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Meet Our Students & Staff

Eunseo Eo, Class of 2025

"I really value this enthusiastic environment where everyone is giving their best to maximize the resources offered to them, and this inspires me to endeavor through my high school journey."

What makes you proud to be a Falcon?
I really value this enthusiastic environment where everyone is giving their best to maximize the resources offered to them, and this inspires me to endeavor through my high school journey. 

Do you have any hobbies/ extracurricular activities you do outside of school?
I volunteer at a special education program where I simply hang out with neurodivergent teenagers to adults. We meet every Saturday from 9:30-3:30 and walk to the park, have lunches together, do taekwondo, and work on art. I (also) train for taekwondo where we prepare for various competitions from local to national. While I still compete sometimes, I mostly referee at competitions now. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, I see myself as a medical doctor in a big hospital. Even though, for now, I am uncertain about the specific field in medicine I want to specialize in, I am sure that I hope to study medicine where I can provide professional help to people who might need it. 

Mike Tyler, Teacher

"I love that the school offers so many pathways to success, and the community is so supportive of the learning and activities that go on here."

What makes you proud to be a Falcon?
I love that the school offers so many pathways to success, and the community is so supportive of the learning and activities that go on here. I also value the extraordinary level of dedication of the teachers, admin team, and support staff. Those are the constants I've seen in my 27 years on staff. It's an amazingly good high school, and kids are lucky to go here.

What was your 1st job?
I worked as a dishwasher and cook at my dad's breakfast restaurant starting shortly after high school and continued working there throughout college. 

What are your words of wisdom to live by? 
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. 

What's something we might not know about you?
In high school, I played on the baseball team for three years and was the captain of the team in my senior year. The dedication and hard work I learned from playing sports as a kid taught me about what is needed to be successful in other areas of life.

Avi Taneja, Class of 2025

"The ability to be able to be in a school with such a diverse culture where I can challenge myself is something unbeatable."

What makes you proud to be a Falcon?
The ability to be able to be in a school with such a diverse culture where I can challenge myself is something unbeatable. 

Do you have any hobbies/ extracurricular activities you do outside of school?
Badminton

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In Medical School

Marissa Alvarado, Admin. Asst

"The Students and Staff make me proud to be a SHS Falcon. It has been extremely rewarding working with students and seeing them grow throughout the years."

What makes you proud to be a Falcon?
The Students and Staff make me proud to be a SHS Falcon. It has been extremely rewarding working with students and seeing them grow throughout the years. It is my 3rd year here at SHS and I now see students that I helped in 9th grade soon walk across the stage!

What was your 1st job?
Five Guys Burgers and Fries. I started this job when I graduated High School at 17 years old. I was the toppings person to all the burgers and enjoyed making sure every topping was perfectly prepared.

What are your words of wisdom to live by?
"Be Kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about". I live this everyday to be kind to others. Sometimes we don't know what is happening behind closed doors. I love seeing people's reactions when I say " Hi, How are you?". My husband always tells me, Everyone always loves to engage with you and many people trust and love talking to you. For this, I will always be kind to everyone and hope I can impact brightening someones day.

What's something we might not know about you?
I am an adventurous person and love to swim and be in the water. I have parasailed 1200 feet in Hawaii! On my honeymoon, I also swam with turtles and was inches away from a stingray. 

Sierra Ward, College & Career Center Advisor

"The Saratoga community is so supportive and inclusive, from the administration to our students, staff, and parents."

What makes you proud to be a Falcon?
The Saratoga community is so supportive and inclusive, from the administration to our students, staff, and parents. Teachers are incredibly dedicated to their craft. Students are motivated and excel at so many things - theatre, cheer, dance, music, robotics, history, and so many individual athletes and their team sports - but also know how to relax at lunch, in the stands for sports, or audiences for performances.

