Our Team

Although we strive to be financially responsible role models for our students, they learn that everyone’s willingness to pay varies, so we asked our staff what they splurge on.


Patricia Johnson

Executive Director


Patricia founded Game Theory Academy in 2008. She received a BA in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley, and an MBA from Yale University. Prior to founding GTA, she worked at Pacific News Service/New America Media.

Splurge: I’m not a great guitar player, but I bought myself a beautiful Martin guitar anyway.

Tim St. Louis

Curriculum and Partnership Director


Tim joined Game Theory Academy in 2017,  bringing his experience from  nonprofits and teaching high school math. He holds a BBA, MEd, MPA, and PhD from the University of Wisconsin and the University of Washington.

Tim splurges by going out to see movies in the theater and ordering delicious movie theater popcorn. 


Hayley Axel

Program Manager


Joining GTA last year, Hayley handles program data management and donor relationships. She works closely with the farm managers to manage and improve the farm programs. Hayley has a bachelor’s degree in politics from Saint Mary’s College of California.

Hayley splurges on delicious meals out.



Jess Myles

WOW Flower Farm Manager


Jess joined Game Theory Academy in 2016. She received her Bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and her Master’s degree in International Agriculture & Development at UC Davis. 



Marlene Hild

WOW Farm Produce Manager


Marlene joined Game Theory Academy in 2017, bringing her background in restaurant farming and culinary entrepreneurship to the WOW Farm Program. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound.

Marlene’s retail guilty pleasure is outdoor gear from REI.


Jen Cavenaugh

Program Director


Jen developed the curriculum for GTA’s “Crash Course in Job Readiness,” and leads recruitment of professional volunteers to mentor students. She is the Director of GTA’s Oakland Treasure Hunt, focused on partnerships with local businesses. She holds an MBA from the University of Chicago.



Jasper Smith



Jasper joined GTA in 2014 as an Economics Educator. He has worked in the financial services industry for nearly a decade. He holds a bachelor’s from North Carolina A&T State University, and he was a 4-year letterman in baseball.

Jasper splurges on suits & ties!


Joanne da Luz



Joanne is a former high school math teacher and academic director of 17 years.  She earned her bachelor’s degree from UCSD, Master’s in Education from Stanford, and MBA from Mills College.  

What would Joanne splurge on?  World Cup Tickets!!!!


Nan headshot

Nan Howard



Nan joined GTA in 2016 and works as a counselor at an Oakland middle school.  She holds a Masters in school counseling from San Francisco State University.

Nan is known to splurge on nice meals.

candys-headshot Candy Pareja 



Candy is a new addition to GTA’s  team of instructors. She’s currently pursuing her master’s degree in school counseling at San Francisco State University.

Candy splurges on manicures and pedicures.



Michele Thorne



Michele joined GTA in 2011. She is an entrepreneur, local foodie and the author of the book “Adding Raw Is Easy.” She holds an MBA in Sustainable Business from Presidio Graduate School.