Gateway School is led by its Board of Trustees and Head of School, who have distinct responsibilities, and who work collaboratively to achieve the school’s mission and goals. The all-volunteer Board of Trustees ranges in size from 12-25 members. Trustees are elected to three-year terms and are may remain on the Board for additional terms. The Head of School, a faculty representative, and the President of the Gateway Family Association attend all Board meetings.

The work of the Board is done primarily through its standing committees, as well as task forces that are convened from time to time to address specific issues. The current committees of the Board are:

  • Executive Committee
  • Development Committee
  • Trustee Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Personnel Committee
  • Facilities Committee

2021-2022 Board of Trustees


Jennifer Ellis President
(Parent of Louisiana ‘21, Julien ‘25) Jennifer grew up in Los Angeles, where she attended small, progressive, independent schools very similar to Gateway. She received a BA from Brown University in Comparative Literature and both an MA in Education and a Professional Clear Teaching Credential from Mills College.  She has worked as an elementary school and college-level teacher, a teacher trainer, and an educational researcher. Since the birth of her first child, she has been working as a SAHM. Jennifer serves on the Bay Area Advisory Board of New Leaders, a national nonprofit that prepares and supports education leaders.
Carol Pelletier Vice President
(Parent of Eva ’23) Carol grew up in the Santa Clara Valley - back when it was filled with fruit and walnut orchards. One of six children, she was raised in a close, extended family with strong ties to their immigrant community. Carol has lived in Santa Cruz for over twenty years and has been involved in various non-profits including Leadership Santa Cruz and Mariposa Arts. Carol began her career in a law firm while earning her B.A. in Business Administration from San Jose State University. She held leadership roles in several organizations including VP of Human Resources and Director of Business Development in legal, finance and high tech industries. Carol has led teams in both established organizations and rapidly growing startups. Currently, she is working as a human resources consultant and executive coach. In 2009, Carol and her husband, Eric, adopted their daughter, Eva through open adoption. Carol enjoys spending time with her family, being a parent volunteer, gardening, and traveling.
Trent Jones Secretary
(Parent of Grace ’20, Nathaniel ’23) Born and raised in northern California, Trent attended Wesleyan University and UC Santa Cruz where he studied Psychology and Theater.  He went on to live and work in London, San Francisco, New York City, and Los Angeles.  After 8 years of working in theater in New York and regionally, Trent attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and earned his Master's Degree in Film Production.  After an active fifteen year career in film and television, he was ready to come back to the redwoods and coast line of Santa Cruz.  He’s now the Chief Operating Officer for his third generation family business in golf course architecture, Robert Trent Jones II LLC. Trent loves to travel with his family and having adventures with his son and daughter.  Whether they are skiing, hiking, surfing, or just biking to school in the morning, Trent enjoys all the beauty and access to nature that Santa Cruz allows.
Ian Christie Treasurer
(Parent of Kennedy ‘25, Audrey ‘27, Elodie ‘30) Ian is a California native, born in Riverside and raised in Santa Cruz. He attended Cabrillo College, after which he chose to pursue a full-time career in the cycling industry. At the age of 24, he became owner of Summit Bicycles’ two shops. Since then, he has opened two additional locations, Summit’s online shop, acquired Trek Store San Jose, become a franchise owner of Beeline Bikes (a mobile bike repair service), and started San Jose Bike Rentals and Corporate Bike Solutions. Ian also sits on the Board of Directors of the cycling industry advocacy group, PeopleForBikes. He lives in Scotts Valley with his high school sweetheart, three daughters, one dog, two cats, and five chickens. Ian enjoys cycling, gym workouts, carpentry, goofing around with his daughters, and Disneyland.


