Once a Gator, always a Gator

If the handmade signs gripped by the Southgate students didn’t make that message clear enough, the loud – very loud – chants, screams, and cheers of the current Gators did!

Kindergarten through fifth grade students lined the halls June 21 to enthusiastically greet the Shaker High School students who once walked the same halls as students themselves for the first-ever Gator Parade, celebrating the Class of 2023.

“It was a great experience,” graduating senior Sophia Quackenbush said. “When we were here we were so little and coming back is a different experience. This is where we started. We’re Gators.”

School mascot “Allie” joined the festivities both in the halls and then outside for a reception that included a lot of hugs and photo ops as teachers joined their former students.

Graduating senior Kelly Alexander said she got chills. “Time goes by fast. You realize you have to enjoy every second so it was really special.

“I remember looking up at graduating seniors and was just amazed,” she added. “ I think it was really important, and we were lucky to come back.”