All-GTNS: Coren Hucke
FAIRFIELD – In my entire life, most of my time has been spent either at school or sleeping, but usually not both at once. It’s safe to say that my education has been one of the biggest factors in contributing to who I am today. Fairfield’s education system has offered me a lot, and I owe it just as much.
If I were to give my education a letter grade, I would give it an A-minus. My teachers have all helped and encouraged me, and my classes have all been interesting and useful. FHS has been a great place for me to feed my curiosity and try new things. However, I believe that a major part of education is the effort put in by the student. To put it in a common phrase, “you get out of it what you put into it.” FHS has provided all of us great tools for success, but tools do nothing if they sit in a toolbox unused. It’s up to us to take what we’ve been given and make something special out of it. In my time at FHS, I’ve learned to appreciate the tools I’ve been given.
Today’s educational system is not without its flaws, however. Too often, schools are treated like businesses. In this crude analogy, teachers are manufacturers, students are products, and test scores are their product values. This is a much too narrow way of looking at schools. Flaws in the system arise when students are treated like identical products and teachers are judged on their product output. Today’s schools become stronger when they become more diverse, appealing to students of many backgrounds and interests. When students are given more opportunities to get involved, the school becomes stronger.
Two particular teachers had noticeable effects on my high school experience. My band director, Mr. Edgeton, and my choir director, Mr. Reiter, have both provided me with endless opportunities to grow and perform. In band, Mr. Edgeton gave me scores of extra information beyond just playing my instrument. He taught me music theory and put forth an example of how a director should lead. In choir, Mr. Reiter taught me never to settle for mediocrity. He has infused such high standards in me that they may cause trouble down the road, but I know they’re for the best. Mr. Edgeton taught me humility, and Mr. Reiter taught me a sense of humor. Most importantly, both taught me to lead by example, and when I become a music teacher, I will surely model my teaching after them.
High school has taught me many important lessons, but perhaps the most important one is appreciation. The world is a much bigger place than any of us is smart enough to realize, and it’s full of crazy things. The fact that we get to participate in a fraction of these crazy things is amazing enough on its own, but school has shown me that no matter how much I do, there will always be thousands of things I haven’t done. By learning in a diverse environment with numerous opportunities, I’ve learned to appreciate interests other than my own. My experience in my small town high school is just a fraction of what’s going on in the world, and that’s a cool realization.
Many memories from high school will stay with me forever, and most of them take place on a stage. One particular memory was my performance in musical theater at the All-State Large Group Speech Festival. My group performed two songs from The Little Mermaid, and they were an absolute blast. Every performance was tremendously fun, but the performance at All-State was special. Lots of groups work very hard to get the opportunity to perform, but only a select few actually receive that honor. Performing in front of a full house of friends, family and other speech team members from across the state was a thrilling experience as well as an honor.
Since entering high school as a freshman, I’ve grown a lot, both literally and figuratively. I entered high school as a pretty timid kid with stage fright, and I enjoyed spending most of my time in the background. But now I’m more involved than I ever thought I would be. All the extracurriculars I’ve found have made me more confident and more sure of what I want to do in college. That leads to the piece of advice I would give incoming freshmen: get involved. There’s nothing more rewarding that you can do in high school than extracurricular activities. Find your interest and follow it. High schoolers have a tendency to regard school as lame, but if you do a little digging, you’ll find something you like.
In addition to the teachers mentioned earlier, my parents have probably had the most influence on my education, both directly and indirectly. My father has been my teacher for three English classes in my time at FHS, and he’s been the coach of a couple of my speech team performances, too. It’s been interesting and kind of refreshing to learn the material from someone who already communicates so well with me. My mother has been an unofficial teacher, keeping me responsible for my many activities in high school and encouraging me all the way. There’s no doubt that these two people have shaped who I am today.
Being educated at Fairfield schools has been a great ride, and I’m grateful that I got to experience all the things I did.