Congratulations, Gateway Class of 2020!

Caitlyn Miller celebrates graduating from Gateway School

N. Flagg

Graduations all over the country had to break from tradition due to unforeseen circumstances—a global pandemic. Although the look and feel of graduation was different, the staff at Gateway School/Crossroads Middle was still able to provide extra flare and a whole lot of love for the Class of 2020.

Gateway/Crossroads staff were (and still are) very proud of Gateway’s Class of 2020. Mrs. Ricketts said, “Despite a very difficult and challenging time, it was awesome to see the staff come together to try to make graduation as special as possible.  I feel we all pulled together to support this year’s graduating class in our own unique way. … It was sad to know that a huge part of high school for so many students had to be changed and altered because of the pandemic but it will also be the most memorable graduating class due to the unforeseen circumstances our entire society had to endure.  This graduating class will be talked about and studied in history classes long after we overcome the Covid-19 crisis of 2020.”

Due to this pandemic, graduates had to schedule a time for themselves and their families to have a personal graduation ceremony. Upon arriving at Gateway, graduates and their families were greeted by the staff who were stationed on Kate Wagner Road. “No other graduating class had a welcoming party set up outside of their schools with cheering teachers and staff members holding personal signs for each graduate,” Mrs. Ricketts remarked. We love our students!

Staff had balloons, noise makers, banners, personalized signs for graduates, and a bunch of excitement! Everyone could tell that the teachers and staff were immensely excited for and wanted to help celebrate with this graduating class. Students persevered through a pandemic and many other obstacles to make it across the finish line.

During the ceremony, social distancing was implemented, so there were no hugs and it seemed as if everyone were miles apart, but even so graduation was made special for each graduate. They were presented by one of the staff members at Gateway or Crossroads with a speech about their time and accomplishments while at Gateway. There were 19 students who attended graduation this year:

  • Caitlin Ahalt
  • Chelsea Alder
  • Asia Alexander
  • Aiden Anderson
  • Damion Beatty
  • Declan Browning
  • Irvin Castillo
  • Matt Forney
  • Megan Glass
  • Jake Hess
  • Ian Huber
  • Cassidy Mellott
  • Crystal Mendez
  • Caitlyn Miller
  • Clarissa Perez
  • Dustin Reece
  • Vernon “Sam” Renner
  • Drew Simas
  • Catherine Zaepfel

Notably missing from the list of graduates is Danielle Tyler, who was reported missing in April only to find out a short time later that her life had been taken from her. Staff and students are devastated over her loss. Although we were not able to honor Dani the way we would have wanted, the staff at Gateway tried to make Dani’s graduation ceremony as beautiful as possible for her family. Please read the tribute written by Ms. Murchie and the graduation article dedicated to Dani written by Mrs. Flagg to learn more about Dani Tyler. She is a Gateway legend and we all loved her and will miss her immensely. Our hearts go out to the family during this time and we will continue to honor Dani’s legacy.

In spite of personal struggles and a pandemic, the Gateway Class of 2020 will be remembered for a long time. Not because of the pandemic, but because they were wonderful and amazing human beings that we hope will take their talents and make the world a better place.