Faculty & Staff Directory

Madalene Smith (she/her)
Gateway High School
Paraeducator
Biography

Madalena has lived in San Francisco for just over a year and is a grad student at the University of San Francisco. Madalena feels most comfortable and fulfilled in an academic environment - especially one as welcoming and inspiring as Gateway High School! She feels excited and privileged to be able to support and learn from the wonderful students at Gateway High this school year.

- Collapse
Alix Spivack
Gateway High School
Environment Science Teacher
Biography

Alix Spivack teaches Environmental Science 9 at Gateway High School.  A graduate of Middlebury College with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Economics, Alix completed two credentialing programs at UC Berkeley Extension while undertaking post-graduate studies in the biological sciences at UC San Diego.  Prior to the classroom, Alix served as an environmental consultant for 10 years followed by 7 years working in education including as Executive Director of an environmental education non-profit organization.  Alix is excited to be teaching 9th graders the wonders of the natural world… in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond!  A San Francisco native, she enjoys sweep rowing on a coached team, open ocean kayaking, quality family time, and trail hikes with her dog.

- Collapse
Jeff Sprague
Gateway High School
Humanities Teacher, Instructional Lead
Biography

Jeff Sprague teaches Humanities 11 and Civics at Gateway. He earned his BA in American Studies from Yale and an MA from the University of Texas at Austin. He also received his MA in Education from Stanford. Jeff has been teaching for eleven years and brings a passion for issues of social justice to his teaching of American literature, history and government. When he is not teaching, Jeff enjoys playing guitar and hanging out with his family.

- Collapse
Whitney Starks
Gateway High School
Student Teacher - Science
Biography

Whitney Starks is from Sacramento, CA and is a student at SF State in the single subject credential program. Whitney studied abroad in Costa Rica in 2007 and wants to go back to visit the rainforest and see the amazing animals– maybe on a conservation project as well! Whitney wants to protect the environment and restore the rainforest, and bike a lot during her program at SF State.

- Collapse
Chris Stone
Gateway High School
Math Teacher
Biography

Chris (Geometry, Precalculus, Calculus) grew up in DC but had his first teaching experiences in the great city of Baltimore, MD. Yes, the city from The Wire. Chris moved to SF in 2016 to follow the California Dream like many others. Chris has taught middle school and high school in SFUSD and loved every day of it. He is excited to teach at Gateway. His focus will be building connections with students who don’t always have their voices heard, and giving them an outlet to shine. He intends to start a music production club (beat making/rapping) and to help out with the already-established skate club. 

- Collapse
Juliana Valencia (she/her)
Gateway High School
Spanish Teacher
Biography

Juliana is ecstatic to join the Gateway family as a Spanish teacher. She grew up in Richmond, CA. She majored in Spanish Language & Culture at Simpson University. Juliana has taught ESL in China and in Oakland, California. She has also taught Spanish at her former high school LPS-Richmond. Outside of school, Juliana enjoys traveling, photography, museums & creating playlists on a monthly basis. 

- Collapse
Aaron Watson (he/him)
Gateway Public Schools
Director of Schools and Partnerships
Biography

Aaron Watson is our Director of Partnerships. Aaron formerly served as GMS' principal and is proud to have worked with teachers, families, and students to found Gateway Middle School in 2011. Prior to becoming principal, Aaron led the advisory program and taught humanities at Gateway High School for seven years and worked in a wraparound social services program for children and families involved in foster care in Alameda County. He earned a BA from Brown University and an MA in Education from UC Berkeley. Aaron also earned an MA in Educational Leadership from UC Berkeley's Principal Leadership Institute. Outside of Gateway, Aaron enjoys getting outdoors, traveling, and spending time with his family.

- Collapse
Rebecca Wieder (she/her)
Gateway High School
Co-Principal
Biography

Rebecca works to develop a cohesive, equity-oriented approach to teaching and learning through her role as Co-Principal. Before coming to Gateway, Rebecca taught humanities at Oakland Technical High School and earned her M.Ed. from UC Berkeley's Multicultural Urban Secondary English (MUSE) Program. She received her BA from Brown University, majoring in American Studies and Latin American Studies. Outside the classroom, Rebecca can be found exploring San Francisco's wild places with her husband and two young children.

- Collapse