Jesse Gates, originally an upstate New Yorker, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the University of Virginia in 1998, and his Master of Science degree in Elementary Education from Syracuse University in 1999. Upon graduation, he spent 10 years teaching fourth grade at Sam D. Panter Elementary School in Paulding County, a suburb of Atlanta. While teaching in Atlanta, he earned his Educational Specialist degree in Educational and Counseling Psychology with an emphasis on children’s mental health from the University of Missouri. He was named the Sam D. Panter Elementary Teacher of the Year and the Paulding County Teacher of the Year in 2006. The following year, he was named one of three Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalists. In 2008, Jesse served on the Georgia Secretary of Education’s Advisory Council where he helped shape several leadership initiatives for the state. In 2009, Jesse moved to St. Johns County and taught fourth grade at PV Rawlings Elementary for a year before becoming an Instructional Technology Program Specialist for St. Johns County for three years. During his time as an Instructional Technology Program Specialist, he served as the chairperson for the Florida Association of Media Educator’s (FAME) Finance Committee and also served on the FAME board until being named Assistant Principal at Hartley Elementary School in 2014. Jesse successfully graduated with his Educational Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Florida in December of 2015. His dissertation, A Public Policy Analysis of Social Networking in Florida Public Schools, made headlines at UF News, news4jax, and other local and state media outlets. Married to a fellow St. Johns County educator, he and his wife Melissa have four children. He is excited to join the Landrum Middle School administration team.