Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Staff

  GMS faculty or staff members can be contacted by:



(650) 968-8338 and the extension listed with his/her name. 


use the first letter of the first name followed by last name @girlsms.org (Jane Doe =jdoe@girlsms.org)

William Akey | ext. 129
Technology Support Specialist

William received a Ph.D. in Plant Ecology/Agronomy from Iowa State University. He is Apple Certified for Help Desk Support and basic Systems Administration. In addition to prior experience as a Webmaster and tech support specialist, William worked as a database designer before joining GMS in 2007. 

William is primarily responsible for maintaining staff and student laptops and providing technical support to students. His other duties include managing the mailing lists and building and managing GMS databases.

Wendy Angus | ext. 136
Business Associate

Wendy is a proponent of all girls education and is a proud graduate of the Sunset Hill School for girls in Kansas City. Wendy earned her BA from Oberlin College and her MA from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.  After retiring as an officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and San Francisco, Wendy started a financial operations consulting practice for small businesses.  Wendy joined the Business Office at GMS in 2013.

Maria Pérez Arons | ext. 102
Equity and Outreach Director
Teacher of Spanish for Fluent Speakers

Maria was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. She received a B.A. in Spanish Studies and History from Santa Clara University, and a Master’s Degree in Spanish and Portuguese Literature from Stanford University.

Prior to GMS, Maria worked as a Spanish tutor for students from Castilleja, Sacred Heart Prep, Menlo, Corte Madera, and Palo Alto High School. Maria has also taught Spanish Literature courses at Stanford University's Upward Bound program. She worked as an interpreter for the East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutorial program, the Santa Clara Law Services, and the Stanford University Hospital's language bank.
Maria joined the faculty of GMS in 2005. She is responsible for running the equity and outreach program at GMS, providing outreach to elementary schools, and teaching Spanish for fluent speakers. 

Jennifer Ayer | ext. 111
Head of School

Born in England and raised in New England, Jennifer headed south for college. She was a Morehead Scholar and earned a BA in English from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. A Luce Fellowship took her to live and work in Thailand. She worked at McKinsey & Co in New York and then headed west for graduate school.  At UC Berkeley Jennifer completed the coursework for an MA in Asian Studies. She finally came to rest on the Peninsula, enrolling at Stanford and earning an MBA from the Graduate School of Business and an MA in Administration and Policy Analysis from the School of Education.

For nine years Jennifer worked at Menlo School serving as, among other things, Middle School Director. During her tenure, Menlo's middle school went coed, added 6th grade, and built a new campus. The mother of three girls, Jennifer left the workforce for eleven years. She continued to be involved in independent schools serving on the Board of Trustees for Groton School, Castilleja, and Phillips Brooks.

A long time admirer of GMS, Jennifer became a GMS parent in 2011. She joined the GMS faculty as Head of School in 2013.

Andi Barlas | ext. 122
Social and Emotional Learning Program Director
Guidance Advisor

Andi is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Board Certified Art Therapist. She earned her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and her Master's of Art Therapy/Behavioral Science from the College of Notre Dame in Belmont.

Andi's experience includes over 20 years as a counselor in both public and private schools. She maintains a private practice in Palo Alto, and she is the parent of two daughters, both whom attended The Girls' Middle School.
Andi joined the faculty at GMS in 2000. Along with designing the curriculum and teaching SEL to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, she supports the girls' academic, social, and emotional growth. Andi is also a support for families and works to provide a positive experience for all students. 


Stephanie Braun | ext. 113
8th Grade Math Teacher
Math Department Chair

Stephanie received a B.S. in Environmental Sciences with a second major in Spanish from the University of Notre Dame. She earned her M.S. in Secondary Education from Loyola Marymount University. She holds California Secondary teaching credentials in both Mathematics and Life Sciences. Before to coming to GMS, Stephanie taught 7th and 8th grade math for three years at Immaculate Heart Middle School in Los Angeles. Prior to IHMS, she taught 6th-8th grade math and science for two years at a parochial school, also in Los Angeles. 
Stephanie joined the faculty at GMS in 2011 and teaches 8th grade math. 

