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 eNewsletter | December 2012 | Issue No. 4 *Special Holiday Edition!*
Sharon Olken Headshot 

In this special holiday edition of The Gate, we introduce you to three Gateway students: Kiara, Omar and Santiago. Like many of their peers, these three students have overcome significant challenges on their way to academic success at Gateway. They each demonstrate incredible commitment to their educations and to their futures.  Omar, Kiara and Santiago can often be found in our after school tutoring programs, our Learning Centers, or in extra meetings with their teachers. They do whatever it takes to be successful, and they find the support they need at Gateway. 


At the same time, these young people are also committed to much more.  Talking with Omar, you immediately understand how much responsibility he assumes for the success of his two younger siblings.  Kiara's leadership around issues of race engenders important and fruitful dialogues on our campus that make Gateway a better school for everyone. And, Santiago is our young tech guru; as a seventh grader, he already has a great grasp of the potential and power of innovation. 


These three students represent hundreds of others at Gateway.  Gateway students are scholars and artists and activists and athletes and leaders of tomorrow.  They make us proud, and we hope that you feel a sense of accomplishment as well.  As we reflect on 2012, we are thankful for our incredible community of families, alumni, donors and friends.  You each make a difference in the lives of our students.  Thank you!


Sharon Signature  
Sharon Olken
Executive Director, Gateway Public Schools
Gateway High School Student Profile:
Kiara C. 

Of her success at Gateway, Kiara says simply, "You just have to be really invested in your education." That investment has paid off for the high school senior, who was one of the first girls to join the Burl Toler Scholars, an academic program at Gateway High School that encourages African-American students to help keep their grades up through after-school tutoring and peer-based support groups. Through a combination of what Kiara credits as "really good time management" and strong relationships with her teachers, she has kept her grades up and is pursuing challenging courses, such as Business Math, Honors Spanish and Pre-Calculus. 


In addition to being a Burl Toler Scholar, Kiara is also the founder of a discussion group at Gateway, which convenes a small group of students to examine issues of race - in education and the community at large. Recently, she hosted a lunch-time speaker series in which her father and a friend came to Gateway High School to share their experiences as members of the Black Panther group. Kiara also leads a five day, four night trip to Walker Creek each year with students from the Claire Lillianthal school, which she loves because it gives her an opportunity to make connections with younger students who look up to her. 


As a result of her leadership skills and academic excellence, Kiara received a highly competitive scholarship from Students Rising Above, an organization that provides financial support, mentorship and resources to low-income students. The program will help guide Kiara through the college application process and hopefully to USC, her dream school. 


Still, she has a few more months of senior year to go before college, which has made her reflect on her time at Gateway. "It's small and really diverse and family-oriented," she enthused. "You can genuinely see that every single teacher cares about your success in life. I've honestly never seen a school like this before."  

Gateway High School Student Profile: 
Omar A.

Omar exemplifies Gateway High School's motto to "Step Up. Do Right. Dream Big." His first day at Gateway High School was also his first day of school in the United States, having left El Salvador to pursue the dream of being the first in his family to go to college. He worked hard, immersing himself in his studies despite also having to work over fifteen hours a week to help support himself and his younger siblings, to whom he holds himself accountable as a role model. "It's like being blindfolded," he says of being the first-born. "I have to help my siblings by paving the way."




Omar did more than just pave the way for his younger brother and sister. His sacrifices and hard work led him to excel in AP-level and honors coursework, for which he has a GPA that puts him in the top of his class. Last spring, he was among the 20% of test-takers who received a "4" on the AP US History exam and he has his sights on becoming valedictorian this year. 


In October, Omar shared his story as the student speaker for the 10th Anniversary "Matters of the Mind" Gateway Public Schools luncheon, earning him a standing ovation from an audience of six hundred attendees. He credited Gateway with creating a supportive environment in which all students are known and can achieve their fullest potential. His teachers, he says, were always available to ensure that, despite the challenges, he never gave up on his education. To view a recording of his inspiring speech, please click here. 


His dreams are pointing him now in the direction of medical school or a degree in communications, hopefully at Georgetown, Vassar or another small, rigorous liberal arts college where the interactions between students and professors can be as dynamic as those at Gateway. To prepare, he spent last summer taking college-level courses at the University of Delaware, which showed him that he is ready to challenge himself even more over the next four years. When asked how he feels about leaving his siblings - who are currently thriving at Gateway Middle School, in part due to Omar's support over the past four years - Omar is proud yet resolute. "It's time for them to start growing for themselves so that, one day, they can go farther even than I did. I know that they can be anything they want to be."

