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
8th Grade Spanish

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 earned a B.S. in Environmental Sciences with a second major in Spanish from the University of Notre Dame. She has an M.S. in Secondary Education from Loyola Marymount University and holds California Secondary teaching credentials in both Mathematics and Life Sciences. Before to coming to GMS, Stephanie spent two years teaching 6th-8th grade math and science at a parochial school followed by three years teaching 7th and 8th grade math at an all-girls middle school 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 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.

Damian Canny |ext. 118
Athletic Director

Damian received a Bachelors in Business Management from Assumption College. He then worked for two fortune 500 companies before realizing he would rather be working with kids. After leaving the corporate world, Damian earned a Masters in Kinesiology from Humboldt State University.  For the past 12 years, Damian was a PE teacher and Athletic Director at Live Oak School. He taught both K-8 PE and health and was also an eighth grade advisor. At this point in time, Damian is pursuing a doctorate in public health and is currently finishing his dissertation.

When Damian is not working, he devotes the majority of his time to his wife and two kids and enjoys exposing his children to the great outdoors through a variety of activities.

Gabriela Caraccia |ext. 125
6th, 7th and 8th Grade Spanish

Gabriela received her M. Ed from University of Buenos Aires and also she is a teacher of Primary Education.  Gabriela has taught a wide range of ages in a variety of schools in Argentina and Bay Area. She joined at GMS in 2003 and taught until 2005. After a long time she is at GMS again.

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.  Alice joined the GMS faculty in 2012.

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. 

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
Science Department Chair
7th Grade Science
After School Activities Director

Elise DeYoung | ext. 104
Chief Business Officer

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, she is currently a member of the Santa Clara Schools Foundation and the Mission City Community Fund.  Most recently before joining GMS, 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 and has enjoyed teaching 6th grade humanities ever since.

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 in Photography.

An award-winning artist and photojournalist, Renee also has over twenty five 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.

Maria Garcia | 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.

Julie Goebel | ext. 139
8th Grade Humanities Teacher

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.

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 the GMS 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 Special Projects

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 in under-resourced public schools for four years.
Marjorie joined the faculty at GMS in 2003 and taught 6th grade math and science for six years before transitioning in to administration. In her five years as Dean of Students, Marjorie directed the GMS advisory program, oversaw health and safety initiatives, and developed a variety co-curricular programs. As Director of Special Projects she plays a key role in formulating systems that support GMS’s strategic goals, particularly in the areas of technology, information flow, and communications.


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
6th, 7th and 8th Grade Spanish Teacher
6th Grade Fluent Speaking Spanish Class 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. 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, a Gold Award for an education article about GED classes in 2009 and a first place for editorial with the article, “The Alzheimer in the Hispanic population.” In 2003, she created Teatro Nahual, a Spanish language theatre group. She also developed her own methodology to lead beginning, intermediate and advanced Spanish acting classes.  Veronica is also a Spanish playwright.

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. 112
Executive Assistant to the Head of School 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 began her career in 2006 at GMS, and held a variety of positions. Then Alice pursued a career in counseling in public and private schools for 10 years.  Alice's love of GMS' mission prompted her to returned to the school 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 17 years in the Redwood City and Woodside school districts installing and maintaining network infrastructures, along with providing technical support to 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.


Julia Petersen |ext. 132

Julia graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Physiological Science in 2015. While at UCLA, Julia completed an internship with CA Teach.  Recently, she completed an AmeriCorps service term partnered with an environmental non-profit, Our City Forest, in San Jose.  She is a GMS alumna from the class of 2007.

Chelsey Pippin | ext. 141
Development Associate
Special Events Coordinator

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.

Gretchen Riem | ext. 121
8th Grade Humanities Teacher
8th Grade Lead 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 is the faculty leader of our theater department.

Esther Selk | ext. 105
Alumnae Affairs Director & Drama Teacher

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.


Alie Simpson |ext. 137
Studio Art and Woodworking

Alie received her B.A. in both Fine Art and Economics from University of California, Santa Cruz in 2015. She specialized in sculpture with an emphasis on refurbishing recycled wood. 

Alie graduated from GMS in 2007, and went on to attend Palo Alto High School. After graduating from UCSC, she decided to make Santa Cruz her permanent home. 
Alie teaches all of 6th, 7th and 8th grade Studio Art and Woodshop.

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 since 2005 and making sculptural jewelry since 1996.

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


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. 


Elizabeth Williams |ext. 117
6th Grade Science

Elizabeth graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2002 with a BA in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.  After graduation she worked as educator in-house, in the field, and on the boat for the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.  In 2011, she graduated with a master’s degree in science education (MAT) and a Connecticut teacher certification in Biology (secondary ed.).  Since then she has taught at the middle school, high school and college level.  She joined GMS in 2016 after relocating from Los Angeles, where she was teaching 9th grade biology at an independent school. 

Theresa Winterbauer Martinez | ext. 107
Director of Development

Theresa received her A.B. in Human Biology from Stanford University and M.P.H. in Health Policy and Administration from the UCLA School of Public Health. She spent the first 10 years of her career working on health policy issues related to uninsured children. 

Prior to GMS, she worked for over 10 years in development for Stanford University and Pinewood School. She is the mother of a GMS alumna and one son.

Theresa joined the staff at GMS in 2015 as the Director of Development. She is responsible for leading GMS's fundraising efforts and programs, including the GMS Fund and the Scholarship Program. 

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 has spent her entire career in independent school administration and is a founding staff member of GMS. Prior to GMS, she was Director of Admission and later Vice Principal at San Domenico School in San Anselmo.  She is a past President of the Board of Trustees at Peninsula School in Menlo Park.
At GMS, Holly works with the Admissions Department to support those families who apply for financial aid during the application process. Additionally, she guides the 8th grade families as they investigate high school options for the next step beyond GMS.