Mentors


Daniel Schofield

I work as a humanoid roboticist at SoftBank Robotics, specifically in the role of Solution Engineer. In this role, I build robotic experiences for businesses who purchase our flagship commercial humanoid robot, Pepper. What I probably love most about the role is how multi-disciplinary it is, requiring skills across the domains of software engineering, web development, technical writing, graphic design, chatbot architecture, and more.

What drew me to being a mentor was the enthusiasm kids bring to the table with learning about and working with robotics. One of my first jobs in the Bay area was teaching robotics and software programming educational summer camps to teenagers. I had such a fun time teaching the camps due to the kids' infectious passion and excitement for the material that the experience had a lasting impression on me. As a passionate technologist myself, it's a great environment to be in!

My goals for the team are to have a really fun build season, to be proud of what we built, to have a rewarding, climactic experience at the competition, to develop and grow as team players through constructive collaboration, and most importantly, to learn a lot along the way!

In terms of my personal hobbies, I love to work on personal coding projects, go rock climbing, play soccer, go on hiking/camping trips, and spend quality time with my girlfriend.

I think my favorite food is Okonomiyaki, which is an authentic Japanese dish that I discovered while traveling with some of my high school buddies in Kyoto, Japan, which happens to be the original capital city of Japan. [Nerd alert:] An interesting fun fact: the previous capital, Kyoto, has the same letters in the same quantity as the current capital city: Tokyo! [Super Nerd alert:] ... Or to represent that concept in the programming terms of equivalence as defined by a common feature within all major programming languages known as regular expressions: /[Kyoto]{5}/i == /[Tokyo]{5}/i :-)


Peggy Toye

Peggy Toye, ‘77, mentors the business unit: students monitor expenses, learn about document & knowledge mgmt, maintain team communication, and guide the PR arm of the team. Major goals for the team: anticipate risks/consequences, increase self-reliance, practice being inclusive team members, and set high outcome (work) standards. The great experiences she received at GWHS inspired a lifelong commitment to public education and service. In her spare time, she’s president of American Legion Auxiliary District 26 (San Mateo County) and Unit VP/Secretary of local Unit 82--assisting veterans in need. She’s been the food manager for the Girl Scouts Peninsula Day Camp since 2013, serves on GWHS’ Alumni Board (26+ years), and is a kindergarten aide. Peggy enjoys baking desserts, loves lasagna, walks her ‘Toye’ poodle, and avidly reads historical novels.



Greg Marra

I'm Greg, and I have helped mentor Team 5507's software team the last several years. I was on Team 177 when I was in high school, and FIRST is a big part of why I studied engineering in college, then went on to work at Google and Facebook. This year, I've moved back to Boston, but hope to be a bit of a help mentoring the software team remotely and on GitHub! When not building robots, my wife and I enjoy going on camping trips together.


Caitlin Spaan

Behind every great tech team is a marketing team working to make sure the world knows how amazing the "product" is! As a mentor, I'm focused on helping the Eagles build awareness and excitement in the broader community around their amazing robot and the fantastic team behind it. This work helps recruit new members to the team and plays a big role in fundraising as well. I'm was drawn to support the Eagles by the passion the team has shown for their craft and for the sheer fun of watching robots cruise around a course. On a personal level, I work at YouTube where I work to help Creators achieve success on our platform & in my free time I coach flag football, cheer for the Giants and the Warriors, and chase my four kids around.



Andrew Levin

I come from 30+ years of experience in the consumer software industry, working for companies from startups to huge ones. I am also a tinkerer. I got that from building things with my dad, who was constantly constructing or inventing or fixing things - well, and breaking things too, but that just gave us more things to fix! And when I was in high school, I got really interested in electronics and took two years of electronics classes. That allowed me to fix (and break) different kinds of things. I believe it was all of those - along with a desire to bend machines to my will - that interested me in robotics.

The appeal of mentoring robotics for me comes not only from that, however. I did spend a few years as a middle and high school mentor and math tutor. But more immediately, I’m a student teacher at GWHS, teaching both physics and computer science. So in addition to my own interest in robotics, mentoring robotics gives me the opportunity to interact with the young adults around me without the more limiting constraints of a classroom. After all, they’re not here, showing up five days a week, because they’re forced to be but because they’re passionate about what they’re doing and highly motivated to do it. Working with our young team of engineers, I get to witness teamwork, inventiveness, and problem solving at a level that is truly inspiring.

I describe my role in Robotics Club as “floating.” I help out where it looks like I can add value - principally hardware and building - rather than mentor one particular project. That said, I am particularly interested in the robot-lifting, cargo, and hatch delivery mechanisms - perhaps because they all present physics and electronics problems.

Regarding the question of food… Because I grew up in Chicago, I have a particular fondness for Chicago-style stuffed pizza. In the Bay Area, Zachary’s is the best I’ve found (Berkeley and Oakland). Patxi’s in San Francisco isn’t quite as good but is close enough at least to keep me from driving from SF to Oakland just to get pizza.


Alex Levin

I'm a SysAdmin with physics degree - jack of all trades, working with Unix, networks, hardware, code, cloud - it is all interconnected. Hacking and making something all the time, so enjoy the opportunity to be with the team of young builders.

Some goals I hope for the team is to just invent uninvetable, look at things from an unexpected angle, apply physics to the modeling, develop and use hacker skills .

In my spare time I love to hike, swim with USF Masters and do a bit of photography.


Marc Panopio

My name is Marc Panopio and I was a mechanical design engineer for 12 years at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. I worked mainly in front of the computer using CAD to design parts for our products. I decided to pursue a career in education after participating in a program at work that gives high school students a glimpse into the life of an engineer in the aerospace industry. I participated in the program for 3 years and enjoyed working with the students so much that I wanted to work with students full time. I am currently a student teacher at GWHS teaching Algebra 1.