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 eNewsletter | January/February 2013 | Issue No. 5 
Sharon Olken Headshot 

This month's issue of The Gate is full of highlights that, together, demonstrate some of our core beliefs and objectives at Gateway.  These stories get at the heart of what we are about.  I hope you enjoy reading about Project Week, our Gators of the Month, our endearing Alumni Spotlight, our upcoming 9th Grade Web of Religious Tolerance Exhibitions, and more.  And, perhaps more importantly, I hope you see the connection between our specific programs and activities and some of our guiding principles. 

  • At Gateway, we believe the best educational experiences engage students in learning both inside and outside of the classroom. 
  • At Gateway, we believe there are many ways to learn - and just as many ways to demonstrate your understanding. 
  • At Gateway, we believe that students are capable of learning at high levels and should be recognized for their successes.
  • At Gateway, we believe that an important role of schools is helping students grow into caring, ethical people - as well as scholars.
  • At Gateway, we believe that a diverse and inclusive community engenders growth and success for all.

Enjoy The Gate, and thank you for your support!


Sharon Signature  
Sharon Olken
Executive Director, Gateway Public Schools
Project Week 2013: Reflections and Highlights

What if your teachers had been encouraged to use the slopes in Tahoe to teach you physics? What if you were pushed to work creatively and collaboratively with your peers, by writing and performing an original play in only five days? At Gateway, our students do all the above and more as part of our annual Project Week. 


Project Week is a vibrant and unique part of Gateway High School's academic program. Students step out of the regular routine of the school day to explore a single subject over the course of five days. Each course culminates with a final work, which is showcased in the Gator Gala, a celebratory evening that is open to the entire Gateway community. 


"Project Week gave me the experience of being a five-star chef!"

- Ramon T., Gateway Alumnus


At Gateway Public Schools, we believe in teaching to "all kinds of minds". Through Project Week, we are able to fulfill our commitment to support all of our students by showing them the value of being curious learners, who are open to taking risks. By the end of Project Week, students have earned both self-confidence and a deeper appreciation for the diversity of their teachers and peers. 


"I'm going to miss Project Week and everyone here that helped me along the way."

- Hellen L., Gateway Alumna


This year, students enjoyed a range of courses such as:  "Dorm Room Cooking", "Mosaics", "Board Game Design",  "Making Movies", and more!

Students brave the dreaded "plank" pose during Tae Kwon Do warm-up.


Jane Kern's students in "Beyond Gangnam Style" explored various facets of Korean culture, by taking a Tae Kwon Do course, watching Korean drama, and learning traditional Korean table manners. "I wanted to share my culture with my students," Ms. Kern said of her curriculum design. "Of course, they still had so much to share with me and with each other. They knew all the hip Korean Pop songs, for example, and students from diverse Asian cultures were able to examine their similarities and differences." 



Students visit Alcatraz Island for
"Reel SF"

Catherine Clobucker led students through a visual tour of San Francisco in "Reel SF". The group watched iconic San Francisco films - such as "Escape from Alcatraz" and then visited the places each film depicted. As a final project, they wrote, filmed and edited an original script that played off of the movies they had seen. 

A student designs a cartoon bird at the Cartoon Museum for "Graphic Storytelling





David Booth's "Graphic Storytelling" course gave students an opportunity to learn illustrative and visual narrative techniques. The students heard from renowned New Yorker cover illustrator (and Gateway parent!), Mark Ulricksen, and took a class at the San Francisco Cartoon Museum to perfect their techniques. "Usually I get in trouble in class for doodling," one of Booth's Project Week students remarked. "It was so incredible to be able to do what I love and be celebrated for it!"






As supporters of Gateway High School, we thank you for your contributions, which make Project Week possible!

Gateway Middle School 7th Grade Performs 
Scenes From A Midsummer Night's Dream

Fairies, traveling performers and lost, unrequited lovers shared the stage in the Gateway Middle School auditorium this month as the 7th Grade Performing Arts Class performed scenes from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. 

The students memorized over an hour's worth of material and designed inventive costumes with which to portray their characters; with rotating lead and supporting roles, each student carried a significant portion of the performance and all did so with confidence and ease. 

