned National Board Certification in English Language Arts for Adolescents and Young Adults in 2003, and her Masters in Teaching from Chapman University in 2006. In 2012, after moving to teach at Santa Clara High School, Kate became involved with the California Writing Project, a professional development organization that supports writing teachers grades K-16. She serves as an Associate Director of the San Jose Area Writing Project at San Jose State University where she directs the summer Teen Writers Institute and the West Coast Reading and Writing Institute. From 2016 to 2018, Kate was a Heinemann Fellow, and pursued action research on student-centered, asset-based independent reading practices for high school students. In 2019, Kate joined the 49ers SLI team as the first senior class cohort’s AP Research teacher, a challenge she relishes. 

Kate enjoys reading with her husband and book clubs, writing with friends, and spending time with her blended family, which includes her two grown sons, grown stepson and stepdaughter, as well as her two cats and two dogs, who now, happily, all get along.

Staff

 


Janet Wu – 49ers STEM Leadership Institute Program Director

Janet Wu began working with the program in 2015, bringing with her extensive experience working as a former educator and program lead.  She holds a B.S. in Neurobiology & Physiology with a minor in Education from University of California, Davis and a Math and Science Credential from Sacramento State University.  Prior to joining the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute team, she was a high school math teacher in Sacramento for 6 years, teaching a variety of classes ranging from Algebra 1 to Pre-Calculus and with training for AP Calculus. She also held the position of Department Chair and Program Lead for the school’s Technology, Engineering, and Design Academy.  Janet strongly believes that teaching responsibility and solid work ethic to students, in addition to content knowledge and skills, is imperative for the transition into adulthood.

Janet lives in San Francisco, a nice walking distance away from the beautiful Pacific Ocean.  When she’s not at work, Janet enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids, walking around the city and exploring local eats.

Laurie Toyama – Program Manager at Santa Clara High School

Laurie Toyama has always been a maker and curiosity seeker. In her youth, she was taking apart clocks, mechanical toys, fancy dolls in glass cases, etc., as well as looking in microscopes, looking at the stars, looking in tidepools and building saltpeter volcanos (when one could do such things). Prior to joining SLI, Laurie worked and volunteered at NASA Ames’ Office of Education and Public Outreach working on educational STEM content and challenges based on real NASA projects. Laurie started her career in the software engineering area of Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools for chip design, progressing into project and program management of large software and performance projects. In her never-ending quest to help others learn and grow, Laurie also spent many years coaching and training software and hardware engineers to improve their knowledge, skills, and abilities at work. Laurie is always excited about the opportunity to work with the SLI students in their learning and refinement of design thinking, project management and other important 21st Century skills; helping them grow through their high school years to prepare for college and the workplace. Laurie has a B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Hawaii and a M.S. in Instructional and Performance Technology from Boise State University as well as a Certificate in Career Coaching from the Career Coach Institute.

In her spare time, Laurie enjoys reading (urban fantasy, sci fi, and non-fiction), quilting, hooping and dancing, and wandering off in her sports car.

Elina Rios – Program Manager at Cabrillo Middle School

Elina has dedicated her career to opening opportunities to students in STEM, especially those who don't think it's for them. Prior to joining the SLI team, she was most recently the Youth Development Coordinator at Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, managing 200 high school students in the teen STEM volunteer program. Elina has led science communication and professional development workshops for adults and teens in both English and Spanish. She has a degree in Biology from Mills College with an emphasis in ecology and environmental science and extensive experience as an outdoor education instructor. She has lived all over California, and one of her favorite jobs was teaching inner city youth how to hike and camp in Yosemite National Park. 

At home, Elina is a mother of one human toddler and two German Shepherd dogs. She likes to take her family on walks and explore every trail (and every fun restaurant) the Bay Area has to offer.

Lauren Hayes – Jrs/Srs/Alumni Managing, Communications, Admissions, & Soft-Skills Advising

Lauren has been with the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute since early Spring 2015. She manages program communications, admissions, and aspects of SLI's Junior, Senior, and alumni experiences. She also serves as a program advisor and coach in soft skills, leading sessions in presentation, leadership, interview, and written communication skills and more. A graduate of Stanford University, she is passionate about science, the arts, and helping others grow. A deep curiosity about human behavior, neuroscience, and biochemistry led her to pursue a degree in Chemistry. During her time at Stanford, she often split her days between the chemistry lab and the drama department (where she used theater to explore human behavior from a less formally scientific perspective). After graduation, she moved to New York City, where she worked simultaneously in the performing arts and in a wide variety of industries. Her love for art and science has given her a plethora of experiences across many industries; and her deep interest in human behavior has given her a passion for fostering meaningful and effective communication in all situations and settings.

In addition to working with SLI, Lauren is an interpersonal communication coach with Eloquence Communication Studio in San Francisco. She also works as a professional actress and singer in the Bay Area, performing in dramas, comedies, musicals, and Shakespeare. In her (albeit few) free moments, you’ll find her hiking up mountains, watching birds, baking bread, or curling up with a cup of tea & a good book.