Doug Fritz Trustee
(Parent of Ethan '27, Spencer '29) Doug Fritz a native of Connecticut and a graduate of Southern Illinois University, Doug has called the Bay Area home since 2006. He has been living in Santa Cruz since 2018. Doug enjoys coaching, surfing, skiing, hiking, and fishing around Santa Cruz, Tahoe, and Hawaii. Doug and his wife Liz are co-founders of a global financial services technology consulting business headquartered here in Santa Cruz. Doug and Liz are passionate supporters of Gateway and its mission to create the compassionate problem-solving humans our planet will need in the future.
Paula Grainger Trustee
(Parent of Nate ‘19) Born and raised in England, after a career in publishing, Paula graduated from the University of Westminster in London as a mature student with a BSc in Health Science and Herbal Medicine. After setting up and running a successful herbal apothecary and clinic in Camden, North London, Paula's life changed in 2010 when the California vacation she was taking along with husband Michael and their then 5 year old son Nate was unexpectedly extended by a dust cloud from an Icelandic volcano. ‘Stranded’ in Santa Cruz for an unexpected two week period, they fell for the charms of this city by the sea and decided to relocate. Paula practices, teaches and writes about herbs and has volunteered at Gateway in a number of capacities. She loves to garden, read, travel and cook and continues to explore this beautiful area with her family.   
Denise Hayes Trustee
(Parent of Lily Mae ‘17, Rosco ‘24, Zosia ‘24) Denise was born and raised in Michigan, graduating from The University of Michigan with a BFA in Design and Marketing. Over the course of her career as Creative Director in Advertising and Marketing, she implemented branding strategies and marketing collateral through supervision of copywriting, photography, graphic design, illustration, set design and styling, and talent casting in developing campaigns for industries ranging from glass manufacturing, banking, and kitchen cabinets to real estate development and homebuilding. Denise has been an active member of the Gateway community for over 13 years as a mom to a Class of 2017 graduate and fifth-grade twins. She enjoys travel, hiking, her unruly hound, and her 32-year-old parrot.
John Hillstrom Trustee
(Parent of Adane ’25) John grew up in Walnut Creek (with a brief stint in South Africa) and moved only an hour away for college to Stanford where he received a BA and an MS in Computer Science. After doing his time at a couple Big Tech companies (including Oracle in New Zealand) and at startups, John has found his niche in the non-profit sector.  He now works at B Lab (the non-profit behind Certified B Corps and Benefit Corporations), where he’s now been the CTO for a decade. John, his wife and son live on the Eastside of Santa Cruz and spend all their free-time biking, traveling, and adventuring.
Shiva Hurvitz Trustee
(Parent of Ben ’11, Jason ’13, and Carly ’14) Shiva grew up in Capitola and attended Cabrillo College and San Diego State University. After living and working in New York for ten years the family moved back to Santa Cruz in 2009. Shiva has served on the Gateway Families Association (GFA) as a volunteer and co-president. After her children graduated from Gateway Shiva continued to be an integral part of the Gateway community serving as a substitute teacher and all-around helper. Shiva's husband, Stuart, also served on the Gateway Board of Trustees. Shiva is the owner and founder of Salvaged Succulents, a small local business since 2010. When she is not working she can be found in her garden or hiking with her three dogs. She loves music and traveling with her husband and family.
Karen Jensen Trustee
(Parent of Luke '17, Jack '19). Karen grew up in Louisville, KY. She graduated with a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Louisville. Karen worked in B2B sales and training for 30 years. She coached youth basketball for many years, served on the Santa Cruz Little League Board of Directors and was president of the Gateway Families Association. Karen's also a proud panel moderator for Triangle Speakers, and is active with dog rescue organizations. Karen and her family live on the Westside of Santa Cruz. One of their family goals is to see a ballgame at every Major League Baseball park.
Ole Jorgensen Trustee
Since 2008, Olaf "Ole" Jorgenson has been head of Almaden Country Day School (ACDS) in San Jose, serving 340 children PK-8. Previously he led Hawai’i Preparatory Academy, a K-12 boarding/day school on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Before his work in independent schools, Ole was a teacher and administrator in public and international schools, following a career racing motorcycles. Ole is an active writer and speaker, and enjoys endurance sports. His wife Tanya is a teacher at ACDS and their daughter Juliette, an ACDS graduate, is in high school. Ole previously served on the Gateway Board of Trustees from 2012-2015.
Becky Luksich Trustee
(Parent of Noah ‘21 and Eva ‘23) Becky grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and attended Catholic schools for elementary, and public schools for middle and high school. She graduated from the University of Missouri-St.Louis with a B.A in Psychology. For several years she worked as a Research Assistant at Washington University. She moved to Santa Cruz in 2006 with her husband, who is a Santa Cruz native and has been working as a SAHM ever since their son was born in 2007. She enjoys camping with her family and doing yoga.
Brink Sanders Trustee
(Parent of Nicholas ’26) Brink grew up in San Diego and moved to the Bay Area and graduated from Stanford University with a BA in International Relations. After many years as a strategy consultant, he went on to earn an MBA from the University of Chicago. Brink has worked for Cisco for the last 14 years where he has held a wide variety of roles and has had the opportunity to work across the globe, including spending five years with his family in Singapore. He currently focuses on corporate strategy and business planning for the company. Brink, his wife Alison and three kids (Jack, Tessa and Nicholas) live in Santa Cruz. When not at a baseball tournament or swim meet, Brink enjoys a wide range of outdoor activities including mountain biking, running, golfing, fishing and snowboarding.
David Wahl Trustee
(Parent of Tyler '18, Sarah '24) David worked as a senior executive at Jabil, a high tech, diversified global manufacturing company until his retirement in November of 2019, after 25 years of service. David was born and raised in the Midwest, he attended high school at Cranbrook, attended college at Duke University, and earned his MBA at the University of Michigan. He feels incredibly fortunate to have had such a rich education and life of learning. David moved to Santa Cruz in 2000 and continues to “learn” from his two kids, Tyler and Sarah. Tyler is the class of 2022 at Santa Cruz High School, and Sarah is on track to be a 2024 graduate of Gateway. When not sheltering in place, David enjoys the outdoors, sailing on the ocean, and golfing on the land. He also opened a barbershop in Aptos called Roosters.