Ms. Benau- Principal
After visiting Galileo in 2011 and 2014 as part of the WASC groups, Ms. Tami Benau jumped at the opportunity to become the new Principal of Galileo. She loves the fact that the school offers a wide variety of programs, including the academies and pathways. She is also excited to be back in San Francisco, since she attended college at SF State.
Ms. Benau views Galileo as having a lot of energy towards making lives better for students and staff. This involves making the community a place safe and happy for everyone. In a short time, she has picked up on the many positive extracurriculars that Galileo offers. “The courtyard is filled with students doing activities throughout each day,” she noticed.
Previously, Ms. Benau was an Assistant Principal at Albany High School and has taught at schools such as Salesian, Upward Bound, and Chabot College. Although she is Principal now, her goals as an administrator have not changed, they are to support students and teachers to make work they have to do easier and more meaningful. “I have to figure out what support it is that they need. I have to take time to know what the needs are”, said Ms. Benau in regards to her goals. She wants to build a distributive leadership, which is a sense of leadership that everyone is engaged in. “Everyone needs to have an input” she said.
Ms. Arkin- Assistant Principal
Aware of the needs of many high school students because of the things she went through during her high school career, new Galileo assistant principal, Ms. Marisol Arkin, pursued a career as an administrator to be more involved in changes that would improve student’s experience in the classroom.
Ms. Arkin believes she knows how to motivate and encourage studentsbecause she was able to be successful in school, despite not being passionate about the learning, similar to many students now.
Ms. Arkin believes that students have the potential to succeed even when faced with a lack of motivation. She often says, “Just because you don’t love school, doesn’t mean you can’t do well in it.”
Prior to being an administrator, she was teaching and tutoring students in math and also helping teachers understand math curriculums in different schools in the Oakland Unified School District. During her time as a teacher, Ms. Arkin realized that there were many aspects of a student’s school experience that were out of her control, yet she was constantly trying to find solutions to these problems, such as students not doing well in other classes outside of her math class.
In addition to her empathy towards students, Ms. Arkin also tries to spread a positive vibe around Galileo, always looking for the best in others and actively conversing with students. “I love to say nice things about people; I love to tell them that they’re awesome”.
Ms. Ferrante- Assistant Principal
After traveling across 33 countries in a year, new assistant principal, Ms. Gina Ferrante can happily say she is content with her life experiences. Ms. Ferrante developed her desire to travel around the world while in high school, and this dream has pushed her to discover so much about the world, and granted her new experiences.
After saving for 20 years, Ms. Ferrante finally had the opportunity to fulfill her lifetime dream in 2008. She took a sabbatical, while working for SFUSD, and traveled to every single continent, excluding Antarctica.
Traveling the world was one of Ms. Ferrante’s three dreams. To travel, to be a wife, and to be a mother. While she didn’t accomplish the last two, she says, “ my dream to be a mother was fulfilled by teaching students.”
Ms. Ferrante has been working as an educator since 1985. After an adventure filled career, she is looking to finish the last 3-5 years at Galileo.
Mrs. Rocha- Assistant Principal
Previously an assistant principal at Roosevelt Middle School, Ms Holly Rocha, decided to take the position at Galileo because she wanted to reconnect with former students.
Having also been an assistant principal at a school in Redwood City and a principal at a private school in Sacramento, she brings experience and knowledge to Galileo.
Ms. Rocha’s tasks at Galileo include instructional and professional leadership, as well as working with new teachers. However, not only are her responsibilities limited to these, but she also works with the WASC program to improve aspects within Galileo that haven’t met expectations in the past. She says, “I’m confident I can improve Galileo and make it a better place”.
Ms. Rocha has a plethora of activities outside of school. Her favorite activity work is spending time with her kids. Aside from that, she also enjoys travelling. She’s traveled to countries in Europe and Asia, as well as all across the United States.
On her own time she enjoys wakeboarding, a water skiing activity with a snowboard, as well cooking at home, or more specifically, baking, as her favorite things to make are dessert-esque foods.
Ms. Rocha holds a masters in education, as well as a masters in technology. When she was offered the job at Galileo, it seemed to her like an obvious fit, matching her interest in technology with Galileo’s. Ms Rocha says, “coming to Galileo just seemed natural for me.”