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Meet our Staff

Jill Duoto

Jill Duoto

Director

Jill Duoto is the Founder and Director of High Bluff Academy. She has been an educator for 30 years as a principal, teacher, curriculum director and college counselor. She taught at Francis Parker High School, Singapore American School and international schools in Brazil, Colombia and Japan. She holds a B.A. in political science from U.C. Berkeley and an M.A. in Education from SDSU. Jill lives in Carmel Valley with her husband Mike and son Bobby. 

Nicolas Duoto

Nicolas Duoto

Business Manager

Nicolas has been the business manager and assistant director since 2014. Nick handles all billing questions, oversees HBA’s award-winning tutoring program, advises parents and students on course selection and scheduling. Nick graduated from Canyon Crest Academy and San Francisco State University and lives in Carmel Mountain Ranch with his wife Lindsey and his Golden Doodle Cider. 

George Humphreys

George Humphreys

Principal / Science Department Chair

George Humphreys first designed HBA’s lab science program in 2008. He has earned local fame among the TPHS community for teaching Chemistry, AP Chemistry and Physics. George can take the most complex information and make it seem easy. He creates lasting relationships with his students who view him as a mentor and friend. George also teaches our technology, engineering and golf classes, and is the ASB advisor. George graduated from the University of San Diego and has three children: Jase, Lucy and George. When not at HBA, George can be found on the golf course.

Kristen Ho

Kristen Ho

Director of International Programs

Kristen received her B.A in Economics from UC San Diego in 2020. She can speak Cantonese and Mandarin and she is in charge of communicating with our Chinese speaking students and parents. She oversees all HBA programs in China. She would like to help and support international students with her experience of studying abroad. When Kristen is not at HBA, she is in search of new dishes and Boba to try.
Dr. Will Anderson

Dr. Will Anderson

Science Teacher

Dr. Will Anderson is a Ph.D. biochemist who has lived, worked, and taught in San Diego for almost 20 years.  He received his B.A. in Biological Sciences at Cornell University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemistry at UCSD.  Dr. Will spent over 10 years doing scientific research at UCSD and The Scripps Research Institute before joining HBA.  After several years of private tutoring, he joined the HBA staff in 2016 and teaches CP and AP Chemistry, CP and AP Biology, Environmental Science, and Psychology.  Dr. Will uses his years of experience helping students succeed at the college level to make science accessible and exciting for students at all levels here at HBA.  

Jordan Adams

Jordan Adams

Physics Teacher

Jordan received a B.A. in Physics from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and an M.Ed. in Instructional Design in 2021. His expertise is in designing curriculum for middle and high school Physics. Jordan began his teaching career as a middle school science teacher where he worked with a broad range of students using the Next Generation Science Standards.  He is now using his knowledge of the NGSS, Instructional Design, and Physics to help his in person and online students thrive in a subject that most students find difficult. Jordan teachers AP Physics 1 & 2 and AP Physics C at High Bluff Academy.

 

 

Geoffrey Stevens

Geoffrey Stevens

Social Studies Department Chair / NHS Advisor

Geoff Stevens has been teaching Social Studies, Chemistry and ACT prep at HBA since 2012. He is the most well-rounded teacher at the school. Geoff holds teaching credentials in Social Science, Biology, Chemistry and English. Geoff graduated from Trinity College with a degree in History and minors in Biology and Creative Writing. He holds an M.A.T. in History from Boston University. Geoff is beloved by his students for his dry wit and his caring attitude. HBA graduates always credit Geoff for preparing them well for college-level writing. He also gets amazing results from his ACT prep courses. Geoff teaches College Prep and AP level U.S. History, Human Geography, American Government and Economics. He also teaches Chemistry during the summer. He enjoys playing and teaching Chess and advises the National Honors Society.

Adriana Garcia

Adriana Garcia

Spanish Department Chair / Math Teacher / Community Service Coordinator

Adriana Garcia designed HBA’s Spanish Language program and guided the school’s transition to Common Core math. She has been teaching at High Bluff Academy since 2010 and specializes in working with students to overcome math phobias. We haven’t met a student yet that Adriana couldn’t turn around! She is beloved by her students for her caring and compassionate attitude. Adriana was born in Tijuana and moved to San Diego when she was in 7th grade, when she learned English for the first time. She is a graduate of UCSD in Spanish Literature, holds teaching credentials in both math and Spanish, earned an M.A. in Education and is now working on her Doctorate. Adriana runs HBA’s Community Service program and plans all of the school’s special events including the graduation celebration. She is married and has two children, Alina and Alonso. 