Caitlin Cameron | ext. 114
7th Grade Humanities Teacher
7th Grade Team Lead

Caitlin received a B.A. in History and American Studies from the University of Notre Dame. She then taught 7th Grade Social Studies for two years in Montgomery, Alabama through the Alliance for Catholic Education while earning her M. Ed. at the University of Notre Dame.

Prior to GMS, Caitlin worked as the Assistant Director for Academics for the Alliance for Catholic Education, where she mentored first year teachers and worked on school-wide curriculum development.

Caitlin joined the faculty at GMS in 2013 and teaches two sections of 7th grade Humanities.

Liz Campbell | ext. 123
Director of Admission

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Liz is a proud alumna of Marlborough

School for Girls. She fell in love with the Bay Area when attending UC

Berkeley where she obtained her BA in Social Welfare. After

completing her MEd at UCLA, Liz taught for a year in Spain at the

American School of Madrid. While she enjoyed living and learning

abroad, the opportunity to teach middle school math at her alma

mater, Marlborough, drew her back to California. 


During her 23 years of teaching, Liz has taught grades K-9th in

independent, public, coed, and single sex schools including Gloria R

Davis School in SF, Athenian School in Danville, Westside

Neighborhood School in Los Angeles, and Julia Morgan School for Girls

in Oakland. During her twelve years of tenure, Liz was a founding

teacher for JMSG and wore many hats as teacher mentor, summer

program director, leader of CAIS accreditation process, and parent

education coordinator in addition to teaching middle school math. For

five years, she served on JMSG’s admission committee reading files,

giving family tours, and helping to craft the new sixth grade class.


Liz joined the GMS staff in 2015. As a graduate of a girls’ school and

long-time teacher of middle school girls, she is dedicated to the

education of young girls and understands personally the

transformative experience of attending an all-girls middle school. She

is excited to welcome the future students and families of GMS.

Alice Chang | ext. 140
Entrepreneurial Program Director

Alice received her B.S. in Computer Science with minor in Psychology and M.S. in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Alice has over ten years of experience at startup companies in the software industry. Her expertise is in user interaction design and cross disciplinary teams. She has also initiated training programs at the Cupertino Union School District in the area of critical thinking in mathematics, and worked closely in classrooms with teachers on various academic subjects.

Tiffany Chao | ext. 127
Dean of Students

Tiffany earned an edM and Certificate of Advanced Studies in School Counseling from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a BA from Williams College in Psychology and Asian Studies. She is a licensed school counselor for grades preK-12. For five years before relocating to the Bay Area, Tiffany worked as a School Counselor, as well as in the residential life, admission, community service, and auxiliary program offices, at independent schools in Boston and Connecticut. She joined GMS in 2013 as the Registrar, took on the additional role of Assistant Dean of Students in 2014, and became Dean of Students in 2015. 

Erica Chesley | ext.
8th Grade Geometry Teacher

Erica graduated from Carleton College with a B.A. in Mathematics and Classical Studies. Prior to coming to GMS, she taught Geometry and Algebra II at The Lawrenceville School, a boarding school in New Jersey where she also coached swimming and crew and participated in dorm life.
Erica has been at GMS since 2012, and teaches in the Math department.

Matt Cole | ext. 124
Physical Education Teacher

Matt earned his B.A. in General Psychology at San Francisco State University.

Prior to GMS, Matt founded and ran Elevate Trucks, a skateboard products company. He then worked for Rhythm and Moves as a contracted PE teacher to numerous schools in the Bay Area. Matt also owns and operates University of Surfing, a surf school in his hometown of Pacifica. He is a life-long athlete with special interests in surfing and skateboarding, and also the proud father of two children, Liam and Hannah. 

Matt joined the faculty at GMS in 2004.

Alicia Dantzker | ext. 103
7th Grade Science Teacher

Gretchen Davis | ext. 121
8th Grade Humanities Teacher

Gretchen received a B.A. in Theater from the University of Arkansas with an emphasis in directing. After working several years as a freelance theater artist, musician, and copywriter, she returned to school for an M.A. in Educational Theater from New York University.  