What was your 1st job?
My first job out of college was The Village Cheese Shop in Haddonfield, New Jersey. At graduation I had no idea what I wanted to do in life yet, and even several months after it as my first post-grad summer came to a close I was still uncertain, so I moved to my girlfriend's hometown. I was walking down the main street one autumn afternoon and saw a Help Wanted sign, peeked in, and it looked charming with all sorts of not only cheeses, but also olive oils, breads, crackers, jams, candies, soups and more. The owners were a married couple, and it was one of the best jobs I ever had, since it taught me a lot about small businesses, the importance of personal relationships, dealing with the public, and gritty hard work. Downside: I had to shower as soon as I got home because I smelled like stale cheese.

What are your words of wisdom to live by?

Do what you want to in life, not what others want you to do: you'll be much more intrinsically motivated, driven, and energetic. Even better, help young people navigate their lives (at least for me, through a stressful college search and application process), and support them in their activities by being there for them. Also, surround yourself with motivated people: they will lift you up. Listen to a lot of music, including from the present so you don't just get stuck in the past. Lastly, don't forget to eat some M&M's from time to time, especially purple ones.

What's something we might not know about you?

I'm trying to become the first transgender person in history to reach the highest point of all 50 states. 43 down, 7 to go! Remaining are Alaska, Hawai'i, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, and California, mostly quite dangerous, with 3 or 4 summit attempts planned for this summer, the others to follow! But I'm trying to be a role model and inspiration for a lot of people who need it: set goals, train and prepare, study, don't be afraid but don't be stupid, have a lot of patience, and go for it!

Lilly Nickerson, Saratoga HS Class of 2026

"As a proud falcon, I find great joy in serving my community and spreading happiness among its members."

What makes you proud to be a Falcon?
As a proud falcon, I find great joy in serving my community and spreading happiness among its members. Whether it's volunteering at local events, organizing fundraisers for Saratoga High School, or simply lending a helping hand to those in need, the opportunity to make a positive impact fills me with great satisfaction. Witnessing the smiles on people's faces and knowing that my actions contribute to their happiness is truly rewarding. Being able to uplift and support others not only strengthens the bonds within our community but also fuels my sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Do you have any hobbies/ extracurricular activities you do outside of school?
Volunteering is one of my greatest passions outside of school. I love dedicating my time and skills to various organizations. Whether it's serving at a local soup kitchen or participating in environmental clean up efforts, I find fulfillment in giving back and making a positive impact. One of my most cherished volunteering experiences was helping organize a charity fundraiser for a homeless shelter in San Jose. I coordinated with local businesses, rallied volunteers, and promoted the event to raise funds and awareness for the shelter's crucial work. Seeing the community come together for such a meaningful cause was incredibly rewarding. Overall, volunteering allows me to channel my passion for helping others into meaningful action, and I'm proud to contribute to the betterment of my community in any way I can.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In ten years, I envision myself on the way to becoming a skilled and compassionate anesthesiologist, having pursued my passion for medicine through rigorous training and dedication. As someone deeply committed to making a difference in people's lives, I see myself playing a pivotal role in the healthcare field, particularly in the critical area of anesthesia.

Shobha Vaidyanathan, Saratoga High School Therapist

"I love that the SHS staff is very friendly- I have many friends here. I love that our school atmosphere is warm and inclusive and I love that our students are diverse and willing to listen- it is a joy to work with them!"

What makes you proud to be a Falcon?
I love that the SHS staff is very friendly- I have many friends here. I love that our school atmosphere is warm and inclusive and I love that our students are diverse and willing to listen- it is a joy to work with them !

What was your 1st job?
After my first Masters degree- I worked as a Clinical Psychology intern at a psychiatric hospital in Mumbai, India. 

What are your words of wisdom to live by?
Be 100% and Accept people and situations as they are!!

What's something we might not know about you?
I am a singer. I have been learning Indian classical music since I was 5 and continue to learn today!! I speak up to 5 Indian languages in addition to English and can understand some Korean :) . Lastly , I work out regularly and meditate daily to take care of my body and my mind!

Yu-Kuan Aiden Chen

"(I appreciate) the relationships I’ve built with staff and students alike."

What makes you proud to be a Falcon?
The relationships I’ve built with staff and students alike.

