The MilkenKnights would not be able to function without its wonderful student leaders, knights and squires, or mentors. Here you can meet the brains behind the team! Be sure to also check out our Knights in Shining Armor page.
Mentors and Administrators
Director, Mitchell Academy of Science and Technology and Guerin Institute of Advanced Sciences
(310) 440-3500 x3316
Head Coach Director of Robotics, Milken Community Schools Read Bio
Tanner Ragland is Director of Technology and Director of Robotics. Prior to coming to Milken, Tanner served as Senior Director of Research and Technology at King Sports Enterprises, a startup company in the sport of boxing, where he wrote and implemented a one-of-a-kind Moneyball algorithm for identifying and procuring talent. Tanner has an extensive background in independent schools and technology. He began his career in education as a high school History and Computer Science teacher. He was formerly the Director of Technology at Westside Neighborhood School where he piloted a 1:1 iPad program for the middle school, and he spent ten years at The Buckley School as Department Chair of both Computer Science and Educational Technology.
Harold ("Hal") Schloss is a former Software Developer and is now a Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch. He is the father of two former captains of team 1836, Nathan and Barbara Schloss. He has been a mentor to the team since the 2007 season. He is an inventor on 14 patents and is also a Patent Agent. Previously, he developed software for the Inertial Upper Stage at TRW, for the NICS-TARE communications systems at Litton Data Systems, and for many pacemaker programming systems at St. Jude Medical. He is the Scoutmaster of a Boy Scout Troop and a Trustee of the Summer Science Program (www.summerscience.org).
Associate Head Coach Read Bio
Shelley is a Mechanical Engineer and graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She is very versatile in many disciplines. Her interests are in manufacturing, testing, design and graphics. Shelley has worked on projects for Walt Disney Imagineering, SpaceX and Edwards Lifesciences to name a few. She is a FIRST alumni and is excited to join the Milken Knights!
Austin Shalit ’16
Austin Shalit has been participating in robotics since 2008. He started his own FLL team in the 5th grade. He has been involved heavily with the team since joining in the 7th grade. Austin is extremely involved with FIRST. He has been an FTAA, assisted with robot inspection, and been a control systems adviser at many events. Austin has also refereed three FRC Fall Classics. Austin is excited to be a team captain this year and hopes everyone has a great season! Austin was a Dean's List Semi Finalist in 2015.
Michael Bick ’16
Michael Bick is a senior at Milken. Innovation, aesthetics, and efficient design interest Michael, and he is always working on a project. In his free time, he captains Milken's Science Bowl Team and Bridge Building Team, has started a CNC manufacturing company (Edge Systems Design), and sails competitively. During the summer, Michael continues learning, taking classes with subjects that range from quantum physics to engineering, and is a CIT at the UCLA sailing camp.
Miranda Milner ’16
Miranda Milner is in her fourth year on the team and she is a senior at Milken. As captain this year, she is foscuing on design, CAD, and the mechanical stages of build season. In the past, she has been captain of the ASCE Popsicle Stick Bridge Building Team. As part of the science research program at Milken, she conducted research at the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging at the USC and submitted a paper to the Intel Science Talent Search. She is also on the varsity volleyball team and chair of the YOZMA Hunger social action group. Miranda was a Dean's List Semi Finalist in 2015.
Daniel Spar ’16
Daniel Spar is a senior at Milken, and this his second year on the team. Before Milken, Daniel lived in New York and London, and participated in math competitions in Switzerland and Dubai. Last year he worked on the mechanical team and was part of the drive team. This year he is taking the role of co-captain. Outside of robotics, Daniel is a captain of the football team and the baseball team.
Jonathan Zur ’13
Jonathan Zur was a member of the robotics team from 2009 to 2013. He joined the team as a freshman and enjoyed the competition and the FIRST mentality. He continued to participate on the team and served as captain in his senior year. Currently, Jonathan is a student at the University of Illinois studying aerospace engineering and works as a production intern for SpaceX. He is very interested in aircraft and spacecraft design and hopes to continue working in this field in the future.
Jared Hasen-Klein ’18
Jared Hasen-Klein started FIRST when he walked into an FLL meeting in 5th grade. Ever since, he's been hooked on robotics. Jared served as the team captain for FLL 650 for three years, and has served as mentor and volunteer for FLL and FTC. He joined Team 1836 in 9th grade and now specializes in public relations, community outreach, operates the website, and more. Jared is Hootsuite Certified in Social Media, Moz Certified in Search Engine Optimization, and Adastra Academy certified in data management. In his free time, Jared likes finding new ways to do old things. Jared was a Dean's List Semi Finalist in 2016.
