Welcome new CHS staff!

Posted by: Shane Schmeichel 2 years, 6 months ago

Welcome new CHS staff!

Please join me in welcoming our new Islander teammates!

  • Catherine Burling, Assistant Principal

  • MM Nandi Devan, Teacher, Science

  • BK Manning, Teacher, CoSA Film

  • Steve Newman, Teacher, NJROTC

  • Cory Pickett, Teacher, Special Education Teacher

  • Gina Sorenson, Teacher, CoSA Dance

  • Sara Brown, Teacher, Special Education Teacher

Catherine Burling is a native Texan born and raised in the Dallas area. After high school, she attended Texas A&M University at Commerce where she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2002. After graduation, Catherine began teaching English in Dallas ISD where she spent 5 years teaching 7th grade English and 2 years teaching 9th and 10th grade English. She received a Master of Education degree in Educational Administration from the University of North Texas in 2007. Catherine worked as an administrator for 5 years in Corsicana ISD, serving for 3 years as a middle school assistant principal and for 2 years as the district Director of Testing, before relocating to San Diego in the Summer of 2014. For the past 4 years, Catherine has been an assistant principal at Poway High School in Poway USD before deciding to join the Coronado High School family.


Nandi Devan is originally from Yuma, Arizona. Upon graduating from the University of Arizona with a B.S. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, he worked as a wildlife biologist helping monitor and conserve various endangered species. He did so in Cape Cod, the Las Vegas area, and the San Diego Zoo. Afterwards, Nandi started teaching in 2013 and did so for three years in San Diego. He recently moved back to San Diego this summer after teaching science at an international school in Antigua, Guatemala for the last two years. Nandi plans to begin his Master of Education program at the University of San Diego this fall.

BigKat "BK" Manning grew up in Wisconsin, but has lived in Southern California for over 20 years.  After a few years at a film school in LA, he relocated to San Diego in 2003 for graduate school at SDSU.  He has been an adjunct instructor within the Communication discipline at Southwestern College (and elsewhere) ever since.  BK was the Cinematographer on a feature-length documentary film in 2004, as well as writer and director for other short films, including his MFA thesis film "Leopard Spots," which won awards on the festival circuit.  In addition to filmmaking, BK dabbles in both cartooning and authoring children's books.  He was featured in a recent issue of the North Park News.

Steve Newman is the new CHS Naval Science Instructor.  He was born and raised in Stockton, California where he enlisted in the Navy August 16, 1995.  During his 23-year naval career, Steve was stationed in Washington State, Hawaii, and California where he resides with his wife and daughter.  He also has a son that graduated from Quest University in British Columbia where he currently lives and works. Steve received his Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management from UMUC and also a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from National University.

Cory Pickett, originally from southeast Texas, has called San Diego home for the last 13 years. Cory graduated from the University of San Diego in 2007 with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology, and in 2010 with a Master's degree in Leadership Studies. Cory was a Reading Instructor and Program Coordinator at County Speech Pathology Services from 2008-2012. While completing her teaching credential in Special Education, Cory worked as an Instructional Assistant in Coronado USD 2012-2015. Cory has been a Special Education teacher for the last 3 years at The Classical Academy in Oceanside and managed a caseload that included 7th-12th grade students. She is excited to be back in Coronado supporting students at the high school!

Gina Bolles Sorensen is one part dance educator, one part choreographer, and one part yogini. As the Co-Artistic Director of somebodies dance theater, her choreography has been presented to critical acclaim locally, nationally, and abroad. She has published original research on imagery in dance learning in the Journal of Dance Education, has received two grants to study classical Indian dance in India, and was awarded a National Artist Teacher Fellowship from the Boston Arts Academy Center for Arts in Education. Just this year, Gina was awarded the Distinguished Alumni award in Dance from the University of Oregon and gave the commencement address for the School of Music and Dance. In addition to teaching at CoSA, she teaches dance at Grossmont College, yoga through her online website www.YogaNatyamOnline.com, and SubtleBodyBigDance at San Diego Dance Theater. Gina and her husband have two toddler sons and enjoy epic dance parties in the living room nightly.

Sara Brown is originally from Riverside, CA and has lived in San Diego for over 20 years. She received a bachelor’s degree in English from San Diego State in 2000 and was a Job Coach for people with disabilities, training them in vocational, self-advocacy, and independent living skills. Sara then worked at San Diego Unified School District as a School-to-Work Transition Assistant, supporting 18-22-year-old students secure meaningful employment through the Transition Partnership Program Grant. During this time, she returned to San Diego State in 2011 for her Special Education teaching credential. She has taught Special Education students from preschool through transition. She is very happy to be here at CHS, teaching both high school and transition students.