Gateway Middle School Student Profile: 
Santiago D.


 In his second year at Gateway Middle School, Santiago has already made a name for himself. "One of the most important things for us, as educators, is to help students carve out an identity while they're here," Jude Wolf, Director of the Learning Center said. "Santiago has really done that. His peers see him as a leader and teachers love his enthusiasm for leadership roles."


One of the leadership roles Santiago has taken on is that of "technology guru" at Gateway Middle School. He's known as an avid computer user and loves to both play and design his own videogames in his spare time. When he grows up, he hopes that he'll be involved "in computers", possibly at one of the local Silicon Valley companies he follows so closely. In what capacity? "As a CEO," Santiago replies, without hesitation. 


We have no doubt he'll get there. 

Save The Date! 
Gateway Public Schools' Annual Auction: "Gateway To The World"

Spend some quality time with the Gateway community at our 5th annual fundraising auction - Gateway to the World! This fun-filled night is the perfect opportunity to enjoy scrumptious appetizers, beer, and wine (included in the ticket price), bid on a wide variety of items in the silent and live auctions, and help ensure that every Gateway student continues to have the resources needed to thrive in middle school, high school, college, and beyond.


We can't do it without you so save the date and get involved!


Event Details


When: Saturday, February 23, 2013, 6-10PM

Where: Scottish Rite Masonic Center (2850 19th Ave. near Sloat)  

Who: All Gateway parents, guardians, staff, and supporters ages 21+  

Why: A Gateway Public School education is truly a "gateway to the world." The annual auction is the biggest parent-led fundraiser, and all the money raised goes to support vital programs like tutoring, Project Week, college counseling, sports, art, and lots more.  

What you can do: Tickets and more information will be available soon. In the meantime, please consider volunteering for a committee (sign-up lists are on School Pages), and soliciting items for either the silent or live auction.  


Click here to be taken to our website, where you'll find resources to help with solicitations. Feel free to contact co-chairs Julie Thompson or Mary Glassanos with questions or suggestions.

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. 
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 Development Office at 415.749.3600 x16 or Tina McGovern
  • Dry erase markers (a variety of colors) and erasers for the GHS Learning Center
  • Donations to help the GHS Environmental Science students go on a research trip to Yosemite with NatureBridge. For more information, please visit Mr. Berthiaume's website
  • Plain white t-shirts for Gateway High School's Gay Straight Alliance student organization, which will be screenprinting an original logo on to them and selling them as a fundraiser. Donations to cover the cost of printing are welcome as well.
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
Students wear pajamas for Gateway High School's Spirit Week
Links to Stories In This Issue
Student Profile: Kiara C.
Student Profile: Omar A.
Student Profile: Santiago D.
Save The Date: Annual Auction
Gateway In The News
Gateway Faculty "Wish List"
Calendar At-A-Glance
New! Gateway on Facebook
Griffin Students of the Month
Support Gateway
 12/17-21        GMS/GHS Finals Week
 12/24-1/4      No School: Winter Break!
 1/7                 GMS: No School
                       GHS: Minimum Day with 
                       Project Week Students
 1/8                GMS: First Day Second Semester
 1/8-15           GHS: Project Week
 1/15              GMS: School Spelling Bee
 1/16              GHS: No School
 1/21              No School: MLK Jr. Day

NEW! "Like" us on Facebook

Gateway Public Schools is now Facebook! By "liking" our Facebook page, you can get more of the photos, stories and videos you love from The Gate delivered to you daily.  

CLICK HERE to go to our
Facebook page

Gateway Alumni can also join our Facebook Group to stay in touch with friends and former teachers.  

Gateway Middle School
Students of the Month (Nov.)

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: 
Alyssa F., Sarah L.,  Langdon L., Malvia L., Habiba O., William Q., Miguel S., Jakelin S., Jordin W., Ashli W.
Jason B., Alejandro B., Guadalupe C., Kevin C., Jada M., Fiona M., Sophia P., Amari S., Ashli W.
 Rosa A., Lillian A., Emely C., Matthew D., David G. 
  Jada M., Sophia P.

Congratulations, Griffins! 
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, 

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