As I was listening to our 6th and 7th graders rehearse this week for their performance at Thursday’s graduation – a tribute to the class of 2012 – the following words from the song “Upside Down” by Jack Johnson kept repeating in my head.
“Round and round and upside down.
Who’s to say what’s impossible can’t be found.
I don’t want this feeling to go away
Please don’t go away.
Please don’t go away
Is this how it’s supposed to be?
Is this how it’s supposed to be?”
The tradition of our Middle School students sending their classmates off in song is sweet, and conjures up nostalgic memories of our 8th graders time as Gateway School. Our students began this year with a sense of purpose and a desire to make this year their best year yet. Two years ago, 17 students from this class decided to finish their middle school years at different schools. Their departure was difficult on our students, but it made them a stronger and closer group; they were determined to leave a mark on the school. And what a mark they left!
They raised awareness and money for local organizations like Save Our Shores, attended women empowerment conferences (not all of them, just the girls), collected cans for the Second Harvest Food Bank, planned activities for their classmates, and warmly welcomed a new friend to the class this year, turning our ‘Noble Nine’ into the ‘Terrific Ten’. This group’s sense of responsibility to themselves and those around them is admirable and a wonderful bi-product of a Gateway School education.
As our 8th graders prepare to leave Gateway School, it is important to recognize our extraordinary staff who nurtured, cajoled, coaxed, and cared for them as if they were their own. They allowed them to grow, make mistakes, learn, and flourish. Raising thoughtful, bright, independent, and caring children is not easy, but the results speak for themselves.
I am very proud of the class of 2012. I am grateful to their parents for working with the school and trusting your children to our experienced staff of educators. This partnership produced some amazing young men and women.
I wish the Class of 2012 the best in the future as you head off in different directions – to SCHS, Santa Catalina, Monte Vista, Kirby, and Harbor High.
Although my sentimental side wants to plead with you, “please don’t go away”, I know that this is how it’s supposed to be. We love you and will miss you dearly.