Faculty & Staff Directory

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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Devin Cotter
Gateway Middle School
8th Grade Math Teacher
Biography

Devin was born and raised in Ventura, California. She attended University of San Francisco where she earned her BS in Mathematics and Masters in Teaching. Devin joined the Gateway community in 2019 as the math interventionist and will now be teaching 8th grade math. She is eager to share her love for math with her students!

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Jai David (she/her/ella)
Gateway Middle School
Principal
Biography

Jai (or Principal Jai) is a youth-serving BIPOC leader from the Bay Area who fervently, passionately, and relentlessly anchors her approach towards education for liberation in abolitionist practices. 

She has worked with young people since 2002 as a mentor, camp counselor, public school science teacher, teacher leader, national conference presenter and workshop facilitator, and an administrator.

She leads with love, equity, and justice at the center and is unapologetic about her anti-racist, pro-Black, pro-Women, pro-Trans, and pro-people principles. She is committed to decolonizing education for all young people, especially those who have been marginalized and oppressed by white supremacist culture. Jai leads with the unwavering belief that people and systems can change given the optimal environment, resources and a powerful vision.

In her spare time, Jai loves reading, spending quality time with loved ones, being outdoors (running, walking, hiking), swimming in the ocean (not the Pacific), and being a song selector!

 

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Mackenzie Day (she/her)
Gateway Middle School
8th Grade Science Teacher
Biography

Mackenzie was born in Mishawaka, Indiana and grew up in NC, MD, and IN. She attended Indiana University where she earned her BS in Education. Mackenzie began working with students in 2016 and this is her fourth year at Gateway teaching 8th grade science. She is extremely excited to inspire a love of science and creative exploration in her students. In her free time, she loves to cook, make music, spend time exploring the parks of San Francisco, practice yoga, and buy plants every time she leaves the house!

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Melissa Díaz (she/her/ella)
Gateway High School
Humanities Teacher
Biography

Melissa (Meli) Díaz grew up in San Mateo and teaches 9th grade Humanities at Gateway High School. She double majored in History and International Relations at Stanford University, and spent a lot of time thinking she was going to be a immigrant’s rights lawyer. She fell in love with education after teaching in English in Madrid and New York City. She completed her Master’s in Education at Stanford Graduate School of Education, and spent three years teaching Ethnic Studies and World History in Redwood City. She is excited to join the Gateway community this year! In her free time, Meli loves dancing ballet folklorico, riding her bike through the city, spending time at local bookstores, and hanging out with her cat. 

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Cassandra Dougherty
Gateway Middle School
Director of Inclusive Learning
Biography

Cassandra is a proud San Francisco native! Cassandra began her teaching career as a New York City Teaching Fellow. After teaching at a school in the Bronx for five years, Cassandra worked as a coach for the Office of Inclusive Education in New York City. Upon returning to her hometown, Cassandra worked as a Content Specialist in the Special Education Department of San Francisco Unified School District. In her free time, she enjoys exploring all of the food, music, and culture San Francisco has to offer.

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John Eames
Gateway Public Schools
Director of Facilities
Biography

Originally hailing from Maine, John enjoys the great outdoors, including backpacking, cycling, and camping. Prior to joining Gateway, John worked in facilities and operations at an independent school for children with language-based learning differences. John holds an MFA from San Jose State and is an active local sculptor. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.

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Maribel Fernandez (she/her)
Gateway Middle School
Learning and Literacy Specialist
Biography

Maribel grew up in both the Bay Area and Central Valley. After teaching as the 6th grade learning specialist for 5 years at Gateway Middle School she transitioned to the Learning and Literacy Specialist where she provides reading intervention for students across all grade levels 6th-8th. Maribel holds a degree in psychology and a Master’s degree in special education. Maribel is committed to supporting student success in the classroom and in life. In her free time, she enjoys exploring new cities and restaurants, and spending time with family.

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Teagan Fors (she/her)
Gateway Middle School
7th Grade Math Teacher
Biography

Teagan was born and raised in Algonquin, IL, a Northwest suburb of Chicago. She attended Iowa State University where she received a BS in mathematics and her secondary teaching credential. She is new to the Gateway community this year, but has taught 8th grade math for 3 years in Oakland where she currently lives. When she is not teaching you can find her binge watching the latest TV series, reading a book with her coffee in the morning, or exploring the beautiful Bay Area.

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Chad Foskuhl (he/him/his)
Gateway Public Schools
Controller
Biography

Chad came to Gateway Public Schools in early 2012 with nearly a decade of non-profit accounting experience. Chad enjoys camping, movies, museums, and especially open-ended travel.

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