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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. 

Nancy Novotny

Nancy Novotny

Principal

Nancy has been the principal of High Bluff Academy since 2010. She is a credentialed teacher with over 20 years experience in local public schools and a long-time Carmel Valley resident. Nancy runs all of the day-to-day operations of the school including: registrar, advisor, counselor and scheduling. Parents and students can meet with Nancy to discuss course schedules, four-year plans, IEPs, special accommodations on ACT, and any emotional or academic concerns you may have about your child. Her daughter, Jenna, is a graduate of Torrey Pines High School. When not at HBA, Nancy loves to spend time outdoors with her Australian Shepherd. 

Nicolas Duoto

Nicolas Duoto

Assistant Director

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 Valley with his wife Lindsey and his Golden Doodle Cider. 

George Humphreys

George Humphreys

Assistant Director / Science Department Head

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.

Adriana Garcia

Adriana Garcia

Math and Spanish Department Head / 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. 

Geoffrey Stevens

Geoffrey Stevens

Social Studies Department Head / 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.

Cheryl King

Cheryl King

English and World History / ACT prep

Cheryl King has been teaching English, ESL and World History at HBA since 2008. She holds a B.A. in Education from the University of Memphis and an M.Ed from Oglethorpe University.  Cheryl is beloved by her students for her kindness, patience and southern charm. She is the queen of grammar and has an infectious passion for literature. She is famous in the neighborhood for helping students to raise their ACT English scores and improve their essay writing. Cheryl has a son, Steven, and lives in Rancho Santa Fe.

Colin Green

Colin Green

Physics and Math Teacher

Colin received his B.S degree in Physics from UCLA and began teaching at HBA in 2016.  HIs focus was on Elementary Particle Physics and General Relativity.  Since joining HBA, he has taught CP Physics and Chemistry, AP Physics 1 and 2, Statistics,  and math through AP Calc BC.  His teaching style is to start with the fundamentals and then apply those towards more specialized topics.  “As a STEM educator I focus on real world applications of the topics covered in my classes.” 
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.  

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.

Thomas Kolstad

Thomas Kolstad

English Teacher

Ethan Davis

Ethan Davis

Math Teacher

Ethan has been teaching math and statistics at HBA since 2018. He holds a B.S. in Advanced Mathematics from Michigan State and an M.A. in Economics from UCSD. Ethan specializes in AP Statistics, Calculus, all levels of integrated math and microeconomics. He has received many awards for his scholarship including the UC Regents Fellowship and the MSU Outstanding Senior Award. Ethan has been instrumental in improving the Common Core math curriculum at HBA. 

Judy Rogers

Judy Rogers

Spanish Teacher

Judy has been teaching Spanish since 2005. She has taught middle school, high school, and community college language and culture. Growing up in an English-Spanish bilingual home allowed her to develop a love for both languages and their respective cultures. She received her B.A. with a teaching emphasis from San Diego State University and also holds an M.S. in Spanish Linguistics from Georgetown University. When Judy is not enthusiastically sharing her passion for Spanish and the Spanish-speaking world, she can be found at Balboa Park, the zoo, or gardening. 

Melissa Lernhardt

Melissa Lernhardt

Math and English Teacher

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith

Math Teacher

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