Project THINK's Master Educators

The Founder & Administrators

Susan Warren, Ph.D.

Project think co-founder and director

Susan Warren, Ph.D., has been in the field of education for over 30 years. She co-founded Project Think in 1980 and co-directed it with her colleague, Kay Conley.  Dr. Warren became the sole director of Project Think when Ms. Conley retired in 2015. Warren served as a teacher and principal for 22 years at the elementary and middle school levels in three Southern California school districts. At Claremont Graduate University and Azusa Pacific University (APU), she developed and administered Master of Arts programs for educators and served as a faculty member teaching courses in curriculum, research, instructional strategies, and family/community involvement at both the master's and doctoral levels. She is now a director in APU’s Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence where she provides professional development to faculty and staff.  Her career also includes working as a professional developer for the state in science, training school administrators through the California School Leadership Academy (CSLA), and conducting program evaluations at several schools throughout Southern California. In addition to her doctorate in Educational Leadership, Warren holds a Ryan Multiple Subject Teaching Credential; a Crosscultural, Language, and Academic Development Certificate (CLAD); and a Professional Administrative Services Credential.



Dr. Susan Warren, Director/co-founder of Project Think, shares about her cockatoo - Jojo - at a student assembly on Australia.  

Sarah Patterson- Assistant Director

Sarah Patterson comes to Project THINK with a unique background in customer service, program management and the arts. Ms. Patterson received a Bachelor of Science in Health Education from Northern Arizona University in 1999. She is a certified Expressive Arts Practitioner and 4th year catechist of a Montessori based ecumenical religious education program. Ms. Patterson offers her talents and leadership extensively within the Etiwanda School District, managing school events with attendance of 30 to over 400 attendees. She is the owner of a mobile expressive arts studio, CERASart, and the co-founder of ARTful WONDERS, a local after school art program. Ms. Patterson has experience with developing employee training modules for clients at the Long Beach Health Department, IEHP, American Red Cross Blood Services, Young Living and occasionally contracts with Purple Easel for community arts events. She is a mother of two Project THINK students and strong advocate for interpersonal connectedness in this digital age.

Susanne Franz - Enrollment and Staff Coordinator

Realtor, founder and director of a 501c3 non-profit organization, and homeschooling mother of four, Ms. Franz brings great organizational skills to Project THINK. Ms. Franz work ethic was shaped at an early age. As a young adult, she established herself during a 12 year career in the medical field, then took a position as a California Corrections Officer. Upon starting her family, Ms. Franz dedicated time to raising her children eventually returning to school and in 2015, received a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University. In 2016 she became a licensed realtor and continues to serve southern California’s Inland Empire working with clients to buy and sell homes. Ms. Franz is bilingual in German and English, she is loyal, motivated and a quick learner. Eager to be a part of Project THINK’s 38th year, Ms. Franz will be joined with two of her children serving as volunteers and one child as a Project THINK student!

Grades 3-8 Teachers

Angelina Hobbs – Science Teacher - Grades 3-8

Mrs. Hobbs has taught grades K-5, preschool, and undergraduate courses for the past 18 years.  She is currently a 4th grade teacher at Palmetto Elementary School in the Fontana Unified School District where she enjoys creating hands-on experiences in science and other subjects for her students. Mrs. Hobbs earned a B.A. degree in Early U.S. History from California State University, Long Beach. She also earned a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, CLAD Certification, and Master's degree in Education from Claremont Graduate University. This is the third year Mrs. Hobbs has taught in Project Think.  She enjoys engaging the children in hands-on science including dissection. Mrs. Hobbs believes that the art of teaching is the art of providing children with many opportunities to discover new things.

Ian Kirkpatrick - Art Teacher - Grades 3-8

Ian has extensive experience teaching art to all ages and developing art curriculum. For the past five years, he has instructed classes on the techniques of acrylic painting through the Purple Easel Studios. Mr. Kirkpatrick received a Bachelor of Arts in Illustration from the Academy of Arts University in San Francisco. He was awarded Best Print Ad Campaign of 2007 by Applied Arts Magazine and was a featured artist in the annual gallery show at the Academy of Arts University in 2008. Ian looks forward to sharing his talents and passion for the arts with the Project Think students.


