Faculty & Staff Directory

Justin Berthiaume
Gateway High School
Science Teacher
Biography

Justin Berthiaume teaches Environmental Science and AP Environmental Science, and led the creative team to design and construct the Gateway Garden. He has also taught Biology and Physical Science at Gateway. Prior to teaching, Mr. Berthiaume served for 7 years as a landscape architect and park planner for the National Park Service. He also worked as a professional musician and artist manager in Boston. Mr. Berthiaume completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Massachusetts, and obtained his Masters in Teaching from the University of San Francisco. His passion is everything science, everything music, and everything Earth.

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Mina Bluethenthal (she/her)
Gateway High School
Student Teacher
Biography

Mina graduated from Gateway High School in 2016 where she was first inspired to pursue a career in Education. After receiving her BA in English Ed from Cal State Long Beach in 2020, she served with Americorp’s City Year in South Central Los Angeles. Mina has returned to San Francisco to pursue her Master’s in Urban Education and Social Justice at USF and began working at Gateway in January of 2022 as a 1:1 ninth-grade para while simultaneously completing her student teaching hours in a ninth-grade Humanities class at Gateway. She is excited to move up to 10th grade with her students and take on a bigger role in her last semester of student teaching so that she can obtain her ELA credential by the end of the semester. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, being in nature, and spending time with friends.

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Velina Brown (she/her)
Gateway High School
Drama/Art Teacher
Biography

Velina Brown is an actor/singer/director who is pleased to join the amazing Gateway faculty and staff and share her 25 years of theater arts experience with this community. Ms. Brown is a member of Actors Equity Association and the ScreenActorsGuild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Her artistic home is the San Francisco Mime Troupe with whom she acts, directs, co creates and co artistic directs. She has toured across the country and to Europe and Asia with the Troupe. You may have also seen her at ACT, Berkeley Rep, Cal Shakes, SF Playhouse and many other theaters around the Bay. You may also find her on film and television and voicing video games and meditation apps. Brown attended SF State on a vocal scholarship and earned a BA in Psychology and an MS in Marriage Family Child Counseling. She also enjoys living life and going on adventures with her husband and son.

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Ezra Buck (he/him)
Gateway Middle School
Humanities Teacher
Biography

Ezra was born and raised in Spokane, Washington, but his mother’s family is Chetco (Southern Oregon coast) and Morongo (Southern California). He attended the University of San Francisco for his undergraduate degree in English as well as his Master’s in teaching. He is the grandchild and cousin of Indian Boarding School survivors, and is passionate about making school a place where Black and Native students in particular feel safe, integral, and scholarly.

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Christopher Budz (he/him)
Gateway High School
Resource Specialist
Biography

Christopher “X” is a resource specialist teacher at Gateway for 9th grade students. He is from Providence, Rhode Island and earned his B.A. at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst before moving to San Francisco. He taught English as a Second Language for several years and was previously a resource specialist teacher at Independence High School. He is a California native plants enthusiast and enjoys cycling, swimming and backpacking. He also loves watercolor painting, cooking and baking and is especially fond of dark chocolate. 

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Amanda Buechele
Gateway Middle School
7th Grade Math Teacher, Advisory Lead
Biography

Amanda was born and raised in the Chicagoland area. She attended Saint Louis University, where she majored in economics and mathematics. She began teaching in 2019 and received her teaching credential in secondary mathematics education from Loyola Marymount University. She advises a Girls Who Code club and is involved in leading and planning advisory.

 

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Cal Calamia (they/he)
Gateway High School
9th Grade Seminar/Yearbook and Journalism Teacher
Biography

Calamia does lots of things at Gateway– from international travel to work on the Equity Coalition Team to health education! They are super excited for the inaugural Yearbook and Journalism class, which will support students in developing practical skills in photography, design, and journalism. Other passions include poetry, marathoning, run coaching, the management of a non-profit organization that supports gender-expansive youth, piecing together a second book, and activism for more gender-inclusive spaces in sports and beyond.

 

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Calla Chenelle (she/her)
Gateway High School
Substitute and Support Teacher
Biography

Calla Chenelle is the substitute & support teacher at Gateway High this year. She grew up in San Diego going to charter schools just like Gateway! She started out as a TA at her local community college, then went on to facilitating a queer theory class at UC Berkeley, and last year taught 5th grade in Daly City. Calla is passionate about uplifting students and helping them reach their goals.

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Kia Clark
Gateway Middle School
Dean of Students
Biography

Kia is a native of the Bay Area.  She graduated from Loyola Marymount University where she earned a B.A. in Communication Studies with minors in African-American Studies and Studio Arts, as well as, a Master of Arts in Education. Prior to Gateway she taught 6th grade English in OUSD, and worked in the District of Columbia as a teacher and curriculum writer. In her free time she enjoys attending sporting events and concerts.

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Elizabeth Colen
Gateway Middle School
8th Grade Humanities and Learning Seminar Teacher
Biography

Elizabeth joined the Gateway Middle School team as a founding teacher in 2011; though some may say she rejoined the Gateway team as she is a proud alumna of Gateway High School. Elizabeth has a degree in History with an emphasis in United States history, and a Masters of Education from Whittier College. In her many years at Gateway, she has coached volleyball, served as the advisory lead and student council adviser. While not teaching, you can find her spending time with her daughter, running the trails of Golden Gate Park, practicing yoga, reading a good book or traveling to a new place.

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