Ethan Alvarée

Ethan Alvarée

Math Department Chair

Ethan has been teaching math, statistics and computer science since 2013. He earned his B.S. in Mathematics from Michigan State University in 2015 and M.S. in Economics from UC San Diego in 2017. Ethan writes high school math curricula, an advanced textbook for math undergraduates, and has published research in the Journal of Statistics and Management Systems. Ethan has been instrumental in improving the Common Core math curriculum at HBA. Ethan enjoys spending time with his partner Jonathan and their two golden retrievers, Mister Fibonacci and Miss Ada.​ 

Maya Hankin

Maya Hankin

Math Teacher

Maya has been teaching math at High Bluff Academy since 2019. She holds a B.S. in Mathematics from UC San Diego, and has experience teaching all levels of math from the very basics through Calculus (which is her favorite to teach!). Maya has experience working as a private tutor for over 6 years, and has worked as a test reviewer for the US Academic Decathlon. When she isn’t teaching at High Bluff, you can find her adding to her extensive collection of books!

Ellen Sullivan

Ellen Sullivan

English Teacher

After a career in international affairs, Ellen has been an English teacher since 2010 because it provides her the opportunity to work with young people to shape the reading, writing, and oral communication skills she knows are needed in today’s professional world. Encouraging and observing the growth in each of her students is one of Ellen’s greatest joys.  Ellen, who holds California teaching credentials in both English and Social Science, received her BA in International Relations at the College of Wooster in Ohio, and completed her courses in education at Old Dominion University in Virginia and journalism at the University of Texas, Austin. When not in school, Ellen is taking photos of her surfing kids; sitting in a beach chair with toes in sand and book in hand; practicing yoga; or finding new and interesting places in the world to visit.

Nicole Rawson

Nicole Rawson

English Teacher

Nicole brings extensive teaching and entrepreneurship experience to HBA. She holds California credentials in English, Social Sciences, and Business. She has been teaching middle and high school students in five different states since 1998, most recently being recognized on PBS for her work with English learners in San Diego.  In addition to teaching, Nicole leads an international digital wellness advocacy company, Screen Time Clinic, that provides resources for best practices in balancing technology and encourages age-appropriate use of digital media. She has degrees in education and economics from the University of New Mexico and an MBA from Rice University. Nicole enjoys the small class sizes at HBA to more effectively connect with students, mentor, and deliver engaging interactive lessons to prepare her students for the years beyond high school. In her free time Nicole enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and playing pickleball!

Kevin Hopp

Kevin Hopp

Math Teacher

Kevin received his BS in Chemical Engineering from UC Riverside in 1995 and his California teaching credential in math in 1997. He joined the staff at HBA after a successful career in public school at Canyon Crest Academy.  Kevin enjoys teaching all levels of mathematics.  When not in the classroom, Kevin can be seen running in the mountains or along the San Diego coastline. His most recent accomplishment is finishing a 100-mile race! 

Matthias Smyrl

Matthias Smyrl

Math Teacher

Matthias earned his B.S. in Mathematics from UC San Diego in 2019. He spent several years as a Lead Instructor and Assistant Center Director at Mathnasium where he tutored all levels of math through AP Calculus. Matthias is known as a kind and patient teacher who has a gift for finding each student’s learning style and breaking down complex mathematical concepts in easily understandable steps.

Tricia Tigli

Tricia Tigli

French/ESL Teacher

Growing up in a Polish-speaking family in Paris, Ms Tigli’s exposure to language started young. She moved to the to the US at the age of 10 and perfected her third language, English. Tricia earned both her B.A. in French and Linguistics with a minor in Political Science and her M.A. in French Literature at San Diego State University. After earning her degrees and teaching credential, she spent a year and a half in Paris at the Sorbonne earning her Certificat de Litérature et Civilization Française. Before joining the staff at HBA, she has taught French at La Jolla High, Patrick Henry, and University City High, and Language Academy Immersion School. She has also taught ESL and TOEFL prep. As an avid world traveler, Ms Tigli brings these enriching experiences to the classroom which brings life the language and culture she teaches. Ms Tigli is the proud parent of two children Jonathan and Amanda.

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