Congratulations to Gateway's Class of 2012!
Each member of the Class of 2012 wrote reflections on their experiences at Gateway and shared them during commencement in June. Their statements show that Gateway students are self-advocates who can comfortably discuss challenges and strengths. They were moving, powerful, funny, poignant, articulate, and mature. Hearing them was a tremendous testimony to the work of the faculty at Gateway and to the achievements of each of these wonderful students. We have excerpts here.
J: "Reading was always easy for me, but writing was more difficult. Now, I still don’t like to write, but when I have help, I can write faster and well. I have gotten much better at math because I find it interesting and fun. Homework is still an issue, but I’m working on it!"
B: "Over my years at Gateway, I have learned how to deal with things that were hard before. I learned how to be around others and how to act in a socially acceptable way. Learning to communicate better has been hard but worthwhile work. The many key, guiding principles that I learned here long ago are now a part of me and will always stand by me."
D: "I have gained new abilities and talents since coming here, through experiences like the great dance classes. I've have lots of great memories from the fun plays, the sports teams and sharing laughs."
M: "I have actually had fun during my middle school years. I know what you’re thinking and yes, now you’ve heard everything! I know you all hated middle school, but I am being completely serious. Due to Gateway’s arts programs, I have discovered an interest in improvisation, writing, and acting."
G: "One of the biggest strengths that I have is being independent in a classroom and taking notes. I think my independence derives from my ability to ask questions in class and to understand the role I have in school as a student. Gateway has helped me with my challenges by letting me recognize them so I may deal with them in future."
V: "My favorite memories of Gateway would have to be all of my time in Center Robotics…Gateway has helped me by giving me the time to work on my weaknesses and maximize my strength. Now my math is at a level where I can keep up with other people and I can read much better faster."
A: "One of my abilities and talents is that I am a good athlete. I was a part of most of the sports teams at Gateway. Gateway teachers have addressed my challenges by teaching me in a different way, that didn’t make me know that I was struggling with the topic."
M: "I arrived here in sixth grade with difficulties in reading comprehension, maintaining focus, and anxiety. Gateway has helped me overcome these challenges and become a better student and person. From learning strategies, one on one study, small group classes, and dedicated teachers who specialize in working with people like me so I am able to succeed."
B: "I have strengths, mainly in oral presentations and history. Gateway has helped me use my strengths to great effect and has given me ways to deal with my weaknesses like letting me type my work."
M: "I am a good and loyal friend. I am also a good athlete and a good leader. I was the captain of the basketball team along with Ava and Leona. Now I am articulate and I have a good sense of humor. But I am also very humble."
J: “ 'Life is like photography. You need negatives to develop'. What this quote means to me is, every mistake you make, you are supposed to learn from it and keep moving forward. When you make a wrong decision, you do not stay at that moment of your life and feel bad about it. You make it, and use it as a lesson learned, because experiencing mistakes is one way of growing up."
A: "I had to learn English as a second language when I was little, Gateway helped me a lot. For example, reading out loud helped me a lot, and I can read out loud now without being scared. Another way Gateway has helped me is by teaching me how to organize my things such as my trapper and work. Now I can find my work in my bag. One of my greatest strengths is sports. I was captain for the soccer and basketball teams. Being on the different teams has really showed me that I could be a leader and an athlete at the same time. I am now confident to move on to high school because of Gateway."
H: "I’m excited to enter high school prepared for whatever comes my way, but I am also quite sad, because I will be leaving many memories and people behind me. My time at Gateway has come to an end, but if there is an end, there must be a beginning. Without a beginning, there is no end. Today, I stand here, with a happy ending, and a happy beginning."
A: "I am looking forward to making new friends there and learning in a mainstream class. I’m willing and able to move on, but I will find times when I miss Gateway. However, I will remember Gateway every day when I use strengths that I have learned here. Most of all, I will be better at speaking up and overcoming my shyness and anxiety. I will always remember Gateway."
L: "Although I will miss it here, high school will be another stepping stone in my life. I will be spending the next four years of my life attending a public school as part of their vocal department. I am looking forward to singing my way through high school, and hopefully, the rest of my life. I am also looking forward to the larger classes with a wider academic range."
N: "Our teachers are brave people to take on this challenge of teaching children of promise with disabilities. Our teachers confronted these issues with patience and humor and, sometimes, exasperation, but always they were brave enough to confront the problems to unlock our potential, and in so doing, they gave us and our parents courage to do the same. Being brave and helping others find courage in themselves is a heroic undertaking."
The Class of 2012 is attending the following schools:
Birch Wathen Lenox
Humanities Prep Academy
Quest to Learn