the best math teacher in the world


Communications Arts High School
11600 FM 471W
San Antonio, Texas 78253
PHONE: (210) 397-6043
FAX: (210) 688-6092
contact us

home > academics > departments


  • Communications
  • English
  • Science & Math
  • Social Studies
  • Spanish
Debra Dehlinger
Communication Applications, Media Criticism

Ms. Debbie Dehlinger's childhood was spent as an Army brat living all over the United States and world attending approximately 17 schools including three high schools. She has over thirty years teaching experience; eighteen were at Thomas Jefferson High School, San Antonio, as Director of Forensics and Director of Theatre. During those years her students won 17 UIL One-Act Play District Championships, 2nd place in the nation in Dramatic Interpretation, places at UIL State in Prose, Poetry, and Extemporaneous Speaking, and a number of Texas Forensic tournament honors.

She was also fortunate to have served as a president of the two state speech organizations: Texas Speech Communication Association and Texas Forensic Association.

In her fourteenth year at Communications Arts, she feels honored to have the opportunity to work with the great students in this year's freshman class as well as selected older students. Currently she teaches Communication Applications and Media Criticism.

Her degrees include a B.A. in English with a minor in Speech, Southwest Texas State University, a M.A. in Educational Psychology, University of Texas at San Antonio, and a M.A. in Integrating Technology in the Classroom from Walden University.

Jill Barton
Digital & Interactive Multimedia
In December of 1993, Jill Barton earned her B.B.A. and a teaching certification from Baylor University. She began her teaching career at Coolidge ISD, a small 1A school district 35 miles northeast of Waco, Texas. During her 3 and a half years at Coolidge, she was the Technology Coordinator for the district and taught classes in Computer Literacy, Business Computer Applications, Personal Business Management, and Business Communications.
Stephen Villela
Video Technology

Stephen Villela is a native of San Antonio.  He is a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School and received his Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of the Incarnate Word. Outside of the classroom Stephen is a founding member of the CineVéliz Production Company. He has had the privilege to be a part of several film & television productions, most notably 'La Tragedia de Macario' (Official Selection of the 2006 Sundance Film Festival). He continues to work as a freelance producer/filmmaker for various productions and events. He teaches Video Technology to 11th grade students.

Shellie Malik
Independent Study Mentorship



Shellie Malik is a native of South Texas and graduated from Texas State University with a B.A. in English with a minor in Speech Communications and an M.A. in Speech Communications with a minor in English. Before moving to CAHS in 2006, she taught at H.B. Zachry Middle School where she taught English, theater arts, and creative writing. As a Gifted and Enrichment Specialist, she chaired district-wide GT events, presented GT staff development and was involved with the state’s GT Performance Standards Projects. She currently teaches Independent Study Mentorship and is one of the National Honor Society sponsors. She also serves as the Dual Credit Liaison and the AP Co-Coordinator.

Mrs. Malik and her husband have two children who are both graduates of Communications Arts High School. As a family, they enjoy traveling and being outdoors and have traveled to all 50 states. They spend their summers traveling abroad and have visited Eastern Europe, China, Central Europe, and Japan. She is an avid reader, and in her spare time, she can be found reading, traveling in the RV, and spending time with her family.

Heidi Whitus
Advanced Video Production, AP Art History, Digital Art & Animation, Yearbook

Heidi Klein Whitus was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has a B.F.A. in Cinema from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, an M.F.A. in Video Research from the Art Media Studies Department at Syracuse University, and an M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in Foreign Language Education. Her work in photography and video has been shown in exhibits and festivals in the U.S. and abroad. Prior to teaching, she worked in various aspects of the film and video industry in New York. She loves to travel, and has toured Southeast Asia, Africa, Central and South America, and Europe, in addition to her family's frequent road trips throughout the continental United States, Mexico and Canada. She has been fortunate to combine her love of travel with her passion for teaching: she was an instructor for the Monteverde New Media Expedition in Costa Rica, and recently she has been a trainer for Digital Storytelling Workshops in Ghana, Qatar and Bosnia sponsored by the State Department.

Ms. Whitus' students have received city-wide, regional, state and national recognition for their video and multimedia projects. Many of these projects have earned not only awards, but also monetary prizes that allow the school to purchase supplemental video, audio and computer equipment.

