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High School Graduates

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We've contacted a number of Kirby grads to find out what they're doing now.

We've posted a few of their responses here. We'll be updating this page as more come in, so be sure to check back!

Kirby High School Graduate (Santa Cruz)
Brian Orser, class of 2007, is currently an architectural designer at MADI Group, working on a variety of school modernization design projects in Santa Cruz County. As an architect, he enjoys working in that place where design and peace-building meet. Brian earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Pitzer College and plans to pursue a master’s degree in architecture. His goal is to practice architecture for social impact by using design to empower and benefit communities globally.

Kirby High School Graduate (Santa Cruz)
Faren Clum, class of 2004, graduated from Stanford University in 2009 with a BA in Human Biology. She attended medical school and then Internal Medicine residency at UC San Francisco, graduating in 2018. She is currently practicing general internal medicine in Virginia while applying to pursue further specialty training in Hospice and Palliative Care. She is enjoying spending a couple years on the east coast with her fiance, Dana, while they plan their wedding for next September.
Kirby High School Graduate (Santa Cruz)
Noam Almog, class of 2003, received a bachelor’s degree in computer science, with a concentration in search algorithms, from UC Santa Cruz. He went on to work at the NASA Ames Research Center, where he conducted air traffic research. Noam focused on developing web/mobile prototype apps for use in airport operations. Presently, he is pursuing a master’s degree in computer science at The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Noam says, “I am particularly interested in scientific research, simulation, modeling, and applied artificial intelligence, especially in the fields of biology and neuroscience.”
Kirby High School Graduate (Santa Cruz)
Ben Morse, class of 2004, says his goal is to “…simplify and streamline personal interaction with technology.” Ben has a master’s degree in computer science, and in 2014 he co-founded his own company, Signal Laboratories. Ben and his team work on developing brand new technologies with the biggest social impact. Ben’s company provides research and development services centered around RF engineering, signal processing, and electronics manufacturing.
Kirby High School Graduate (Santa Cruz)
Kanoe Hardin, class of 2002, uses technology to help lower the risk and impact of natural disasters around the world! Kanoe attended both Linfield College and University of Hawaii Maui, earning dual degrees in creative writing and engineering technology. Kanoe lives on the island of Maui and works for the Pacific Disaster Center as a technical writer and test engineer. She uses applied science, computer science, and engineering to help mitigate the effects of natural disasters worldwide.
Kirby High School Graduate (Santa Cruz)
Isaac Marchionna, class of 2000, says his job is to “bring life to the otherwise lifeless, using motion graphics, computer animation, photography, and live action video.” Isaac earned his degree in time based media from Columbus College of Art and Design, and he has worked in the high tech and entertainment industry for nearly 15 years. Currently he lives in Portland, OR, working as a freelance web designer. He has designed for Freedom Group International, BELL Helmets, Food Chain Films, Opus Interactive, Adidas, Intel, BE Meyers, CMD Agency, Handle, and Autodesk.

Kirby High School Graduate (Santa Cruz)
Craig Petrocelli II, class of 2012, is an arranger, composer, sound designer, and entrepreneur. He received his degree in music from the Berklee College of Music. He has worked professionally in musical theater, contemporary composition, and sound design. Craig is also CEO of Misfitt, an artist management company he founded. Craig now attends the National Film and Television School in London and is completing a master’s degree in creative business for entrepreneurs. Craig is inspired by the ever-changing digital age of music and says he's continually questioning what comes next!
Kirby High School Graduate (Santa Cruz)
Maggie Bignell, class of 2010, currently works as a senior product designer at Treehouse, an online education platform that teaches coding to students of all backgrounds. After graduating from Kirby, Maggie attended Carnegie Mellon University, where she earned her BFA in communication design. As an undergraduate, she interned as a visual designer for both NASA and Apple. Maggie also works as a freelance web designer, most notably for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Pocket, and Designer Fund.
Kirby High School Graduate (Santa Cruz)
Anika (Kuesters-Smith) Swenson , class of 2010, is currently working at Looker, managing a team of 9 sales engineers. Anika says “Sales engineers are the technical experts in the sales process. They get to help customers learn about software while solving exciting and challenging problems. This job is a fun way to mix people-facing skills with a love for technology and the desire to be hands-on."
Kirby High School Graduate (Santa Cruz)
Eliah Hecht, class of 2002, studied linguistics at Reed College and then earned his MS in information science from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He now lives in New York City, where he is raising his son and daughter and working as a member of the Social Good team at Google.
Kirby High School Graduate (Santa Cruz)
Katherine Arner, class of 2001, earned her PhD in history and history of science, medicine and technology from Johns Hopkins University. After a few years in academia, she decided to return to her independent school roots as a teacher and is currently working as an upper school history teacher at The Park School of Baltimore.
Kirby High School Graduate (Santa Cruz)
Erica Anderson, class of 2005, graduated in June 2010 from the University of California at Santa Cruz with a BA in global economics and accounting. She currently works as an audit associate for the Pricewaterhouse Coopers accounting firm in San Jose.
Kirby High School Graduate (Santa Cruz)
Christine Sesanto, class of 2007, graduated from Cal Poly Pomona and went on to attend the Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she is completing an accelerated four-year program with a focus on veterinary oncology.
Kirby High School Graduate (Santa Cruz)
Adria Le Boeuf, class of 2000, was one of the first students to attend Kirby for six years – seventh through twelfth grade. She then graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a BA in evolution and neuroscience. She is now working on her PhD at Rockefeller University in New York City, studying the biophysics of the inner ear. Before starting at Rockefeller, Adria spent two years as a paid research associate doing lab work on Alzheimer’s disease.
Kirby High School Graduate (Santa Cruz)
Emma Gaudio, class of 2005, graduated from Bard College in 2009 with a B.A. in art history and music. After interning at Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Guggenheim Museum, she spent the last 8 years at MasterVoices, one of New York City's premier choruses, managing marketing and education and singing as an alto. In addition to producing concerts and performing regularly at venues like Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, she had the thrill of singing at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland on four occasions and on tour with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in Israel and Salzburg, Austria. Emma has recently relocated to Pittsburgh, PA, where her husband is pursuing a PhD in machine learning at Carnegie Mellon University. She is looking forward to exploring a new city with her one year-old son Theo and singing with the Mendelssohn Choir, Pittsburgh’s oldest continuously performing arts organization at 110 years young.
Kirby High School Graduate (Santa Cruz)
Leah Rubin, class of 2001, is pursuing a PhD in inorganic chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley. She received her BA in chemistry and music from Case Western Reserve University, where she was a founding member of Solstice, Case's only all-female a cappella group. Before entering graduate school, Leah spent 26 months in Namibia as a Peace Corps volunteer.
Kirby High School Graduate (Santa Cruz)
Grady Winn, class of 2004, graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 2008 with a BA in history and archaeology. After graduation, Grady spent time teaching English in Santiago, Chile. The experience, he says, “fueled my drive to get back in front of the classroom.”


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How cool is this?

Kirby High School Graduate (Santa Cruz)
As the president of NFTY (the North American Federation of Temple Youth), a 10,000-member Reform Jewish youth movement for teens across North America, Aliza Gazek (Kirby class of 2009), was invited to a White House reception in celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month.