Reflecting on our flight

Look back at some of the most memorable moments of the 2018-2019 school year

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Principal Brian Knight says there’s no way anyone could have prepared for the “unique” things that happened at SHS this year. When planning for this school year, or any school year, Knight says he leaves one foot in the previous year and one foot in the next because preparations start before the summer even begins. He feels himself and the administration can try to look ahead and figure out what concerns may pop up, but they can never fully prepare for the unexpected, which was much of the 2018-2019 school year.

This year, according to Knight, many unique things, seen as positives and negatives, occurred within the SHS community. Many of these events were things no one, not even the highest of administration, could have prepared for.

 

First Quarter

To start off the year strong, SHS created a new freshman orientation titled Cardinal Compass. Administration gathered incoming junior and senior leaders to lead the new freshman class in an orientation, making the transition to high school easier. Freshmen were split into groups to talk about the years ahead and went on a tour of the school.

Freshman Aryssa Ramos says she loved having the experience of touring the school and meeting new people before her first year at the high school even began.

“It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be with them being there,” Ramos said. “It was like, ‘Oh, this is high school. This is way better than middle school.’”

      Administration also implemented a new iPass at the beginning of this school year. New iPass classes are separated by grade, while other iPass classes are for organizations or athletics.

Not too long after new iPasses were implemented and the school year began, tragedy struck the SHS community. Two students, senior Tyler Hall and junior Juwan Smith, passed away.     

Hall’s girlfriend, sophomore Aaliyah McCool, says he was her best friend, and his unexpected passing hit her really hard. While she is still working through the grief and trying to find motivation, she says Hall made her realize there is more to life than what it seems.

      “(His passing) made me realized instead of cherishing things more when they’re gone, you need to cherish them more in the moment than what you already do,” McCool said.

      Only a week later Smith passed away. His friend, sophomore Hayden Puckett, says Smith made him open his eyes and see that all of the small moments in life do matter because people never know when or how things will come to an end.

      “Something can be gone in a few seconds,” Puckett said. “Just like that.”

 

Second Quarter

On Nov. 2, 2018, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence held a rally in the SHS fieldhouse, in support of Senator Mike Braun for the upcoming midterm elections, who was also present at the rally.

“I don’t think you can have a plan in place for ‘Hey, the National Republican party is going to call you and want to use the Fieldhouse for a presidential rally and the president and the vice president are going to be there, along with a senator candidate,” Knight said.

According to Knight, no matter where people stand on the political aspects of Trump, there needs to be some reverence for that office and the fact that it wants to use SHS to host a rally.

Senior Liz Lamkin feels the same. She says despite anyone’s political views, it was pretty cool that the current sitting President of the United States came to SHS because not many people can say that. She went to the rally because she wanted to have the full experience of Trump’s visit.

“When I heard that Trump was coming, I thought it was pretty cool for our high school to have the president in it,” Ramos said. “Like, even if you don’t like him, the President of the United States was in our high school.”

Shortly after his visit, another SHS student passed away in a car accident, senior Rashawn Haskins. The passing of Haskins devastated many, but brought the community together as they supported his family and celebrating what he had accomplished in his life.

Senior Akshar Zaveri says although he didn’t know Haskins extremely well, it was still sad for him, as well as the whole community. He was astonished, though, at how much a tragedy could bring a community together.

“I’m from a different country so I was pretty amazed seeing everyone come together to help a family out,” Zaveri said.

Lamkin thinks that despite all rivalries, these unfortunate deaths really showed what SHS can and will do for a student.

 

Third Quarter

Ramos was a part of Best Buddies at SHS until it was shut down for the rest of the school year on Jan. 1. Ramos was confused when she initially heard the news because of how much the program benefitted special education students, as well as their buddies. But she says she now understands that not many meetings were being planned, and enough wasn’t happening to keep the program on its feet. She is, however, excited for next year, as she hopes the organization can have a fresh start and be better than ever.

 

Fourth Quarter

On April 19, SHS’ Riley Dance Marathon held their six hour dance marathon. Lamkin and Zaveri were both involved in RDM this school year. Because Lamkin was president of RDM this year, she said it brought much more stress and many responsibilities on her, but she wouldn’t trade her experience for anything. Zaveri couldn’t help but be proud, too, because the organization raised around $11,000 more than last school year.

Ramos was on the catering committee of RDM. She says when she heard that they raised $66,000, it was crazy. She feels extremely proud of the work that RDM has done this year for the kids.

“When they revealed the goal, we were all crying, like so excited,” Ramos said.

Lamkin says her high school experience is one she will never forget. She knows she has made lifelong friends and mentors out of students and teachers at SHS, along with Zaveri who says SHS has definitely reached his initial expectations. Ramos also says her first year of being at SHS has gone above and beyond anything she could have imagined.

There were surprising, enjoyable and devastating events and changes that took place at SHS this school year according to these students, but without this variety SHS wouldn’t be what it is today and wouldn’t impact as many lives as it does.

“If we want to excel in an ever changing World, then we’ve got to be changing,” Knight said.

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