Ms. Whitus is also passionate about media literacy. She served on a Media Literacy Guidelines Panel for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, and has worked for the Texas Education Agency writing a statewide media literacy curriculum for Language Arts teachers. She served on the inaugural editorial board of the online Journal of Media Literacy Education.

Ms. Whitus is the campus webmaster, the Communications Department Coordinator, and a co-sponsor of the National Honor Society. She also teaches at San Antonio College in the Media Communications Department.

Emily Swoboda
English I Pre-AP
While she isn't a Texan by birth, Mrs. Swoboda has lived in Texas most of her life. She is a two-time graduate of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, where she earned a B.A. in English and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction. Mrs. Swoboda began teaching at Waller High School, located just outside of Houston, as she completed her graduate studies at A&M. After teaching in Waller, she moved to San Antonio where she taught in Judson ISD. Now, Mrs. Swoboda is very excited and privileged to be a part of the Communications Arts High School faculty.

In her spare time, Mrs. Swoboda enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter and son, taking photographs, quilting, reading, visiting with family, organizing anything in sight, and relaxing. Some of her favorite books are: Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Shakespeare Bats Cleanup, Fahrenheit 451, The Poisonwood Bible, and To Kill a Mockingbird. Some of her favorite authors are Willa Cather, Sandra Cisneros, Sue Monk Kidd, and William Shakespeare.

Quincy Scott
English II Pre-AP


Quincy Scott has taught English for over twenty years. He first became interested in books as a child, when his father, an avid library borrower, would frequently bring Quincy and his brother along to roam the library shelves. Although he loves the vast array of information at your fingertips today online, Quincy still confesses love for a good book.  In their spare time, Quincy and Mrs. Scott enjoy weekend trips to the library with their two curious children.

Reading and writing are an important part of why Quincy teaches. He most enjoys communicating, and helping his students communicate better.

Quincy graduated in 1990 from Texas State University with a bachelors of science degree in education, focusing on kinesiology and English. His first teaching position was at Southwest High School, where he taught English and coached swimming and boys' basketball, and volunteer coached softball and girls' basketball.  In 1999 Quincy moved to Keystone School, where he taught high school English, coached JV basketball, and coached middle school softball and soccer.  In 2001 Quincy came to Communications Arts, where he has happily taught both freshman and sophomore English.

Quincy sees his job as a partnership with parents to nurture each child to become a thoughtful adult, a responsible citizen, an independent thinker and a lifelong learner.

Erik "Thor" Gunnells
English III AP/ Dual Credit

Originally from the bustling metropolis of Faucett, MO, Erik “Thor” Gunnells moved to Texas in 1989 and has lived here most of his life. He is a graduate of Concordia University-Austin, where he earned a BA in English Literature with a minor in Communications. He also graduated from Texas State UniversitySan Marcos, where he earned an MA in English Literature with a minor in Secondary Education. Mr. Gunnells began his teaching career first giving seminars in college and conducting cooking presentations as a chef in Seattle, WA. He joined Northside ISD after completing his degree from Texas State and has taught English/Reading at Pease MS and then English II Pre-AP, English III AP/Dual Credit, and English IV AP/Dual Credit at JP Stevens HS. Now, Mr. Gunnells can barely contain his excitement at becoming part of the Comm Arts family and is looking forward to a wonderful year!

When he’s not at school, Mr. Gunnells enjoys spending time with his wife and checking in on his daughter, who has quite a life of her own. He also loves reading, writing fiction and poetry, gardening, fishing, hiking, and (strangely enough) disc golf. Some his favorite authors include: James Joyce, Neil Gaiman, Thomas Pynchon, W.B. Yeats, Ed Abbey, and of course, William Shakespeare.


Julie Davern
English IV AP, Creative Writing
Sunni Dickerson
Biology Pre-AP


(Ms. Dickerson just joined our staff -- her biography will be here soon!)

Karen Betchel
Chemistry Pre-AP
Karen Betchel graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Chemistry. She worked in biomedical research for 8 years in Houston and San Antonio. She earned her teacher's certification from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She enjoys bringing the exciting world of chemistry to students. Karen enjoys the Communications Arts atmosphere where disciplines can merge to provide a more enriching experience for students. She is a cosponsor of the Communications Arts Science Club and a member of the National Honor Society Faculty Council. She is currently pursuing her masters in science education at Our Lady of the Lake University because " You should never stop learning!"
Sandy Rose
Algebra I Pre-AP, Geometry Pre-AP
Sandy Rose is a native of San Antonio and attended Northside schools from elementary (Locke Hill) through high school (Marshall and Clark). Mrs. Rose graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Texas as San Antonio with a Bachelor of Science in Math Education.

