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Gateway School

Mission Statement

At Gateway we believe that the purpose of education goes far beyond teaching only academics. We prepare our students to become responsible, contributing members of our world community. We foster self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-discipline; the ability to cooperate, collaborate, and resolve conflicts; a desire to excel, to create, and to contribute; and a commitment to personal, social and environmental responsibility.

  • To challenge students with a rich and engaging academic program
  • To prepare students for future success - in school and beyond
  • To encourage students to give their personal best
  • To develop character and a commitment to personal, social and environmental responsibility
  • To inspire the passion for lifelong learning
  • intellectually curious and eager to learn
  • willing to formulate and investigate own questions
  • able to read and think critically
  • willing to participate meaningfully in classroom activity
  • able to work collaboratively in a group environment
  • able to express him or herself effectively in verbal, written and artistic forms
  • empathetic and considerate of others
  • able to take responsibility for actions
  • able to seek peaceful and cooperative solutions to problems
  • able to perform above grade level by national norms


Founded in 1970, Gateway School is an independent, nonprofit day school for kindergarten through eighth grade. Gateway’s founder, Hannelore Herbig believed that the school should provide quality education that is responsive to personal needs.

Gateway started as a private kindergarten with 10 students and quickly expanded adding faculty and several more elementary grades in the early 70s. Hannelore’s vision of creating an enriched and beautiful learning environment that focused on the whole child guided the school through its early development. In 1977, Gateway became a non-profit corporation and established a Board of Trustees.

By 1980, the school had preschool through 6th grade and during the '80s there were several campus configurations. Many talented faculty have worked at Gateway over the years and there are still faculty who worked with our founder remain on our staff today. In 1987, Ms. Herbig retired and Dr. Peter Lewis took over as Head of School.

Under Peter’s leadership the school expanded and achieved its first accreditation through CAIS and WASC. In 1990, the expanding elementary program moved to the Eucalyptus campus. The preschool stayed on another site. In 1991, the Middle School was established, adding 7th and 8th grades.

In 2000, as Gateway celebrated its 30th year we had 400 students preschool - 8th grade on three campuses. That year, Dr. Lewis left to take a headship at a school back East. Kathleen Warren served as interim Head for one year, until David Peerless was hired. After a decade of rapid growth, under David’s leadership the school looked toward a sustainable future by consolidating campuses and enhancing academic standards to ensure an exceptional educational program.

In 2008, David retired from a 30 year education career and Dr. Percy Abram was hired. Dr. Abram has guided the school through a strategic planning process, implementation of new curriculum, connecting with our expanding alumni community, and increasing our visibility as educational leaders in the Santa Cruz County community.

In 2010, we marked our 40th year through a series of "Acts of Kindness", giving back to our community through over 40 acts of community service and charitable support and in establishing a speaker’s series bringing internationally known educational speakers to benefit the larger community.

Today, our founder’s vision of a school where children are engaged and passionate about learning is still alive in every classroom.



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