Prior to coming to GMS, Gretchen taught 8th grade Humanities for five years at East Side Middle School in Manhattan. She also led their award-winning Model United Nations program, coached softball and founded the school Glee Club. 

Gretchen joined the GMS community in 2013. She teaches two sections of 8th grade Humanities, directs the 8th grade Shakespeare production, and volunteers on the Gay Straight Alliance committee. 

Torrey Delaplane |ext. 137
PE and Art Teacher

Torrey received a B.A. in Art (Practice Of) at University of California at Berkeley. Prior to GMS, Torrey coached many years of soccer camps though UC Berkeley for kids ranging in age from kindergarden to high school. She played Division I soccer at UC Berkeley for 4 years and continues to play competitively in San Francisco for the Olympic Club. Torrey has also worked as a graphic designer at multiple companies in the Bay Area and taught adult painting classes in the evenings. Torrey continues to do freelance design work for wedding invitations, and while art is one of her main passions, she has found she enjoys working with kids most.

Torrey joined the faculty at GMS in 2014. She coaches soccer, teaches 7th grade physical education, and teaches art and woodworking classes for all three grades.

Elise DeYoung | ext. 104
Director of Business and Operations

Elise brings to GMS a strong personal commitment to youth development and education.

She earned her B.S.C. and M.B.A. from the University of Santa Clara and has a long and diverse history of experience in the corporate, academic, and non-profit sectors. Elise has served as Vice President of Finance and Administration for an international water purification company, a classroom instructor in K-12 public school classrooms, School Board Trustee for the Santa Clara Unified School District, and she is currently active with several local education and community foundations.

Recently, Elise served as the National Operations Director for Girls For A Change, a Silicon Valley based national non-profit organization, serving middle school and high school girls across the country.

Elise joined GMS in 2013 and is responsible for the business management, IT, and facilities operations.

Gaby DiMuro | ext.119
6th Grade Humanities Teacher

 Gaby holds a B.A. in English from Stanford University and an M.A. in English Education from Columbia University Teachers' College, where she also earned her New York State English Teaching Certificate. Prior to GMS, Gaby taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade humanities for three years at M.S. 245 in New York City.

Gaby joined the GMS faculty in 2002.

Renee Fadiman | ext. 109
8th Grade Art & Media Teacher
8th Grade SEL Teacher
Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair

Renee is an honors graduate of Carleton College with a B.A. in English and Film. She completed a Masters of Fine Arts Degree at the Rhode Island School of Design, with a focus on Photography.

An award-winning artist and photojournalist, Renee also has over twenty years of classroom experience in area schools.

Renee is a founding member of The Girls' Middle School. She is responsible for the philosophy and direction of the Visual and Performing Arts Department. She teaches 8th grade art and media classes and co-teaches eighth grade SEL classes.

Julie Goebel | ext. 139
8th Grade Humanities Teacher
8th Grade Team Lead

Julie received a B.A. in American Studies from Oregon State University. She returned to school after teaching at the Colegio Americano in Mexico City and received a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M University. Before GMS, Julie taught at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, Maryland as well as the Catlin Gabel School and St. Mary’s Academy in Portland, Oregon. She also founded Travelers Conservation Foundation, a non-profit helping the travel industry give back to cultural and environmental sites around the world. Julie joined GMS in 2012. 

Paul Grossi | ext. 144
8th Grade Science

Paul graduated cum laude from Carleton College with a BA in physics in 1989. 

Prior to coming to GMS, he taught physics, astronomy and integrated science in independent schools for 10 years. He then served as the Director of Education and Director of IT for RAFT, a San Jose-based education non-profit for 7 years, and worked for 1 year at Stanford University as the Associate Director of the Office of Science Outreach. 
He joined the GMS staff in 2009. He is also the parent of a GMS student from the class of 2012.