We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to both groups for their hard work and bravery! 
See Gateway Students in Action: 
Annual Web of Religious Tolerance Exhibition
You are invited to the Sixth Annual 9th Grade Web of Religious Tolerance Exhibition! The Gateway High School ninth graders have spent the last four weeks becoming experts in various world religions and spiritual philosophies; as part of the project, they've also conducted and recorded interviews with practitioners and scholars. This month, students are putting together websites that seek to educate others about the religion they have studied and to promote religious and cultural tolerance between everyone.

The event will take place at Gateway High School, 1430 Scott Street, San Francisco, CA, from 5-7 PM on Thursday, March 21st. You will get a chance to see the students showcase their amazing work and answer your questions. In addition to the education presentations, we will be serving potluck dinner. 
We hope you can make it! Thank you for your continued support of our school and students. 
The Humanities 9 Team,
Sean Gass, Terri Wiley, Laura D'Amato, Paul Heasman, Rebecca Wieder, and John Stassen
Gators of the Month!
Gateway High School Alumni, 
Aaron W. and Julia K.

Gateway High School alumni Aaron and Julia got more than a great education out of their Gateway careers - they got each other. "We weren't even the only couple that stayed together!" Julia shares. "There were four or five pairs from our grade alone that we keep in really good touch with and who are still together." 


Julia and Aaron's story started before they even got to Gateway. As neighbors in middle school, they used to ride the bus together, though Julia claims Aaron always gave her the "stink eye". "It's the morning, you're on the bus to school - you can imagine I was grumpy and not very awake," Aaron says, with a laugh, in his defense. "I can see why she would have thought that."


The two were introduced to each other during their freshman year at Gateway and became fast friends. They started dating sophomore year and stayed together through college (she to UC Santa Cruz and he to Brown University), which they both say taught them the value of hard work in a relationship. Three years ago, they got married and they now have a beautiful, one and a half year-old boy. 


In thinking about their son's future schools, both are committed to finding environments for him that share Gateway's sense of community and commitment to diversity. "The community was very tight knit," Aaron explained. "The message I took away from my time there was, 'We're all in this together. It doesn't matter what your learning differences are or where you came from. We're all going to have the opportunity to work together in the same school. The fact that Gateway had something for everyone - that was revelatory for me." 


Julia, whose sister now attends Gateway, agrees that high school was a universally positive experience for her. "Gateway is like my family away from my family. It's always going to have a very special place in my heart, and not just because I met my husband and best friend there." 


Want to share your own alumni story or learn how you can re-connect with Gateway? Please contact Maren Jinnett for more details. 

Thank You for Making Gateway's 
Annual Auction a Success! 

Gateway's motto of "Step Up, Do Right, Dream Big" was evident in all aspects of this year's auction - Gateway to the World. The auction team included parents from both schools who, in true Gateway style, "stepped up" to make this evening a big success. In addition to giving the entire Gateway community a place to mingle with old friends and make new ones, this year's auction featured a teacher bartender competition, and amazing items for bid - all in support of our schools' programs. 




Auction Co-Chairs, Julie Thompson, Mary Glassanos and Julie Wise, stated, "It was our privilege to give back to a school that does so much for so many, and is paving the way for public school success. We're proud to be part of such a passionate community". 



Here's to making next year's auction even bigger and better! 

Gateway in the News 

Catch Gateway's stories in real time by bookmarking Gateway Public Schools' "News & Events" pagefollowing us on Twitter, and subscribing to our YouTube channel. Content is posted throughout the week and gives you inside access to the classrooms, students and teachers at our schools, as well as interesting topics in education. 
New! "Education Green Nation" Blog 

A group of students at Gateway Middle School is working to educate their peers and teachers about the need to reduce plastic waste. Guided by their teacher, Ms. Arsenault, the students meet weekly to learn about the role plastic plays in increasing global warming. In addition to doing research and gathering data around the school, the group will create an action plan to help make Gateway more environmentally sustainable. 
Logo design by student illustrator, Jacob C. 

We encourage you to follow the students' progress by bookmarking their new blog, which is hosted on the Gateway Middle School website. "Education Green Nation" is run entirely by the students, each of whom plays a unique role in designing original content to share with the greater community. 
Faculty "Wish List" 

One of the easiest ways to support our schools is to donate physical resources and/or skills. The following "Wish List" is a sampling of some of the things our teachers and students currently need. 

