About Judo Math - Meet the Team

About Judo Math

Judo Math was developed by Dan Thoene, whose innovative approach to teaching 8th grade mathematics helped significantly raise test scores in the first year he implemented the program at High Tech Middle School in San Diego California.  It’s now being used by oveThe San Diego Readerr 100 teachers across the United States, UK, Israel and Canada.

As a result of the Judo Math program’s success, he has developed a professional development training so that teachers anywhere can easily use the Judo Math technique in their own classrooms. This incredible math program is available to all math teachers who are looking for new, creative ways to motivate students to new heights in mathematics.

You can read all about Dan and his program in The San Diego Reader, where Judo Math was featured as the cover story for the January 1st issue.

Judo Math was also featured in High Tech High’s UnBoxed: A Journal of Adult Learning in School


Dan Thoene, CEO - FounderDan Thoene, CEO – Founder
Dan is a passionate Math & Science Instructor at High Tech Middle School in San Diego, California. He’s been teaching 8th grade mathematics for over a decade now. He graduated from UCSB in 1992 with a major in communications and a minor in mathematics. Dan actually started his professional career in broadcasting, working as a sportscaster for 11 years. After winning an emmy in 2001, Dan decided to switch careers to his true love; teaching. He grabbed his multiple subject credential at SDSU, along with a single subject credential in mathematics. His wife Kira is also a teacher, in Poway.

Jamie Holmes, Teacher TrainerJamie Holmes, Teacher Trainer
Originally from Texas, he started teaching and working in education in the private school sector as Athletic Director, math teacher and coach. After earning his Master’s in Education at Teacher’s College in New York, he worked as an Upper School Dean of Students and math teacher for three years. He’s been teaching 8th grade math/science since 2006, using Judo Math for the past 5 years.

Marc Shulman, Teacher TrainerMarc Shulman, Teacher Trainer
Marc is in charge of our Facebook and Twitter accounts and runs the blog for Judo Math as well. He brings 14 years of middle school teaching experience to the table, teaching 6th-8th grade Math from coast to coast, starting in Maryland and ending in San Diego. But his thirst for teaching didn’t end there. He earned his Masters degree in Teacher Leadership 3 years ago and he’s been teaching Judo Math in his class ever since.

Azul Terronez, Program CoordinatorAzul Terronez, Program Coordinator
Azul brings a world of experience as both a teacher and administrator. He has a Masters in education from UCLA and served as a principal in Round Rock, Texas. Azul is passionate about school climate and has worked with several districts and groups nationally, including the Boomerang Project and Learning For Living, Inc., to train counselors, teachers and principals on how to transform their schools. Azul has been with High Tech High in several capacities ranging from teacher to school director since 2005. He currently teaches courses on differentiation in their Graduate School of Education.

Sarah Strong, Curriculum CoordinatorSarah Strong, Curriculum Coordinator
Sarah is known in the High Tech High Community as “Common Core Sarah.” She took a year off from teaching this past year to solely become familiar with the Common Core standards and help implement them throughout the entire High Tech High Village of 7 schools. She put together the 6th and 7th Judo Math curriculum after spending 6 years as a 6th grade Math/Science teacher at High Tech Middle School. Sarah also brings her expertise of open-ended problem solving, writing her Masters thesis on the subject and teaching graduate school classes on the innovative approach.