Who is your hero or inspiration? 
My mother

Do you have any hobbies/ extracurricular activities you do outside of school?
I play baseball and am currently being recruited to play Division 1 baseball.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
If I’m not pitching professionally I’ll be doing something else related to baseball and passing my passion down to the next generation.

Nikki Rodriguez-Dully, Saratoga HS Teacher

"I am proud to be a Falcon because the students, parents, staff, and faculty are outstanding individuals that come together to form a welcoming and wonderful community. I am grateful to be at a school where education and teachers are so highly valued."

What makes you proud to be a Falcon?
I feel so lucky to have been accepted as a part of the SHS family! I am proud to be a Falcon because the students, parents, staff, and faculty are outstanding individuals that come together to form a welcoming and wonderful community. I am grateful to be at a school where education and teachers are so highly valued.

What was your 1st job?
My mom is (still) a kindergarten teacher, and my first job was helping out in her classroom when I was young. I started helping when I was in elementary school, and continued until I was an adult. When I had days off from my school, I would go into her classroom and help with activities like crafts, classroom routines, and reading stories to the students. This experience impacted me greatly, and inspired me to become a teacher. The kindergarteners called me Miss Nikki, which is why I still like to go by Ms. Nikki today!

What are your words of wisdom to live by?
Pottery wheel wisdom that applies to life: Take a deep breath, plant your feet, take stretching breaks, have patience, adapt to changes, find your rhythm, grow from your mistakes, and celebrate your wins!

What's something we might not know about you?
Of course I love art, but I am also passionate about getting outdoors and protecting the environment! In college I was a trip leader/organizer, and director of marketing for an outdoors organization that leads camping and backpacking trips for students. I love to get outside and hike, run, or roller skate whenever I can.

Paul Weir, Operations/Plant Supervisor

"I am proud to work closely with my staff to help the teaching staff succeed at their mission."

What makes you proud to be a Falcon?
I am proud to work closely with my staff to help the teaching staff succeed at their mission.

And, of course, I'm so proud to support the students. I am frequently impressed by them, their decorum and effort at their work here at SHS. I am proud to contribute to their successes in any way I can.

What was your 1st job?
I have always worked in the construction, maintenance and facilities realm, but my first "real" job was as U.S. Facilities Manager for NetManage and then ARM Holdings. During the early days of the internet it was wildly creative and exciting to be a part of.

What are your words of wisdom to live by?
If you want to be good at something- Practice! But the most important element is to practice things that are good for you.

What's something we might not know about you?
My Bleu Cheese, I call "Big Sur Jade" has won best of show at both Santa Cruz and Monterey county fairs. In my retirement years I plan to watch cheese age!

Medha Ravi, Class of 2024

"I am so proud of the SHS community. I thrive off of healthy and friendly competition. My peers are extremely driven, many of them undertaking incredible projects from prototyping robots for space travel to dominating their sport at a national level."

What makes you proud to be a Falcon?
The community. I thrive off of healthy and friendly competition. My peers are extremely driven, many of them undertaking incredible projects from prototyping robots for space travel to dominating their sport at a national level. Not only are SHS Falcons impressive academically, they also offer any support I need-- whether it is through mentorship programs, tutoring sessions, or collaborative study groups. The sense of camaraderie within the SHS Falcon community fosters a positive and encouraging environment, where everyone is motivated to excel and help each other succeed. It's this combination of high achievement and mutual support that makes me proud to be a SHS Falcon.

Who is your hero or inspiration? 
Judith Polgar serves as my source of inspiration due to her groundbreaking achievements in chess, shattering gender barriers. Her strategic brilliance and fearless play style redefine possibilities for women in chess, motivating me to challenge norms in my pursuits. Off of the chessboard, Polgar's advocacy for global chess education resonates with my commitment to education. Her resilience, strategic mindset, and dedication to breaking barriers inspire me to pursue excellence, challenge stereotypes, influencing my approach to life, leadership, and the pursuit of my passions.

