Dr. Patrick Gaffney

Principal

Dr. Patrick Gaffney came to the Bay Area after growing up in Los Angeles and living in Europe and South America.  His higher education pursuits lead to degrees in Anthropology, Marriage and Family Counseling, and Doctoral studies in Leadership and Organizational Development.  His career in education spans more than twenty-four years with the last seventeen being in administration.  He has taught a wide range of diverse subjects from Wilderness and Urban Survival, World History, to adult daily living classes for the severely handicapped in Los Angeles Unified School District.  He has served in a variety of school leadership roles including Guidance Counselor, Assistant Principal, Principal, Director of Curriculum, Director of Discipline and Attendance, and Director of Special Education.  He has been the head of school for multiple primary and secondary schools.  He earned his Doctorate of Education from UCLA in 1999 at the age of thirty.  

When not working he enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his son Dakota.  As a single father he is aware of the importance of work/life balance.  He enjoys working with kids to achieve their goals and pursue their passions.  His son’s interest in trains has led to travels all over the United States and train rides from Plymouth, Maine to Mendocino, California.  In his small amounts of free time he continues to keep his survival skills honed, travels extensively including all of Route 66, and earned his pilot’s license.  

Dr. Gaffney is very excited to bring his skills and experience to SPA to improve student achievement and well-being through systems thinking.  He believes that all students should have the opportunity to achieve their academic, artistic, and general life goals and looks forward to supporting that end.