Faculty & Staff Directory

Kirsty Gipson
Gateway Middle School
Humanities & Learning Seminar Teacher / Instructional Coach
Biography

Kirsty first came to Gateway in 2001, teaching humanities at the high school and after a 3 year return to Britain came back to join the middle school. Prior to Gateway, she taught in public middle schools in Edinburgh, Scotland, across Australia and in London. She earned her bachelor's degree in English Studies at Stirling University, Scotland, her Master of Arts in Women's Studies at The University of York, England and her teaching diploma at Edinburgh University in Scotland. When not working on behalf of her students, Kirsty enjoys exploring California with her husband,  two young daughters and her puppy Molly.

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Diego Gutierrez (he/him/his)
Gateway High School
Environmental Science & Computer Science Teacher
Biography

Diego is originally from Los Angeles County. He is excited to teach science at Gateway after his experience being a student teacher at Gateway for the 2020-2021 academic year. He just finished his MAT degree at the University of San Francisco in May and is excited to begin his first full-time teaching position. Diego loves sharing his excitement and awe of scientific phenomena with students and making connections between the classroom and everyday life. He also enjoys skateboarding, playing musical instruments, and playing video games.

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Erika Maria Hapa (she/her/hers)
Gateway High School
Counseling Intern
Biography

Erika is excited to be joining Gateway as a Counseling intern. She was born in SF and mainly raised in Daly City. She received her undergraduate degree in Human Development from UC Davis and has spent most of her professional life thus far in social services and educational nonprofit settings. After 4 years of working at St. Anthony Foundation in the Tenderloin neighborhood, she found a passion in working with high school-aged youth and decided to pursue a career in the School Counseling field. She is currently a 2nd-year USF School Counseling and Professional Clinical Counseling student. She completed an internship at an elementary school at Jefferson Elementary School District this past year and is now looking forward to interning at Gateway, learning from and collaborating with the whole community. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, going on walks/hikes, trying different food spots, and spending time with friends and family.

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Erin Hartfield (she/her/hers)
Gateway High School
Academic Interventionist/Instructional Leader
Biography

Erin Hartfield is a social justice advocate and veteran special educator who has an ability to foster connections with students and staff and enact change.

As a National Board Certified, Special Education teacher, she led the department at one of the largest comprehensive Middle Schools in her district. As the youngest leader and first woman of color to hold that position, she worked hard to create structure within the department that helped ALL students to feel a sense of belonging and make progress on educational goals. Erin also led a department of up to 26 teachers and paraprofessionals for the school's special education department to be able to do their best and thrive in their positions.

Erin has spoken at many educational conferences, most recently the Powerful Learners Conference. Erin is passionate about using the opportunities given to her to develop young people. From those different roles she was able to see what young people needed and more importantly the power behind youth voice.

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Paul Heasman
Gateway High School
Humanities and AP US History Teacher
Biography

Mr. Heasman teaches AP US History and 10th grade Humanities. He came to Gateway in the Spring of 2013 to teach 9th grade, and previously taught at public schools in Berkeley and Pacifica. He holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology & Communications Studies from London Guildhall University, and an M.A. in World History and a teaching credential from SF State. Mr. Heasman grew up in England but has been a resident of the City since 1997. He is a lifelong sufferer of Arsenal FC's tendency to always pass and never shoot, but in recent years his son has taught him the joys of suffering the Giants as well.

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Jesse Helland (he/him)
Gateway High School
Art and Humanities Teacher
Biography

Jesse, Art and AP English Teacher, graduated from Gateway High School in 2009 and San Francisco State University in 2014. After earning a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, he entered into the field of community mental health, working first with elders, then adults, and finally with transitional age youth. In 2019, Jesse completed the Secondary Education Credential Program where he earned an English Language Arts credential. Jesse began working at Gateway in 2021 while adding a second credential to teach visual art. He is grateful and excited to have the opportunity to teach both of his passions at Gateway during the 22/23 school year. In his free time, Jesse loves to read, write, rock climb, make art and music, and spend time with his fiance and dog.

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Suzanne Herko (she/her)
Gateway Middle School
Humanities and Learning Seminar Teacher/ GPS Impact Coordinator
Biography

Suzanne first came to Gateway in 1999, teaching humanities at the high school and most recently helping to design and start the middle school. Prior to Gateway, she taught at the Liceo Internacional in Quito, Ecuador as well as public middle schools in New York City, New York. She earned her bachelor's degree in history, concentrating in women's history, at Stanford University and her Master of Arts in Teaching Social Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University. When not working on behalf of her students, Suzanne enjoys exploring the world with her husband and two children.

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Marcy Hernandez (she/her)
Gateway Middle School
Assistant Principal
Biography

Marcy moved from Florida to the Bay in 2003 and is proud to have her family call the bay their home. She started her career in education 13 years ago as a college counselor and became a teacher after 3 years. She earned her bachelors from UC Berkeley in Ethnic Studies and Education and her Masters in education from the Aspire Teacher Residency Program at the University of the Pacific. She spends her all of her free time going on adventures with her 4 and 7 year old.

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Chris Hero
Gateway Public Schools
Chief Operating Officer
Biography

Chris is the Chief Operations Officer at Gateway Public Schools. He has over 10 years of senior management experience for corporations and non-profit organizations in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Previously Chris served as Chief Operating Officer for Stanford Schools Corporation. Chris received a BA in History from Santa Clara University and an MBA from Boston University’s Graduate School of Management. When not working, Chris travels as much as possible, preferably to places on paths less traveled. Having played for his college team, Chris is also an avid tennis player.

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Kenonte Howard (he/him)
Gateway High School
Student Support Coordinator
Biography

Kenonte joins Gateway after a three-year stint as the Student Support Specialist at his former elementary school, Cambridge. He is a graduate from Sacramento State where he also played football after transferring from New Mexico State. Once he graduated college he worked a multitude of jobs before finally chasing his dream which was to work with children of different ages. For the past five years he has been able to coach football and basketball at Vanden High, where he also graduated from. He is very enthusiastic when it comes to mentoring youth and enjoys the challenge of a new situation and environment to work within the city of San Francisco.

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Lawrenzo Howell (he/him/his)
Gateway High School
Humanities 9 Teacher
Biography

Originally from Chicago, Mr. Howell is ecstatic to be a part of the Gateway family. As a Humanities 9 teacher, Mr. Howell seeks to elevate the voices, perspectives, and histories of his students and their communities to create a classroom that is inclusive, safe, and welcoming. Outside of the classroom, Mr. Howell enjoys reading, watching Reality TV, baking, spending time with family and friends, and traveling. 

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