FACULTY/STAFF

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 experiences for students, integrated academics, arts infusion, Design Thinking in education, and school redesign.

Dr. Loescher 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, Dr. Loescher was  invited to present at the 2018 American Educational Research Association’s annual meeting in New York City where he presented in a session titled “Action Research Ways of Knowing and Understanding: Alternative Praxis, Poetic Inquiry, Pedagogy of Hope, and Local Knowledge.” Dr. Loescher was the keynote speaker for the Center for Secondary School Redesign 2019 Showcase where Urban Discovery Schools and UC San Diego Design Lab was a featured breakout session in support of the keynote address.

Dr. Loescher earned his Ed.D. in Leadership from the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. His dissertation work was focused on the implementation of systems innovations to advance college and career readies, fostering levels of student hope levels, and breaking down institutional structures that may limit student potential. Dr. Loescher also 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. Dr. Loescher 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.

SHAWN T. LOESCHER, Ed.D.

Chief Executive Officer
Urban Discovery Schools
sloescher@urbansd.com

Principal Instructional Leader
IDEATE High Academy
sloescher@ideatehighacademy.com

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.

Stephanie Dutcher is a passionate supporter of ID8, its students and staff. A professional with more than 30-years experience, Stephanie helps our team navigate the sometimes choppy waters of a bustling high school and all the administrative chores that come with it.

Drawing on her diverse background working for educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and private industries, Stephanie is a school manager with an eye for detail who builds strong relationships with our students and their families. She is driven by a desire to see every student feel welcome, safe, and empowered to succeed during the time they spend with us here at ID8.

Stephanie is married to the love of her life, David, with whom she has shared the joy of raising two children (those children, we should note, attended charter schools like ID8, with an emphasis on Project-Based Learning; they went on to attend U.C. San Diego and Occidental College in Los Angeles). Stephanie and her husband share a passion for travel, food, and gardening—even when it’s a losing battle against San Diego’s desert conditions!

STEPHANIE DUTCHER

School Operations Manager
sdutcher@ideatehighacademy.com

TALI LERNER

Instructional Leader for
Integrated Math &
Dean of Student Innovation
tlerner@ideatehighacademy.com

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.

Dana Dale graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in English Literature. Dana has travelled extensively throughout Asia and Europe. She worked abroad teaching English as a second language in Seoul, South Korea and worked as an administrator at the American School in London. Additionally, she also worked in various administrative roles at Del Mar Heights Elementary School for a total of eight years. While there she realized her love for working with students and decided to pursue her teaching credential.

Dana was drawn to IDEATE because of the focus on Design Thinking and the power it has to transform the educational experience for students. Dana is looking forward to sharing her deep love of learning and building personal connections with each and every students in her classroom.

DANA DALE

Instructional Leader in Humanities
ddale@ideatehighacademy.com

CASSANDRA DUKES

Developmental Psychologist
cdukes@ideatehighacademy.com

Cassandra graduated Cal State San Marcos with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Spanish. She returned and pursued her masters in School Psychology with Advanced Behavioral Analysis embedded in the program. Prior to UDA, she was a behavior interventionist and special education instructional aide. She currently holds a BCAT certification. Cassandra implemented evidence-based, autism-specific treatment using the principles and procedures of applied behavior analysis.

Cassandra is excited to be part of the UDA & ID8 team because of their innovative ideas towards education. She is dedicated to supporting staff, parents and students in order to help students progress towards their goals.

In her free time Cassandra enjoys traveling and spending time with family. She is ready to begin the 2018-2019 school year with an amazing team.

Coming Soon!

ALEXANDER DROZDA

Cultural and Behavioral Specialist
adrozda@ideatehighacademy.com

LAUREN HUNTLEY

Instructional Leader for Humanities and Design Thinking Methods
lhuntley@ideatehighacademy.com

Lauren Huntley is from St. Petersburg Florida. She graduated from Louisiana State University with a B.A. in English and a minor in Sociology, where she was an active member in various student social justice organizations. After graduating, she worked in New Orleans in academic and behavioral intervention, 7th grade ELA, and coached basketball. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Education at Pepperdine University, where she also earned her MA in Social Entrepreneurship. Lauren is passionate about equipping young people with the capabilities and confidence to succeed. Last year, she presented her research on education reform and trauma-informed practices at two international education conferences. She has worked with children ages 2-17 in a variety of settings including ABA speech therapy and ACT/SAT prep. Her favorite part of teaching is seeing the excitement when students discover something new or reach a goal. When she’s not teaching, Lauren enjoys scuba diving and dancing Texas two-step.

