Special Education Teachers, Faculty & Staff

Faculty & Staff

Meet Our Special Education Teachers, Faculty & Staff

All of our special education teachers, faculty and staff are specialized to work with students with mild to moderate learning differences. They create customized curriculums according to each student’s learning difficulties, and work on a personal basis with them to unlock their full potential. Their proven teaching methods have helped many our students go on to getting a college education.

By actively recruiting teachers and staff specialized in working with students with learning differences, we have created the ideal environment for your child to succeed.

Interested in learning more, or perhaps getting a free tour of our school? Contact us.


Rachel Wylde

Executive Director

Rachel Wylde is the founding director of Compass High School. She started her career in education as an educational therapist then worked as a high school special education teacher. She taught for five years in a therapeutic school before becoming a school administrator. She has been the director of three schools for students with learning differences. In 2006, Rachel founded Bayhill High School, which has become one of the premier schools for students with learning differences in Northern California.

Rachel has been active in statewide public policy, sitting on the board of the California Association of Special Education Schools (CAPSES) for 12 years, and in school governance, serving as board chair of a North Oakland Community Charter School (NOCCS).

Rachel has a BA in Psychology and a MA in Special Education from San Francisco State University, and a MA in Educational Leadership from Mills College. She has teaching credentials in multiple subjects, special education, and administration. Rachel is originally from San Francisco; she loves to cook and has published a cookbook, likes to work out and read, and travels to Ireland frequently with her husband and three children.



Jennifer Schoolfield

Assistant Director

Jen joins the Compass High School team after having served as the Dean of Student Life at Sterne School for the last three years.  She thrives on working with high school students and is especially interested in exploring the multitude of post-secondary options available to all high school graduates. She enjoys working with students and their families to create the ultimate individualized paths for life after high school. Jen is also passionate about experiential and vocational education and the extreme benefits that hands-on experience can offer students.  Whether it’s leading trips abroad or taking advantage of the fantastic amenities available in the Bay Area, Jen is often seeking out learning opportunities for students outside of the traditional classroom.

Jen earned her Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology in 2005 from the University of San Francisco and has worked with children, teens and adults in various therapeutic and education settings since. Originally from the east coast, Jen has found a new home in the San Francisco Bay Area, but still routes avidly for her undergraduate alma mater, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Outside of work, she often can be found hiking with her two dogs, Harvey & Huey, in the Marin Headlands, and along with her husband, Tom, Jen is anxiously awaiting the arrival of their daughter due August 2015.

Lura Milner

Educational Services Coordinator

Lura Milner currently oversees professional development, assessment, and technology in her coordinator role. Additionally, she teaches Pre-Calculus and Geometry to stay connected with the students in a teacher role. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.S. in Engineering Mathematics. While at Arizona, Lura was president of the student chapter of the Society of Women Engineers and employed as a math tutor in the local high schools. After graduation from the honors college at Arizona, Lura pursued a career in software implementation with Deloitte ICS. Wanting a career in something more meaningful than zeros and ones, Lura pursued credentials in adult education, mathematics, and special education. Currently she is adding to that list with an administrative credential and masters in Special Education. To date, Lura’s educational career spans 13 years of teaching general education, adult education and special education. Within that career she has taught math from middle school through high school. Lura has also tutored through college level algebra and statistics. Though teaching keeps her busy, Lura is an avid ballroom dancer, digital memory keeper and loyal SF Giants fan.

Glorimar Pagan-Turner

Operations Manager

Glorimar Pagan-Turner is Compass High School’s Operations Manager. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico and recently relocated to the San Francisco Peninsula from New York via Los Angeles. Glorimar holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from University of Puerto Rico and a Master of Arts degree in Anthropology from University at Buffalo (State University of New York). After graduate school, Glorimar worked as an archaeologist through the northeast for a few years. Later, she worked as a legal interpreter at the Federal Immigration Court. In her spare time, Glorimar is an avid reader, casual gamer, and food lover.

