First Year Done

By Lili Samios & Dagney Palmer
TUSCARORA HIGH SCHOOL- It may be hard to remember the beginning of the year, but Tuscarora was very different from how it is now. First off, this school is no longer brand new, and there have been many minor changes made to the school throughout the year. In the beginning of the year, students were interviewed about what they thought of the school, so it is possible to see if student opinions have changed, and how much the changes made by the school have really affected the students.
At the beginning of the year, many students had a negative view of the school, especially upperclassmen, but has that changed? Eric Grimm, who went to Loudoun County High School last year, said, “The school [Tuscarora] has not improved. It has not improved due to the faculty’s lack of appreciation of student ideals. I still think that the staff and principal at County adhered to student needs instead of personal needs,” but maybe some students are more positive.
“At the beginning of the year I wasn’t sure about Tuscarora, but now I have learned to make the best of it,” said a sophomore who attended Loudoun County High School last year. The overall outlook of the student body here is uneasy acceptance. But what about the teachers? Do they feel the same way?
One teacher explained, “Overall I think the kids seem to have a general positive attitude about the school; there’s some negative grumbling, but I think that the faculty and staff are doing their best to keep it a positive atmosphere.”
During an interview at the start up of the 2010-2011 school year, principal Ms. Jacobs, as well as the assistant principals, expressed optimism about making this year an amazing inaugural year for Tuscarora High School. Now that the school year is winding to a close, while the students say they have grown to accept their new school, the teachers and administration demonstrate pride in the progress made this year and are looking forward to an even better experience in the years to come.
The faculty have listened to students and involved them in the process of adjusting some THS procedures. Some of the changes that have been put into place because of student involvement are: the allowance of iPods during study hall after RISE reading time (except in the library) and snack time for the first 10 minutes of second and sixth block. These changes show that the school administration is willing to listen to students’ opinions and concerns and will help them in any way they are able.
In other ways, students were disappointed with some of the things that didn’t happen this year, including the cancellation of the Valentine’s Day Dance and the nonexistence of a Winter Formal. The reason for the cancellation of the casual Valentine’s Day Dance was because not enough tickets were purchased; students say they didn’t buy tickets to this dance because, “no one has any school spirit and no one wanted to go to a lame dance like that anyway.We wanted to go to a Winter Formal,” said Shelby Anderson. The other major change that occurred was the sophomores being allowed to attend prom because not enough tickets were sold to juniors. Most new schools in the county choose to open prom to more than juniors because it is the only way to sell enough tickets to meet the requirements set by the venue.
The inaugural year of Tuscarora High School has been quite a ride for everyone involved. From the negative attitudes of students at the beginning of the year and the faculty’s attempts to improve students’ moods emerges an uncomfortable truce and uneasy acceptance among students and teachers. Despite new positive outlooks and changes, most upperclassmen would still prefer to go to their old schools, Heritage or County. Freshmen, however, have been able to form their own unbiased opinions about the school and are relatively happy here. Ipshita Bose, a ninth grader who came to THS from Belmont Ridge Middle School, said, “It’s okay because I don’t have anything to compare it to. The teachers are better than in middle school and there are a lot more chances to get involved in activities.”