Faculty & Staff Directory

School
Department
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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Aimee Heckman
Gateway Middle School
Humanities and Learning Seminar Teacher
Biography

Aimee is originally from Chicago, IL. She moved to the east coast to attend the University of Connecticut. It was through UConn's Neag School of Education that Aimee obtained a dual bachelor's degree in History and Education and her Master of Arts in Secondary Social Studies Education. Prior to teaching at Gateway, Aimee taught at both public and magnet schools in Hartford, CT. Beyond teaching, Aimee loves to play tennis, attend concerts, and travel.

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Shira Helft
Gateway High School
Math Teacher
Biography

Shira teaches Algebra 2 and is the head of the Math Department at Gateway High School. Before living in San Francisco, she taught in Sunnyvale. Her true home is on the East Coast, where she grew up and earned her BA in Math and Philosophy from Yale University. Shira loves puzzles and puzzling things, great home-cooked meals and belting out Broadway showtunes at the top of her lungs. She also enjoys cooking and eating with friends as well as thinking about how other people think about challenging math problems.

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Suzanne Herko
Gateway Middle School
Humanities and Learning Seminar Teacher
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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Nancy Hernandez
Gateway Middle School
YMCA/GMS Site Coordinator/Teen Program Specialist
Chris Hero
Gateway Public Schools
Chief Operations 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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Melissa Higgins
Gateway Middle School
Resource Specialist
Biography

Melissa is a native Southern Californian and graduated from UCSD (BS) and SFSU (MA). Prior to Gateway, Melissa was an Education Specialist and SDC teacher in Oakland, CA. She loves data-driven instruction as well as teaching students how to become informed advocates. Outside of Gateway, she volunteers in youth-related non-profits and spends time outdoors. She also loves to knit, travel, and cook in her free time.

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Lucy Hilarides
Gateway Middle School
Humanities and Learning Seminar Teacher
Biography

Lucy joined the Gateway community as an eighth grade Humanities and Learning Seminar teacher in 2013. Before coming to Gateway, she taught eighth grade in Chicago and English in South Korea. She has a BA in English and Political Science from the University of North Carolina (Go Tarheels!) and a MA in Teaching from the University of Chicago’s Urban Teacher Education Program. In her free time you might find her cooking up some tasty food, going to a concert, or riding her bike around town.

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Albert Hill
Gateway High School
Math Teacher
Biography

Growing up in Baltimore, Albert wanted to be a scientist from a young age. After graduating from the Baltimore City Public School system, minus a few years in South Africa, he went on to major in Math and Music at Wesleyan University.  After college he moved to Oakland where, over the past 11 years, he has taught and tutored math, physics, yoga, and fire performance, consumed many cups of tea, and read a lot of good books. He likes understanding systems, plausibly imagined hypotheticals, and the unexpected.

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Racquel Huerta
Gateway Middle School
Resource Specialist
Biography

Racquel is originally from Southern California and has lived in San Francisco with her family since 2008. She has been a part of the Gateway family since 2011 as a Learning Specialist at Gateway Middle School. She is also a proud mom of two Gateway High School Gators (class of 2015 and class of 2018). Racquel earned her B.A. in History at Pt. Loma Nazarene University in San Diego and her M.A. in Special Education at SFSU. Outside of school Racquel enjoys traveling, music, reading, baseball games, and pilates.

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