David Gutschick


David is an integral part of the Academy and has been from its start.  He was critical to recruitment of students, physical preparation of the school at its starting location on the Downtown Mall, business and financial planning, and computer operations, especially in website development and management.  He joined the Board of Trustees in 2009.  After completing his undergraduate engineering degree he took a year off to dedicate to founding the school.  David is our go-to person for intricacies of Web and computer functions.  He is integral to our operations planning, organizational planning, and our effort to obtain accreditation from the top accrediting organization, the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest.

Keeping up with science and technology: David finished his Ph. D. in material science and engineering at the Ohio State University in August, 2018, based on research with laser tweezers, high-resolution video, and computer models of mechanical responses to characterize gels such as those usable for artificial skin for burn victims.  He moved to Sunnyvale, CA, in March 2020 with his wife, Yi Li, an Apple engineer.  He founded a small enginering company and then became a machine learning engineer for Fitbit in December, 2020.


B.S., Mechanical Engineering, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), 2008

Ph. D., Materials Science and Engineering, the Ohio State University, 2018.

Relevant experience:

Technical expertise: David has wide range of skills, from carpentry to mechanics to computer programming and website operations to resource management.  He helped set up the premises at our first rented facility.  He now is critical to maintaining and improving t he school website, including adding financial and reporting functions through the website.  His Ph. D. studies involved high-tech methods that he mastered and greatly improved, such as for laser tweezers to manipulate tiny spheres and optical imaging pushed to the limit to infer mechanical properties of gels for application in such fields as engineered skin replacement using reconstituted collagen.  He now lives in Cupertino, CA, with his wife, Yi, who is employed as an engineer at Apple headquarters.  He is starting his own engineering business.

Business management: David has been a continuous presence in all the business planning for the school.  He took the lead in finding our first site (a task of surprising complexity, on both physical and regulatory levels).  He designed our initial student recruitment method and continues to perfect it, particularly via our website presence.  His skill in website development and security is essential to our operations.  As a Board member, David excels at finding resources, intellectual and financial, to advance the school mission and vision.  He and his father, Vince Gutschick, designed the ultimate facility for the school, should we attain our goal of growth to 350 students in grades early K through 12.