Do you have any hobbies/ extracurricular activities you do outside of school?
Outside of school, my passion for mathematics has led me to conduct research in the field of origami constructible numbers. Beyond academics, my commitment to mental health advocacy is evident through my leadership at the Saratoga High Wellness Center, where I spearheaded initiatives and raised participation. As a filmmaker, my documentary on antibiotic resistance won two festivals and garnered global attention. Additionally, my roles in the Water Polo team, as the chess club president, and as a mentor in competitive mathematics showcase my diverse interests and leadership skills.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself completing a PhD in a STEM field (maybe working on increasing the efficiency of space travel?). I will still be playing chess and waterpolo as well as advocating for the importance of mental health in young teens worldwide.


Whether conducting research, competing in sports, or championing mental health causes, my goal is to lead a fulfilling and purpose-driven life that combines my diverse interests and positively influences the world around me.

Max Rombakh, Class of 2026

"I'm proud to be a SHS Falcon because this school is so embracing and especially academic, SHS really is unique in that respect."

What makes you proud to be a Falcon?
I'm proud to be a SHS Falcon because this school is so embracing and especially academic, SHS really is unique in that respect.

Who is your hero or inspiration? 
Richard Feynman(American physicist)

Do you have any hobbies/ extracurricular activities you do outside of school? For extracurriculars, besides the ones I have at school, I compete in physics and math(I got a 5 on the AP Calc, Physics 1, and Physics 2 exams through self-study freshman year), take multivariable calc at West Valley, and work at the Russian School of Math, tutoring elementary through high school kids.


As for hobbies, I play chess recreationally(I'm about 1500 on Chess.com), write little math notebooks with explanations of concepts (it's a bit quirky, but I imagine as if I were a textbook author and I was trying to clearly explain something), draw/sketch people in pencil.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years I see myself as a junior professor in a university doing research in physics.

Katie Yang, Class of 2027

"It's a truly amazing feeling to be in such a supportive and welcoming environment that continues to make my journey throughout high school truly exceptional. I've made so many friends already, all of my teachers guide me, and the overall atmosphere at SHS creates a positive experience for me."

What makes you proud to be a Falcon?
It's a truly amazing feeling to be in such a supportive and welcoming environment that continues to make my journey throughout high school truly exceptional. I've made so many friends already, all of my teachers guide me, and the overall atmosphere at SHS creates a positive experience for me. 

Who is your hero or inspiration? 
My oldest brother, Alex Yang, was a Saratoga Falcon and is currently a sophomore in college. He is a significant inspiration for me because he has been a guiding light in my life.

Do you have any hobbies/ extracurricular activities you do outside of school?
I'm involved in robotics, where I apply my problem-solving skills and creativity to design and build amazing mechanisms. I'm also an avid artist, enjoy crocheting during my free time, and enjoy playing violin.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I'm leaning toward becoming an engineer. Engineering intrigues me because it combines problem-solving, innovation, and a chance to impact the world. 

Tammy Coe, School Resource Aide

"Students here have so many different types of amazing talents, interests, and strengths, as well as needs that working with them is never dull. The staff is phenomenal in their enthusiasm, work ethic, and support of students, as well as one another. It is a privilege and an honor to work alongside them." 

What makes you proud to be a Falcon?
Students here have so many different types of amazing talents, interests, and strengths, as well as needs that working with them is never dull. The staff is phenomenal in their enthusiasm, work ethic, and support of students, as well as one another. It is a privilege and an honor to work alongside them. 

What was your 1st job?
1st private job was babysitting. 1st public job was at a Carl's Jr.

What are your words of wisdom to live by?
I would like to grow in wisdom by listening a great deal more than I speak. When I do speak I would like to do it thoughtfully and even find at least one complimentary thing to say if I get the opportunity and it is appropriate for the time, person, and place.

What's something we might not know about you?
I have younger brothers that are identical twins.

Karthik Sangameswaran, Class of 2025

"I am proud of the attention our school gives to wellness, with things like Mosaic and the wellness center, as averse to things like academics. Saratoga (High School) listens to the students and focuses on mental health."

What makes you proud to be a Falcon?
The attention our school gives to wellness, with things like Mosaic and the wellness center, as averse to things like academics. Saratoga (High School) listens to the students and focuses on mental health.

Who is your hero or inspiration? 
Ibram x Kendi.

