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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.