Casie Buckner-Munteanu, B.A., M.Ed.
"Education in the 21st century must adapt to the challenges students face in today’s world. Scientific research on cognitive development has revealed exciting discoveries about the way adolescent brains function and ways to teach the way the brain learns best. The most convincing data show that students learn in a variety of ways and that different learning styles need to be considered when developing curricula and conducting assessments. At Gateway, we design our students’ academic plans to meet all of their unique and individual needs. We also sustain a dynamic balance of challenge and support between teacher and learner to form the basis for a strong and honest relationship that guides the learning process."Read More Read Less
- Master of Education, in Educational Leadership, Concordia University
- Master of Arts, in Political Science, University of California Davis
- Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, Whitman College
Casie is dedicated to holistic education where students, teachers, parents and administrators work together to provide the support students need to succeed. As an educator, Casie seeks to incorporate brain-based research in student learning and, therefore, values constant re-evaluation of standards and curricula to achieve academic excellence. Casie believes we are all a community of learners and that some of the most educational activities happen outside the traditional classroom. As Gateway's Academic Director, Casie strives to inspire a passion for learning and enthusiasm for critical thinking in order to empower the students she serves. Casie leads Gateway's talented and dedicated teaching team. Together, they provide outstanding academic direction, services and growth to Gateway students and their families.
Casie joined Gateway in 2015. Her love of teaching began in 1998 when she worked at the American International School of Bucharest, and taught ESL courses in Romania. She taught for several years at the college level, and has also worked in private secondary schools and programs. Casie has taught English, political science, government, economics, and debate. She strives to inspire a passion for learning, self-discovery, and intellectual creativity. Aside from teaching, Casie has worked with students outside of class, through academic advising and college counseling. In her spare time, she also works as a free-lance instructional designer and technical editor, where her fascination with details and grammar are truly appreciated! Casie has coached debate teams, directed summer camps, and provided mentoring and writing assistance to prepare high school seniors for college.
Casie loves to be in the outdoors and take in nature. She has lived in Utah, Oregon, Washington, Northern and Southern California, Hawaii and Romania. As a lifelong learner, Casie enjoys reading, traveling, and exploring new adventures.
CREATING STUDENT SUCCESS
Learning about current events is a 21st century skill students need to succeed in an ever-changing world. Casie has found that students become more engaged in critical thinking exercises by learning about current events. During a research methods course at Gateway, students were asked to develop opinion papers based on evidence found in current topics in the news. Casie enjoyed watching the “lightbulb go on” when students’ eyes were opened to the world around them.
Kelli Hansen, B.A.
Assistant Academic Director and Senior Student Advisor
“I believe we are capable of more than we give ourselves credit. Once we build a relationship of trust with our students, we can challenge them to find their potential and see the talents within themselves. I am honored to be part of the team that pushes students to learn their capabilities, discover their talents, and use those skills to create a better future for themselves and others.”Read More Read Less
- Bachelor of Arts in English and Italian, University of Utah
- Secondary Education Teaching Certificate, University of Utah
- Utah Level II Certified Teacher
- Licensed to teach secondary English and Italian
Through her years of experience, Kelli has learned that if a student has the right motivation, the right tools, and the right team on their side, any student can learn. A teenager's "job" is to go to school so success in school is critical to a student's self-esteem. Many of our students, though very bright, have experienced failure at school. This failure has contributed to the emotional difficulties our students are facing. Kelli believes that education has to be part of the cure for our students to achieve long-term success. They must learn to excel in the classroom as students and learners so when they return to their "job" they have the confidence to know they can be successful.
Kelli joined Gateway in 2014. She has taught in a variety of settings from elementary school to adult education, but the majority of her experience comes from working with high school-aged students in residential and day treatment programs, which she has been doing since 2000. She has taught Language Arts and Italian where she enjoys challenging students and preparing them for college or other future plans.
Kelli enjoys biking, running, and swimming, and trains and participates in triathlons. She also treasures the time she has with her husband and two children.
CREATING STUDENT SUCCESS
Shakespeare, for many, is an author that students decide they do not understand right away and then often disregard. One particular student struggled to understand Shakespeare's stories, but was willing to try. Kelli retold Shakespeare's stories and helped him understand. Kelli was then told that this student one day shared in his group therapy session and had compared himself to a character from Hamlet. He had grasped that the joy in literature is connecting it to the world around them.
Mark Regier, B.A.
“I recognize that educators like myself are doing much more than helping our students improve test scores or gain credit; we’re helping our students become happier and more functional people!” Recently one of my students whom I had taught in a Speech course told me about interviewing at a possible step-down school; he stated that he felt confident as he expressed what he felt were some important concerns. He said he had even made an outline to keep his thoughts organized in case he got nervous!"Read More Read Less
- Bachelor of Arts in English Education, University of Northern Colorado
- Licensed to teach secondary English
Mark loves the Gateway academic model because he recognizes the challenges traditional schooling can present to modern boys. Therefore, his instruction consistently includes a "why you should care about this" conversation with his students. He helps his students see their English education in terms of the highly desirable outcomes of being understood and understanding others. Mark loves life and uses personal anecdotes to help his students stay motivated to work hard in class and therapy so they can eventually leave Gateway and enjoy some of the freedom that clear communicators can create for themselves.