Anna Hannan | ext. 138
6th Grade Math Teacher
6th Grade Team Lead

Anna joined the GMS staff in 2008. She teaches all four sections of sixth grade

She taught her first lesson at age four, teaching math to her stuffed animals. Her enthusiasm for teaching flourished at Bucknell University, where she earned a B.S. in Education. When Anna began her career in a sixth grade classroom, her zest for teaching middle school students was confirmed.

Anna has taught a wide range of ages in a variety of classroom settings. Her experience as teacher, parent educator and co-director at Parents’ Nursery School prompted independent study in the areas of temperament, discipline and motivation. She enjoys pondering questions like, “If children are born curious, how do we preserve and encourage their innate love of learning?” Most recently, Anna has been investigating assessment and feedback. She is grateful to be teaching at a school that values growth over grades.

Lisa Hjelm | ext. 117
Science Department Chair
6th Grade Science

Lisa holds an BS in Geology from Bates College and an MS in Geology from UWO. She earned a K-8 teaching credential with General Science Specialty from UVTI.

Prior to coming to GMS, she taught for thirteen years at Crossroads Academy in Lyme, NH. She has experience teaching upper elementary and middle school science, as well as fifth and sixth grade. Lisa is interested in bringing teachers, scientists and students together. She has participated in research experiences for teachers at SIO, NOAA's Teacher at Sea Program, and in 2009 became a teacher/researcher on a long term, NSF funded project to study Sierra Negra volcano, Isabela Island, Galapagos, Ecuador.
Lisa joined the GMS staff in 2009.


Tricia Kellison | ext. 106
8th Grade Computer Science Teacher
Computer Science Department Chair
Educational Technology Manager

Tricia received her B.S. in Cognitive Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her M.Ed. in Educational Technology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Prior to GMS, Tricia was a project manager in marketing and multimedia for eight years at Apple, and did technology training for staff and faculty at MIT. She is the mother of a GMS alumna and two sons.

Tricia joined the GMS staff in 2006. She is the chair of theGMS Computer Science Department, teaches 8th Grade Computer Science, and helps other teachers integrate technology into their classes.

Claire Ledwith | ext. 133
Assistant Director of Admission

Claire received her B.S. from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.

Prior to joining GMS, Claire worked for seven years in the Development Office of The Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.  While at Baldwin she  raised both capital and annual funds. 
Claire joined the staff of GMS in 2008.  She is responsible for helping families navigate the admission process and learn more about the terrific education offered at The Girls' Middle School.  Claire meets with prospective families, arranges shadow visits and interviews applicants.

Lauren Lewis | ext. 115
6th Grade Humanities Teacher
Humanities Department Chair

Lauren received a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Education from Haverford College. In 2014, she earned her Ed.M. in Instructional Leadership from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Before graduate school, Lauren taught high school history and journalism, and coached lacrosse and basketball, at The Field School in Washington, D.C. In the summer of 2014, Lauren moved to the West Coast for the first time and joined GMS to teach 6th grade Humanities with an emphasis on social studies. 

Sophie Libkind | ext. 120
6th and 7th Grade Computer Science Teacher

Sophie graduated with highest honors from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in Mathematics and Computer Science. She went on to earn a Masters of Advanced Study in Mathematics at the University of Cambridge in the UK.  Sophie has also enjoyed researching computer-generated jazz improvisations at the UC Berkeley and working with middle schoolers at MathPath summer camp.

Marjorie Lucks | ext. 126
Director of Student Services

 Marjorie received her B.S. in Geological and Environmental Sciences and her M.A. in Curriculum and Teacher Education, both from Stanford University. She earned her Science Composite Teaching Credential from the University of Texas, Pan American.

Prior to GMS, Marjorie was a course coordinator for the Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Core at Stanford. She participated in Teach for America in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and taught middle school math and science for a decade.


Marjorie joined the faculty at GMS in 2003 as a math and science teacher, and in 2009 she transitioned into administration as the Dean of Students. She is responsible for all aspects of student life, including the advisory program, electives, Student Council, new student orientation, and discipline.


