People Say

New comments from District Four

  • Dave Caven (Horace Mann teacher):  Gary has done it all, with his head and his heart. Oakland continues, to need a guy like Gary
  • Kristen Caven (Bret Harte Parent and author): As interim superintendent, Gary was someone we could trust after so many destabilizing years of "outside control."


Oakland Education Leaders Say:

  • Katie McLane:  I've seen Gary's work wherever I've served:  in elementary, middle, and high schools! He knows school budgets and cares about every school."
  • Angela Aquino: “This is a critical time for Oakland.  We need Gary’s knowledge of school finance and his commitment for all of Oakland's children.”
  • Yvonne Allara:  OUSD needs experienced, smart people like Gary, who know what needs to be done during tough times.
  • Dr. Denise Saddler: “As a principal, I know that Gary understands the importance of supporting our teachers and site leadership.”
  • Dante Ruiz:  Gary was one of the reasons I came to OUSD to work as a principal. He brings people together to solve tough problems.
  • Kathy Maloney: “Gary was an important mentor for me when I was Sequoia’s principal.”
  • Hattie Tate: “Gary saw my leadership potential and mentored me throughout my career in OUSD.”
  • Sheilagh Andujar: “Because he saw my passion as Tech's principal for all students, including those with special needs, Gary recruited me to lead the district’s Program for Exceptional Children.
  • Nancy Bloom: “I’m grateful for Gary’s personal involvement at Montclair School, especially replacing our ancient portables with a great new building."
  • Mark Louie:  "As over-qualified as Gary is, he is the voice we need on the school boardHe has experience and success in virtually every aspect of public education."
  • Michael Peters: As a longtime Montera teacher, it's important to have a proven educator on the board who understands and supports every school in Oakland!"
  • Louise Waters: “We need bridge builders like Gary who can bring people together to solve tough issues across community divides.”
  • Joaquin Rivera"As a school board member, Gary brought very high standards of quality and accountability to his votes on charter school applications and renewals." 

College and Career Success

  • Greg Cluster: “Gary’s leadership on the Measure N campaign was pivotal in bringing our work-based learning strategies into every high school.”
  • James Barbuto: “Gary understands that the Education Academy at Skyline is a key strategy for recruiting and preparing the next generation of Oakland Teachers.”
  • Jason Gumataotao: “Gary is a tough but fair and knowledgeable colleague on the Measure N Commission.”
  • Rebecca Lacoque: “Gary understands how career academies transform the high school experience for all of our students.”
  • Andreas Cluver: “Gary has helped to expand work experiences and opportunities for our youth in the building trades.”
  • Dave Byrens: “Gary helped us find great candidates for our annual Kiwanis Scholarships.”
  • Blanche Bluford:  "Gary helped my grandson find just the right program when he was ready for high school:  Now he is a lineman for PG&E"
  • Jayi Thompson:  Gary helped me offer dual enrollment courses in Communications to high schoolers that allows them to experience success in college classes, while they are in high school!  

Our High Potential Students

  • Rev. Pablo Morataya: “We honor Gary for his support for our newcomers Adult ESL classes at our church.”
  • Dr. Ken Berrick: “Gary has supported Seneca's quality services and programs for students with Special Needs.”
  • Gina Pascual: “Many of our newcomer students had summer internships, thanks to Gary's networking."
  • Rev. Randy Roth:  Gary has supported Career Bridge from its inception, and now we are able to offer paid summer stipends for students from West to East Oakland.
  • Lacy Asbill.  "Gary showed us how we could integrate Social Emotional Learning into our reading program, Reading with Relevance."
  • Ryan Waters: “Gary helped us find a great infant-toddler program, and a high quality pre-school for our daughter.”
  • Lauren Cherry:  "Eliminating disproportionate and unnecessary suspension has always been an important goal for Gary."
  • Earl Crawford: “Gary pointed me to my career as an educator, and he continues to support me as principal of a community day school.”

Science and the Arts

  • Awele Makeba: “Gary has always found the time to support our performing arts program at Skyline.”
  • Julie Haydon: “Gary and Caroline helped us expand our Cantare con Vivo music program into 10 Oakland schools.”
  • Randy Porter: “Gary hired me to be an OUSD music teacher 31 years ago, and he has supported my music program ever since.”
  • Caleb Chung: “Supporting science education in Oakland has always been a priority for Gary.”
  • Wendy Morrison: “Gary worked with the PTA to find a solution to our building and enrollment issues.”
  • Barbara Buswell: “Gary loves science in the schools, and so do I!”
  • Carol Pancho Ash: “We need Gary’s experience and his love for science education.”