He fights discrimination like me.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
President of a foreign country

Amy Obenour, Teacher

"I feel blessed to be part of an incredible Falcon family that never ceases to love and support me."

What makes you proud to be a Falcon?
I have been here 31 years and have been blessed to be a part of an incredible Falcon family that never ceases to love and support me.

What was your 1st job?
Working at CVS as a cashier.

What are your words of wisdom to live by? Be the change you want to see in the world and Education is all about building relationships.

What's something we might not know about you?

I have been to 3 presidential inaugurations and volunteered at the 1996 Olympics as an athletic trainer to the Olympians.

Sarah Thomas, Class of 2024

"Our community's resilience and commitment to bettering ourselves makes me proud to be a Falcon!"

What makes you proud to be a Falcon?
Our community's resilience and commitment to bettering ourselves makes me proud to be a Falcon!

Do you have any hobbies/extracurricular activities you do outside of school?  
I'm super proud to be part of our school's Anti-Racism Task Force and I consider myself an activist off campus, as well. I’m also a former member of the national team of Diversify Our Narrative, a student representative on the District's Strategic Planning Design Team, and a part of a team researching ways to better the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hope to be graduated from higher education at that point and pursuing a career in policy that allows me to be more involved in the social causes I care about.

Archie Ljepava, Campus Supervisor

"I'm proud of the family atmosphere Saratoga has as a staff and the way they let that trickle down to the students; the passion for teaching the students not only to be successful in a chosen career but also in life."

What makes you proud to be a Falcon?
My parents graduated from Saratoga High School. My family has been part of the community for many years, where they had apricot orchards here. It makes me proud to still be part of this community and being able to give back to the community on a different level.

Additionally, I'm proud of the family atmosphere Saratoga has as a staff and the way they let that trickle down to the students; the passion for teaching the students not only to be successful in a chosen career but also in life.

Being the Campus Supervisor and a Coach on Campus, I get to have a lot of interaction with students and athletes. Being able to watch the level of dedication and passion to be the best versions of themselves everyday and how they strive to be great, makes me the most proud to be a Falcon!

What was your 1st job?
My first while I was attending high school and playing multiple sports was at the Shell gas station in Los Gatos. I fixed tires and pumped gas for customers. 

What are your words of wisdom to live by?
Treat People the way you would want to be treated!! Treat everyone with kindness and understanding. We never know what someone is dealing with that day and sometimes a simple hello matters!!

What's something we might not know about you?
I was a 3 sport Varsity Athlete through High School. I played football, soccer, and ran track and field. I had the Long Jump record for my high school and was voted best all around athlete.

Sydney Backhus, Class of 2023

"I’m so grateful for the opportunities I have gained from my time at SHS, along with my teachers and fellow classmates who have made my high school experience great."

Sydney Backhus
Class of 2023, Saratoga HS

What makes you proud to be a Falcon?
I’m so grateful for the opportunities I have gained from my time at SHS, along with my teachers and fellow classmates who have made my high school experience great.

Who is your hero or inspiration?
My mom is definitely my biggest inspiration :)

Do you have any hobbies/extracurricular activities you do outside of school?
Outside of school, I volunteer with Jack and Jill, an African American organization focused on community service. I also volunteer with Red Cross and love hiking with my dog!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself finishing up medical school, on my way to becoming a trauma surgeon.

Octavio Spencer Escobedo, Maintenance Worker

"The staff, kids, and parents are very nice and I love to help people. This is the school where my son graduated from. I am very thankful for the staff that helped him succeed in high school and graduate."

What makes you proud to be a Falcon? The staff, kids, and parents are very nice and I love to help people. This is the school where my son graduated from. I am very thankful for the staff that helped him succeed in high school and graduate.

What was your 1st job? Race Street Seafood Kitchen when I was 15 years old.

What are your words of wisdom to live by? If you’re going to do something, do it right.

What's something we might not know about you? The first seven years of working here, I worked two jobs: construction in the morning and then night custodian at night.

Anatta "Blue" Chankhunthod, Class of 2026

"The level of academics and extracurricular really make me proud to be a SHS Falcon. My fellow classmates and teachers are another reason I'm proud to be a SHS Falcon."

