Cambrian Academy
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4340 Almaden Expressway, San Jose, CA 95118


Cambrian Academy generally hires experienced teachers with Master or Doctorate degrees, a passion for teaching, and a track record of personal achievement as well as proven student success.

Jesse Warner

Assistant Headmaster

Mr. Warner comes to us from the American Advanced Academy, where he has many years experience teaching classes for advanced junior high and high school students. He received his Bachelors Degree from UC Santa Cruz and his Masters from George Mason University.

His education also includes Archaeology Studies at UC Davis, Shakespeare Studies at UCLA, and Intensive Italian Studies at UC Berkeley.

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Daniel Coca

History, Civics, Economics

Mr. Coca comes to us with many years of teaching experience at the middle school and high school level. He has both taught in academic college prep schools and worked with at-risk youth. Before coming to Cambrian Academy, he was an adjunct professor of Political Science at Highline College in Washington. He studied political science and history at Chapman University, and cultural studies at Dartmouth.

Mr. Coca is the lead college admissions counselor for our seniors, and he continues to ensure that 100% of Cambrian Academy's graduates are accepted to college.

His prior experience also includes work as an athletic coach and recreational director in both baseball and boxing.

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Dr. Jim Bender, M.Ed, PhD

Biology, MS Science, Marine Biology, Oceanography

Dr. Bender holds degrees in Cultural Anthropology and Education and has served as a captain and educator on sailing ships and in outdoor environmental education programs. He was captain and expedition leader on board the Educational Research Vessel Makulu during her 3rd circumnavigation which linked over 260 New York City classrooms with the ship as it sailed around the world. His passion is in marine biology and sailing. He has taught in several countries, making him feel at home at an international school such as ours.

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Michael Okoro

Chemistry, Physics, Math

A master of pharmacology/toxicology, Mr. Okoro conducted research on the anti-aging properties of green tea polyphenols, synthesized a proposed tumor suppressant, and analyzed contaminants in Lake Elsinore. A graduate of UC Irvine, he also participated in programs to enable African American high school students to earn university credit in mathematics, and established an after-school robotics program. Comfortable with chemistry, physics and math, he is an all around STEM kind of guy.

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Antoinette Whytoshek

Spanish and French

Ms. Whytoshek comes to us with many years of experience in her field. She was a teacher at St. Francis High School for 17 years where she taught Spanish, French, and World Literature. She helped to create the AP program there and served in many other capacities including Department Chair (1992-1995), Curriculum Committee (cf. Department Chair), Student Relations Task Force, Chess Team Moderator, International Club Moderator, Foreign Languages Honor Societies Moderator.

She previously worked at Stanford University and went to school at San Jose State and the University of Granada in Spain.

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Farah Priela

English, ESL, and Media Studies

Ms. Priela has a range of experience, having taught English, ESL/TEFL, and Media Studies in Greece, China, and the UK, as well as here in the Bay Area. She received her TEFL Certificate in Greece, her MA in Media Studies and Communications at the University of Central England, and her Post Graduate Certificate in Secondary Education (EU Teacher Credential ) with a focus on Media Studies and Literature at the University of Leicester, UK. She enjoys water colour painting, photography, foreign films and has travelled extensively.

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Jim Johnson

History and Forensic Science

Mr. Johnson retired from Lockheed Martin after 29 years as a Systems Engineer. He has a BS degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, a BS in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, an MS in Computer Information Systems from Boston University and a MA in US History from George Mason University. He lived in Japan for 2 years while serving as an Electronic Warfare Analyst in the US Army and lived in Great Britain for 19 years while with Lockheed. He taught Computer Science for the University of Maryland in Great Britain for 10 years as a part-time adjunct. Since retiring, he enjoys tutoring English, AP US History and AP World History and reading history, psychology, and foreign affairs and good mystery stories.

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Billy Ray Eakes

English, ESL, and Drama

Mr. Eakes holds certificates in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) from the University of California Santa Cruz. He received his B.A. in Global Studies from San Jose State University, his MA at the University of San Francisco in TESOL, and completed his study abroad at Oxford University, England in 2012.

His experience with and passion for theater make our drama classes an excellent experience, especially for those students who need to improve their English communication skills.

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Padma Mani

AP Calculus, Algebra, and Geometry

A highly capable and experienced math teacher with a lifetime of commitment to teaching math both at the high school and college levels. In 2015, Ms. Mani was recognized as the Teacher of the Year by the Santa Clara Valley Mathematics Association. Recognized by UC Irvine in 2012 and 2014 - an award for select few outstanding teachers in California. Recognized by UC San Diego in 2002 and 2003 for Excellence in Teaching.

Ms. Mani received her B.S. in Education from the University of Jabalpur, M.P., India, her B.S in Mathematics from Church Mission Society College, Kerala, India, and her M.S in Mathematics from the University of Kerala, India, where she graduated in the top 10% of her class. She has been an AP exam reader for the College Board since 1999.

Her hobbies include music, traveling and books.

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Ron Castia

Music, Audio Engineering, PE

Veteran of stage performance and live audio technician.

His hobbies include music and cycling.

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Manuel Minzer

Physical Education

Mr. Minzer was born in Santiago, Chile. He completed his B.A. in Physical Education in the University of Chile. He immigrated to Israel and worked as a P. E. Teacher in Elementary, Middle School, and High School levels, as a Basketball Head Coach in Junior Division Clubs and Minor League adults teams, and in different Sport Coordinator positions. He served in the Israeli Defense Army Forces for a year as a Physical Fitness Instructor and in the reserve for almost 15 years in an infantry artillery unit. In 2007, he relocated to the United States to the Bay Area and founded Rebound Basketball Academy, a youth instructional sports company with multiple locations from Sausalito to San Jose. He played basketball in High School, College, the Youth Chilean National Team, and Semi Professional Clubs in Chile and Israel. He completed his M.A. in Education in the Open University, Israel.

Mr. Minzer says: "I enjoy teaching Physical Education because it helped me to improve in many personal life aspects".

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Dr. Richard vonMayrhauser

History and Psychology

As a graduate of Harvard and the University of Chicago, Dr. Richard vonMayrhauser brings a vast array of knowledge and experience to our college prep environment. He has many years of teaching experience, as well as experience preparing students for the advanced testing required for top-tier college admissions. He has been a lecturer at UC Berkeley's History Department and at the Univeristy of New Hampshire's Psychology Department. His aptitude for working with high school aged students and enthusiasm for his subjects provide inspiration to continue higher level studies.

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Glenn Katz - Guest Instructor


Mr. Katz is a Lecturer in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Stanford University specializing in Architectural Design Studio, Building Information Modeling (BIM), and Parametric Design. Also, he has been with AutoDesk since 2011 as an AEC Education Specialist where he conducts technology product training through AutoDesk University. With CSDGC, Mr. Katz is collaborating on the Sustainable Urban Systems project as well as the Youth Leadership Program. He received his B.S. in Civil Engineering (1981) from MIT, and his M.S. in Civil Engineering (1982) from Stanford University.

David Delgado

College Preparatory Counseling
Motorsports and Stage Band

Mr. Delgado, a graduate of UC Berkeley, brings us over 25 years of private school management experience. His experience includes various levels of administration, school development and organization, multi-campus accreditation, quality assurance, curriculum development, teacher selection and training, student assessment, student counseling, teaching, and problem solving.



  • -- Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)
  • -- National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)
  • -- Saratoga Rotary Club, Board of Directors
  • -- Saratoga Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors

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