Mark has been working with teenagers in treatment-specific settings for 10 years. His career began at Second Nature Wilderness Program in Duchesne, Utah, and went on to teach at another residential program in Utah. He joined the Gateway academic team in 2014.
Originally from southern Colorado, Mark is a mountain boy. In his spare time, Mark exercises fanatically and climbs anything nearby, including rocks, ice, trees, and the occasional building. He takes pride in being a present, attentive father to his young son, and enjoys "talking shop" with his lovely wife who is also an educator.
Learning is a slow, sometimes non-linear process that requires courage and a willingness to make mistakes. Mark creates an environment in his classes that is emotionally safe-- He recently enjoyed the success of one of his students who previously hated English and labeled it as his “worst class.” After a few weeks of reading with him after school, this student now stands up straighter as he walks in the door, and for the first time he’s getting good grades in English class on a regular basis. The difference is that he’s learned to trust himself, and it just took some extra time to free his confidence.
Adrienne Noakes, B.S.
"The study of science encourages natural curiosity which then aids in further motivating students to become proactively involved in their education. As an educator, I strive to find a balance between the technical knowledge, hands-on activities, and real-life application of science. I believe a classroom should be a place where questions and explorations are welcomed in a safe, nurturing, and comfortable environment."Read More Read Less
- Bachelor of Science, University Studies with emphasis in Chemistry, Microbiology, Zoology; Brigham Young University
- Teaching Credential, California State University, East Bay
- Utah Level II Certified Teacher
- Licensed to teach secondary science
Adrienne’s teaching philosophy evolved as she spent time in the classroom, not only as an educator but also as a student. The result is the discovery of three principles designed to enhance a student's learning experience: 1) facilitate an appreciation for science, 2) encourage curiosity and 3) provide fundamental knowledge and tools for life-long learning.
Adrienne joined Gateway in 2013. She has taught in both Middle School and High School settings including residential and day treatment programs since 2002. She’s taught Biology, Chemistry, Earth Systems, Physics, Algebra, and Geometry. Adrienne especially enjoys incorporating creative projects into her curriculum and witnessing the "aha" moment when a student recognizes that he/she actually likes science.
Adrienne enjoys travel, reading, interior design, ballroom dancing, spending time with her children and spoiling her grandchildren.
CREATING STUDENT SUCCESS
During a challenging Physics lessons, a student approached Adrienne with the comment that before attending Gateway Academy he would just shut down and give up if he received a failing grade on an assignment or exam. Now he recognizes the value of doing well in school and knows that it is worth it to keep trying, and that he can be successful.
Angela Roe, B.S.
"Teaching mathematics has a been a privilege for me. Math tends to be a feared subject and making it accessible to my students by teaching in ways they learn best is my goal. I provide them with the support necessary to to be successful and overcome their math-related anxiety. I love seeing my students develop an enjoyment for learning and feel more confident and capable."Read More Read Less
- Bachelors of Science, Composite Mathematics and Statistics Education, Utah State University
Angie likes to create challenging, enriching, and innovative activities and experiences that help peak the interests and needs of the students. She believes in forming connections with the students and helping them believe in themselves.
Angie joined Gateway in 2015 as a Math teacher. She has experience teaching basic math, algebra, geometry, and algebra 2. She also has years of experience working with students with disabilities and being their case manager. She has worked at various schools throughout the Salt Lake Valley. Angie is very excited to be working at Gateway and loves to see her students succeed and progress.
Angie loves to play all sports and is into Crossfit. She loves to travel and experience other cultures. She has also done some humanitarian work in Ghana, Africa and in Naples, Italy. She especially loves to spend time with her family.
CREATING STUDENT SUCCESS
Math is a hard subject for most. Angie believes all of her students can learn and gives individual attention to help them achieve their personal best. Angie loves to see her students grow and develop an enjoyment of math.
David Brooks, M.A.
History and Social Studies Teacher
“As a teacher of the humanities, I understand there are challenges a student faces when trying to comprehend historical concepts - both within the curriculum and at the individual level. I believe attention to each student’s various learning styles, interests and struggles lends to the most complete model for instruction on how to express and transfer that knowledge. Gateway provides its staff and students with that careful, individualized attention so that each facet of the program is geared toward a consistent approach to each youth academically. I am proud and excited to be a part of the Gateway community."Read More Read Less
- Bachelor of Arts in History and Journalism Education, University of North Texas
- Master of Science in History and Secondary Education, University of North Texas
- Master of Art in Education with Specialization in Teaching, University of North Texas
David believes that each student represents a different learning style, processing speed and expressive abilities. Attention to that type of detail helps to build his relationship with each student. The main goal in his classroom is to provide an open and safe arena for exploring historical concepts; thus providing students with the opportunity to express their opinions and the ability to research and reinforce their theses.