To contribute, please contact the individual listed below or The Development Office at 415.749.3600 x16 or Tina McGovern
  • Tissues, pencils, pencil erasers for ongoing replenishment of the Gateway Middle School Learning Center supplies. Also, fun pretty pencils to give away as prizes to students; a set of 16 calculators and solid rulers (not clear). Donations to buy sets of leveled books for literature circles. Please contact Melissa Higgins. 
  • A small fridge to help provide healthy food for students who may have missed breakfast before coming to school. Also, small paper cups. Please contact Joanne Wells
  • Noise reduction headphones to help students with focus and attention: 3M Bullseye 9 ($11.70 each). They can be found on Also, cushion seats (Isokinetics, Inc. Brand Exercise Disc/Balance Cushion, 14" diameter) and Therabands of various lengths, heavy resistance. Please contact Jude Wolf
  • Donations of books or funds to help build up the young adult library at Gateway High School for the Humanities 11 independent reading program. Please contact Jeff Sprague
GPS with tagline
Therese ArsenaultDavid JacksonPota Perimenis
Beth BerlinerAmy JosephJackie Quella
Allison Bhusri
Hut LandonSue Schultes
*Cathy DeanSusan MastoSuzanne Schutte
Mark Felton*Lisille MathesonLaura Spivy
Amanda GoldmanJoyce McMinn
Phil Susser
Erika Goncalves*Gale Mondry
*Peter Thorp
Greg Grossman
Erin Niehaus
Greg Toler
Scott GuttermanSharon OlkenJennifer Tulley
Deundra HundonWill ParishKatherine Welch
      Briana Zelaya

 *denotes Emeritus Trustee

Links to Stories In This Issue
Project Week 2013
Scenes from a Midsummer Night's Dream
Annual Web of Religious Tolerance Exhibition
Gators of the Month
Gateway's Annual Auction: Thank You
Gateway In The News
Education Green Nation Blog
Gateway Faculty "Wish List"
Calendar At-A-Glance
Gateway on Facebook
Griffin Students of the Month
Gateway High School Honor Roll
Support Gateway
 2/23              Gateway's Annual Auction
 3/1               Grade 6 Academy of Science Trip
 3/10              Daylight Saving Time Begins
 3/11              GMS: No School
 3/21-22        GMS: 6th Grade Camping Trip
 3/25-29         No School: Spring Break 
 4/26              GHS: Mid-Quarter 4
 5/3-5            GHS: Student Retreat

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Gateway Middle School
Students of the Month (Jan.)

Each month, Gateway Middle School teachers honor a student in their class who exemplifies one of the school's core values: Responsibility,  Excellence, 
Community,  and Respect. 
The students receive a certificate and special recognition at a school-wide assembly. 
Last month, the following students 
were honored: 
Georgia G., Andy H., Emilio L., Riley M., Nicole N., Zari R., Selascie S.
Ana A., Cristal C., Alexis C., Emmanuel G., Tyler G., Tadhg Murphy., Sophia P., Christian P., Zoe P., Emma R., Allen Y.
Akira C., Cristal C., Alexis C., Geronimo D., Tyler G., Sophia P., Jack S., Zac S., Sophie W., Olivia W. 

Congratulations, Griffins! 
Gateway High School Honor Roll
Fall Semester 2012

52% of Gateway High School students made the honor roll for the first semester of the 2012-2013 academic year. The names of each student and are now on display in the main hall of the school. 
Congratulations, Gators!
Support Gateway

There are many ways that you can support Gateway. We invite you to view the full list on our website by clicking here

To make a one-time donation, 

To make a recurring donation, 
Sign up for eScrip and Help Gateway Today!

We know you're out there shopping: groceries, gifts, the works. Now you can shop and give to Gateway at the same time - simple! Before you walk out the door today, be sure to:


  • Click
  • Register the Gateway ID #: 500029728 and your grocery club card or credit/debit card

eScrip does the rest. A portion of your purchases is automatically donated back to Gateway. It's that easy!

Support a Gateway Family & Gateway! 

Purchase FruitGuys TakeHome products and earn money for Gateway Public Schools with every box you receive. The FruitGuys is a South San Francisco-based family business run by Gateway Middle School parents and founded in 1998. Use the coupon codes below to donate 10% of your purchase directly to your student's school as part of the on-going fundraiser. 
GATE-MS for the Middle School
GATE-HS for the High School
Click here to order your fresh produce or call 1-877-378-4863
Coupon valid for 2012-2013 academic year