faculty

Dr. Melanie Hayes – Founder and Executive Director. Melanie is a 2e expert. She holds a doctorate in educational leadership, an MA in gifted education, a California teaching credential, and has 20 years experience teaching, mentoring, coaching, and advocating for 2e children. Melanie won the Innovations for Entrepreneurs National Award for her work using adaptive technology for twice exceptional students and the Jefferson Award in recognition of her contributions to the 2e community. Melanie is a certified SENG Model Parent Group Facilitator and consults with parents to help them develop their parenting skills. She also has a 2e son and daughter, so she experiences life with 2e children on an intensely personal level. Melanie is intimately familiar with the joys and hardships of raising and educating exceptional children. You can read more about her work and family in her blog, “We Tried Normal,” at https://drmhayes.com/ or in her book, “We Tried Normal” available on Amazon.

Judy Jones – Program Director. Judy has a Master of Arts in Elementary Education and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Human Development from Harvard University. She has over 40 years of experience in the field of education working with students of all ages. She has both college and university teaching experience, as well as teaching experience in traditional and non-traditional classrooms for young children. Judy has a Multiple Subjects Credential Grades K-12 and a Special Education Credential with Autism Certification for Mild to Moderate populations. Judy has successfully raised a 2e son and daughter to adulthood and has a deep knowledge of best practices for supporting 2e children.

Nikaela Bradford – Art Teacher. Nikaela is a talented artist who creates incredible work in both traditional and computer-aided media. She is also a 2e person who brings her enthusiasm and personal understanding of 2e issues to her work with our students.

Anthony Medina – Computer Teacher. Anthony brings his enthusiasm, energy, and guidance to help students build, create, and learn. He is also a science nerd, gamer, and techie, who leads students in exciting online and real-world adventures.

Aaron McCray-Goldsmith – Science Teacher. Aaron holds a BS degree in Physics and brings science and engineering to life through his hands-on experiments. From rocket fuel to molecular gastronomy, Aaron engages students in his love for mad science.

Taylor Odom – Math Teacher. Taylor loves math! She is working toward her degree in mathematics and wants to teach children to learn to love math too. She uses a multi-modality approach to help students become enthused about math.

Tam Gia – Higher Math Teacher. Tam brings her experience in working with college students to Big Minds as she works with our older students to prepare them for higher level math. She teaches algebra, trigonometry, and calculus.

Rebecca Shalliker – History Teacher. Rebecca is enthusiastic about history, art, and how humans have impacted our world. She engages our students in deep conversation, exploration, and analysis of all things historical!

August Sanger – English Teacher. August has always love literature, writing, and helping students find the words to express their ideas. August is enthusiastic about helping our students succeed, in literacy and in life.

Kat White – Music Teacher. Kat is a practicing musician and teacher who brings the world’s music to our students. Her creativity and technical skills allow her to build an eclectic program that perfectly suits our students.

Geri Engberg – Drama/Improv Teacher. Geri has been a drama and improv teacher for the past 10 years. Her program is fun and engaging, but also, at a deeper level, helps students to communicate, cooperate, and grow their confidence.