Meet the New Teachers and Staff at M-A WRITten by: Marlene arroyo, jane white, & brianna aguayo

This year, Menlo Atherton welcomes many new teachers. In order to give them a proper welcome, we asked them a few questions about themselves.

Ms. Alvarez

Teaches World Studies and Modern European History

Amanda Alvarez grew up in Boston, and attended USC in Los Angeles. Her hobbies include playing soccer, reading, climbing, and overall being outdoors. She wants her students to know that she is always available to talk about any concerns or questions you have. So far, she loves the supportive atmosphere there is at M-A.

Ms. Catron

Algebra 1 & 2

Emily Catron has a bachelor’s degree in science and mathematics, a minor in music, and a master’s in teaching. She loves playing music, playing disc golf, go for walks, and see the country. Overall, she loves M-A’s unique supportive staff.

Ms. Che

Algebra 1 & 2

Jenifer Che attended UCLA as an undergrad and attended grad school there as well. At UCLA, she received her bachelor’s degree in economics, and her master’s in education. Outside of work, she enjoys practicing her calligraphy, reading, and loves to travel. She loves to see how students grow and progress over time and loves the positivity that students radiate at school.

Ms. Cruz

English 2 & 3

Candice Cruz did not have an easy four high school years. She often reminds her students how she failed two years of high school, but was then able to obtain all her credits and graduate on time. She hopes this is an example to her students to stay motivated during school. Outside of work, she likes to swim, hike, and be outdoors in general.

Dr. K


In June, Kristen Duriseti received a teaching degree at Stanford and this is her first year ever teaching. At Stanford University, she received a bachelor's degree in political science and obtained a degree in economics at the University of Michigan. She is an ardent environmentalist and loves to stay active, whether it’s boxing or yoga.

Ms. Gutierrez


Before teaching at MA, Maria Gutierrez received degrees in Spanish and Latin American Studies after attending UC Santa Barbara. In her spare time, she enjoys trying new foods and restaurants, salsa dancing, and hiking. Her favorite thing about MA so far would be all the welcoming teachers and staff.

Ms. Lesyna

Biology- LOA

After transferring from a community college to UC Davis, Lauren Lesyna obtained a Bachelor of Science in Human Development, and now teaches biology. Her favorite thing about M-A so far has been the school PRIDE the students and staff have.

Mr. Migdow

Algebra 1 Support & Geometry

Roger Migdow teaches math and received his degrees from the University of Illinois, San Francisco State University, and the University of Southern California. He enjoys astronomy, hockey, and anchovy pizza. His favorite movie is Galaxy Quest (1999). His favorite thing about M-A is the amazing staff and students that make the day go by so quickly.

Ms. Morkoch


Shemsa Morkoch studied Biology at UC Berkeley and later received her Master’s in education. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, hiking, reading, and doing yoga. She really loves the diversity at M-A and really wants to take time to get to know her students.

Mr. Muys


Nick Muys, a new AVP, attended Oberlin College where he received his teaching credential and later obtained his degree in educational services through a program at Notre Dame University. He hopes for students to see him as a learner, and more of a person who’s going to be there to support teachers and students.

Ms. Rigotti


As an undergrad at UC Berkeley, Emily Rigotti studied Integrated Biology, Public Health and minored in education, later receiving her administration credential at CSU East Bay. She hopes that students will her see her a person who can support them, even as an AVP. During her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, and being outside.

Mr. Rosenberg

English 1 & AS English 2

David Rosenberg teaches English and has previously been a long term sub at M-A and Woodside. He spent 10 years at the Oakland School of Arts. Outside of work he likes to spend time with his friends, bike, read, write, cook, and sometimes skateboard. He has really been enjoying the M-A students and staff. Drop off, email, or share inspirational quotes in E-3 so he can post them on his door.

Mr. Simon

Finite Math & Computer Science Principles

Jonathon Simon has a degree in cognitive science from MIT and a master's degree in education from Stanford. What he likes most about teaching is helping a diverse group of young adults gain skills that they will use to achieve their future goals. Outside of work he likes to watch sports, play ultimate frisbee, play board games, read, do crossword puzzles and go on bike rides. His favorite thing about M-A so far is being greeted and thanked by so many students each day.

Mr. Shaad

Modern European History

Jackson Shaad teaches history at M-A and received his Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology at Brown University and his degree in education from Stanford. In his free time, he enjoys watching NFL Football, being outdoors, and camping. He loves to teach because he enjoys watching students grow. His favorite thing about M-A so far has been getting to know the students.

Mr. Shen


Matthew Shen, who teaches biology, received his bachelor's degree at UCLA and his teaching credentials from San Francisco State University. In his free time, he likes to reconnect with old friends, try new things, and work on the freshwater aquarium he built himself. His favorite thing about M-A so far is how welcoming the staff and students are.

Ms. Wan

English 1 & AS English 1

Rachael Wan teaches English and received her bachelor’s at Santa Clara University and her Master’s degree at Stanford. Outside of work, she enjoys reading, baking, hiking, and watching Netflix. Her favorite thing about M-A so far is the inclusive community of students and staff.

Ms. Woll


Erica Woll, a biology teacher, studied Environmental Science at UC Davis and later received her teaching credential CSU East Bay. She's happy to be at M-A and feels very welcome thanks to the staff. Apart from teaching, she enjoys outdoor activities like hiking.


Joseph Paz teaches English. He received a Bachelor’s degree in English and later attained his teaching credential at Stanford University. During his free time, he enjoys activities like ultimate frisbee and snowboarding. So far his favorite thing about M-A has been the diversity he’s seen.