Changing Districts: Kathryn Ward
“I did student teach here, [about] six years ago.” Ward said, “I was in the same wing, actually.”
Initially overwhelmed by UA, Ward quickly found herself fitting in with staff and students. Her favorite thing about UA is the sense of community and how welcomed she has been.
“Everyone is super welcoming,” Ward said. “It’s nice to feel a part of the school. I love being part of that.”
Ward has set specific goals for herself and her students this year.
“I want to challenge my students. One of my goals is getting up to their level in academics,” Ward said. “I want to make sure that they can look back at my classes and remember something other than content,”
Being new to the school, Ward has her own advice to give for new staff or students.
“UA can be overwhelming. It has an intimidating reputation, but just know that there are so many people who are willing to help. Nobody wants you to be stressed out,” Ward said.
Swishing Senior: Jordan Bailey
“I started school [at Kenton Ridge] from Kindergarten all the way up to this year. I was born in North Carolina, but when I was two I moved down [to Springfield] because my dad was in the Navy,” he said.
UA is larger than Kenton Ridge, allowing Bailey the chance to experience the sense of community brought by UA.
“It’s way better. Everybody seems friendly and it’s safer here,” Bailey said.
So far, Bailey’s favorite thing at UAHS has been open lunches.
“We didn’t have that at my school. And the study halls- how you can leave being a senior. That’s different. I like all that,” Bailey said.
Bailey played basketball at Kenton Ridge his sophomore and junior years. He plans to continue playing for UAHS.
As for future new students, Bailey suggests joining a sport or club.
“If you wanna get friends easier and faster and like get involved, then probably play a sport or get involved with something like that,” Bailey said.
Trading Schools: Linda Carmichael
Initially, the school wasn’t overwhelming to Carmichael, just different.
“The kids are bigger, the hallways are busier and the classrooms are smaller,” Carmichael said.
Carmichael’s main goal is getting through the year.
“Since I’m feeling like a freshman,”Carmichael said, “[my goal] would be surviving. And I’d like to think that I set high standards for myself.”
High standards are well known around UAHS, and Carmichael’s are no different.
“Challenge, good rapport, community building, lots of critical thinking, bringing in lots of different resources,” Carmichael said.
Coming from a middle school, being a high school teacher has shown the differences in culture between preteens and teens.
“There’s structure where you need structure but because of the maturity you don’t have bureaucratic structure for the sake of the structure,” Carmichael said.
Carmichael’s best advice for students is to reach out, talk to people and ask for help.
Flipping Junior: Grace Neville
While living in Arizona, Neville attended Notre Dame Preparatory, a private Catholic high school.
For Neville, many things about UA are different from Notre Dame Prep.
“I think the wide range of class selections is fantastic, especially because my previous school did not offer as many,” Neville said.
Being at a private catholic school put some restrictions on how Neville could express herself.
“There is a little bit more diversity here and people are allowed to express themselves more,” Neville said.
Since UA is a larger school, moving from a small private school has faced Neville with certain challenges. “It is really difficult to get to know people because of the large class sizes and open lunches,” Neville said.
However, the people she has come in contact with have made Neville feel welcomed and not overwhelmed.
Neville was able to find some friends through the cheer squad.
“Being on a school team makes it much easier to get to know people,” Neville said.
By Bre Hart, ’19