Dear Gateway Community,
Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year! We are excited about safely returning to school and moving forward with a renewed, revitalized and reimagined spirit and energy. As a school community, we have not only spent this past year getting clear on our commitment to eradicate practices that marginalize certain groups of people, we have also looked inward as a school community to ensure that our commitment to all GMS members regardless of race, class, beliefs, learning profile, and gender identity, are valued, affirmed and celebrated. It is because of each person’s unwavering belief and trust in each other that we overcame a global pandemic that upended all our lives. A year and a half later, we stand stronger together and united as one. We could not ask for a more incredible and beautiful community of people to work with and for.
As a new member of Gateway Public Schools, it is a true honor and privilege to be the incoming Gateway Middle School principal. In working alongside our talented GMS Site Leadership Team--Lucy Hilarides, Assistant Principal, Cassandra Dougherty, Director of Inclusive Learning, and Kia Clark, Dean of Culture--I have learned so much in such a short time, AND I know I have so much more to learn. I have also had the opportunity to speak with and listen to all staff members, many families, and young people about their hopes and dreams for our safe return to school. I heard:
- The strong desire and excitement of coming back to school to be with friends and teachers
- The need to hold space for students to have critical conversations about the current political and social climate
- Their support of our school’s approach and actions towards becoming an antiracist and pro-Black community, rooted in joy, love, belonging, and excellence for all stakeholders
- A huge and resoundingly deep appreciation to all the GMS leaders, staff and faculty during distance learning. During this difficult time, parents/caregivers and young people felt held and supported while protecting each person’s learning.
- Prioritizing the mental and spiritual well-being of our students and staff by building mental and physical stamina
Our main priority this year is to take all that we have learned from distance learning and prior to distance learning to not only reopen our doors to our community, but to rebound from the setbacks caused by the COVID pandemic and years of racial, environmental and educational injustice. Being on a team with education warriors and geniuses, I have no doubt in my heart, mind and spirit that our community will thrive once more and in new and profound ways.
On behalf of our entire community, we look forward to seeing you all very soon!. Until then, please always feel free to reach out by email or by phone with any questions. We look forward to your continued support and participation this year and beyond.