Present
This decade, Gateway embraced its role and identity as a local thought leader in education.

  • Innovations introduced in the past years:
    • 2010: Mindfulness was integrated as a key program element
    • 2010: Voices Literature and Character Education, a consistent personal development program was introduced to the classrooms.
    • 2012: The first one-to-one technology program was launched in the Middle School.
    • 2013: The Discovery Center, our makerspace and fabrication lab, was created. Learn more here.
    • 2016: The RULER program for emotional intelligence was introduced, with a focus on the Four Anchor Tools. Learn more here.
    • 2016: The Innovative Furniture Initiative began to rethink the classroom furniture as a third leg along with instruction and curriculum.
    • 2018: The Middle School implemented an Advisory program rooted in the Origins program from Developmental Designs.
  • In 2010 the school marked its 40th year with “40 Acts of Kindness”, giving back to our community a year-long commitment to community service and charitable support.
  • In 2011 Gateway established the Speaker Series to bring internationally known educational speakers to Santa Cruz. Guests have included Dr. John Medina, Dr. Dan Siegel, and Dr. Wendy Mogul.
  • In 2014 Dr. Zachary Roberts became our fifth Head of School when Dr. Percy Abram took a headship at the Bush School (WA). Dr. Roberts is a committed educational leader who brings a wealth of administrative and teaching experience, a growth mindset and a passion for life-long learning.
  • In 2015 Gateway rearticulated its mission statement and created a new strategic framework called Embracing our Future.
  • Gateway School hosted the inaugural Santa Cruz Mini Maker Faire in 2016.
  • In 2016 the school began a major curriculum update. The math curriculum was replaced, with Bridges in the Elementary Division and College Preparatory Math at the Middle School. The ELA curriculum began to integrate Writer’s Workshop and Word Study with over a dozen teachers receiving training at Columbia University’s Teacher College. Interdisciplinary projects and authentic service learning are emphasized.
The 2000's
After a decade of rapid growth, Gateway School looked toward a sustainable future by consolidating the Middle School onto the Eucalyptus campus, and eliminating the preschool program.

  • In 2000 Assistant Head of School Kathleen Warren served as interim Head of School when Dr. Peter Lewis departed for a headship on the East Coast.
  • Gateway celebrated its 35th year in 2005 with 400 students in preschool – 8th grade on three campuses. (the Middle School had been relocated to Harvey West Blvd. and the preschool remained at the Cayuga Campus until 2001).
  • In 2001 David Peerless became the third Head of School. He enhanced academic standards to ensure an exceptional educational program, and introduced new school traditions based around the sowing and harvest in our Life Lab.
  • In 2008 Dr. Percy Abram become the fourth Head of School when David Peerless retired from a 30 year education career. Dr. Abram guided the school through a strategic planning process, connecting with our expanding alumni community, and increasing our visibility as educational leaders in the Santa Cruz County community.
The 1990's
Gateway School expanded its program to include a Middle School, established our Life Lab and became the only CAIS accredited K-8 school in Santa Cruz.

  • The expanding elementary program moved from the Melrose and Roxis sites to the Eucalyptus campus, while the preschool remained at the Cayuga location.
  • The Middle School was formally established in 1991, with the addition of 7th and 8th grade.
  • The Gateway Life Lab was permanently established as a quarter acre garden-based interdisciplinary program in 1992. Over time the Life Lab’s infrastructure was built out to include an outdoor kitchen, pond, wood-fired oven, greenhouse, biofiltration ponds, and much more. Read more about our best-in-class offering here.
  • The school received accreditation through both the California Association of Schools (CAIS) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), which it has continuously held since.
The 1980's
Gateway School now served grades K-6.

  • The school experienced yet another expansion in 1982, adding three classrooms at the Baptist Church on Roxas St.
  • In 1987 Dr. Peter Lewis became the second Head of School. Hannelore Herbig retired, and she and her husband moved to Hawaii.
The 1970's
The school grew steadily through the 1970’s, adding both preschool and elementary classes and teachers. Hannelore’s vision of an enriched and beautiful learning environment that focused on the whole child guided the school through its early development.

  • The school moved to Trinity Presbyterian Church on Melrose Ave. in Santa Cruz in 1970.
  • Hannelore renamed the program Gateway School.
  • The school’s bird-on-the-gate logo was designed by Cynthia Matthews, former Mayor of Santa Cruz, whose child was in the first Kindergarten class.
  • In 1977 Gateway School became a non-profit corporation and established a Board of Trustees.
  • The Family Association was also created in 1977.
  • With no more space to grow at the Melrose site, the school added classrooms at Grace Methodist Church on Cayuga St. in 1979.
  • Memorable purchases that year included the first school van, and six Commodore Pet computers for the library.
1969
Gateway School was launched by Hannelore Herbig, an experienced Kindergarten teacher from Germany.

  • Initially the school rented space in the Unitarian Church in Aptos and was called Aptos Creative Kindergarten.
  • The first class had 10 students. By the end of the first year, Hannelore decided the school needed a bigger and more centrally located facility.