Mary Gaukel

Executive Director

Mary Gaukel Forster has been a teacher and an administrator for over 27 years. She taught grades 1-12 and has been an elementary principal, a high school assistant principal, an alternative school principal and a director of curriculum and instruction. Mary holds a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Santa Clara University, a Teaching Credential and a Bachelors Degree in English and Spanish from San Jose State University. As an alternative principal, Mary, created, staffed and opened a high school program and a middle school. Mary served as the principal of Delta School at Cabrillo College for the past six years and began leadership of Branciforte Small Schools in the Fall of 2012. Branciforte Small Schools is composed of Costanoa, an alternative high school, ARK, an independent studies high school, Monarch, a parent cooperative elementary school, and AFE, a home school. Mary was named the Educational Options Administrator of the Year, for 1997 and 2011, by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), Region X. In addition, Mary served as an educational consultant to the Pajaro Valley Student Assistance and Prevention Program. She has been a member of the Monterey Bay Regional Partnership (School to Career), the Cabrillo College Articulation Committee, California Department of Education Drop-out Prevention Team, Association of California School Administrators Educational Options Council, and the Pajaro Valley Healthy Start Collaborative Committee. Mary is a current board member of Your Future Is Our Business. Mary lives in Capitola with her husband, Les Forster who is principal at Cypress High School.