David joined the Gateway staff in August 2016. He taught in public schools in Texas the previous two years. He has lived in Utah, California and Colorado previously where he worked in outdoor education jobs for the Americorp VISTA program and Real Food Rising (now a subsidiary of Salt Lake Community Action Program). Prior to that, David worked in various educational capacities while he was in graduate school at the University of North Texas. His experience in outdoor education and with students of various abilities translates well into Gateway’s integrated academic, therapy and outdoor education programs.
David was born and raised in a small town in west Texas, Big Spring. Although one would not easily ascertain he was from Texas through meeting him. He plays Ultimate Frisbee rather religiously and believes that participating in the sport, mainly the conflict resolution naturally adherent to the rules (it is self-officiated at almost every level) has made him a better person and more empathetic. He also enjoys farming/gardening, disc golf, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, yoga, kayaking and just being in natural settings.
CREATING STUDENT SUCCESS
David believes that creating student success is an endeavor not necessarily exclusive to the work a student produces. He feels that an inclusive model of academics, physical outlets, mental exercises separate from schoolwork and relationships built through interacting with peers, teachers, parents and the community build a healthy member of society.
Susan Keller, B.A.
Learning Strategies Teacher
“My goal is for each student to find success by addressing his individual challenges and discovering his personal strengths. I help them understand the importance of augmenting executive functioning and developing lifelong organizational and study skills that will serve him now and in the future.”Read More Read Less
- Bachelors of Arts in Sociology, Valdosta State University
Susan has been with Gateway since 2013. She worked in the Social Services for 20 years, but when given the opportunity to teach, she knew she had found her passion. She has over 10 years of experience in education as a tutor, paraprofessional, and a substitute teacher and in 2016 was accepted into the State of Utah Alternative Route to Licensure for Special Education.
Susan believes it is important to instill a love of learning in every young man. By developing a relationship with her students, she helps build the trust they need to face academic challenges and develop self-confidence. Susan wants every student to leave her classroom with an expanded range of knowledge and critical thinking skills that will serve them the rest of their lives. Her great sense of humor helps students feel comfortable, inspires lively discussions, and shows that learning can also be fun. In the end, her goal is for her students to go out into the world more equipped to take on the challenges they will face as adults.
Susan is originally from Georgia, but has lived all over the United States. She came to Utah in 2005 and fell in love with the State. She enjoys the outdoors--running, biking, hiking, snowshoeing, camping, and gardening, but also likes to read, cook and bake. Susan says she is a music fanatic and loves to attend concerts. She enjoys spending time with her four children. She and her daughter share an interest in art and computer animation.
CREATING STUDENT SUCCESS
“Math phobia” is so common in high school students. Susan insists that she will never allow a student to believe they “cannot do it.” With one particular student, she set a goal to help him build the skills and the confidence to do math by showing him that practice is the key. It was thrilling to help him to succeed in math and to see the joy in his face when he would tackle and successfully complete a difficult math problem. Susan always wants to instill in her students the knowledge that with the right skills and practice, they can become confident in their capabilities.
Pam Dorlac, B.A., M.Ed.
Art Integration Teacher
As Gateway's Art teacher I have a unique and exciting opportunity to help each student achieve their academic and personal best by expanding their learning experience through art. As with any teaching position, it is vital to first develop a relationship of trust, and respect with each student. As each student/mentor relationship is formed, the opportunity for growth blossoms. As the students discover their creativity, through the process of making fine art, their self-confidence takes off and they carry that with them into their other core content areas. It’s so exciting to watch kids realize that they can succeed by learning and applying new skills in the classroom. It’s a thrill for me to open doors that lead not only to academic success, but interpersonal and entrepreneurial as well.
Read More Read Less
- Master of Education, Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri
- Bachelor of Fine Arts, Southwest Missouri State University
Pam’s “path” to teaching began as a parent and progressed into the classroom. Raising children with very different learning styles inspired her to change careers. She wanted the opportunity to give young people the tools to acquire knowledge about themselves and how to learn, that may not have been provided for them in their previous academic experience. She taught language and fine arts in an alternative high school in St. Louis for 10 years before relocating to Salt Lake and finding Gateway. She believes that first providing a safe atmosphere and getting to know each student individually, sets the stage to break old habits that were unsuccessful academically, and learn new ones that will empower students to not only to succeed in school, but in all of life’s future challenges.
Pam loves the outdoors and hikes or snowshoes in the mountains with her dogs whenever she can. Family is a priority for her and her initial motivation for leaving the Midwest. Fine art will always remain her first love. She enjoys portraiture, sculpture and is currently collaborating on a children’s book with her sisters.
Creating Student Success
Watching “the light come on” cognitively for a young man that has experienced more academic road blocks than successes provides its own rewards. The general mood of the individual and inevitably the culture of the classroom can turn from bland to charged as today’s students re-discover their creativity. My favorite student-teacher dynamic is with the young person who walks into the room declaring that they “hate art” or they “can’t do it.” As trust develops, and the student begins to apply techniques learned, they often sit back and look at their work – and suddenly the light comes on because they realize that they can!