michael finnegan, PH.D.

Founder & Executive Director
Science (L3, L4, Advanced)

Humans are interesting people! We seem to come up with pretty cool stuff. I am amazed at the things invented, discovered, assembled, and created by us. This is precisely why I decided to get into education, professionally. There are really easy ways of allowing students to connect to these wonderful human endeavors, which are energizing and fulfilling. There is where QuantumCamp comes in! We provide the space for students to do these things. 

Before QC, I got a Ph.D in materials science, worked as an engineer for a solar cell manufacturer, and taught in both public and independent schools. And now I am the Executive Director of QuantumCamp and am loving working with our amazing team building wonderful classes for students all over the San Francisco Bay Area. 


Natalie Bladis

Curriculum Writer
Science/Mathematics Instructor

Natalie grew up in New York and moved to California five years ago after teaching abroad in Ghana, West Africa. She received her degree in mathematics from the State University of New York at Geneseo (SUNY Geneseo), with a state license to teach secondary mathematics and a minor in Asian Studies. For the past four years, Natalie has taught AP Calculus AB, AP Statistics, and Algebra /Trigonometry at a project based learning school in Davis and is looking forward to building out math and science curriculum for QC. Outside the classroom, Natalie loves to experience the laws of physics through rock climbing, and after climbing half dome in Yosemite, her dream has been to climb El Captain.


stephanie norman, ph.d.

Curriculum Design and Instruction
Math (L2, L3, L4), Science (L2, L3, L4) 

Stephanie hails from Honolulu, Hawaii, and moved to southern California for college, where she majored in Engineering at Harvey Mudd College.  After working in the aerospace industry for a couple of years, she decided to pursue her interest in medical research and moved north, where she received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at UC Davis.  While researching, tutoring, and lecturing, she soon realized that she loves to teach, especially in small group settings where she can connect with students at a deeper level.  Stephanie was a science instructor with QC for two summers, and is excited to transition into a full-time math instructor year-round.  She brings a love of science and engineering, as well as athletics, cooking, and play, to her philosophy of teaching mathematics applications so that everyone can appreciate and enjoy the beauty of math beyond the numbers.


RACHEL CORTEZ

Curriculum Design and Instruction
Science (L1, L2, Advanced)

Rachel grew up in Fremont, CA and was herself homeschooled starting in the 6th grade. At age 15 she passed the California State High School Equivalency exam and left the following fall to study abroad in Cambridge, England. She then studied paleobiology at UC Santa Barbara. At age 17 she wrote meteorology and oceanography curriculum which was approved by the United States Coast Guard for Captain’s licensing courses. She has been teaching meteorology, oceanography, and navigation to C Quest Marine students for over 10 years. For the past year and a half she has been inspiring students from Capitola to Santa Rosa and San Francisco to Discovery Bay as the Mad Scientist Rocket Rachel. She is thrilled to be part of the QC Team and aims to bring the joy of learning into the classroom for QC students.


SHREYA PADMANABHAN

Curriculum Design and Instruction
School Manager
Math (L1, L2), Science (L1)

Shreya was born in Palo Alto and has since lived in St. Louis, Singapore and Boston, before moving back to the Bay Area to launch her career. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Education, as well as state licensure to teach elementary education. During her time at Mount Holyoke, she focused on alternate education methods, gaining professional experience teaching and developing curriculum in Singapore, India and locally. Through her teaching experiences, she realized that she has a passion for teaching math, and is excited to have a spot on the QC team that allows her to apply her skills while continuing to develop that passion. She’s thrilled to be a part of the QC community and to be able to get students excited about math!


Andy Caskanette

Curriculum Design and Technical Support
Math (L3, L4, Advanced)

Andy hails from Ontario, Canada where he has lived most of his life. Recently, he moved to California and joined the QuantumCamp team as a Math Curriculum Developer. He has a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo as well as a diploma in Game Programming from Humber College. Andy is excited to apply his knowledge to help develop our L3 and 4  and High School curriculum. His past experience in web development and technical support has allowed him to take over some duties in this area as well. Andy's passions include games of all kind including their design and theory, pop culture, hiking and spending time with his wife and furry family.


Ruth woodruff

Director of Business Operations

Ruth’s role at QC is to ensure smooth organizational functioning from executive decisions to runny noses, and quite literally everything in between. With a background in higher education administration and organizational leadership, she understands the complexities of a specialized academic organization. She spent eight years running her own portrait photography business, while raising her three young boys, where she refined her customer service skills.


Sharon beltracchi

Science

Sharon grew up in Colorado Springs and moved to the Bay Area to attend Stanford University, where she majored in Earth Systems.  She participated in multiple field research programs at Stanford, from installing seismic sensors in Nevada with the Crustal Geophysics Lab, to measuring rainforest growth in Hawai'i to observing kelp forest ecology at Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey.  Sharon is an experienced K-12 science teacher, having worked at several Bay Area museums, mostly recently Aquarium of the Bay, and is excited to join the QuantumCamp team.  When she's not teaching science, Sharon enjoys working both onstage and backstage with local community theater groups.


Hayley Usedom

Summer Operations Director
Science (L3, L4, Advanced) 

Hayley was born and raised in the Bay Area. Throughout life, science has always been a passion, whether it was looking for insects, playing in the rain, or exploring tidepools. Hayley attended California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB), where she received her Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Earth Systems Science and Policy with an emphasis in Marine and Coastal Ecology. Her passion for science expanded and she spent time teaching at YMCA Camp Marston in Julian, CA. Missing the Bay Area and the close proximity to the ocean she ventured back to the Bay. For the past 9 years she worked as a Science Instructor and Education Coordinator at the Marine Science Institute, where her knowledge spread, not only about science, but also marketing and operations. Hayley is excited to be a part of the QuantumCamp team and is enthusiastic about engaging students in amazing hands-on curriculum.