Caleb Marquart will be forever grateful to have been a “Gurber” student in Red Deer.
Marquart, who’s the Valedictorian of Gateway Christian School’s Class of 2022, has been among the high school students who have studied core subjects at Gateway but taken their options at the larger Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School next door.
Marquart said he’s happy to be among the “Gurber students,” and feels it was 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.”
For his speech to classmates on graduation day, Caleb plans to talk about the value of the community.
“Every person in my graduating class has really contributed to that experience,” he said. “When you’re in a bigger school there’s 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.
“It’s an honour to be named Valedictorian,” Marquart added, noting 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.”
Looking back on his high school career, some highlights were the special events 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 have an opportunity to collaborate with younger students through the Buddy Program, which is really cool.”
In Grade 12, Marquart was paired up with Grade 5-er and enjoyed being an older mentor. “Having a buddy gives you perspective of what it is like to go through school… you can just share your experiences.”
This fall, Marquart will head to Red Deer Polytechnic in the Bachelor of Engineering program, eventually transferring to the University of Alberta.
Geannette Lehman, Principal at Gateway Christian School, said Marquart has earned the Valedictorian title. “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 …We are incredibly proud of Caleb and wish him all the best!”
Gateway ‘s graduation ceremony is on June 28 at New Life Fellowship Christian Reformed Church.