After more than 20 years of experience, Mrs. Rose still loves teaching. She taught at Texas Military Institute (TMI) for ten years, was a math teacher and TAKS Coach at Taft HS for eight years, then joined the faculty of Communications Arts HS in 2008. While at TMI, Mrs. Rose was fortunate to work with scientists and students studying the monarch butterfly.

Sandy Rose is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and the Texas Classroom Teachers Association (TCTA). Mrs. Rose is pursuing a Masters of Mathematics in Education, but finds spending time with her family and grandchildren to be a more joyous pastime.

Mrs. Rose is blessed with two daughters, two grandsons, and a granddaughter. She has two dogs and numerous fish. She enjoys planting, reading, photography, swimming, and scuba diving. Her favorite place to be is on the beach in Cozumel, where she married her late husband, Billy. If you can’t find her during the summer, she is in the beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean swimming and building sandcastles with her mom and grandchildren.

Ashley Beach
Algebra I Pre-AP, Algebra II Pre-AP


Ashley Beach came to Communications Arts in 2013 to teach Algebra. Before teaching in Northside ISD, she taught various math courses to middle school students including 7th grade math, 8th grade math, Algebra 1, and Geometry. She enjoys the beauty in understanding the way math works probably more than any one person should. She shares her life with her wonderful husband, along with their three dogs (a black lab and two greyhounds). In her spare time she enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family, and spreading the love of mathematics! 

Craig Rendon
World Geography Pre-AP
Craig Rendon was born in San Antonio. The son of an Air Force colonel, Mr. Rendon lived in Grand Forks, ND, The Panama Canal Zone and Naples, Italy. He attended Randolph Junior and Senior High Schools near San Antonio and graduated from Air Academy High School in Colorado Springs, CO. Mr. Rendon graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in Government. Upon graduation, he went to Japan as a member of the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program. He team-taught English as a foreign language at four Yokohama Junior High Schools for three years. Mr. Rendon returned to San Antonio and joined the faculty of Communications Arts High School in 1998. He has lived in or visited eighteen countries other than the US and has a genuine interest in World Geography and foreign affairs.

Seven of Mr. Rendon’s students at CAHS have been national winners in the United Nations World Refugee Day poster contest sponsored by UN Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie. Their works of art have been on display at the Statue of Liberty in New York and at National Geographic in Washington, DC. Mr. Rendon traveled to Washington, DC with some of the poster contest winners and their parents to attend World Refugee Day events with UN Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie and other government leaders including US Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Mr. Rendon won an Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award from the Texas Council for the Humanities in 2003. Mr. Rendon was nominated for this award by the 2003 CAHS Valedictorian and her mother, a professor at UTSA. Mr. Rendon was honored by the Texas House of Representatives with House Resolution 36, 78th Texas Legislature, 3rd Special Session. Representative Ken Mercer of House District 117, which includes Communications Arts High School, sponsored the resolution.

Samuel Harris
World History AP
Samuel Harris was born and raised on the coastal plains of Victoria, Texas, where he attended Victoria High School. After high school Samuel attended Texas State University where he majored in History and minored in Political Science. He was highly involved in university organizations such as the Interfraternity Council and Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. Samuel graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts and moved shortly thereafter to the San Antonio area. Samuel has a passion for history, and because he is impressed by both their energy and enthusiasm for learning, he enjoys working with high school students. He also loves to travel. He has recently traveled to France, S. Korea, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Spain, Portugal, Greece, France, Thailand, Ireland, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Samuel is currently organizing a trip for students to Italy for March 2015. He has found that travel enriches his studies and allows history to come alive. Samuel is beginning his tenth year at Communications Arts High School and his sixth year as the Social Studies Department Chair. Samuel sits as a member of the School Advisory Committee and is a member of Texas Classroom Teachers Association. Other interests include politics, going to concerts, eating sushi, and working out. Samuel carries a strong belief that it is important to stay mentally and physically active.

