TSC San Diego Leadership Team


Stephanie “Steff” Buttell-Maxin

Stephanie is the San Diego Regional Director of the California Global Education Project (CGEP). She is dedicated to supporting K-12 educators and students in San Diego and Imperial Counties in their understanding of global issues and the skills necessary to meet those challenges. With 26 years of experience as a Teacher Leader in CGEP and the California Geographic Alliance, she now manages regional programs, including Global Book Bags and Teaching for Sustainable Communities. Previously, Stephanie was a Spanish/English bilingual teacher in the National School District in National City. During her 34-year career in the district, she taught second through sixth grades.

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Gina Vattuone

Gina Vattuone teaches 9th grade English at Bonita Vista High School in Sweetwater Union High School District. She co-leads the Global Scholars program for students at Bonita Vista High who are interested in learning more about global citizenship and developing their skills for global competence to address personal, local, and global issues of significance. She is also a single-subject cohort block leader and instructor in the School of Teacher Education at San Diego State University. Gina believes that imagination and stories have the power to change the world. She is encouraged by youth who desire to create a more just and sustainable society.

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Crystal Howe

Crystal has been a science educator in San Diego for 19 years. After 14 years teaching high school science, she learned that our students need a greater understanding of their connection to the natural world. As the Environmental Literacy Coordinator for San Diego County Office of Education, Crystal supports teachers to use an environmental lens to inspire kids across the content areas in K-12. She spends the majority of her time working with teachers, informal educators, and science experts to identify local environmental phenomena for use in the classroom.

Stephanie Duran

Stephanie is Program Manager for the California Global Education Project. In this role, she uses her organizational skills, leadership, and work ethic to facilitate the work of the statewide office, which supports K-12 educators across California through six university-based regional sites in Northern California, Central Valley, Santa Barbara, Long Beach, Orange County, and San Diego. Her commitment to global education relates to both her education and her personal experiences living in a binational region. She holds the firm belief that planting seeds of global competence in young learners leads to a better and more sustainable world where cultural differences are embraced.


Dr. Emily Schell

Emily is Executive Director for the California Global Education Project and leads the statewide professional learning network for K-12 educators. She is a former teacher, Social Studies Resource Teacher, and principal in San Diego Unified, History-Social Science Coordinator at the San Diego County Office of Education, Teacher Education faculty at San Diego State University, and liaison to National Geographic Education Foundation. She is now at the University of San Diego where she earned her BA, teaching credential, and Ed.D. Emily is passionate about environmental education and enjoys working with fellow educators who want to make a difference in the world alongside their students.

Dr. Tom Herman

Tom is a humanist and a passionate geographer who is endlessly interested in people's geographic experiences and time-space strategies. He endeavors to use geography to support all kinds of people in having a high quality of life and opportunities for self-expression. He has more than twenty years of experience teaching at the college level, including urban, social, and cultural geography as well as research techniques. Tom provides technical assistance, in the form of program evaluation and program development, to community-based and youth- and family-serving programs. He spends most of his time digging with purpose into the field of geography education.

Matt Hayes

Matt is the History-Social Science Coordinator at the San Diego County Office of Education. He provides leadership for K-12 curriculum, instruction, and assessment in standards-based teaching and learning of history, geography, civics/government, economics, and integrated social studies. Matt has worked in partnership with the California Global Education Project to provide high quality professional learning for teachers in the San Diego region. He has helped CGEP to develop the Teaching for Sustainable Communities program since the program came to San Diego in 2018.