After 20 years working in high-tech start-ups and large CPG companies innovating technology and products, Matt Abbondanzio has joined La Jolla Country Day School as the director of design and innovation to develop a world-class program for early childhood through Grade 12 education. “I find innovation and engineering absolutely thrilling. After doing it for so many years within industry, I kept asking myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to do this in high school?’” Following building a smaller program for the past two years in Texas, Mr. Abbondanzio is now building an integral division within La Jolla Country Day School. This will allow students to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive world.
Mr. Abbondanzio has worked on innovative technologies such as short-range, ground-based radar systems and E-Ink, the electrophoretic display technology used in the Amazon Kindle. He has been issued more than 30 patents and has developed a multitude of innovative products, some that have been used by U.S. Olympic athletes and others that have sold in the hundreds of millions.
Jeremy Bank believes that Computer science should be about creating and affecting the world around us. As a middle school computer science teacher, Mr. Bank’s goal and mission is to provide a safe and mentally stimulating environment where students can learn how to not only understand the world but to realize change.
Mr. Bank graduated from the University of California, San Diego, with a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering. He worked in the fields of data analysis and energy efficiency before transitioning to a career in STEM education. He has been teaching children and adults in the fields of 3D printing, computer programming and robotics for five years.
Darren Cameron first joined La Jolla Country Day School as a parent, when he and his wife were seeking a school for their daughter that would both nurture and challenge her, as well as help to develop her character. They strongly believe they found that at LJCDS.
Mr. Cameron was thrilled when the opportunity to teach at LJCDS presented itself. Having graduated from Colorado College with a Bachelor of Arts in 1992, he pursued a career in the tech industry, and has spent the last 20 years working as a software engineer, applications developer and database programmer in the financial, energy and engineering industries. He is excited to share his knowledge and passion for programming and technology with students.
Andrea Flagiello wants her students to believe that they can achieve anything they aspire to do. In the computer science and innovation labs, she encourages them to reach beyond their comfort zone, challenge their thinking and try new things.
Ms. Flagiello earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Delaware. Her career began in Waikiki, Hawaii, teaching fifth grade. Throughout her career, she's used her passion for technology to connect with learners at all K-8 levels. In 2013, she earned a Master of Arts from Pepperdine University in learning technologies.
Luna Kim is an Upper School and Middle School Educator with a focus on digital design and development.
Before to coming to La Jolla Country Day School, Dan Lenzen earned his Master of Science in Cognitive Science at the University of California, San Diego. There, he designed software and processes to study gesture and sign language with the Microsoft Kinect and taught human-centered design to undergraduates. This work built on his three years as a researcher at the University of Chicago, investigating the role of gesture in learning in middle school students. His interest in how cognition exists in our mind and bodies began when he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Colorado College. These experiences provided Mr. Lenzen with skills in design education, human psychology, research design, web design and computer programming.
Mr. Lenzen is the Assistant Director of Design & Innovation and teaches courses in the Upper and Middle Schools. His hobbies include surfing, hiking, coaching lacrosse, and data visualization.
Before joining La Jolla Country Day School in 2016, Tomas Robinson received his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Math at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, where he performed research on superconductors and solid state physics and coordinated the university’s science hackerspace. He worked on upgrades to undergraduate physics labs, adding computer-controlled delta bots to increase the precision and speed of data collection.
Originally from the frigid land of Canada, Mr. Robinson will do his best to embrace the new changes that come with a warmer climate, and the lack of Tim Hortons.
Bob Simon is a Middle School Educator who focuses on the physical and digital tools of the Innovation Lab. Mr. Simon also coaches Girls and Boys Golf teams.