Message From The Principal

Hello Gator Families:

On behalf of the GATES High School team, I am very pleased to welcome all students, parents and guardians to the 2020 school year.  It is often thought that educators take the summer off.  I can tell you that while we may enjoy a little vacation time, most of us continue working by continuing our own professional growth through reading, workshops, and attending classes and conferences. This year, we have retained 100% of our instructional team and have some new additions to our support and administrative team.  I would like to welcome our new intervention case manager, Ms. Ari Peters, who works in our Regulate and Restore room, as well as our credit recovery lab.  We also have a new part-time para, Ms. Nichole Graham, who will support our English Language Learners.  On the administrative side of the house, we welcome Dr. Brian Olsen as our new assistant principal, and Ms. Angela Quiram (“Q”), as our new dean of students.  GATES has added a new position, and we welcome Ms. Kristina Levendoski as our family engagement coordinator.  Each of us is here to serve the needs of our students and families, as we recognize that learning does not begin and end in the classroom, it is a community event and we are all committed to the success of every students. 

I am proud to share that the class of 2019 was our most successful class in the history of GATES High School.  We increased our on-time graduation rate to an all-time high of 78.7%.  We have set a goal to increase this again for our class of 2020 and hope to exceed 80%!  This kind of success only happens when we work together as a team.  The number one indicator of student success at GATES is regular attendance.  Students who fail, or drop out, share one thing in common…low attendance.  We fully understand that many of our students and families are living in difficult situations that can make regular attendance a challenge.  That said, please communicate with us if there are challenges, and allow us the opportunity to work with you to build support and assist when possible.   We offer many on campus supports that may be of benefit, please just let us know.

It is an honor to work with a team that is highly professional and take their work very seriously.  It is our goal to facilitate academic growth as well as social emotional growth for all students.  After a successful pilot last year, this year we have adopted a new Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum called School Connect which will be taught as a two-term class to all new incoming Gators.  Through hands on learning, this course focuses on responsible decision making through self-awareness, social awareness, self-management and relationship skills. 

Finally, I hope to see you all during our upcoming Student Led Conference week, September 30- October 3rd.  You should be hearing from the school very soon to schedule these.

As always, thank you for trusting us with the education of your child.  We commit to ensure that they receive a high quality and rigorous education and are prepared for life beyond high school.




Valinda Jones


Val Jones
Principal, GATES High School
(253) 298-4000