Academic Team

Gateway’s academic vision is to inspire and engage.
We seek to spark our students’ attention, awaken
critical thinking and make learning come alive.

Casie Buckner-Munteanu, B.A., M.Ed.

Casie Buckner-Munteanu, B.A., M.Ed.

Academic Director

"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."

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CREDENTIALS

  • 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

PHILOSOPHY

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.

PROFESSIONAL

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. 

PERSONAL

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.

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.”

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CREDENTIALS

  •     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


PHILOSOPHY
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.

PROFESSIONAL
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.
 
PERSONAL
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.

Adrienne Noakes, B.S.

Adrienne Noakes, B.S.

Science Teacher

"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."

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CREDENTIALS

  • 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

PHILOSOPHY
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.

PROFESSIONAL
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.

PERSONAL
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.

 

David Brooks, M.S., M.Ed.

David Brooks, M.S., M.Ed.

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." 

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CREDENTIALS

  •     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

PHILOSOPHY

 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.

 

PROFESSIONAL

 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.

 

PERSONAL

 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.

 

Tate Howell, B.S.

Tate Howell, B.S.

Math Teacher

I believe that the pursuit to understand ourselves and our universe through observation, experience, and critical thinking, is not only key to becoming a productive human being, but is the impetus for obtaining a joy for learning. My ultimate goal as a teacher at Gateway Academy is to enable students to become lifelong learners, through creating an environment that promotes authentic personal learning experiences.

 

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CREDENTIALS

  • Bachelor of Science, Composite: Teaching Mathematics/Physical Science/Computer Science; Weber State University
  • Utah Level II Certified Teacher
  • Licensed to Teach Secondary Math, Level III Endorsement

PHILOSOPHY

Tate has a great passion for teaching mathematics. He is fascinated by students’ unique approaches to solving problems. Tate tries to let students lead the discovery of a mathematical concept, before adding more conventional observations to the lesson. He claims that this creates an environment where math can become personally relevant to each student.  Tate believes that teaching and learning are intrinsically bound together and that both learning and teaching need to be constantly adjusted under the scrutiny of logic.  Creating best practices and “good” teaching methods only go so far if authentic learning is not occurring.  Tate understands that adjustments to curriculum must be made in real time in order to meet the needs of a diverse clientele.

 

PROFESSIONAL

Tate recently joined the academic team at Gateway Academy after nearly 20 years of teaching high school math in a local public school. He coached his district’s math team in competition for several years, designed math curriculum for middle school students, and tutored students in all levels of secondary mathematics and science. 

 

PERSONAL

Tate is an accomplished musician. He loves playing guitar and piano, writing music, and playing with his bands. He also is an accomplished water color painter, and specializes in landscapes that represent his beloved home, the State of Utah. In addition, he has a great passion for fishing. He claims that if he could get away with it, he would probably spend all of his time teasing Blue Ribbon trout on the Provo river.

 

CREATING STUDENT SUCCESS

Tate understands that real success can only occur if a student experiences a personal connection with the learning process. He recognizes that this process begins with the teacher/student relationship. Students know right away if you genuinely care about them or not. Once they know that you care, learning becomes a quest to discover, as opposed to a mere chore.

 

 

 

Karen Bromiley, B.S.

Karen Bromiley, B.S.

English Teacher

“Literature has always been one of my biggest passions. Teaching a rigorous English curriculum can be daunting because the subject-matter is difficult and students often fear they will not succeed. It is my goal to ensure our students get the tools they need to embrace challenge, persevere, and find success throughout their academic careers. I am proud to be part of the Gateway family and enjoy the work that I do for each student that walks into my classroom.”

 

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CREDENTIALS

  •     Bachelor of Science, English Literary Studies, Utah Valley University


PHILOSOPHY

Karen believes that every student is a unique learner and that it is necessary to get to know each individual’s needs and learning style. To be successful in the classroom, Karen understands the importance of individualized education, which includes getting to know each student as a person, learning his interests, his strengths, and his struggles. Karen believes the more she knows about her students, the easier it is to develop curriculum to meet all of their unique learning styles.

 


PROFESSIONAL

Karen joined the Gateway team in 2018 and is excited to be part of an academic program where educators are given the tools to teach the whole child, both in and away from the classroom. She was the director of an academic tutoring program and considers the success of that program one of her greatest career accomplishments. Karen has worked in a college writing center, and has taught many different subjects as a private tutor.  She especially enjoys being able to work one on one with students to improve their writing skills.

 


PERSONAL

Karen is an avid reader and if she had her way, she would always be curled up under a warm blanket with a good book. She also enjoys a number of other hobbies including photography, creative writing, watching football (Go Seahawks), and fast cars. Karen enjoys driving her red convertible with the top down whenever she gets the chance. Karen grew up with parents in the military and has lived all over the world. As a result, she loves to travel and has a very lengthy travel bucket list. Karen is also a mom to three amazing children.


CREATING SUCCESS

 

Karen believes that success in the classroom depends on teaching students to make connections between the content and their personal experiences. Because English is naturally a discussion-based subject, Karen loves helping students understand literature by discussing concepts that they can relate to in language that they find meaningful. Throughout her career, she has watched her students find greater success as they connect what they are reading in class to their personal lives.

 

Susan Keller, B.A.

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.”

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CREDENTIALS

  • Bachelors of Arts in Sociology, Valdosta State University

PROFESSIONAL

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.

 

PHILOSOPHY

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.

 

PERSONAL

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.

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. 

 

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Credentials

  • Master of Education, Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts, Southwest Missouri State University

Professional

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.

 

Personal

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!