Josie Porcella

Learning Specialist

Josie Porcella is Compass High School’s Learning Specialist. She was born and raised in the Bay Area and recently relocated to the South Bay from San Francisco.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Arts degree in Mild/Moderate Special Education from San Francisco State University.  Josie is bilingual and also studied Spanish literature in Guadalajara, Mexico.  She has over 6 years of experience working 1×1 with students between the ages of 5-21 on reading remediation, writing, assistive technology, organization and time management skills.  She is trained in Lindamood-Bell and Orton Gillingham-based reading programs, the Reading Apprenticeship literacy program, and various assistive technology software programs for students needing a diverse teaching approach.  She believes passionately that every student can achieve success, by helping them to recognize their inherent strengths while providing support in their areas of need and fostering their self-confidence.

Josie comes to Compass from Bayhill High School in Oakland, where she taught intensive reading and writing remediation classes, provided 1×1 Educational Therapy for students, and partnered with teachers to support differentiated instruction in the classroom.  Her hobbies include reading (of course!), experimenting in the kitchen, yoga, and music.  She also enjoys traveling near and far, especially to visit relatives in Puerto Rico.

Hilda Man

Speech and Language Therapist

Hilda Man was born and raised in Los Angeles but moved to the Bay Area to attend San Francisco State University where she received her Master of Science degree in Communicative Disorders. After graduate school, she stayed in the Bay Area working as a speech and language pathologist in various settings, including public and private schools, Head Start, and a private practice office. Over the years, Hilda developed a passion for working with adolescents with language-learning disabilities. She worked six years at Bayhill High School, a private school in Oakland for students with learning differences, where she focused on language and literacy through curriculum-relevant therapy and a collaborative integrated model with teachers.

Hilda is a logophile and enjoys sharing this love of words with her students. She finds immense gratification in watching students play word games and hearing them proclaim the thesaurus to be their new best friend. In addition to words, Hilda takes great pleasure in speed. She drives fast, rides a Ducati motorcycle, and slalom water skis.

Garrett Spangler

Marketing and Communications Associate

Garrett Spangler grew up in the Redding area of California and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Management from Menlo College. He also moonlights as a designer and writer for a game development start-up he and his friends put together. His hobbies include working out, hanging out with friends, writing, and enjoying popular culture.

He has 8 years of experience working with youth including 4 years of facilitating leadership training for high school students. These trainings have taken place internationally, in places such as Africa and Europe. He also has spent a number of years as a tutor in math, and mentors a group of high schoolers with his church. Garrett is passionate about education and loves being able to serve the student body of Compass High!

Lindsay Ballard

Art, Drama, Music Teacher

Lindsay Ballard has a passion for teaching the visual and performing arts. This is her fourth year at Compass High School and she is ecstatic to be leading the creative arts program this year. Before coming to Compass, she ran the general music program, directed a choir, and was the music director for the spring theatrical productions at Charles Armstrong School for three years. Her previous experience includes teaching music, art and drama at Magic Apple Afterschool in Aptos California, running music and fine arts workshops through the Woodside Recreation program, teaching swing dancing while attending NAU, teaching private voice, piano, guitar, ukulele, and theatrical audition preparation lessons.

A Bay Area native, Lindsay has been studying music and fine art since the tender age of three. She began her music training in classical, jazz, and blues piano. She studied privately with a fine arts instructor who graduated from the Stanford fine arts graduate program. She studied education, fine arts, and theatre at Northern Arizona University but came back to the Bay to continue her music education at Foothill College where she received an excellence in music award and highest honors. She currently continues the pursuit of her music education degree through San Francisco State University. She also studies piano privately under Maestro Paul Hurst. Lindsay is trained in voice and musical theater. She also has a vocational certificate in Swedish massage through Twin Lakes School of Massage in Santa Cruz California.

Lindsay has a special connection with children who have learning differences as she has one herself. Her teaching approach encompasses the needs of these types of learners. She primarily learns and teaches music by ear yet has a unique way of teaching music theory as well. She believes the arts are an outlet and a vessel for harnessing one’s gifts and talents. Her philosophy is that the visual and performing arts help students with learning differences to thrive and build self-confidence. The arts, especially music, help the brain grow in ways nothing else can. When children learn music, drama, and fine arts, they become a better student as a whole.

school for dyslexic children bay area

Sue Brown

Homework Center Supervisor

Sue Brown is the Homework Center Supervisor for Compass High School as well as a teaching assistant in our Study Skills class. She is a native of the San Francisco Peninsula and graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in English. During college, she also participated as a member of Cal’s nationally ranked women’s rowing team and tutored at the local high school. After graduation, Sue pursued a career developing and marketing educational products, including software for companies including Wadsworth, McGraw-Hill and Electronic Arts.

