Exceptional faculty and staff, inspire, mentor and guide id8 High students on their academic journey.

Shawn T. Loescher has over 25 years of professional experience. He began his career as an educator as a teacher’s aide at the age of 17—a path that led to P/K-12 teaching, adjunct professorship, administrative work, and cabinet level school district leadership in a diverse group of settings, schools, and education systems domestically and abroad. He has been a presenter to the California Senate Education Committee on the topic of career readiness and post-secondary preparedness. He has served as a member of think tank groups and special committees such as the International Center for Leadership in Education committee on Core Curriculum and Career Technical Education. He specializes in personalized educational experience for secondary students, integrated academics, arts infusion, Design Thinking in education, and secondary school redesign. 

Shawn has been responsible for the effective implementation and sustainability of multiple federal, state, and private/non-profit grants. He has extensive experience on college and career readiness, post-secondary student preparedness, and pathway alignment as reviewed in the U.S. Department of Education commissioned research report of Bachofer, Betts, and Zau (2014). For his educational research, Shawn has been invited to present at the 2018 American Educational Research Association’s annual meeting in New York City from April 13-17, 2018. Shawn will be presenting in a session titled “Action Research Ways of Knowing and Understanding: Alternative Praxis, Poetic Inquiry, Pedagogy of Hope, and Local Knowledge.” With more than 14,000 attendees anticipated, the conference is the largest gathering of education researchers in the world.

Shawn is presently a Doctoral Candidate for Leadership and Innovation at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. He holds a Masters in Education Administration, supervisory and teaching certifications, and a Bachelor’s degree. He holds a California Clear Administrative Service Credential, a Clear Supervisory Credential, and a Clear Teaching Credential with multiple authorizations. He is a native of San Diego, CA and is the father of four children with the oldest in college and the youngest in elementary school. When Shawn is not a work he can be found with his wife and children exploring the San Diego region and its many gifts.


IDEATE High Academy


Instructional Leader for Sciences

Alaina Skelley graduated with high honors from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in chemistry. Alaina earned her teaching credential through the UTeach program, which is a rigorous inquiry-based teaching program that emphasizes hands-on investigation, problem-solving, and real-world application to enhance student mastery of content and concepts of STEM subjects.

Alaina is very excited about being part of the staff at IDEATE High because of the approach to education it offers. She believes that any and every student can succeed when they see a purpose in what they are learning. When students get to design, build, and innovate their own projects, based on empathy and real-world problems, there is actual motivation for their learning.

Alaina’s favorite project from last year was building a pinhole camera. Students studied particle-wave duality and how light enters a camera to form an image. Students were able to develop pictures from a camera they built from scratch. In their picture, students depicted social injustices that they were studying in their humanities class.

When Alaina is not running, you will find her cooking, playing guitar, and training for upcoming marathon races. Alaina ran cross country and track for the University of Texas where she earned two Big 12 Conference championship titles.

Rachel Hatch is a senior administrative professional and youth advocate with over 14 years experience in dynamic environments. She is over the moon to have the opportunity to join the collaborative learning community that Urban Discovery Academy has cultivated; and which Ideate Academy will continue to grow.

Rachel was raised in San Diego and was an elementary through secondary student in the Cajon Valley Union School District. Her under graduate degree is in Child and Adolescent Development, and she is currently pursuing her Masters of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership through Point Loma Nazarene University. Her educational and professional background gives her unique perspectives into the lives of San Diego youth as well as the local progressive charter school environment.

Rachel believes strongly in volunteerism and currently volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster youth with Voices for Children. She also volunteers for Best Day Foundation, an organization that helps children with special needs build confidence and self-esteem through water sports.


Instructional Leader for
Individualized Educational Planning and Learning

Seth Schiering graduated from Molloy College in Rockville Centre, New York with a BS in Childhood Education and then returned for a MS in Special Education and Childhood Education Birth – 2. However, his educational journey began at a much younger age when he became certified in Learning Styles at 13 as his mother pursued a doctorate in education. Additionally, Seth has had the opportunity to lecture internationally and nationally on the topics of special education and differentiated instruction.

Starting his career in the inner city of New York, Seth has worked with children from a wide range academic and developmental backgrounds. Maintaining his belief that all children have the ability to learn, Seth continued to develop and hone his skill set over the years working with diverse populations throughout New York.

Three years ago Seth and family decided California and no more snow might be just what the doctor order. They were right! Having spent the past 3 years working at a charter in Otay Ranch, Seth assisted 4 students work themselves out of the special education program. Each one now has a successful academic career in the general education program. It is his hope to continue with that same track record of success as he undertakes the special education program at ID8.

Seth continues to pursue his academic goals as he undertakes an education administration program with National University. In his free time he enjoys traveling, working out, and spending as time with his loving wife Carolina. He has enjoyed his time with ID8 so far and hopes to help the school and program continue to develop and grow in the coming months.

Lydia Ciccarelli graduated summa cum laude from Point Loma Nazarene University. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education with an emphasis in Voice and a minor in Spanish. She is currently enrolled in PLNU’s Graduate School of Education where she is pursuing a Music and Spanish teaching credential along with a Master’s Degree in Teaching.

