Since we could not hold a traditional graduation ceremony this year, each one of our seniors and their families came to school this week for a special individual moment: students donned their caps and gowns and received their diplomas on stage while professional photographers captured their joy and pride. Gateway teachers and staff who hadn’t been in our school building since mid-March gathered in small groups to cheer the students on and share the moment. It almost felt like being there for our students’ weddings. It was that intimate and distinct for each person.
Please join me in celebrating my four graduating advisees. They are powerful, beautiful, and accomplished. They are our future.
Olga: Authentic kindness defines her. Quietly ambitious, Olga never met a challenge or opportunity she walked away from. Doggedly positive, a scientist and future nurse.
Ali: A huge presence in our school. Outgoing, inquisitive, hilarious. He was more disappointed than anyone when we were forced to close schools. Ali challenged us to be the best teachers possible to make learning universally accessible. His graduation feels like a team win.
JR: Never one to seek the spotlight, but be sure to listen carefully for his wisdom and humor. Honest and straightforward, a man of integrity. JR, summing me up: “Do you like Dolly Parton? I figured you did because she’s who old white ladies like.”
Kiki: An old soul who carries the burdens of many. She sees the world clearly- its ugliness and hypocrisy, as well as the beauty of individuals. Her bright smile and essence radiate onto those around her.
I’m crying over here.