|Posted by titantv on February 10, 2014 at 1:15 PM|
By Jacob Lowe
`America’s society puts an extremely large emphasis on education. This is not such a bad thing, but sometimes such an emphasis can be a little stressful for the students. McDowell Counties graduating class has seen many changes occur in their school system, making it a very opinionated class, to the say the least. Seeing three different superintendents, the introduction of many new types of technologies, and the addition of several new policies has given this class reason to be vocal.
McDowell High School senior Laurel Hagaman, who has been in the McDowell County School system since kindergarten, recently commented on some current topics. One of her main concerns was the changes in technology the school has undergone lately. When asked about Chromebooks, which are new to the school this year, she admitted to thinking that “the Chromebooks are good, but the system is defective.” She elaborated on this idea and said she thought it would have been better if the system the computers run on had been tested and more established before the school issued them on such a mass scale. She also said she can see that many “teachers feel pressured to incorporate the Chromebooks into their lessons, which can sometimes be stressful.” Additionally, she believes that many students have already come to “rely too much on technology instead of raw knowledge.”
Along with this, she commented on the problems the guidance office experienced at the beginning of the year when sending colleges information for seniors applying to schools. “Considering that this is one of the most pivotal times in our lives,” stated Hagaman, “it was extremely stressful when trying to obtain our information in time and making sure we were going to meet application deadlines.” She understands that it was a difficult situation for the counselors too, but views it as just another example of the flaws in technological advancements. But understanding that technology is the future, she gives credit to the school for trying to keep things updated and sees the new registration system as something that will be “extremely successful once it is settled in.” She enjoys that students can easily view their progress towards graduation by seeing the amount of credits they have earned and more. She hopes the school finds success in the new system without experiencing too many problems.
In conclusion, she was also very opinionated on one more topic. The county has recently experienced more change with the superintendent than ever before. After Ira Trollinger, who had held the office since the beginning of this class of seniors’ school career, retired and Gerry Martín took his place. Martín’s time in office brought a lot of controversy and not long after she had filled the position, she left it empty once more. Mark Garrett has now filled the role of superintendent and Hagaman had a few words for the situation. While expressing her thoughts, she said, “I think that Trollinger was in office for a very long time, and the sudden change of pace when he left was a shock to many people. As a result, this caused many situations to be blown out of proportion. But Martín was new to the community, and the changes she wanted to enforce were difficult for such a small county to handle and I think it would have went smoother if she had went at a slower pace. With the new superintendent, I think he is taking things well and going at a slow enough pace.”
The seniors at McDowell High all have strong opinions, whether agreeing with Laurel or not. The fact that Hagaman and her peers have such strong opinions on recent topics helps reflect the class of 2014 and their involvement in the school. This generation is one that is curious and bold, and one that is not going to settle for unsatisfactory information, procedures, or rules. Settling is not an option for these young adults, yet they seem to not want to revolt either. All in all, they appear to want a fair chance for all students to learn, be comfortable, and be able to express themselves without too many obstacles or without experiencing ridicule from those in higher power. They are a generous, honest, and empowered class and are soon to be the leaders of this country.