Marcus Bernstein ’18
Team Captain Read Bio
Marcus Bernstein has been doing FIRST Robotics since he joined his elementary school's FLL team in 4th grade, and has been mentoring/competing in FLL ever since. In 7th grade, he joined the Milken Knights. Since then, Marcus has been the human player and focuses on assembly and strategy. Marcus joined the team because he likes building robots and hanging out with friends. Outside of robotics, Marcus is a student ambassador, plays varsity baseball, and works backstage on school productions. Marcus was a Dean's List Semi Finalist in 2016.
Yoel Nozar ’19
Yoel Nozar is a sophomore at Milken. He joined the team in 2013 and is looking forward to participating on the team for the rest of his high school career. Yoel is very interested in math and science and is thinking about pursuing a career in engineering. He is leading the writing of the Chairman's Essay this year.
Alexander Swerdlow ’19
Alexander Swerdlow is currently a 10th grader at Milken, and this is his second year on the team. He is the lead programmer, and loves to code; for robotics and as a hobby. He also likes working on electrical. In his free time he can be found tinkering with his tasty raspberry pi's, setting up servers, or entangled in a giant mess of code.
Bryce Heitner ’19
Bryce Heitner is a humble 10th grade programmer in training. This is his second year in FRC and third year at Milken. In the past, he has been focused on all the minor, necessary tasks that are needed of him. This year, Bryce is taking on more responsibilities and enjoys learning new things. He spends most of my time playing video games, sleeping, and breathing.
Michael Bochkur Dratver ’19
Michael Bochkur Dratver is participating in his fourth year on the Milken Knights Robotics Team. He loves the educational environment established in the MAST room through constant learning and appreciation of robotics. Michael has developed a special connection with the cold saw, his favorite machine. The huge saw provides him with a peaceful niche, focus, and a meticulous mindset. Michael spends his free time swimming for a club and playing guitar.
Jack Wagner ’18
Jack ("$wagner") Wagner has been on the robotics team for 6 years. The past three years, Jack has been a safety captain, assembled major parts of the robot and done the milling for a large portion of this year's robot.
Gavriel Yanai ’17
Gavriel ("Gav") Yanai is currently a senior at Milken. He is driven by his belief that if he works hard enough, he will eventually be able to navigate the chaos that surrounds him. Gav is on the team because he enjoys robotics and being around like minded people. This year Gav is stepping back to focus on academics. His interests include game design, as well as playing games themselves, art, and creative writing.
Kyle Newman ’19
Kyle Newman started the robotics team in 7th grade and is currently a sophomore at Milken. When he started on the team, Kyle wanted to learn machining. Now, he wants to use his coding skills in Java to learn robot code. At school, Kyle participates in the AMC Math Club and plays the saxophone in the Jazz Ensemble and the Advanced Jazz Band. Outside of school, Kyle likes to learn different languages, and he already knows Farsi, Hebrew, and Aramaic.
Zeke Levin ’18
Zeke Levin is currently a junior at Milken. One of the large reasons he decided to attend Milken was for the robotics program. He has always been interested in robotics, along with computers and gaming. On the team, he is a machinist as well as a 3D modeler for robot parts. In the future, he wants to help more with design, as well as have a larger role on part production.
Jake Reiner ’18
Jake Reiner is a programmer on the robotics team. He has participated in FRC for five years and FLL for three. He has programmed multiple mobile apps, including a battery saver and FRC scouting which have received over 40 thousand downloads in total on the Google Play Store.
Jordan Farahnik ’18
Jordan Farahnik is currently a junior at Milken. He has been a member of the robotics team for three years. Jordan specializes in machining and training students on mill and lathe technique. In addition to robotics, Jordan is also a member of the Milken safecracking team where he competed in an international physics competition.
Grace Levine ’18
Grace Levine is currently a junior at Milken. Grace joined the team in November of freshman year. A fellow classmate told her about robotics and she decided to try it out. She loves the atmosphere and camaraderie the team presents as well as working with the tools and machines. Though never into engineering before she joined the team, Grace made great strides this year learning machining and CAD skills. In her free time she can be found in the robotics room or Milken library.
Abigail Thurmond ’18
Abigail ("Abby") Thurmond is currently a junior at Milken. She joined the team in 8th grade. Abby is interested in computer programming and 3D modeling with Solidworks and Maya.
Eli Elisha ’18
Drew Weisserman ’19
Drew Weisserman is a sophomore at Milken. He has been extremely interested in robotics and engineering since he joined the team three years ago. Moving forward, Drew hopes to "step it up a notch this year." In the past, he has also participated in FLL. Drew is interested in science and math and hopes to pursue a career in STEM.
Elliott Shadgoo ’18
Elliot Shadgoo has participated in robotics for three years. Prior to high school, Elliott was not interested in science or math. When Elliott went to his first robotics meeting, he became fascinated with all the different mechanisms on the robot. He has also participated in writing the teams Chairman's essay, contributed to the creation of the team's website, and worked on the team's business plan.