Lisa Stevens
U.S. History AP
Mrs. Stevens graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a Bachelor of Arts (History) Degree in 2002 and a Master of Arts (History) Degree in 2005. Academically, she earned several scholarships and awards including a National Honors Society Scholarship, the Mitchell-Harding Scholarship, the Alameda/UTSA Scholarship, and the English Essay Millennium Award. Additionally, she was a member of the National Honors Society, the Alpha Chi National College Honor Scholarship Society, and the UTSA Dean’s Honor List in both the Bachelor and Master’s program at UTSA.

Professionally, Mrs. Stevens served 6 years in the United States Army as a Psychiatric Specialist, was the Curator and Archivist at the Security Police Museum at Lackland Air Force Base, did archival work at the Institute of Texan Cultures Museum, instructed U.S. History Dual Credit/AP courses at an inner-city college preparatory school here in San Antonio, and also is currently teaching U.S. History as an Adjunct Professor at Northwest Vista College here in San Antonio.

Mrs. Stevens also sponsors the National History Day competitions for CAHS.

Jeremy Guerrero
Government & Economics AP
Jeremy Guerrero was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. A graduate of Tom C. Clark High School, he went on to receive his Bachelors degree in History as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching, both from Trinity University. During his time at Trinity, Mr. Guerrero served as the treasurer for Phi Alpha Theta, as well as being named the first ever recipient of the Eunice Harrington scholarship.

Mr. Guerrero started his career at Robert E. Lee High School and the International School of the Americas, where he developed an appreciation for teaching diverse populations with different ability levels, cultures, and goals.

When not teaching, Mr. Guerrero enjoys going to the movies, gaming, and listening to music of almost every genre.

Cynthia Driggers
Spanish I, Spanish 3 Pre-AP
Cynthia Driggers earned her B.A. at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Although her specialization was bilingual instruction, she also studied Spanish in the hope of teaching others about the language and culture she loves.

Mrs. Driggers has traveled to Portugal, Spain, France, and many parts of Mexico. She also spent a year working in Ecuador and learning the regional language, and was fascinated by the natural beauty of the country and its rich culture. Her experiences in these foreign countries has created a love for knowledge of other cultures and a renewed interest in the Spanish language that was taken for granted in her youth. She would like to teach the students that, because of modern technology, our world is becoming more global and learning another language is becoming an important aspect of our society.

Nora Mangold
Spanish Pre-AP
Nora Mangold has returned to Communications Arts High School and Northside Independent School District after teaching in the KISD district. She taught Spanish for all levels and is very passionate about the Spanish language and its culture.

Nora Mangold first came to the United States in 1991, after having lived most of her childhood in San Luis Potosí, México.

She attended Navarro College (which is now a Texas A&M branch) in Corsicana, Texas. She obtained her Associate degree in Science, then obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

After being influenced by teachers at Communication Arts High School, she decided to continue teaching, teaching what she had learned to love the most.

She enjoys listening to music, jogging, and spending time with her family and friends. She also travels regularly and visits her friends and family inside and outside the country. She believes everyone can be a successful, motivated bilingual person; thereafter, multilingual.

Carlos Piliado
Spanish 3 Pre-AP and Spanish 4 AP


Prof. Carlos Piliado is from Eagle Pass, Texas a border town with México. In his home town he learned the importance of communicating in a foreign language. He attended Eagle Pass High School after graduation moved to San Antonio to continue with his studies.

He received a Bachelor’s Degree from UTSA in Spanish Linguistics and Literature. He was a member of the Spanish National Honor Society (Sigma Delta Pi), studied in Spain, France, México, Guatemala, Perú and Argentina as part of the UTSA Abroad Studies Program.

His Masters Degree is in Hispanic Culture and Civilization in Spanish and Literature from UTSA. Prof. Piliado was granted the Presidential Award for his studies in culture and research on Pre-
Colonial studies of Latin America. He attended Arizona State University PhD Program in Pre- Colonial Literature and later moved to Austin, Texas and continued his studies in The University of Texas.

Prof. Piliado has 13 years experience as a language instructor. He has worked as a Special Linguist for the US Government, Assistant Professor for The Defense Language Institute of the Dept. of Defense in Monterey California and now is the International Languages Department Coordinator for Communications Arts High School.

Prof. Piliado is a Professional Folcólrico Dancer with Ballet Folclórico de Navarro. He participates in traditional folklore dance competitions, international workshops and now is the sponsor of the Ballet Folclórico de Communications Arts High School and also sponsors the Spanish National Honor Society.

Prof. Piliado is very proud to be part of one of the best high schools in NISD and is extremely proud to call himself a Commie.