About Us

  • The GATE Institute is a partnership between the GATE Program and Procter Hug High School. With GT-endorsed teachers, specially designed classes, accelerated course pathways, and flexible scheduling identified GT students in ninth through twelfth grades can expect to take classes based on interests, strengths, and readiness. Qualified students are invited to apply for admission. This model is appropriate for gifted scholars who are prepared for advanced coursework and acceleration, yet still, desire a traditional and comprehensive high school experience. Students successfully completing this model are self-motivated learners who are college and career-bound.

 Cristina Oronoz, Principal

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Degrees and Certifications:

Cristina Oronoz, Principal

Background:                  
In July of 2017, I joined Hug High School as the new principal. I have a B.S. in Special Education and two master's degrees- Curriculum & Instruction and Education Administration. I have over 15 years of experience in working with diverse high school students and I am excited to be a part of The GATE Institute at Procter R. Hug High School. I am committed to the program, the students and hope to continue to maintain a strong partnership with the Gifted and Talented Education Program department. The GATE Institute continues to grow and evolve as it becomes a truly unique and pioneering option for gifted learners.

What I love about Hug High School:

I love the students, families, faculty and staff. The Hug community is diverse, caring, supportive and loving of each other. 

 Judith Lombard, GATE High School Facilitator

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Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor's in English Master's in Educational Leadership Endorsement in Administration Endorsement in Gifted and Talented

Judith Lombard, GATE High School Facilitator


Background:

I have spent over 14 years of my career teaching GT students, consulting GT families and training teachers on gifted education across the nation, while creating strong relationships within the GT community in Washoe County. I have my master's degree in Educational Leadership from UNR in the Nevada Leads program, and I am therefore delighted to be on the front lines of this unique and truly pioneering partnership between Washoe County’s Gifted and Talented Education Program and Procter Hug High School.  

Extra Curricular Activities:

I am an identical twin, mother of 4 gifted and talented children (two of whom attend the GATE Institute, one at McQueen, and one who graduated from McQueen). In my free time I practice martial arts as a 3rd Degree Black Belt, instruct at/and co-direct the fitness program at Freestyle Martial Arts.  
 
What I love about Hug High School:

Hug High School sees the potential in EVERY student, whether they are starting from behind, or starting ahead.  Each student is an individual, with individual needs.  This is the perfect environment for a gifted student who needs something different, whether it’s flexible scheduling, compacted curriculum, special programming, or they want to balance the academics with the extra curricular activities.  Hug High School is a place where the student comes first, always.

 John Kocian, GATE Institute Site Lead & English Teacher

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Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor's in English Master's in English Education Endorsement in Gifted and Talented AP Test Reader

John Kocian, GATE Institute Site Lead & English Teacher

GATE Institute Site Lead, English teacher, AP Capstone, AP English Literature, AP English Language, Honors English 1-2, Honors English 3-4, Former English Department Lead for the Department of Gifted and Talented Education Programs 

Background: 


I was graduated by Columbus State University with a B.A. in English in 2001 and a M.Ed. In English Education in 2011.  I have also completed my Gifted and Talented Education Endorsement.  I have presented sessions about gifted education and English at AP Annual Conferance and the National Council of Teachers of English Conference over the last 3 years.

Extracurricular Activities:


I enjoy reading and watching sports and political news shows on television.  Occasionally I will go on a hike, if I have to because I am stranded in the wilderness. 

What I love about Hug High School: 

I love the community and diversity of Hug High School

 Nissa Beasley

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Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor's in Journalism Master's in Secondary Education Endorsement in Gifted and Talented

Nissa Beasley

GATE Institute History Teacher

Background:

I have a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (2005) and a Master of Secondary Education (2015), both from UNR. I love teaching social studies and writing. Real-world experience shapes my approach to teaching. Prior to teaching, I worked in both the public and private sectors, including WCSD's GATE Magnet Middle School at Mendive. I bring those experiences into the classroom to show students how problem-solving and collaboration skills will set them apart from the crowd.  

Extracurricular Activities:

I love to travel, play music, and spend time with my family. 

What I love about Hug High School:

We have great teachers and inspiring students. 

 Amy Berhousen

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Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor's of Science Master's in Curriculum & Instruction Endorsement in Gifted and Talented

Amy Berhousen

GATE Institute Science Teacher: AP Chemistry, Honors Chemistry

Background:

B.S. University of California, Davis, Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on the needs of students identified as Gifted and Talented. Teaching licenses: Nevada: Gifted and Talented (7-12), Science (7-12), Teaching English as a Second Language (7-12). California: Gifted Education Specialist, Science (K-adult), English Learner Authorization(K-adult).   

Extra Curricular Activites:

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and walking my two dogs.  

What I love about Hug High School:

Hug has a strong community of caring people. This is my first year and the staff have been welcoming and helpful. Students at Hug have access to a wide variety of Honors and AP classes. I enjoy teaching the chemistry students they are a dedicated, hard working and creative group.  

 Arthur Pacheco

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Arthur Pacheco

GATE Institute Math Teacher

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Extra Curricular Activities:

What I love about Hug High School

Ms. Elena Amador

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Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education Masters of Education in Special Education Endorsement in Gifted and Talented Endorsement in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Ms. Elena Amador

Art Teacher and National Art Honor's Society Advisor

Background:

Originally from Las Vegas, I relocated to Reno for college where I began my teaching career shortly after graduating from UNR. Since graduating, I have been busy working on my masters, multiple endorsements, and trying to build a strong art program at Hug. I am currently in my third year of teaching, and truly love what I do.

Extracurricular Activities:

In my free time I enjoy reading, practicing yoga, cooking, and traveling with my fiance. 

What I love about HHS:

I love working with such eager students, and feel I can positively affect their education in my classes. For many of my students art is break in their day and gives them an opportunity to think more abstractly when problem solving. My favorite part of teaching art is helping students create work they did not realize they were capable of.