Gail EwellExecutive Director
Gail Ewell is the founder and Executive Director of Hope Technology School. She brings both personal and professional experience in creating inclusive educational environments to our school. Her dream for combining both children who are typical and children who have special needs in a classroom where everyone’s potential can be developed has become our defining vision. Gail’s leadership and management strength, rooted in her belief that teamwork and inclusion are essential for success, propel her commitment to strategic planning and inspiring vision with the staff, students, and administrators at HTS.
Gail has been a successful public speaker, coordinator of conferences, and innovator of special projects. She graduated from Northeastern University in 1983 with a degree in education and an emphasis in Human Services. In 1998, she created an Exceptional Children’s Program worldwide, a non-profit project which empowers families through specialized classes and inclusion services for children with special needs, parent support groups, community conferences, as well as inclusive sports programs. Before founding Hope Technology School in 2001, Gail assisted in founding E-Soccer, an inclusive soccer program that was honored with the Jefferson Award in 2007.
Tracey Howell Director of Inclusive Programs
Tracey Howell has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Princeton University. After graduation she taught math, biology, chemistry and general science to secondary school students. She was recognized as one of the new up and coming teachers and given a fellowship to Columbia University for their Master’s Program in Curriculum. She worked for Teach for America, a non-profit group that matched Ivy-League graduates with inner-city schools for a two-year commitment to teach.
Her love for children and her own experience as a mother of a special needs child has led her to help establish support services for families. She has assisted in organizing conferences and support group meetings for parents as well as developing programs to support special needs children in class situations outside school. She is bringing a variety of experience to the program.
Jennifer Straw Director of Instruction and Specialized Services
Jennifer received her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Cal State Monterey Bay. She completed her teaching credential and Master’s degree in Special Education with an emphasis in mild to moderate disabilities at San Francisco State University. She has worked in education since 2002 and has worked at Hope Technology School since 2006 as both a paraeducator and teacher. As Associate Director of Instruction and Specialized Services, Jennifer will work closely with the teaching staff and therapy department to strengthen our services through innovation and collaboration.
Sharon Siu Director of Administrative Services
Sharon has her BA in Psychology from Radford University. She began working at HTS when it began in 2001. She has worked in various roles at HTS in administration and in classrooms. The last several years she has served as a preschool teacher. She is a mother of 3 children, all of whom have attended the HTS program. One graduated from the program and two are current students.
Courtney Peterson Learning Curve High School Program Coordinator
Courtney Peterson graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and minor in Humanities. She is a credentialed English teacher. She has taught World Civilizations and Expository Reading and Writing. Courtney also coaches our 5K running program for the middle school and high school students.
Mary Wilson, CPA Controller
Mary Wilson graduated from the University of the Pacific, Stockton in 1983 with a B.S. in Business Administration and a concentration in Accounting. She has been a Certified Public Accountant in the state of California since 1985. Mary received extensive training in her work experiences. For eleven years she worked for local and regional accounting firms in Sacramento. She specialized in Auditing for-profit, governmental and non-profit organizations. In addition she consulted with small businesses to develop computer accounting systems. Of note, Mary worked with the ownership group of the Sacramento Kings during the construction of ARCO Arena. She is involved in several business and community service organizations including Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement, Active 20/30 and Soroptimist International. Mary is a member of American Institute of CPA’s and California Society of CPA’s.
Loreley FernandezStaff Accountant
Loreley Fernandez received her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Notre Dame De Namur. This is Loreley’s second year at HTS. She worked as a paraeducator in the 5th grade class last year and loved getting to know her students and making memories. Loreley was born in Peru, and has two siblings and two nieces. She likes hiking, cooking, traveling and going to the movies. Her favorite Marvel super hero is the Hulk, and her favorite cartoon is Teen Titans.
Sandra BurkeSpeech-Language Pathology
Sandra Burke has been working with children and adults with communication difficulties for 15 years. She has worked in several settings, such as home health care, assistive living facilities, special day classes, public and private schools, and university clinics.
