Gail Meadows, Principal

Gail Meadows was born in Salina, Kansas in 1950.  She is the daughter of Lavya and Othello Meadows who were both teachers.  They were culturally and politically conscious African-American’s who succeeded financially and had a strong sense of independence.  These qualities intensely influenced their daughter who was the only Black child in the local Catholic School.  She eventually graduated from Kansas Wesleyan University with a BA in Education.

She moved to San Francisco in 1979 with her husband Bob Livingstone.  Gail’s first job in the bay area was teaching at a private school in Daly City.  She was reminded every day of the lack of sensitivity to children and parents of color in our educational system.  This motivated her to start her own school, The Meadows-Livingstone School in December 1979.  The school has been thriving ever since.

A recent front page article in The San Francisco Chronicle states, “Today, Meadows gives African American students the affirmation she lacked as a child. Her 30 students get the rudiments of science and math, reading and writing. But into that mix she adds weekly classes, taught by six part-time teachers, in African civilization, percussion, dance and singing. Genealogy and politics also are in the curriculum.

Educational ‘village’ instills pride, SFGate

“I love this school,” says Lea Williams-Pinkston, the mother of an 18-year-old Meadows-Livingstone graduate and grandmother of a current second-grader. “Gail changed my daughter’s life. She didn’t like bein’ black till she came here. When she left here, she was proud to be who she was.” Tabitha is now a freshman at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania.

“The real difference between Gail’s school and other schools is the sense of community at her school,” says Quo Mieko Judkins, a Mills College graduate who earned a law degree at Penn State and is now a criminal defense attorney with the Washington D.C., public defender’s office.