As Walnut Grove High School seniors are getting ready to graduate and enter adulthood, students reflect on some memorable moments in their high school careers.
Josh Swope, a WGHS senior and self-titled “captain of the wrestling team,” said his favorite teachers throughout his high school experience were Dr. Polly Holder and Mr. Mitch Alligood.
“Dr. Holder helped me get used to what goes on in public school. Mr. Alligood helped me by being a great teacher. Mr. Alligood and his open views gave me an open mind,” Swope said.
Duncan Watts, WGHS senior class vice president, captain of the soccer team, Eagle Scout and member of Monroe First United Methodist Church, also titled Mr. Alligood as one of his favorite teachers. His other favorite teacher was Mrs. Angie Head. He said that both teachers made the courses easier because of their distinctive teaching styles.
“I really enjoyed their classes, even though the subjects were hard and they were AP classes,” Watts said, adding, “As I struggled, they helped me learn the criteria and become a better student.”
The seniors’ lives have mostly included Walnut Grove High School. It is the place where they have met new friends, maintained relationships with their old friends, and go to learn for 180 days of the year. Senior class president and cheer captain Sam Moran said Walnut Grove High School shaped her by making her more involved in the school.
“It’s encouraged me to be more involved in social activities. It’s inspired me to allow myself to take leadership opportunities, and it’s exposed me to lifelong friends,” she said.
Even though WGHS student and Chick-fil-A manager Haylee Peters was going through a rough time, her teacher helped her keep her grades up and stay an all “A” student.
“My most stressful moment was probably when my parents divorced, and I started slipping up in school,” Peters said. “I am an all A's student; however, after my parents ended, I had a hard time focussing on my school work. Luckily, I had supportive and loving teacher who pushed me through this dark time.”
Peters is going to the University of Georgia to study International Business Management and Spanish Language. Her biggest fear is money and trying to make it. Her classmate, Sam also shares this fear.
“I’m scared of not being able to meet all of my needs, financially,” she said.
This fear is not uncommon amongst high school students. According to Stage of Life, 56.4 percent of teens are scared of money and how they will handle it. However, her optimism trumps all of her worries. She hopes to make an impact on the world by being a better person.
Duncan Watts is also very optimistic about his impact on the world. He plans to complete a 5 year program at the University of Georgia to obtain a degree in landscape architecture. He then hopes to get a masters degree in urban planning after that. He plans to have an impact by creating and designing cities around the world.
When the students were asked what their biggest regrets were, they were very different and unique. For Sam, she regretted “overthinking about her grades and classes.” Swoopes’ biggest regret was getting too involved in relationships and stressing about things that don’t really matter. Peters’ biggest regret was not getting involved in her freshman year. If she could go back, she would have been a more involved student. Watts regretted nothing. “I think everything happened for a reason,” he said.
Their advice to the future seniors is to keep their minds on what matters, to not take any of their time for granted, and to enjoy every moment they get, because time will go by faster than they think.
Terell Wright is a freshman at Walnut Grove High School.