What makes you proud to be a Falcon?
The level of academics and extracurricular really make me proud to be a SHS Falcon. My fellow classmates and teachers are another reason I'm proud to be a SHS Falcon

Who is your hero or inspiration?
My inspiration in life is my mother, father, brother and sister. I strive to become great people like them, and to accomplish just as much as they have and just as much as they will in the future. My family is also my hero, as they have always supported me.

Do you have any hobbies/extracurricular activities you do outside of school?
The only real hobbies/extracurricular activities I have are basketball and photography. Despite my lack of hobbies, though, I love what I do, be it playing on the basketball court or being in the garden taking photos.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully with my own home, a stable job, and an enjoyable life. If not, probably still in school. 

Kathy Nakamatsu, Teacher

" The students and staff at SHS are AMAZING. I have five wonderful classes of Honors Chemistry students. I love teaching sophomores because I get to help them transition from 9th graders to 11th graders. The growth they experience during this year is monumental. My students are so polite, too - they say "thank you" even when I hand them a test! I love the teachers I work with as well. Some of the hardest working and dedicated staff I've ever met."

Kathy Nakamatsu
Teacher, Saratoga HS

What makes you proud to be a Falcon?
The students and staff at SHS are AMAZING. I have five wonderful classes of Honors Chemistry students. I love teaching sophomores because I get to help them transition from 9th graders to 11th graders. The growth they experience during this year is monumental. My students are so polite, too - they say "thank you" even when I hand them a test! I love the teachers I work with as well. Some of the hardest working and dedicated staff I've ever met. 

What was your 1st job?
I was a file clerk at a bank. This is back in the day when people had signature cards and the bank teller would pull the signature card from the file cabinet when a customer wanted to withdraw money. My job was to refile the signature cards and shred the trash at the end of the day. I learned some valuable skills at the job, including not to scream when one of your co-workers tries to scare you. Not a good idea in a bank. 

What are your words of wisdom to live by?
Believe in yourself and trust yourself - you know more than you think you do. 

What's something we might not know about you?
My alarm goes off at 4:45 am every weekday. I eat breakfast around 6:45 am. Those precious two hours between 5:00 and 6:30 are my "quiet time" (I have a 7-year old son) and I spend it doing word puzzles - the NY Times Crossword, Words with Friends, NYT Acrostics, Wordscapes, and the NYT Spelling Bee. I am also a die-hard true crime fan and enjoy listening to true crime podcasts.

Ava Cai, Class of 2026

"I love this school and community simply because of how comfortable being here feels. At SHS, you can do whatever you desire and be whoever you want, with the reassuring thought that the people around you will always support and be there for you."

Ava Cai, Class of 2026

What makes you proud to be a Falcon? I love this school and community simply because of how comfortable being here feels. At SHS, you can do whatever you desire and be whoever you want, with the reassuring thought that the people around you will always support and be there for you.

Who is your hero or inspiration? My inspiration is my eighth-grade core teacher because he helped me discover my passion for poetry. Because of his constant support and never-ending encouragement, I learned to listen to what my heart tells me to do and not what society expects from me. 

Do you have any hobbies/extracurricular activities you do outside of school? I participate in a debate event known as Public Forum, where in eighth grade, my partner and I placed second nationally. Also, my increasing interest in writing won me four writing contests, two of which were poetry competitions. Aside from academics, I've been playing basketball for more than eight years, currently powering through my sixth year on SVBC Stingrays. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I hope to pursue higher education and become a graduate student. Specifically, I would be very delighted and humbled to have an opportunity to educate myself in law. 

PJ Yim, Teacher

"I am happy to be working at a school that values education, hard work, and academic/personal integrity."

What makes you proud to be a Falcon?
I am happy to be working at a school that values education, hard work, and academic/personal integrity.

What was your 1st job?
As a high school student, I had interned at IBM and worked at a car rental place. 

What are your words of wisdom to live by?
Work hard, be kind, and that's pretty much it.

What's something we might not know about you?
I am a father of three and a husband of one.