As a student, she participated in a variety of musical ensembles including PLNU’s Jazz Ensemble and Concert Choir where she served as Vice President and section leader. For her senior recital, she merged her passions of both music and language when she presented her set of Spanish art song in Castilian. For her Spanish studies, she chose to take an in-depth study of Latin-American history and culture. She further enriched her language experience with a study of Mexican American, “Chicano” literature.

Although Lydia enjoys performing, her deepest passion lies in teaching. She is excited to join IDEATE High Academy because of its focus on innovation and creativity. Lydia is eager to share the joys of learning. She hopes to help each student discover a love for learning language and spark an interest in learning Spanish culture. She hopes to equip students with the tools necessary for reading, writing, listening, and communicating effectively in Spanish.   
When not teaching, Lydia spends her time singing and performing professionally with the choir SacraProfana. You will also find her enjoying time at the beach and with friends.


Instructional Leader for
Spanish Language Arts


Instructional Leader for
Integrated Math &
Advisory Programs

Tali is an educator that is excited to bring deep mathematical thinking and real life projects into high school math classes. She taught math and science for 10 years in Israel and lately taught at The Children’s School here in San Diego. In her work she trained new teacher, coached teacher in implementing Project Based Learning in their classrooms and consulted to schools trying to make learning engaging and rigorous. In Israel she was part of rewriting the science curriculum to insert projects, hands on building and engineering and real academic research into the 7th-12th grade curriculum in both sciences and math. As a lead instructor in Friends of High Tech High in Israel she organized educators and administration in changing the educational system in Israel. In her teaching Tali designed many projects, prepared student for high level exit exams and led students to winning math and science competitions.

Tali graduated from the KIbbutzim teachers college in Israel and received her master’s degree from Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva, Israel. In 2015-2016 Tali was a leadership resident with the High Tech High Graduate School of Education, receiving a master’s degree in School leadership. 

In her free time Tali loves to watch European football and cheer her favorite teams. She is an excited fan of comics and science fiction and loves to read. Tali volunteers as a docent with the Solana center for Environmental Innovation and in an amateur gardener and composter.

Maria Sandoval holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics with an emphasis in Public Administration. She graduated from one of the most renowned Universities at her beloved natal country of Ecuador. Maria has over five years experience working as a Certified Teacher Resource at different charter schools in San Diego. During this time, she has had the opportunity to work closely with, and learn from, some of the best educators in San Diego recognized for their work by the California Association of Charter Schools. Maria is currently finalizing her credential and Masters program at National University. She is receiving her credentials in both Math and Spanish.

Maria has enjoyed a life-long love for traveling. Maria believes that getting to know the culture of different people, their beliefs, and their system of doing things, helps us understand each other better as individuals; and to realize that even though we might do things differently, no matter what part of the world we come from, fundamentally we are all the same human beings. This is one of the reasons why Maria chooses to teach Spanish as a way to share the commonalities that citizens from Spanish speaking countries have with the rest of the world.

Maria is passionate about education and enjoys the time she spends with her students. They keep her young at heart, she says jokingly. Maria truly beliefs that education is the only way to break the cycle of poverty and is determined to help every student to succeed.


Academic Coaching &
Student Supports


Instructional Leader for
English Language Arts &

Shawna Admire received her BA in English (with an education emphasis) from UC Davis. Immediately afterwards, she attended the University of Arizona in Tucson to earn her MFA in screenwriting. After graduation, Shawna worked at the Mark Taper Forum as a script reader and at MTV as a production intern. She taught special education at Norwalk High School, including classes in English, science, history, and math.

Shawna and her family moved to Zurich for three years, then settled in Virginia where she was an upper and middle school drama teacher at Fredericksburg Academy. She was an instructor at ITT Technical Institute for four years, and continued another four years in Vista when our family relocated to San Diego.

Shawna earned her second Master’s Degree in Education at USC, along with a credential in English. She taught 9th, 10th, and 11th grade in Moreno Valley and taught English at Temecula Preparatory Academy, followed by an offer to teach Humanities and Design at Ideate High Academy.

Her husband is also an English teacher and they have four daughters. Two daughters are in 10th grade, one is in 12th grade, and the oldest is attending UC San Diego. Shawna loves reading, writing screenplays, animals, and, of course, children. Her goal is to challenge students to heights which make them extremely proud of themselves, while supporting them all of the way.


Margot Doucette
Design Institute of San Diego

Joan Gregor
Co-Founder and CEO
Intersection-Inc and
The Design Academy

Dave Goodman
Former VP of Entertainment
Executive Producer
Disney Resort

Nik Hafermaas
Chair, Graphic Design
Art Center College of Design

Christine Jones
Senior Public Art Manager
Commission for Arts & Culture

Bill Keller
Entrepreneur/Community Leader

Candice Lopez
Design Educator
San Diego City College

Mary Lydon
President/Land Planner
Lydon Associates

Marvin Malecha
New School of Architecture

Ron Miriello

Victor Nacif
Former Global Head of
Product Communications
Nissan Design America/Europe

Nick Pearce
Manager/Design-Thinking Initiative

Bennett Peji
Jacobs Center for
Neighborhood Innovation

Chuck Pelly
Co-Founder/Chief Creative Officer
Intersection-Inc and
The Design Academy
Founder BMW DesignworksUSA

Stacey Pennington
Founder & President
SLP Urban Planning

Devin King
Offices of Strengths & Vocation

Rob Wellington Quigley

Troy Viss
Knowledge Source