Our Team

Our Team2018-08-17T18:04:41+00:00

Eric Mendelsohn

Co-Founder/Director

With more than 25 years of experience in education and management, Eric has worked with a wide range of students from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds. Holding a M.A. in English and armed with extensive program development experience and 20 years of teaching, he has developed countless courses in many areas of study. He has created several cultural training, tutoring, mentoring, and learning programs. Eric greatly enjoys creating spaces that inspire others to learn, and is the father of a second grade “creator.”

Cindi Chang

Curriculum Specialist

Cindi is the Nevada Department of Education Standards and Instructional Support Specialist for Computer Science and STEM Programs. Previously, she was a Computer Science Instructor at Southwest Career and Technical Academy, and an adjunct professor at Touro University Nevada. She is also a Trainer/Facilitator for Code.org, where she works with K-12 CCSD educators, and assists, state, national and government agencies to promote computer science education for all ages. She received the 2012 Nevada State Career & Technical Education Teacher of the Year award. Holding a Master’s in Education as well as a Bachelor’s in Computer Information Science and another in Business Management, Cindi shows just exactly what it means to be “girlie geek.” She also enjoys reading and traveling while still finding time to raise 6 beautiful children and be a tech role model for women everywhere.

Claire Shorall

Instructional Specialist

Claire is a manager in Computer Science in the Oakland Unified School District, where she provides input with computer curriculums. With two Bachelor’s from Rice University, and as a Teacher and Instructional Coach at Castlemont High School in the Bay area, Claire is fully submersed in education and computer science. As the creator of Teachers Teach Computer Science, a website that assists with tools and assets for teachers to bring computer science in their classroom, Claire loves and cares for her students and the security of their future.

Jose Quijas

Lead Instructor

CEO and Founder of his own IT consulting company since 2011, and mentor for five separate FIRST Robotics Competition teams, Jose is the go-to guy for all things computers and robotics. He travels all over the country for competitions and has been a mentor to countless kids for many years. He continuously shows his dedication to their future and personal growth in technology. Jose has introduced his 7 year old daughter to the world of computers, and hopes to be part of the change that brings computers to the forefront of education.

Sam Cornelius

Lead Instructor

Sam is a homeschool graduate and currently holds an Associates in Computer Programming from the College of Southern Nevada. His passion for educating others in computers and computer programming shows in his work as a tutor, lab monitor, and peer leader at CSN. He is the eldest of three siblings whom he tutored in math and computers. Sam is a lover of all things video games, from programming gameplay, designing characters, to even composing his own soundtracks. He has created several games and hopes to one day open his own video arcade.

Christopher Arce

Instructor

Chris is a VMWare (Virtual Machines) Student, Ruby on Rails Developer, and Consultant Working on IOT (Internet of Things) applications developed on Rails, and Intel’s XDK. His passion for programming comes from the endless opportunities that knowledge of programming affords. He believes it is truly possible to invent and create as far as the imagination will go! He is passionate about teaching programming, knowing that kids who learn coding from a young age will be ahead of the curve! “Who knows what awesome creations may come from inspired young minds, and who will be the next Zuckerberg or Spiegel!” His hobbies include, Martial Arts, Hiking and reading great novels.

Nadine Rayes

Instructor

A fourth year undergrad Computer Science student at UNLV. Nadine has been learning computer science since her freshman year of high school. Her passion for coding arose from an interest in video game design at a young age. She was a computer science tutor and Project Knowledge mentor at Virginia State University. When she is not at school or working, she works on expanding her skills as a writer with creating storylines for current video game projects as well as short stories and poetry.

Cali Javellana

Coordinator

A current student at Southwest Career and Technical Academy, majoring in Web Design and Development, Cali strives to be an influence in the advancement of technology. A member of SkillsUSA, shows her dedication for improving herself personally, professionally, and educationally. She also loves Marvel Comic and Pixar Movies, which explains her eye for design. Always prepared with cartoon bandages, Cali is ready to save the day at any moment!

Rebekah Chang

Coordinator

Rebekah is a senior at Southwest Career and Technical Academy, graduating from the Web Design Program. She is the youngest of six family members and a soon-to-be college student studying Psychology. She is an experienced graphic artist and a skilled painter who is certified in both Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Rebekah is a kind, out-going friend to those she meets of all ages and hopes to play a part in the influence of teaching kids how to code, to give back to the community, and support the future expansions of Code Central.

Casey

Youth Advisor

As the first member of our youth advisory board, Casey has played a tremendous role in the creation of Code Central. Giving us valuable insight into many aspects of the creation of our center, Casey has a true talent for identifying what is both cool and functional. As a middle school student, Casey brings an enthusiasm for Code Central that is second to none. He loves water polo, snow-boarding and making people laugh!

Mira

Youth Advisor

Mira loves to participate in many activities including swim team, National Junior Honor Society, church youth group, surfing, and soccer. She loves to watch soccer, and her favorite teams are Manchester United, Real Madrid and Real Salt Lake. Mira also loves to travel and is a self proclaimed Disney Nerd! When she is home, she is usually playing with her dog Cinna or coding on her computer.

Portia

Youth Advisor

As the youngest member of our team, Portia is a first grader who loves singing, dancing, and creating art. Her never-ending curiosity and creativity has been an inspiration to the vision of Code Central. She likes making up new songs, and can be heard singing along to the sounds of Taylor Swift and Katy Perry while doing her homework.

Sofie

Youth Advisor

Sofie has been a very active member of the youth advisory board, providing us with valuable feedback throughout the Code Central journey. She is a 6th grader who loves acting, playing basketball and soccer, and hosting sleepovers with her friends.