Shantya Martinez | ext. 150
Program Associate

A Bay Area native, Shantya graduated from GMS in 2004 and went on to Menlo School where she graduated in 2008. She received a B.S in Psychology with an emphasis in Developmental Psychology from Santa Clara University in 2012. Before arriving at GMS, Shantya worked with children and adolescents in a variety of settings (tutoring, summer camps, enrichment, recreational) and found a passion for working within progressive models of education.
Shantya joined GMS in 2014 as an Administrative Intern and is now a Program Associate.


Walter Mayes| ext. 130
Library and Media Specialist

Along with managing the GMS Library and working with the faculty to instill good research skills in our students, Walter is a popular performer known as Walter the Giant Storyteller. He also travels as a lecturer on the importance of books and stories for children and teens.

Walter is co-author of Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children and author of Walter the Giant Storyteller's Giant Book of Giant Stories.
Walter joined the faculty at GMS in 2001 when he came to perform at an assembly, and liked it so much that he stayed!

Veronica Meza | ext. 110
7th and 8th Grade Spanish Teacher
Spanish Department Chair

Veronica earned a Bachelor's degree in Literature and Drama from the National Autonomous University of Mexico with additional study at The National Institute of Arts in Mexico. She received an M.A in Spanish Education from Bennington College.

In addition to her creative and energetic work with the students at GMS, Veronica is a reporter at Alianza Metropolitan News. She received an honorable mention from the National Association of Hispanic Publications for her education article about GMS in 2004, and a Gold Award for her education article about GED classes in 2009. In 2003, she created Teatro Nahual, a Spanish language theatre. Veronica is also a Spanish playwright, notably of "Strike Without Sticks."
Prior to GMS, Veronica was manager of the Spanish Literacy program at Harbor College Job Placement Center in Los Angeles. Before that, along with extensive theatre work in Mexico City, Veronica taught Spanish and drama to junior high and high school students.

Veronica joined the faculty at GMS in 2001. 

Alice Moberg | ext. 142
Admission Associate and Registrar

Alice earned a B.S. in Family Studies and Human Development from The University of Arizona, and an M.Ed in Counseling from Northern Arizona University. Alice’s career started in 2006 at GMS were she has held a variety of positions. Subsequently she has been a counselor for the last ten years in public and private schools. Alice has returned to GMS and joined the Admission department full-time in 2015.

Alyssa Olson | ext. 134
7th Grade Math Teacher

Alyssa received a B.A degree in Physics and Theatre from Miami University in Ohio. While performing as a professional actor in New York, she found herself thoroughly enjoying day jobs that involved working with children. She returned to school and earned her Masters of Science in Teaching from Fordham University in adolescence math education. 

Alyssa Joined the GMS faculty in 2015 and is thrilled to be teaching 7th grade math.

Alberto Oseguera | ext. 101
Technology Director

Alberto received his A.S. in Data Communications from Foothill College and his B.S. in Information Technology / Systems Administrations from the University of Phoenix. Alberto also has certificates in both Apple and PC hardware and software applications.

Prior to joining GMS, Alberto spent 12 years in the Redwood City and Woodside school districts installing and maintaining network infrastructures, along with providing technical support schools, student, teachers, administrators, and parents.
Alberto joined the staff of GMS in July 2009. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations in technology, which includes system administration, network infrastructure, application support, and Macintosh and Windows support.


Jack Peisch | ext. 132

Jack graduated from Middlebury College with a B.A. in Religion and minors in Education Studies and Sociology. Before coming to GMS, he taught Algebra at Northfield Mount Hermon School’s summer session and worked as a math tutor. He co-teaches 8th Grade Algebra and 7th Grade Geometry, and also assists in 6th Grade Math.

Chelsey Pippin | ext. 141
Development Associate

Chelsey graduated with B.S in Communications from San Francisco State University in the spring of 2015.  During her time in San Francisco she volunteered for the Bay Area Urban Debate League and worked for OneJustice as a Development Intern.

Laura Reeve | ext. 108
Assistant Head of School

Laura has a B.S. in Geological Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and a Master's degree in Structural Engineering from Stanford University.

