Kas Pereira

Kas Pereira

Kas is the current Teacher in Residence at the KCI. She is in charge of curriculum development, course management, and instruction. She is also the Director of the KCI’s Makerspace and Makerspace programs. Kas has long been a KCI affiliate, being a 2012 MERIT Fellow, the miniMERIT Program Director for several years, and a guest instructor in many programs. Most recently, she has been an adjunct faculty member for Foothill and a Lead Maker in the KCI’s Makerspace before stepping into her current role.

Kas comes to the KCI from a background of sixteen years teaching high school, the last twelve in the East Side Union High School District in San Jose. As a teacher of Film, Media, and English, she has run the Yearbook along with a daily broadcast television show for several years. Kas has also served as the WASC Coordinator, the Professional Development Coordinator, and a Department Chair at her school site. Most recently, she was one of the co-founders and the Director of the Quicksilver Innovation Program (QuIP), a small learning community for freshmen and sophomores that focuses on cross-curricular and project-based learning. Kas has a B.A. in Literature from UC Santa Cruz, an M.A. in Educational Best Practices and an M.A. in Educational Leadership from San Jose State University, as well as an administrative credential, and a single subject teaching credential in English with a supplementary authorization in Graphic Arts.

Zac Hansel

I believe that each student is a unique individual who requires a secure, supportive, and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, and socially. As an educator, I encourage the student’s ability to realize their fullest potential in these areas by providing an environment that is safe, supports creativity, inspires intellectual development, and helps the student to use critical thinking. Some of the elements that I believe are essential for establishing this environment are: teacher as guide, allowing the student’s natural curiosity to direct their learning and promoting respect for fellow students and teachers.
Twitter:  @zaccy
Paul Gordon

Paul Gordon

Paul is a middle school computer science educator originally from Upstate New York. He moved to sunny Southern California in 2014 with his wife and has not looked back since. He has taught 5th and 6th grade prior to becoming a computer science educator. Within this time Paul has been able to refine his teaching beliefs to students are the controller of their own learning and the teacher is the facilitator. His teaching practices reflect this style and can be seen from the way his students become independent thinkers and learners.

Esports and video games have been a lifelong passion for Paul. He has actively participated in esports for the previous four years. Within this time he has set up multiple opportunities for his students to partake in esports and video games throughout their educational career. Paul has independently set up an afterschool gaming club where students could come and play different video games including Playstation, Switch, PC and Virtual Reality. He has also established one of the only a few in the country, a Middle School League of Legends esports team. Currently Paul is teaching a middle school elective class called, “Video Game Design and Theory” which covers topics, but not limited to, storyboarding, gender demographics and target audience, game strategy and ethics, but also streaming production and shoutcasting.

Twitter Handle: @TeachtheTech

Rachel Freed

Rachel Freed is a co-founder and the President of the Institute for Student Astronomical Research (InStAR), as well as a seminar instructor, with a mission to incorporate true scientific research into secondary and undergraduate education. She is a co-author on over 20 published papers with students and educators from around the United States. Rachel helps to coordinate international conferences around the use of telescopes in education and is currently working on a PhD in astronomy education. She is also a faculty lecturer in the School of Education at Sonoma State University. She has a B.S. degree in Biology from UC Davis and an M.S. in Neuroscience from Northwestern University, where she studied neural transmission using confocal microscopy and electrophysiology.

Rachel taught high school chemistry and astronomy for 10 years, and has conducted research on chemistry education, helping to design, build and evaluate an online formative assessment system for high school chemistry. She is involved in curriculum design and implementation and trains educators in the use of technology and remote telescopes for research. She has been an amateur astronomer for over 20 years and is involved in public outreach. Rachel is a public speaker with a focus on bringing telescopes to students around the globe as well as promoting changes in education that build on a student’s intrinsic motivations and interests.

Sumithira Sukumar

Dedicated and student-focused educational professional with over 11 years of teaching experience in post-secondary classrooms. Committed to consistently refining pedagogy and teaching tools that reflect cultural sensitivity and an integrated learning approach that is appropriate for students being served. Proficient at utilizing technology, manipulatives, and laboratories to supplement traditional learning and support student-centered instruction. Talent for empowering students to achieve their educational goals and to support training and resources needed for students to thrive. Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills to maintain strong relationships with students and faculty.

  • Extensive experience teaching post-secondary students Engineering, Mathematics and tool based courses. Skilled at teaching traditional, online, blended, flipped, and emporium style classrooms.
  • Built curriculums that provided professional development programs for middle and high school teachers. Developed framework and timelines for blended learning. Served on both the blended and traditional learning faculty teams to establish fidelity and quality control.

Karly Moura

Karly Moura is a teacher on special assignment (TOSA) and Computer Science teacher at Sun Terrace Elementary STEM Magnet School in the Mount Diablo USD in Concord, California. Karly is also part of the Ditch That Textbook team, enjoying her role as social media and content manager.
Twitter: @KarlyMoura
Website of shared resources:

Martin Cisneros

Martin Ricardo Cisneros (@TheTechProfe) is a Modern Learning Advisor, speaker, GeekDad, TechJedi, SuperMariachi and a Director of Technology, from Silicon Valley! At his current position, he provides strategic leadership in anticipating and developing appropriate and innovative systems to future needs and challenges regarding the District’s information technology program and blended learning in the workplace and classroom.

Jesus Huerta

I am a 5th grade teacher in Imperial County for Calexico Unified School District. I love technology and blending it with every subject, which also doubles as a way to expose my students to the tools they will hopefully be using in the future. Some of the things I blend into my classroom include: 3D printing, VR, design thinking, game theory and also game design.
twitter @jesush1979

Kelly Shafsky

I have been an educator for over 30 years. I have experience teaching elementary, middle and high school, here in California and also in bilingual schools in Honduras and Mexico City. Currently I teach social studies and P.E. at Renaissance Academy middle school in east San Jose,  where I am also the varsity volleyball coach. I graduated from the MERIT program in 2013 and have been a trainer for the Krause Center for Innovation (KCI) since 2016.  I live in Santa Cruz, and love cycling, yoga, and walks on the beach.

Rushton Hurley

Rushton Hurley has worked and studied on three continents as a Japanese language teacher, school principal, teacher trainer, and inspirational speaker. He founded and directs the educational nonprofit Next Vista for Learning, which houses a free library of creative educational videos at, and holds masters degrees in Education and East Asian Studies from Stanford University.

The author of three books, Rushton’s fun and thoughtful talks center on inspiration and creativity, technology and leadership, avenues for engaging learning, the power of digital media and tools for collaboration, and personal and professional perspectives in a technology-infused, ever-changing world.

Rushton loves to travel, makes occasionally successful attempts to take a good picture, cleans up after his cats, and considers himself to have married up.