She received her Master of Science degree in Communicative Disorders with an emphasis in Speech and Language Pathology from San Francisco State University in 2005. She finished her clinical fellowship year in September 2006 at Hope Technology School. Sandra is a licensed speech-language pathologist, has her national certification through the America Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), and obtained a California Credential in Clinical Rehabilitative Services. Prior to graduate school, Sandra studied Special Education and Linguistics at San Francisco State University.
She has been trained in ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis), Integrated Play Group therapy, Links to Language, Tomatis Auditory Re-Education Therapy, Feeding Therapy, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). She is very excited to be working at school that focuses on full-inclusion.
Julie FreschiPhysical Therapist
Julie has been working a physical therapist for ten years and brings a diverse set of experiences to the Hope Technology School. Julie earned her Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Movement Science from the University of Oregon and her Master of Science in Physical Therapy from Boston University. As part of her Master’s degree Julie received hands on training in neuro-developmental treatment as an intern at the Mayo Clinic. Following her internship, she gained experience in post acute rehabilitation, orthopedics, and Equine Facilitated Therapy. Most recently Julie worked at Rehab without Walls, where she was responsible for preparing patients with neurologic injuries (primarily head injuries and strokes) to re-enter the community. At HTS, Julie adapts these experiences to facilitate community integration for children with special needs. In addition to serving her therapy clients, Julie works as the physical education instructor for HTS and coaches an after school fitness program.
Kokeb McDonaldOccupational Therapist
Kokeb Girma McDonald has her Bachelors of Science in Occupational Therapy from San Jose State University and Masters of Science in Health Care Administration Management and Change in Health Care Option at Cal State East Bay. Kokeb believes strongly in the value of providing family education and training to help achieve optimal results with her therapeutic interventions. Kokeb is very enthusiastic about learning new treatment approaches, and expanding her current therapy box of tools. Kokeb has additional training and certification in Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration (MNRI), Integrated Listening System (iLs), Advanced Therapeutic Listening, Interactive Metronome (IM), and Handwriting Without Tears.
Karen SmithBehavioral Therapist
Karen Smith holds a BA in Psychology and Literature from American University, for which she completed a visiting scholar year at Harvard University and a fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health Neuropsychology Department. She received her MEd from the University of San Francisco in Counseling Psychology. Karen has 7 years of experience as a Marriage and Family Therapist, and is in her 5th year at Hope Technology School as a Behavior Therapist. She has enjoyed teaching high school and college courses in Psychology through Canada College. At Hope Technology School, Karen is focused on helping students overcome barriers to learning in the classroom by teaching communication, self-regulation, self-esteem and leadership skills. Helping all students succeed at learning is a passion and a joy!
Laura Garcia & Tajmah Martin Preschool Program
Laura Garcia has been working as a teacher in the Preschool Program since 2005. She has been directing the Hope Technology preschool program since 2006. She began working with both neurotypical children and children with special needs in 1998. Laura received her Bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescent Development with an emphasis in ‘The Young Child and Families’ at San Francisco State University. She has earned all of her Early Childhood Education units. Her experience includes teaching in after-school programs and working one on one with children with special needs. She has experience as a bilingual reading tutor and a teacher assistant in a kindergarten Spanish speaking class.
Tajmah has been working at Hope Technology School since the fall of 2007. She worked as a para-educator in the HTS elementary program from 2007-2013 and is now a fully qualified preschool teacher. Tajmah has volunteered for a non-profit soccer program for children with special needs and has worked one-on one with children with special needs in both school and home settings. She has also had experience working in the public school system through volunteer work and community service.
Cheyenne is currently in her last year at San Francisco State University earning a Bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescent Development and a minor in Special Education. She has two years of experience inside the classroom as well as volunteer experience for tutoring programs in San Francisco. She has a passion for working in early childhood and believes that it is a crucial foundation for every child. She loves to spend time with friends and go to the beach.
Kristi Bodzioch Kindergarten
Kristi Bodzioch earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Boston University. She has been working at Hope Technology School since 2010. Kristi also runs the preschool after school program. She is married and has two boys who also attend HTS. Kristi has a passion for children and is excited to be part of the HTS program.
