Gateway School for Environmental Research and Technology
Gateway Academy, founded in 2003 in the Adlai Stevenson Educational Complex, was designed to help prepare low-income kids for careers in environmental science. But the school, which served many homeless children, children with special education needs, and students whose education has been interrupted, had a poor attendance rate and wasn't able to help enough kids graduate on time. The Department of Education decided to phase it out for poor performance. The school admitted its last 9th graders in the fall of 2011 and it closed in 2015. "We're all frustrated and disappointed," Principal Clifford Siegel, who founded the school after a long career as a teacher in the Bronx, said in an interview in 2012. "The teachers put a lot of effort into what they teach." Siegel was succeeded by the school's assistant principal Lucille DiMeglio.
Some kids did well here, and teachers were proud to tell their success stories: the severely disabled boy who got a job as a Mercedes Benz mechanic, or the bright girl who spent a semester hiking, climbing and whitewater rafting at the Outdoor Academy in North Carolina. A few kids were admitted to top colleges like Cornell and West Point. The students seemed to like their teachers. Teachers were imaginative about how they match kids to help one another--for example, a Vietnamese boy taught another boy about computers while the other boy taught him English. (Clara Hemphill, January 2012/updated September 2015)