University of California, Davis, BA email: changa.imara [at] sonomaacademy.org phone: (707) 636-2012
Changa came to Sonoma Academy after working in programming for years, but teaching wasn’t entirely new to him. “I was actually in the process of getting my elementary teaching credential,” he says. “But I found working with high school students to be so engaging and interesting. They are a lot more intellectually independent. I just love introducing them to new ideas and watching them dig in right away.”
Changa was always passionate about technology; as a kid, he was into programming and a wide variety of video games, reading up on all the new imports and obscure cult favorites. Although he majored in English at UC Davis, his interest in tech led him to become a programmer.
When Changa moved to Sonoma County in 2011, he applied for a job assisting the new Director of Technology (Sean Freese). Since starting here, his role has evolved. He now teaches a programming class, heads up tech-focused summer camps for younger students, and serves as co-coach for the award-winning Elipse Robotics team.
“It has been amazing to watch Robotics taking off,” he says. “During the build season, the kids learn so quickly, taking joy in their new knowledge. It’s a like a Christmas morning kind of energy.” Changa especially appreciates that the team is coed, and that the students have opportunities to hone skills beyond the tech world. “They’re working on the team’s imagery, the speeches they have to give to the judges—it’s almost like running a small startup. I couldn’t be happier for or prouder of those kids.”
When he's not building bots or writing code, Changa loves to be out in nature, spending time dancing and singing karaoke with friends, and hanging out with his pug, Bento—one of Sonoma Academy's most beloved campus dogs.
I find working with high school students to be so engaging and interesting. I just love introducing them to new ideas and watching them dig in right away.
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