Kim Murray 1st & 2nd Grade
Kim Murray joined our staff in 2005. Kim studied Art at the University of Hawaii and received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1995. She went on to earn her Elementary Teaching Certificate in Regular Education.
After completing the program, she began teaching Visually Impaired students at a middle school while simultaneously enrolled in a state funded program training teachers in the area of Mild-to-Moderate Disabilities in Special Education. As a result, the State of Hawaii awarded her a Special Education Endorsement for her Teaching Certificate. She has also taught in the special day class setting in Hawaii and California for grades three through five. Kim is comfortable working with a range of students’ needs and abilities.
Alyssa Barker3rd Grade
Alyssa received her B.A degree in Psychology. She is currently pursuing her master’s and credential in special education with a focus on mild to moderate disabilities. She has over 7 years of work experience working with children with special needs in inclusive environments. She is very passionate and eager to learn and apply various tools in order to help students to thrive both academically and socially.
Gina Kiyuna4th Grade
Gina Kiyuna has been in the field of education since 1994. In her early career, Gina worked with a diverse population in an elementary school of an inner-city school district where she educated typical first and third grade students many of whom were bilingual. She then entered the field of deaf education where she taught deaf/hard-of-hearing students in various junior high, elementary and early intervention classrooms.
Gina has been trained in ABA (applied behavioral analysis, TEACCH, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), and in facilitating Integrated Play Groups. She has also been through a number of trainings and workshops for GEMS (Great Explorations in Math and Science), the California Reading and Literacy Project, and Tribes (fostering classroom community and inclusion).
Gina earned her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1991. She holds two California credentials: a regular education multiple subject CLAD (Cross-Cultural Language Academic Development) credential, as well as a special education communication-handicapped credential, with an emphasis in deaf education. In 1999, Gina received her Master’s degree in Special Education, with an emphasis in deaf education from San Francisco State University. Gina thrives on teaching and seeing the students grow, and is especially excited to be collaborating with such a talented staff.
Kirsten Dillon5th Grade
Kirsten has been working with children for over 10 years. She has worked in home based, clinical, and educational settings. She also has spent many hours volunteering in an inclusive soccer program as a lead coach. Kirsten worked as a para-educator for several years and is currently the 5th grade teacher at our school.
Kirsten received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Cal State University East Bay in Human Development, with an emphasis in Childhood Development. In 2013 she also attained her Master’s Degree and teaching credential in Mild to Moderate Special Education from San Francisco State University.
As an educator, Kirsten believes in giving children the support, tools, and the accessibility they need to reach their full academic and social potential. Kirsten works hard at differentiated instruction and curriculum development, to make the classroom a stimulating and inspiring environment.Kirsten continually seeks to expand her knowledge of inclusion, teaching strategies, executive functioning, social skills development, sensory integration, and positive behavior supports through attending professional development classes.
Howard KiyunaMiddle School
During his 13 years of working in Early Childhood Education, he has worked as a Head Teacher, Site Supervisor, and as a case manager for various county agencies.
Through the use technologies such as student video projects, Howard’s has brought another dimension to the classroom. Howard Kiyuna is a cornerstone in Hope Technology School’s foundation.With his “make-it-happen” attitude, creative teaching, and broad range of talents, Howard is an asset to our staff at Hope Technology School.
Bob MoosMiddle School
Bob earned his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Portland State University. He has been teaching at Hope Technology School since 2002. Prior experience includes teaching 3rd through 5th grade at a school that specializes in working with children with Specific Language Disabilities. Bob is trained and certified to teach the Slingerland Method, which is a sequential, simultaneous, multi-sensory approach to teaching language arts.Bob’s vision and experience in working with individual children integrates perfectly into the inclusion program at HTS. He is constantly on the lookout for the ways that each child can grow and learn, and how he can help them to meet their full potential.
Adelaide Vincent Middle School
Adelaide Vincent began as a volunteer at Hope Technology School in 2006. She worked as a teaching assistant at HTS from 2009-2012, teaching science at the middle school level. After receiving her graduate degree and teaching credential, Adelaide is now a the 7th grade homeroom teacher as well as the science teacher for all middle school grades. Adelaide received her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in Molecular & Cellular Biology and Rhetoric and her Master’s Degree and teaching credential in Mild to Moderate Disabilities at San Francisco State University in 2013.