Danny Campbell – A. M. & P. M. Drama Teacher – Grades 3-8 

A lifelong thespian, Danny has over a decade of performance experience including the opportunity to direct professional actors in Hollywood. Teaching, however, has always been his true passion and goal in life. After finishing a Bachelor of Arts degree in theater at Azusa Pacific University, Danny went directly into APU's teaching credential program where he earned a Master of Arts degree in Education. Danny served for a few years as an English and Theater teacher at Mojave High School in North Las Vegas where he developed a new theater program. His dream was to cultivate a vibrant arts community among the at-risk youth in the North Las Vegas community as he shared his joy for the theater. He moved back to California and currently teaches English and theater arts at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana. He also serves as the associate theater arts director where he organizes theater festivals and coaches/consults actors in the program. He looks forward to returning to Claremont every summer as he enjoys bringing a love of the arts to Project Thinkers. 

Darren Alcala- A. M. & P. M. Technology Teacher – Grades 3-8

Darren Alcala has had a rich career in education. He is currently the District Technology Coach for the Cucamonga School District where he conducts professional development with classroom teachers promoting the integration of technology into the curriculum.   He has taught various grades for the past fifteen years and served in leadership roles including site technology coordinator, site technology coach, and district technology trainer. He has been selected as Cucamonga Elementary School’s Site Teacher of the Year twice. Mr. Alcala received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Cal Poly Pomona and a teaching credential and Master of Arts in Education degree from Claremont Graduate University. In addition to teaching, Darren has presented multiple times at CUE, a national technology conference, and has also been recognized by Microsoft two years in a row as a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert.  Darren was one of twenty educators from across the country selected by Microsoft to attend the company’s Global Educator Exchange (E2) conference, a conference comprised of educators from across the globe. Darren looks forward to returning to teach at Project Think where he has taught the computer class for more than 10 years.


“Project Think provides an engaging, fun learning experience for students. I look forward to giving them an opportunity to develop both their creative and logical thinking.”   


Zef Neemuchwala- A.m. & P.m. Computers, Session 1: Makerspace, Session 2: Grades 3-8

Zef is a parent, DIYer, maker and a tinkerer. He was a Senior Teaching Fellow at the University of Leeds, UK and a gamification consultant for education technology. When he could not find a makerspace for children in the Inland Empire, he founded Be A Maker Club where children can make, explore and experiment safely. Be A Maker Club offers access to devices like 3D printers, laser cutter, CNC mill, vinyl cutter, soldering stations, sewing machine, a break down table, a paint station and multiple hand tools. He has also earned a Master of Science with Distinction in Design and Manufacture, an MBA, and awards for teaching.

Erik Lenaburg- A.M. & P.M. Technology Teacher Grades 3-8, Session 2.

Erik Lenaburg received his Bachelor of Arts in Art/Graphic Design and Teaching Credential from Cal Poly Pomona and his Master of Arts in Education degree from Cal State Fullerton. This 2017 Teacher of the Year comes to Project Think as an 12-year teacher veteran having taught grades K-6  as well as serving as a technology coach and leading his school’s tech support department. Currently, Lenaburg teaches second grade and focuses on incorporating technology in the classroom to introduce tools that will give his young students a head start for their future. He is looking forward to teaching computers and working alongside the learners in Project Think this summer.

Young Thinkers Program Teachers

Muriel Lee- Young Thinkers Program Coordinator

Muriel Lee is a retired educator who is an alumni of Pomona College.  She received her B.A. in English Literature in 1974 and completed the Teacher Intern Program at Claremont Graduate University in 1976 with a M.A. in Education and Standard Teaching Credential. Lee taught in the Alta Loma School District for 38 years, 6 years as a primary teacher (grades1-3) and the rest of her career in Kindergarten. She served as a Master teacher for many student teachers and also mentored teachers in Early Childhood education as a faculty member supporting new teachers in instructional strategies and individualized education.  The last twelve years of her career, she taught weekend series courses in education to teachers at California State University, San Bernardino and in the teacher education program at the University of Phoenix. She looks forward to returning to Claremont in this new capacity.