Most recently, Sue has been providing reading and homework support to students aged 12 to 22 for the past six years, as a private learning specialist and at Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes Center in Menlo Park as a clinician and mentor where she was recognized as “Most Valuable Player” for her ability to motivate students and make learning a fun and positive experience. She continues to develop her knowledge of assistive technology for the support of writing and reading skills.

Sue has also personally journeyed through the special education landscape with a child diagnosed with learning differences. She lives in San Mateo with her husband and two daughters. Outside of work, Sue reads, pursues her love of crafts, and roots for the San Francisco Giants.

Stacey Hill

Psychotherapist & Skills Instructor

Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT) # 93810

Stacey Hill is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and skills instructor at Compass High School. She earned her MA in Counseling with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy and Professional Clinical Counseling at Saint Mary’s College of California. She provides therapy and teaches social and reading skills. She is trained in the multi-sensory reading programs,   Language!® and the Slingerland® approach.

Stacey has worked as a therapist in both public and private school settings, therapeutic camps, and community mental health clinics. Moreover, Stacey has also worked in schools such as Charles Armstrong School, Hope Academy, Stellar Academy for Dyslexics, serving students with learning differences.

Stacey also works in private practice in Danville, California seeing children, teens, adults, and families. Stacey is passionate about working with students with learning differences, as she is one herself (alumna of Charles Armstrong School). Stacey believes with support, empathy, and professional guidance, an individual has the capability to grow, learn, and achieve their greatest potential. Outside of work, Stacey enjoys coffee, psychology, cooking, trail running, water skiing, traveling, and quality time with her family and friends.

Louise Fraser

Science Teacher

Louise teaches biology and physics at Compass High. Louise will also be teaching the Navigator Academy. She recently moved to the US from the UK as part of a plan to experience a new way of life for her family. Louise has a BEd Honors, in biology, geography and education. She has recently completed a teaching based course in physics at the University of Chester.

Louise has many years experience in education and has taught around the world. She ran the science department in a rural school in Eastern Kenya and taught biology in Wellington, New Zealand. Louise has been the education officer at Unilever R and D and a member of the national education service for Shell, both in the UK. As well as teaching science to all school age ranges from kindergarten to seniors, Louise has also worked in higher education and was an associate tutor at Liverpool Hope University, where she worked in the education faculty, guiding post and under graduates through their primary science teaching qualifications.

Her interest in special education includes working for 3 years in a school for children with severe learning difficulties and profound and multiple learning difficulties, as a form teacher and teacher in charge of science and also supporting students on the school’s outreach program. Most recently, providing living support for young adults on the autistic spectrum for the Wirral Autistic Society.

In her spare time she volunteers at Curiodyssey at Coyote Point as a weekend interpretive guide.

compass high tuition

Atheena Haniff-Martinez

Teacher Assistant

Atheena Haniff-Martinez is a native to San Mateo. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a bachelor in Sociology. Atheena’s interest in teaching began in a grade school when she began offering to help out her teachers after school. While she is new to the teaching community, her enthusiasm for the work and desire to learn from the teachers and the students around her is contagious.  In her free time, Atheena likes to spend time with friends, listen to music, go hiking, and travel to the beach.

Raymond Ronayne

Social Sciences/PE Teacher

Raymond (Rocky) Ronayne teaches world history, U.S. history, government, physical education and transition seminar at Compass High.  He recently moved from Baltimore, Maryland to San Francisco. Rocky graduated Suma Cum Laude from Towson University with a B.S. in philosophy. He gained a master’s degree in special education with a focus in social studies from Goucher College.