Stephanie HendricksonLearning Curve High School
Stephanie Hendrickson is a seasoned credentialed teacher with experience in inclusive education teaching all subjects ranging from elementary through high school. Stephanie has taught Literature, Civics & World Civilizations in California High Schools as well as earth science, life science and physical science at the secondary school level. Stephanie has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Psychology and a Master’s of Science in Education focused on Curriculum and Instruction. Stephanie builds excellent rapport with students, parents and teachers alike, and she is an impeccable leader for our pilot 9th and 10th grade classes.
Christian Trifforiot Voc Ed Prep Instructor
Christian received his B.A. degree in Psychology. He is currently pursuing his Masters and credential in special education with a focus in mild to moderate disabilities. Over the past 8 years he has worked with special needs children in various inclusive settings. He loves the outdoors and being physically active and enjoys helping students participate in a healthy lifestyle.
Cherie received her Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature from the University of California Berkeley. She has over 7 years of work experience with children with special needs in inclusive environments, volunteer programs, and in home settings. Cherie is dedicated to the advancement of inclusion and the success of students both academically and socially.
Whitney is pursuing her degree in Child and Adolescent Development from San Jose State University. She has several years of experience working with students and loves working at HTS. She is a native of the Bay Area and lives in Mountain View. She is known for her creative baking skills and is passionate about books and music.
Jesse will be attending San Francisco City College to earn a certificate in Early Childhood Development (ECD). He has over 10 years of experience with typical children and children with special needs in classrooms and volunteer programs. He also loves playing football and basketball and hanging out with friends.
Lacey received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology from Saint Mary’s College. She has many years of experience working with children, including children with special need in programs focused on inclusion. She plans to pursue her Master’s to become a school counselor or child therapist. Lacey loves hiking, camping, and playing volleyball.
Tiffany is currently attending San José State University where she
is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Behavioral Science. Upon graduating she plans to pursue her teaching credential. This is Tiffany’s second year working at Hope and has volunteered at various inclusion programs serving both neurotypical children and children with disabilities.
Aubrey is studying Child and Adolescent Development at San José State University. She gained experience working with children with disabilities through coaching in an inclusive sport program and working as a Teacher’s Assistant in the Special Education classroom of her high school. Through these experiences Aubrey has developed a passion for fostering inclusion and advancing educational opportunities for children with disabilities. Aubrey also enjoys activities such as playing soccer, reading, and cooking.
Jake graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Integrative Biology. He has worked with children grades K-8th at Redwood Day School in Oakland. Regarding special needs, he is most excited about his opportunity to have learned that patience and attention is crucial to providing a thriving environment for children with special needs.
Chris received his Bachelor’s in Business at San Jose State University. He is currently pursuing a teaching credential in hope of working with special needs. Chris has worked with children with special needs in a housing and school settings for over six years. He likes to play and watch sports, play video games, and enjoy’s music in his free time
Kirby Hogenmiller Para-Educator
Kirby Hogenmiller is currently pursuing his education in Speech Language Pathology and he hopes to transfer to a four year university in Spring 2017. Kirby’s favorite sports are football, basketball, and hockey. He loves the Pittsburgh Steelers and Penguins. His hobbies include playing video games and sports. Mr. Kirby feels most rewarded by helping people. Kirby’s life was changed dramatically when he consistently met with a Speech Pathologist when he was 5. Because of this Kirby wishes to give back to other children who need help. Kirby has had experience working with children since 2012.
Elizabeth received her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Saint Mary’s College of California. She has experience working with children with special needs in athletics and is looking forward to building inclusion in the classroom. She is excited to learn about inclusion and education as she develops her professional careers. Elizabeth enjoys all sports and loves riding her horse.
Kevin received his Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from San José State University with Academic Honors. He has over 5 years of work experience with children with special needs in inclusive environments, volunteer programs, and in home settings. He enjoys watching football and hanging with friends.