At 5 years, the GATE Institute Going Strong


This all started five years ago: a few young, up-and-coming teachers who just wanted to teach their students and help them grow to the best of their abilities. Five years ago was when the GATE Institute found its way here to Hug.

With the start of the GATE Institute came a few teachers, primarily Mr. Kocian, the GT allocated English teacher, but with others in various different admin positions such as Judith Lombard, the GT coordinator for Hug. 

With the beginning of this school year came 3 new GT allocations for the school: Ms. Berkhousen, the science lead; Mrs. Beasley, the social studies lead; and Mr. Pacheco, the math lead for the GATE Institute. Though Mr. Pacheco has been at Hug for many years, over the summer he started his Gifted and Talented license to allow him to best teach as many students as possible. Each will bring something new not only to the school, but to each and every student that they meet.

The GATE Institute at Hug started through talks between Lauren Ford, the principal at the time, and the GATE department led by people such as Ms. Lombard. The idea for the institute came from the plan to have continuous support for GT students from 2nd until 12th grade, which only the Institute could’ve accomplished.

That isn’t to say the Institute was without its growing pains. Two main problems still pierce the heart of the Institute’s ability to best suit the needs of gifted students around the district: reputation and transportation. There is still hesitance in the community towards sending their children to a school with Hug’s reputation. And even for some who get around that negative reputation, many still have transportation issues that just don’t allow them to get to campus.

Though, despite the problems, there was still a flow of students coming to campus for the program. And because of that, both the students and the Institute have flourished. Because of the Institute, students were able to get their AP Capstone Diplomas, earned through taking 4 AP classes including AP Seminar and Research, of which only 10,000 students in the world earned in the 2017-2018 school year.

Additionally, the Institute has helped students all around campus get into an accelerated pathway that leads them to more accelerated classes, higher GPAs, and a better college experience. While originally the Institute had been separated from the general populace of Hug, the barrier has slowly lessened over time, allowing more students from outside the Institute to take part in the accelerated courses.

The GATE Institute at Hug continues to flourish and grow, in no small part due to the staff who have pushed its growth forward, and continues to offer more opportunities to to every student who needs something more to allow them to be the best they could possibly be. With multiple brand new GATE teachers at Hug, the program will only continue to grow, not only for Institute students, but for all students around campus.