She began her career as an engineer in the aerospace industry. Laura then worked for a decade in her own children's classrooms before joining GMS as a founding faculty member in 1998, teaching science and engineering.  
She is currently the Assistant Head of School and is responsible for curriculum and teaching.

Additionally, Laura is the proud parent of two GMS alumnae.

Kheaton Scott | ext. 118
Athletic Director

Kheaton received a B.S. from Howard University’s School of Education in Washington, DC. He played Varsity basketball for Palo Alto High School, and during his senior year, his team won the CIF Division II state title. Prior to joining GMS, Kheaton was the Physical Education teacher at the Peninsula School in Menlo Park for 2 years. In addition to his current role at GMS, Kheaton also coaches Varsity Boys Basketball at Summit Preparatory Charter High School in Redwood City. 

Esther Selk | ext. 105
Drama Teacher
Alumnae Affairs Director

Esther graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa with a B.S. degree in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution and an M.S. in Biology from the University of California - San Diego.  Esther holds both a multiple subject K-12 and a single subject general science and biology California State Teaching Credential.

Prior to GMS, Esther was a Teach for America Corps Member at Edison McNair Academy in East Palo Alto, where she taught math, science, health, and reading.  Additionally, she served as both Senior Teacher and Science Curriculum Coordinator.
Esther joined the faculty of GMS in 2000.


Kelley Sexton | ext. 112
Executive Assistant to the Head of School and Registrar

Carl Siegel | ext. 125
6th and 8th Grade Spanish Teacher
After School Activities Director

Carl has a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Spanish Literature from Colorado College. He also completed his single subject Spanish credential with the Bay Area Teacher Center at San Francisco State University.

Before arriving at GMS, Carl administered summer middle schools at Aim High, instructed business communication at Shanghai University, managed tennis tournaments and music festivals in China, founded a promotions startup, and taught at San Francisco Friends School.
Carl joined the faculty in 2012. He teaches sixth and eighth grade Spanish, leads after school activities, and has coached softball, soccer, basketball, and volleyball. 

Norika Takada | ext. 116
6th and 7th Grade Art Teacher

A native of Okinawa, Japan, Nori earned a Bachelor of Applied Art from Fu-Jen University in Taipei, Taiwan. After years working in advertising, culminating in a role as Creative Director, she moved to Barcelona, Spain, to study goldsmithing techniques at the Escola de Arts I Oficis. Nori moved to the Bay Area and has been teaching the metalsmithing youth program at The Crucible in Oakland, CA and making sculptureal jewelry since 2005.  

Nori is multilingual in Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese, and English, and before to coming to GMS in 2014, she taught art at Woodside Priory School.  

Maria Valladares | ext. 100
Front Desk Administrator

Maria graduated from GMS in 2003 and went on to attend Menlo High School, graduating in 2007. Throughout her high school years and after graduating, Maria worked at The International School of the Peninsula with children ages 1-13, as well as acted as the assistant to the the Director of Summer Camps. She attended Santa Clara University until 2010, taking a short break before returning to Foothill College. She is currently studying for her AA in Child Development.

Amoy Walker | ext. 128
7th Grade Humanities Teacher

Amoy received a B.A. from Stony Brook University and went on to earn her M.A. from Columbia University, Teacher's College.

Prior to joining the GMS team in 2008, Amoy taught history and economics for two years at The High School of Fashion Industries in New York City. She teaches seventh grade Humanities. 


Theresa Winterbauer Martinez | ext. 107
Director of Development

Holly Zuklie | ext. 133
Director of Financial Aid and High School Advising

Holly graduated with honors from Bowdoin College with degrees in Art History and Russian Literature and Language.

Holly is a founding staff member of GMS. She works with the Admissions Department to support those families who apply for financial aid during the application process. Holly has spent her entire career in independent school administration. Prior to GMS, she was Director of Admission and later Vice Principal at San Domenico School in San Anselmo. Additionally, she spent her early career as a college admissions officer. She is a past President of the Board of Trustees at Peninsula School in Menlo Park.