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Clint Davis

Founding Head of School/ Director of College Guidance

An innovator in a time when education is in need of a paradigm shift. In an ever changing world of economic and technical change, Clint is opening the door to students who are passionate, creative, and willing to participate in their own growth and learning. He brings dedication and a giant heart to serve each child in the unique way necessary for their own growth.

Clint is a passionate and dynamic educator who has served as a classroom teacher, coach, director of college counseling, and director of middle school for close to twenty years. Clint's educational philosophy is centered on relationships, rigor and risk-taking all within the confines of compassionate and student-centered environment. As a graduate of Columbia University’s esteemed Teachers College and a member of the Klingenstein Institute for Independent School Leadership, Clint was exposed to the very best progressive, independent school educators in the world.

Columbia University is the center for progressive education; surrounded by an inspiring cohort of visionary educators, Clint had the opportunity to immerse himself in the philosophies of John Dewey and other progressive thinkers as well as connect to a wide variety of educational disruptors from around the world.

Returning to California, Clint continued to develop the foundation of the Discovery’s model. It was here on the west coast that Clint found the wise mentorship of Dr. Stuart Grauer, founder of the Grauer School in Encinitas. The Discovery Prep School is the beneficiary of Dr. Gauer’s expertise as a 25-year head of school.

Through his ability to connect with the heart of each child, He unfolds within them confidence and an ability to believe in themselves to pursue their passions and interests creating for themselves a joyful, fulfilling life.

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Tim Culbertson 

Lead Science and Math Teacher

I was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. I graduated from the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse with a Bachelor's of Science in Environmental and Forest Biology. I began my Masters of Science at the University of Maryland, College Park.

I enjoy spending time with children and enjoy their energy and curiosity and enthusiasm for their surroundings; it will be my goal to transform that energy and enthusiasm into stewardship.  I feel privileged to have done so over a teaching career spanning 15 years.

I have developed curricula and taught students the ecology, physics, chemistry, and mathematics which govern the biological world around them.  By integrating chemistry with pre-algebra, and physics with algebra, students have been able to make clear connections between the fundamentals of math and the manner in which that math can be applied to the concrete world they interact with daily. Designing my own curricula coupled with the small class sizes of independent schools has allowed me to the flexibility to help students understand concepts deeply, and to alter lessons to best meet the demands and interests of each of my students; this in turn has allowed a very high level of learning and understanding of remarkably complex material in the context of their everyday lives.   After my classes, students feel empowered to use a multitude of tools to help answer questions in and out of the classroom.

My other interests lie in things outdoors, especially in learning and discovering plants and nature. I am an avid horticulturalist, growing an expansive garden and over 4000 orchids in my home. I am heavily involved in the orchid judging and awarding system of the American Orchid Society.  In addition, I maintain a personal herbarium of over 2000 specimens, and collect professionally for the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.


Jill Fales earned her B.S. degree in Human Development from the University of California, Davis and an M.Ed. in Special Education: Deaf and Hard of Hearing from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Jill enthusiastically embraces teaching a wide range of abilities, learning styles and personalities. After leaving formal classroom teaching to stay home and raise her four children, she made time to foster her passions for writing and studying history. 

Jill argues that traditional methods of education inevitably leave behind many deeply creative and talented students. Jill knows that “normal” is nothing more than a setting on a dryer, and is on a quest to honor each student’s individuality, restore the joy of learning and build confidence in her all of her students, while instilling a strong work ethic and teaching effective study and life habits. 

In the fall of 2011, Jill hit the road with her kids, (first, fourth, fifth, and eighth grades), departing on what she called The Great American Field Trip for a semester of hands-on learning, driving across America. An essay about the trip appears in the Gutsy Living Anthology by Sonia Marsh. From 2010-2015, Jill penned the weekly column Mom’s Voice which appeared in the Newport Beach Independent. She is the author of My Laundry Museum and Other Messy Gifts of Motherhood and her freelance writing has appeared in the Orange County Register, Coast Kids Magazine,, and

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Laura Baker

Director of outreach and service

Laura is an inspirational teacher, A dream-chaser, and a world traveler. Her passion for experiential  and her background in outdoor leadership training, makes her an amazing asset to our expeditionary learning team she is currently participating of the National Outdoor Leadership School's (NOLS) 2017 Semester to East Africa. This spring she is leading our upper school students on a meaningful service expedition to the island of la Gonave, Haiti.

Laura's degrees, in Global Cultures and Psychology & Social Behavior from University California, Irvine have influenced the philosophical and analytical nature of her teaching style. Laura's professional experience as a team-building facilitator inform her ability to create community while developing empowered leaders.

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Anna Spanton, community Liaison

Anna comes with an innate ability to win the hearts of children. Anna comes from a family of teachers and entrepreneurs. Seeing the gifts Discovery Prep had  to offer her son, she jumped in with both feet to support and assist in the vision of its founder, Clint Davis.