Beloved Aim High and San Francisco educator, Gaela Peters, is not saying goodbye, she is saying see you later. Gaela has spent 10 years with Aim High, including six as a Site Director for our Excelsior campus. She is a school counselor at Balboa High School during the academic year. On July 21, she is moving to Atlanta, where she will be a high school counselor and continue to inspire the students and teachers around her.
Alec Lee, Aim High’s Executive Director and co-founder joined Aim High/Excelsior’s morning circle on Tuesday to surprise Gaela with a few words of appreciation. “We’re fortunate she has been part of Aim High for so long” Alec remarked.“She believes deeply in our model and impact. But what she believes in most is the kids who come through our doors every day. She loves them unconditionally.”
On Thursday, her students also had a chance to say goodbye. It was a fitting and emotional farewell for her current and former students, many of whom are now teaching with the program or working in Aim High’s central office.
One of them is Sarah Kong, an Aim High graduate, former teacher, and current central office staff member. “As a middle school student, teenager, and even now as a young adult, I was unsure of who I was and who I wanted to be.” Sarah says. “But seeing Gaela at Aim High every summer for over a decade made me realize that she is the educator that I wished to be. I want to be empathetic and compassionate to everyone around me. I want to inspire and impact young people as an educator. But most importantly, I want to change lives like she changed mine.”
Another former Gaela student and current central office staff member Mariah Napoles adds, “At Aim High, she makes kids feel at home. I am so honored to have worked with such a warmhearted leader.”
Alec agreed, “Gaela makes people around her better. We will miss her deeply. She is a shining star.”
Thank you for all you have done for the Aim High and San Francisco communities, Gaela. We will see you soon!