Beth Bernstein-Yamashiro ’83
Principal, Environmental Charter School
Beth, a GDS-lifer, has dedicated her career to the values first instilled in her at GDS: a love of learning, an abhorrence of bigotry and intolerance, a broadly rounded fund of knowledge, the ability to enter the great conversations of life, and the willingness and capacity to bring needed change to a troubled world. At UC Berkeley, she was active in student government, advocating for the inclusion of African-American studies in the university curriculum. After graduating from college, she became an educator.
Beth has served as principal of the Environmental Middle School, a charter school in Inglewood, California, since 2013. The school’s mission is “to create and deliver vibrant, innovative interdisciplinary learning opportunities using the environment to engage students and connect them to the wider world.”
Prior to that, during her tenure as principal of the Los Angeles Leadership Academy Charter School, she saw the school through a successful extension of its charter. Because of her work administering the GEAR UP program—a federal and state program that encourages and prepares low-income students to attend college—she was able to support an opening of a new high school campus, which continues to send students to colleges around the country.