Richard Johnston, current CSA Director, began his teaching career in 1993 and has taught Mathematics at SBHS since 1998. In 2008 Richard started the Math Honor Society, and he served as a Professional Learning Community Leader for the Pre-Calculus and Calculus Team for 2 years. In 2012, recognizing the need for more opportunities to think computationally while problem solving, Richard pioneered the CS Principles / Introduction to CS course. He envisioned a computer science program that would “open doorways into fields of study ranging from the Arts to Engineering.” In 2016, Richard assumed the role of Director of the CSA. His hope is to create opportunities for all students to learn to code. Richard believes every student needs to be able to read, write, do mathematics, and develop code in the modern world.
Sky Adams joined the SBHS CSA staff in 2016, and teaches Exploring Computer Science, AP Computer Science, Designing Software for the Web, and Work Experience. She earned her B.S. in computer science from Brown University in Rhode Island and her Masters of Education from UCSB. Her experience includes work in academia as a researcher in computational biology and in industry as a software developer for a healthcare software company. Sky chose to teach CS because she wants to share her passion for the field and help all students enjoy participating in it. In her free time, Sky enjoys sailing, running, biking, reading, and knitting.
Paul Muhl currently teaches the CSA capstone class, Mobile Programming, and he is a parent of two CSA students. He served as the Academy’s first Director from 2014-2016 until he resumed his full time position as Senior Analyst at Toyon Research Corp. in Goleta, CA. Paul has worked for the past ten years developing and running analytical tools and software models, managing people, contracts, and customer relations. Prior to working at Toyon, he worked for several other companies as a Software Engineer, DBA, System Administrator and Webmaster. His first post-college work experience, however, was teaching Physics, Computer Science, and Math at Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto, CA. Paul holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a Master of Arts degree from the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP). In his free time, Paul loves to spend time with his family, surf, play guitar, ride motorcycles, and camping.
Joseph Velasco is a teacher in the English Department of Santa Barbara High School where he teaches World Literature and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and has had a long career in the performing arts as an actor, director, and storyteller including the founding of BOXTALES Theater Company. Joseph uses technology in his classroom to reach students and introduce them to the power of owning their own education. “Computer coding is a type of literacy, much like learning any language, mathematics, or music. Students who learn to code learn creative empowerment and an ability to break down problems.” Joseph’s primary focus will be acting as technology liaison to under-served populations in the Santa Barbara community. In his spare time Joseph enjoys camping, gardening, rock-climbing, cheering on the Lakers, and participating in full-contact origami tournaments. He continues to attempt to defy the laws of physics whenever possible.
Dr. Zoë Wood is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California, and is herself a former Santa Barbara High School student. Dr. Wood obtained her Ph.D. from Caltech where she studied geometric modeling. She teaches and researches in the field of computer graphics with a specific focus on geometric modeling from acquired data, real-time computer graphics, scientific visualization and rendering. Dr. Wood regularly participates in outreach activities including teaching at engineering summer camps, speaking at elementary and high schools about computing, twice serving as an instructor for a Google sponsored: CS4HS, and serving as the co-advisor for the student club, WISH (Women Involved in Software and Hardware).