Susan Rogers- Young Thinkers Art Teacher

Susan has been in the art industry since 1995. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Art with an emphasis in Drawing and Painting and a Bachelor of Art in Art History with a minor in Italian Language from The University of Utah. She studied Art, Art History and Italian in Florence, Italy for three years where she considers herself “quasi Italiana” almost Italian. Susan has worked as a production designer in magazine publications and as creative director for an action sports company. She holds a certificate in Textile and Surface Design from Otis College of Art and Design and has taught several workshops to children and adults in mixed media and paper craftsShe enjoys surfing, volleyball, water polo, gardening and most of all spending time with her six-year-old son, Jack. This is Susan’s first year with Project Think and she is looking forward to an exciting summer with the Tk-2nd grade Young Thinkers.

Sarah Clifton- Young Thinkers Language Arts Teacher

Ms. Clifton received her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies and teaching credential from Azusa Pacific University in 2012. During her undergraduate experience she worked within local school districts and volunteered at a community tutoring service center. Since graduation, Ms. Clifton found special interest in teaching reading and writing. She has taught 5th and 6th Grade Language Arts in Los Angeles over the last couple of years and continues to look for new ways to bring literacy to her community. Ms. Clifton enjoys creating hands-on and technology based lessons that connect students with words in meaningful ways.

Aron Elvis- Young Thinkers Technology Teacher

Mr. Elvis received an Associate Degree in Math and Science and is currently attending Cal State San Bernardino where he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Cyber Security. He has a strong passion for teaching and working with children. He serves his community as a volunteer tutor in reading for the students at Los Amigos Elementary. This is his second year at Project Think where he will, once again, bring engaging technology lessons to Project THINK 1st & 2nd grade students. He is very excited to have this opportunity to teach again.

Rachel Kavalle- Lead Young Thinker Teacher 1st & 2nd Grade

Rachel received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies, a multiple subject teaching credential, and a Master’s Degree in Education from Azusa Pacific University. She taught in Azusa Unified School District for two years and currently teaches in Rialto Unified School District. She has taught both Kindergarten and First Grade. Rachel has a passion for teaching and loves seeing students excited about learning. She looks forward to another great summer at Project Think! 

Julissa Rios – Teacher, Young Thinkers

Julissa earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology with a Minor in Education at the University of California Riverside. This led her to a career in teaching and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Cal Poly Pomona. Through her experiences and involvement in various school settings as an after school Lead Teacher, Substitute Teacher, Para-educator, and Pre-K/Kinder Teacher for Project Think, Julissa realized that she wanted to contribute beyond the traditional school setting. She enjoys working with the Young Thinker students during the summer as she provides enriching experiences to strengthen their academic achievement.

​Madison Langely - Teacher, Young Thinker​s

Ms. Langley graduated from Azusa Pacific University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish, a teaching credential, and a Master’s degree in Education. Madi comes from a military family and has lived all over the world including Okinawa, Japan and Costa Rica where she tutored high school students in their English skills. Ms. Langley has been committed to teaching children of all ages and has worked at Our Neighborhood Homework House, volunteered with the C.H.A.M.P. program, and coordinated the California Spanish Spelling Bee three years in a row. She is excited to be using her summer break as an opportunity to continue learning and teaching through Project Think!

Afternoon Class Teachers

Zoraida Torres- Spanish Teacher

Ms. Torres has been working in the field of education for 13 years and has taught Spanish at all levels from preschool to the university.  She recently developed a new Spanish language program at Rancho Cucamonga Middle School where she serves as the Spanish teacher.  Ms. Torres completed two years of higher education at Penn State University and then returned to California to complete her degree from Fresno Pacific University with a double major in Spanish Language and Culture / Liberal Arts. She went on to earn a Master’s in Education at Claremont Graduate University.  In addition to her experience in K-12 schools, she served as a Master teacher for Claremont Graduate University where she had the opportunity to guide new Spanish teachers with teaching methods in the classroom.  Ms. Torres enjoys teaching Spanish at Project Think where her students are immersed in the language as she transforms the classroom into a cultural zone.

Yvonne Hernandez- Young Thinkers Afternoon Visual & Performing Arts Assistant Teacher, Daycare Co-Lead

As an energetic person who aims to encourage, help, and motivate students both in and out of the classroom, Ms. Hernandez is a natural fit for the afternoon Young Thinkers program and Daycare offering. She has worked in several school districts as a proctor and bilingual instructional aid and has a strong love for reading, dance, arts and crafts. While this is her first year with Project THINK, she is looking forward to the opportunity to support the students and make an impact in their lives.