Gateway Valedictorian thankful for close knit school community
Having grown up in the Gateway Christian School community since Kindergarten, Caleb Marquart, has been named Valedictorian for the Class of 2022.
“It’s an honour to be named Valedictorian,” he said, adding the recognition is a testament to his hard work and dedication over his high school career. “It’s always been a goal of mine to do the best that I can.”
As Caleb looks back on his high school career, there are many moments he will remember.
“Some of the highlights for me were some of the events that we had at Gateway. When I was in Grade 9 we had Chill Fest and the Student Council planned a 12 hour event - that was the first real moment in high school when I realized the community at Gateway is very special,” he said. “We also do worship together as a school, and we have an opportunity to collaborate with younger students through the Buddy Program, which is really cool.”
He added the Buddy Program is a mentorship program within Gateway and includes students in older and younger grades being paired up and spending time together. This year, Grade 12 students were paired up with students in Grade 5. “Having that buddy experience and being able to connect and be a mentor for them is really great and definitely a highlight,” he said. “Having a buddy gives you perspective of what it is like to go through school and just connect with them. It’s not stressful and you can just share your experiences.”
Something unique to Gateway high school students is that they attend Gateway for their core classes, and Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School for their options. They are fondly known as ‘Gurber’ students. For Caleb, this has been a great experience.
“I like the fact of being at a bigger school like Thurber because there are a lot of opportunities with options and sports,” he said. “But then I also enjoy the smaller community that Gateway offers. It is a perfect balance.”
As for his speech to his classmates on graduation day, Caleb said he plans to talk about the value of the community that Gateway offers. “Every person in my graduating class has really contributed to that experience,” he said. “When you’re in a bigger school there is a chance that you are graduating with people that you may not really know. I’ve had the opportunity to have a full conversation with every single one of my classmates. I want to highlight that relationship between us in the Gateway community.”
This fall, Caleb will head to Red Deer Polytechnic in the Bachelor of Engineering program. He will eventually transfer to the University of Alberta.
Geannette Lehman, Principal at Gateway Christian School, said Caleb’s honour is well deserved.
“Caleb is a caring and compassionate young man, who is well respected among his classmates and peers. He has a natural ability to make others feel accepted, and is conscientious to not leave others out,” she said. “Caleb’s diligent work ethic and humble demeanor make him a worthy recipient of the honour of being Gateway’s 2022 Valedictorian! We are incredibly proud of Caleb and wish him all the best!”
Gateway will hold their graduation ceremonies on June 28 at New Life Fellowship Christian Reformed Church.