Scott Morton graduated from California State University San Marcos with a degree in Political Science. He is currently finishing up his masters degree in education with a specialization in U.S. Education in a Global Context. Scott enjoys examining different systems of government, learning about historical events, and keeping up with current events around the world. Scott is excited to continue his experience as a life-long learner at IDEATE High Academy by building relationships with his fellow educators and working collaboratively to enhance the learning environment for each and every student.

Scott grew up in Escondido and is married to his high school sweetheart, Ashley. He has a 4 year old son, Blake, and recently welcomed a new daughter, Chloe. He started playing ice hockey at age 4, and continues to be involved in the sport both by playing and refereeing. He has traveled extensively around the United States to referee various levels of hockey ranging from youth to college. Scott volunteers with the San Diego Hockey Referee Association and leads the training and education programs for all San Diego ice hockey referees.

SCOTT MORTON

Social Studies and Sciences Developing Instructional Leader
smorton@ideatehighacademy.com

ANNA WARNER

World Language Teacher
awarner@ideatehighacademy.com

Coming Soon!

Glen graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Liberal Arts and minor in English. Currently, he is pursuing his masters degree in Special Education with an emphasis on mild to moderate behavior from National University. Prior to Urban Discovery Schools; he was a Behavior Specialist and Special Education Instructional Aide. In addition, he was an Academic Coordinator at Fullerton College.

In his free time, Glen is involved in coaching youth basketball, mentoring at risk youth, and enjoying San Diego’s beautiful weather. He is excited about being a part of the IDEATE staff because of the focus on Design Thinking and the power it has to transform the educational experience for students.

Glenn Worley

Education Specialist
gworley@ideatehighacademy.com

CHRIS NEUFELD

Instructional Leader for
Sciences
cneufeld@ideatehighacademy.com

Chris Neufeld graduated from Sierra Nevada College in beautiful Lake Tahoe with a degree in Biological Sciences. Studying in such a biologically diverse state brought many amazing opportunities to discover the many wonders of our natural world. This is his third full year teaching Biology and second year teaching Mathematics.

Chris is very excited to join the Ideate High team. The previous two years were filled with project based learning in the STEM fields, but he is ecstatic to incorporate the Design Thinking Model into his classes. With a passion for teaching and being a positive male role model to young adults, Chris looks to make an immediate impact on the students here.

In his free time Chris and his wife Caroline enjoying going to see live music, camping, hiking, surfing, and all the outdoors have to offer. They are both travelers of the world and love to experience new places and cultures. When he is not traveling or at shows you might find him on the links or rooting on his favorite sports teams.

Monica is excited to join the team at IDEATE. This is her second year with Urban Discovery Schools. She is passionate about project based learning and the opportunities it gives students in real-world experiences. Monica graduated from SDSU with a degree in Liberal Studies and has a background in elementary education. Monica’s work includes acting as a literacy and academic coach for students and serving on the design team of academic council. In her spare time, she enjoys trying out new restaurants, hanging out with friends, and gardening.

MONICA PELAYO

Academic Coaching &
Student Supports
mpelayo@urbandiscoveryacademy.com

CONNOR SHUFFIELD

Information Technology Supports
helpdesk@urbandiscoveryacademy.com

Coming soon!

Kara Smith is a passionate educator from Kansas City Missouri. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Missouri State University in Elementary Education with an emphasis in technology instruction in the classroom (eMINTS). Her education did not stop there, as an aspiring administrator, Kara received her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership at Northwest Missouri State University. In her six years of education, she has experienced several different grade-levels and has held many leadership positions such as, Elementary Summer School Principal, K-12 Technology Instructor, and Character Education Sponsor.

Kara takes pride in her relationships she builds with all students. She is a firm believer that education starts with the relationship between the student and the teacher. Kara is excited to start her educational journey in San Diego, and establish new connections with students and their families. She is excited to be apart of the Ideate High Academy team and teach Design for 9th and 10th grade students.

In her free time, Kara enjoys spending time with her husband and exploring her new surroundings. She loves spending time outdoors and is excited to live in a city that has beautiful weather all year long. When she is back home, she enjoys spending time at her family lake house water skiing, wakeboarding, and barefoot skiing.

KARA SMITH

Instructional Leader for
Design and STEAM
ksmith@urbandiscoveryacademy.com

IDEATE HIGH ADVISORY GROUP

Margot Doucette
CEO
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
President/CAO
New School of Architecture

Ron Miriello
Designer/Entrepreneur/Artist
Miriello

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

Nick Pearce
Manager/Design-Thinking Initiative
KPMG

Bennett Peji
Designer/Entrepreneur/Educator
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
PLNU

Rob Wellington Quigley
Architect

Troy Viss
Designer/Entrepreneur/Educator
Knowledge Source

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