Transition to Tuscarora

By Dagney Palmer, Lili Samios, and Megan Ford
LEESBURG, VA – A new school year brings new things, especially if you’re going to a brand new school. Everybody was looking forward to going to Tuscarora High School. New teachers, new administration, new coaches, new everything; the hype going into the school was extremely high and many people’s hopes were up. The only question now is, did the school live up to these expectations?
  Moving to a new school is a big deal for any student, but especially if that student is coming from a different high school. Some may have felt like they were forced to come here, against their will, while others were quite excited for this new experience. They have the opportunity to start new traditions and make the school their own. They will remember the time they spent at Tuscarora High School for the rest of their lives; because of the long-lasting relationships they will form with other members of the school population. As of now, student’s opinions vary on the success of certain aspects of the school, while the staff displays virtually the same opinion. 
   Student opinions on this school are diverse. While some believe that the school is on the right track and is set to go in the direction in needs to be going in, others still believe that there are many things to be fixed. One student says “Tuscarora is a just a new school with some kinks to work out. I can’t wait to see how much better it is once they are all fixed, which they [the administration] seem[s] to be trying to do as the year progresses.” Another student argues that most people seem to dislike the school. While the upperclassmen are making statements about “how much they miss their old schools and teachers” the freshman really step back to think. One freshman said that she didn’t know what to expect when it came to the new school since “no one knew what to expect [prior to opening day].” Just like any other high school though, there will be things that you like, and there will be things that you don’t like.
    Teachers at Tuscarora are all relatively happy here, even the ones who didn’t have a choice about whether or not they wanted to switch schools.  Before the beginning of the year there was a staff retreat so the teachers and administration would be able to get to know one another. Almost from the week school started students have noticed that teachers seem to be following similar lesson plans as well as talking more to one another than at their old schools. “We collaborate more on the curriculum that is going to be taught in our classrooms,” says one teacher, “It’s nice being in a new school because the staff is willing to get to know each other, everyone is in the same boat.” Mr. Bednarski, working at the school as an AP World History teacher, says that, “it’s nice to have a restart, to press the reset button.”
   The principal of Tuscarora High School, Ms. Pamela Paul-Jacobs, has a very positive and specific goal in mind for our new school: to produce productive students, bring people together, and to achieve and model excellence. She plans to bring many common high school traditions into our school, such as decorating the halls for homecoming along with the tradition of homecoming court. “These traditions will be ongoing,” Ms. Jacobs pointed out. She is feeling very satisfied with the current status of our school, saying that “there is no such thing as perfect, but one should always strive for perfection.” Ms. Jacob’s is working with the school faculty to address certain issues that have come to her attention; such as iPods in study hall and food in classrooms. Ms. Jacobs wants students to feel that they can come to her to address these issues. She believes that the majority of students are excited to be attending Tuscarora, but that there are some mixed emotions. Overall Ms. Jacobs says the students have “come to a point of acceptance; there’s not as much grumbling. We’re still one voice, one school, one family,”
   Coming to Tuscarora was a big deal for all the new students. The juniors are coming to a new school after being at a different high school for two years, sophomores are coming to a new school without a choice, and the freshmen are coming to high school for the first time, which is exciting no matter what. Everyone has a different opinion of the school, both students and teachers. Although the juniors had the choice to switch to Tuscarora, some still complain. The sophomores had no choice what-so-ever, and yet there are about as many sophomores complaining as there are juniors. You won’t hear as many complaints from the freshman, but could you really expect to? They’ve never attended a high school before so they have nothing to compare to. Overall the teachers like the school, and when the students stop complaining about all the little things, they have fun here too. So there may be a few kinks to work out, but this IS the first year and that is to be expected. We all have a chance to make the school our own, and why shouldn’t we?