Founders

Digital Dragon was born from a nine year old boy’s interests. Their son went to summer tech camp, loved it, but there was nowhere for him to go in the fall. The Finns feel there are many other families like theirs with kids who are interested in technology who want their kids using tech in thoughtful and engaging ways that emphasize creativity and brainpower, that’s why they’ve started Digital Dragon.

The Finns are both UCLA grads who have a clear vision of what they want for their budding technologist who is now in high school. That vision includes well rounded tech exposure such that kids can find what they’re passionate about. Their roles, in addition to running all aspects of the business, are to make sure every family has a great experience from start to finish. They look forward to taking this tech adventure with you!


Seth Finn has a background in nonprofit having worked in East LA for the Boyle Heights College Institute as well as a Community Relations Director for the Seattle SuperSonics (now the Oklahoma City Thunder). Among Seth’s work with the Sonics was a technology program offered to Seattle Public Schools 50,000 students. Seth also served in the enviable role of Mr. Mom for the better part of his son’s Elementary education having been elected to school site governance in addition to other roles at Roosevelt Elementary School in Santa Monica.



Laurie Kantor Finn started her career in the entertainment business as a producer for Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood, she continued her work with celebrity talent as West Coast Editor at Stuff Magazine. Most recently she headed up the talent and casting department at cable network, G4 TV, which featured a lot of tech and gaming content (in fact it was previously TechTV). She was extensively involved at Roosevelt Elementary and remains so at Lincoln Middle School.


Staff


Curriculum Director: Philip Isles



Philip Isles began his career in the interactive entertainment industry, where he created video games for popular children’s films and comic books. After working for Microsoft and Yahoo! he joined STAR Education to bring a variety of amazing experiences to public schools throughout the LAUSD system including engineering, technology, and magic. After working on the technology team at Turning Point school as a MakerSpace facilitator, technology elective teacher, coding instructor and technology integrationist, he joined Digital Dragon.

He is currently working on a science fiction novel and regularly visits the Magic Castle, where he has been a member since 2008.


Studio Coordinator: Casey Gaul



Casey Gaul is a born and raised Southern Californian, who then moved to and grew up in Rhode Island. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Communication from Rhode Island College where she also held editorial positions on the student-run newspaper.

She has spent the last eight years teaching and directing programs for kids, technology-based or otherwise, from the east coast to the west. She loves creating and fostering a culture where fun is inherent in the learning process and environment, and students can pursue their passions.

In her free time, Casey likes to get outside into zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, and really anywhere that she can enjoy a good walk and the Southern California weather.


Teacher: Eddie Garcia



Eddie Garcia is a passionate filmmaker, visual effects artist, musician, and teacher, whose enthusiasm has found a home at Digital Dragon. Graduating from Emerson College with a B.A. in Visual and Media Arts: Video Production, Eddie has made the trek out to LA to use his talents and to continue teaching those with a thirst to know more.

Eddie has had over 12 years of experience, working with media all the way from local TV stations to filming for ESPN at Harvard. Including film, he has worked extensively as a paraprofessional and substitute teacher for his hometown school district in New Hampshire, and has even played at live concerts with his band Six Man Crew. With a strong interest in everything media oriented, Digital Dragon was a perfect fit allowing him to use his skills and share his knowledge.

In his free time, Eddie enjoys freelancing on film sets, making music, camping and exploring new programs to improve upon his editing techniques and special effects.


Teacher: Jack Pratt



Jack Pratt is a computer programmer who has been teaching kids to code and sharing his enthusiasm for computer science for years. Jack is a graduate of the Applied Computer Graphics program at CSU Chico, where he studied 3D modeling and animation in addition to computer science. His passion however is creating games, both recreating classics and designing never before seen experiences. He has shared this love of creating fun and interesting projects with students over the years in all kinds of ways, from programming LEGO machines to creating Minecraft mods.

When Jack isn't creating new games or teaching programming principles to kids, he can probably be found playing Dungeons and Dragons or the Highland bagpipes — a nerd in every sense of the word.


Teacher: Eujin Chung



Eujin Chung was born in southern California and has never left. She has been a car enthusiast since the beginning of high school, which led her to pursue a mechanical engineering degree at UCLA. She grew up playing with Legos with her siblings and is thrilled to explore and learn even more about robotics alongside her students.

Eujin has privately tutored students since her junior year in high school and has served at her church as a Sunday school teacher for the past 4 years. Her experience with kids has led her to Digital Dragon, a combination of two of her passions: teaching kids and exploring technology. She hopes to pass on what she has gained from college, including coding, physics, and mechanical design, to her students and encourage creativity and curiosity.

When Eujin is not solving problems and writing lab reports, she enjoys eating Chipotle, finding new Korean dramas, online shopping, and watching dog videos.


Teacher: Jorge Sandoval



Jorge Sandoval is an avid video game and movie enthusiast. He loves computers and all things tech and is currently pursuing a degree in both General Science and Game Design at Santa Monica College. There he is a board member in the Honor Society Alpha Gamma Sigma, the largest club at Santa Monica College. He is also a mentor in the Brother to Brother program which helps guide and encourage male students attending John Adams Middle School. His dedication to teaching and inspiring kids continues at Digital Dragon, where Jorge enjoys being with and teaching Minecraft, Robotics, and Film Production.

When he is not glued to his computer he is near a body of water swimming, lifeguarding, or teaching kids the fundamentals of swimming and water safety.


Teacher: Susie Tang



Susie graduated from UCSB with a degree in Biology, but always had a love for the arts. That's when she found game making, which is the perfect blend of science, problem solving, and art. She now takes classes in game design and 3D Art at SMC to fulfill her dreams of being an educational game maker - inspiring the next generation of kids to think about and envision science in new ways, and most importantly, to play and have fun!

She started at Digital Dragon during the summer of 2016 to pursue her love of teaching and further her own studies in game design. It’s the perfect place to see how kids interact with technology and what subjects they are learning in school to build the best educational games.

She likes to spend her free time hanging out at the beach, hula hooping, singing karaoke, or drawing.


Teacher: Alfonso Rios



Alfonso was born and raised in San Fernando Valley. He graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and currently works for the largest aerospace company in the world.

During the Summer of 2015, Alfonso was introduced to FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Robotics Competition through a mentor program where he works. He became a mentor for his eldest daughter’s robotics team, The St. Euphrasia Incredibots, and also mentored the Bishop Alemany High School Robotics Team the same year. The competitions rekindled fond memories of working on design projects while at Cal Poly and inspired him to pursue teaching engineering principles and concepts to kids, which led him to Digital Dragon.

When Alfonso is not teaching or working he likes to build R/C Airplanes from scratch and spend time with his two daughters, Isabella and Amanda, and his wife Jessica.


Media Designer: Trevor Wilson



Trevor Wilson is a product of Los Angeles. Born, raised, and never removed from the area, he graduated from UCLA’s Design and Media Arts Department. Trevor loves all things media. He has worked personally and professionally in film, television, game design, music production, and graphic design all of which make him excited to work with Digital Dragon.

Even in his spare time Trevor is never far from a screen. He is an avid explorer, listener, and creator of music as well as a defending fantasy basketball champion, blogger, and enjoyer of animated television.