Photo by Kelly CatheyMoregan Gatti and Colby Gordon made the first ever senior walk through the halls of Providence Classical Academy. They are the first to graduate from the school, which was founded more than a decade ago, and were celebrated by more than 450 students, faculty and administrators.

Providence Classical Academy hit a milestone this year.

Moregan Gatti and Colby Gordon have etched their names into the school’s history as the school’s first graduates. The Class of 2016 was honored at a graduation ceremony May 20 during a celebration full of pomp and circumstance.

PCA began with only a handful of families more than a decade ago. Colby enrolled at PCA as a fifth grader and when the school was still located at First Baptist Bossier.

“A friend in church told me about this place. I was here the next year,” he explained. “Academics trump anything else here and that’s what I really enjoy.”

Providence Classical Academy began the 2015-16 school year with a record enrollment of 450 students from Bridge through 12th Grade. They have also started construction on Phase 3 of campus expansion and were awarded accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), an accreditation division of AdvancED.

Moregan enrolled her freshman year. She said it was her decision to leave Bossier’s public school system to be a PCA Knight.

“I just loved it here,” she said. “I loved how welcoming it was. When I first got here, I didn’t feel lost in the crowd. The student/teacher ratio was much lower and I really loved the one-on-one time.”

When it came time for senior year, they had the opportunity to create new traditions at the school. Colby joked, “I don’t know what a typical senior year is like. They didn’t have a high school before us.”

Moregan, however, feels as though she had it all this year.

“The teachers helped us experience senior year,” she said. “We had a dance that was kind of like prom. We had a homecoming dance that is so different than the public schools. They transformed the gym into a circus and a starry night. They go all out for us and I am really thankful for that.”

A highlight this year was the senior walk. Dressed in their cap and gowns, Moregan and Colby paraded through the hallways as the younger classes cheered. It was at that moment when Moregan realized things were changing.

“The more we did towards graduation really made me think – I’m not going to be in high school anymore. We are really growing up,” she said.

Colby agreed: “I’ve been told all my life – you have to be the example for these kids. They look up to us. They are watching us. That’s absolutely true.”

During these new and exciting times come bittersweet feelings for the entire PCA family.

“We’re used to seeing them every day,” Lucy Clay, PCA Administrative Assistant, said. “Moregan has a heart of gold and is as sweet as she can be. Colby is a super intellect and a great Blues Brothers impersonator. It’s going to be hard for them. They have a lot of new encounters and experiences coming their way, but they will do great. They can always come back to see us.”

Moregan is the daughter of Stephanie Richardson and Randy Gatti. She plans to attend University of Louisiana at Monroe in the fall with hopes of one day becoming a NICU nurse.

Colby Gordon is the son of Kenneth and Susan Gordon. He plans to attend Baylor University in the fall to study economics or computer/electrical engineering.

Colby’s advice to the future graduates of PCA is to focus on academics.

“Simple and easy — do your homework,” he said.

Moregan urged her fellow Knights to have confidence and have faith in God’s plan.

“Believe that you can do it,” she said. “Coming from a broken background, I felt like I couldn’t do it sometimes. You can do it though. The fact that I’m graduating is humbling and it is all by the grace of God. Without him, I am nothing. If you believe that, it will keep you going and give you hope. High school is daunting, but with God all things are possible.”

Photo by Amanda Simmons
Photo by Amanda Simmons