Rocky taught at Kennedy Krieger High School in Baltimore for the past five years educating students challenged with a variety of learning differences. With a focus on Universal Design Learning, his goal is to encourage students to become critical thinkers who reflect on their own ideas and philosophies. He is passionate about fostering an environment where students can actively participate in classroom debates. Ultimately, students should leave Compass High as compassionate and thoughtful citizens who contribute actively in our society.

advisory board

Karen Vanderburg

English Teacher

Karen Vanderburg grew up in Southern California and presently lives in Berkeley with her family.  She went to college in the Northwest and then lived abroad in Eastern Europe after graduating with a master’s degree in Comparative Literature.  Since her return from Europe, Karen has been teaching high school and middle school students around the Bay Area in both public and private schools for almost twenty years.

As an English teacher, her main interest has always been reading because it challenges her mind and sparks her imagination. She loves to be swept off on an escapade or ponder the predicaments of famous characters. Karen is also an aspiring writer and encourages her students to explore their talents in poetry and short stories.  Aside from reading and writing, she loves being outside in nature. There she usually goes running or hiking, but cross-country skiing in the peaceful snows of winter is her absolute favorite.

Carolyn Wilsey

English, Writing, and Study Skills Teacher

Carolyn Wilsey specializes in individualized writing instruction. Her love for writing and reading began in early childhood and has continued through her academic, personal, and professional life. She graduated with a B.A. in American Literature from Middlebury College and, in 2005, earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. This program included a rigorous and enjoyable training course on how to teach composition.

Carolyn’s early career was in journalism and included posts at both small community newspapers and large national magazines. In 2009, she began teaching Writing 101 at Marymount Manhattan College and developed a passion for collaborating with students on their writing projects. After a successful semester as a writing coach for the State University of New York (SUNY), Carolyn transitioned to education full-time. She has worked as a writing consultant (or tutor) at Columbia University, SUNY, Marymount Manhattan College, and Greenwich Education Group (GEG). Additionally, she has classroom experience as a literature, study skills, and writing teacher at GEG and has worked with many students with learning differences. She has also worked as a mentor teacher, supporting aspiring intern teachers, at Summerbridge at University High School in San Francisco.

Prior to joining the Compass staff in August of 2016, Carolyn was an Academic Support Specialist for SUNY — a college learning center position that included one-on-one writing coaching and time management sessions, creating and delivering workshops, embedding academic support in the classroom, and designing and teaching independent studies, including a basic skills writing program, which she managed across three city locations. After living in Manhattan for six years and Brooklyn for nearly the last three years, Carolyn relocated to San Francisco. Moving to the Bay Area has been a longtime dream of Carolyn’s, and she is excited to be surrounded by the beautiful landscape and culture here and to participate in the school community at Compass.

Tom Bendon

Math Teacher

Tom teaches Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 at Compass High. He has worked in an array of academic settings over his decade of teaching, but has been increasingly passionate, for the past several years now, about working with students who learn differently. Before joining Compass, Tom taught at the Sterne School, a school in San Francisco specifically serving junior high and high school students with learning differences. While there, Tom led the crafting and consolidation of the high school Math program.

Tom has a Bachelor’s Degree from Wesleyan University and a MBA from the California College of the Arts. This MBA emphasized ‘Design Strategy,’ highlighting the powerful benefits of a ‘human-centered design thinking’ approach when working to create, deliver, and capture value. He most enjoys drawing upon these unique skillets when tackling complex challenges of all sorts- from creating novel, engaging lesson plans to creatively overcoming issues of school program growth and evolution. He is committed to raising the ‘creative confidence’ of all students by introducing and exploring rigorous content through a range of modalities, turning on many of the students’ ‘multiple intelligences.’ In addition to building content mastery for students, Tom seeks to grow their intellectual curiosity and to foster respect for their own learning processes. When he is not jumping around a classroom, he is very often taking a hike with his daughter. He also really likes to mountain bike and rock climb.

Christina McMorrow

Director of Admissions and Outreach

Chris joins Compass High School as the Director of Admissions and Outreach with a clear vision to support the school in it’s next phase of growth. With a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from USF, Chris comes to us with a layered background in marketing, counseling, parent support and administration. She previously worked as the Director of Student and Staff Development for Stanbridge Academy and helped to develop the Parent Education program for a local behavioral health start-up. Chris is passionate about working with students with special needs and unwavering in her drive to support the local special education community.

In her time outside of work, Chris is a mother to two highly energetic young boys, which helps to explain her love of all things caffeinated.