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Let Us Give Thanks

Zahra Khan and Aaron Jones

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November: the forgotten month between Halloween and Christmas. It’s the month of being thankful. Or, maybe we’re not thankful ? This it isn’t about those “I’m thankful for” posts on social media but more about what we have around us. As a school LHS works to make sure that every student is getting what they need.

Resources

LHS provides its students with  tools to be successful, but sometimes they aren’t used properly. Learning has evolved in the past decade. Today most of the work students and teachers do are done on laptops provided by our school district.

“One of the biggest resources provided to us has to be the school laptops,” senior Derek Rhea said. “we are probably the most fortunate district to have access to this type of equipment.”

MacBooks help enhance learning with the internet at the tips of everyone’s fingers and a chance to get all your work done at home.

Then comes a bigger issue, computer misuse and damage. Every day students and staff rely on our computers and computers rely on us to treat them properly. By using the case provided, students keep drinks away and making sure that the charger is with the students or staff at all times. For example spills can take up to a week to be fixed. With a broken screen it takes up to one day but the price to fix it is $75, even with insurance. Computers are not cheap and need to be treated with care.

“We don’t think that students do it on purpose, they just aren’t quite as cautious with their MacBooks as they could be,” library paraprofessional Wanda Gibson said.

Along with computer damage, there comes a new issue being brought up with the librarians: passing through the filters on computers. These filters are placed by the district for student benefit and the bypassing of them can lead to troubles and consequences.

“We see students break through filters all the time,” Adams said. “We have very smart students here who have figured how to get past the filters and that causes trouble. It’s also a violation of the AUP which everyone had to sign at the beginning of the year.”

Along with laptops, LHS has given students time to work on homework and get tutoring from teachers if they are struggling in a class.

Liberty Hour is a great time for students to do homework and get tutoring throughout the whole week. Unfortunately students who need that extra help in class don’t go in for help or don’t go to their assigned tutoring.

“It’s a hit or miss,” freshman Kage Lenger said. “If they don’t really need Liberty Hour it’s fine but for those who actually need it they should use it more.”

Many students aren’t aware of the equipment and resources LHS provides to help enhance their learning. Some of those things come from the library.

“Besides books and laptops, we also schedule times and locations for teachers to use the library, and students to use the Audio, Video, and Design studios,” library paraprofessional Julie Adams said.

Video rooms and audio rooms help students by using new technology to create projects for their classes. These rooms in the library are always available for students to use. All students need to do is schedule a time to use them.

Another resource our school provides is the flex spaces.

“If they have group projects students can work together there instead of the classroom,” junior Meredith Rosheim said.

These four unique spaces are spread throughout the 500 and 600 hallways. They include televisions and conference rooms for a more quiet space for students to work in.

From mistakes, students can learn to more responsibility for what the school gives  and thankful.

“I think students don’t know what they don’t know. Maybe if we did a great job as teachers showing what we have versus what other schools have there would be a greater appreciation,” spanish teacher Charity Stephens said.

One appreciation mentioned in the poll students felt strongly about the opportunities LHS and the district gives students.

Administration

LHS is a mess: there is trash everywhere, no food, and utter chaos. This is what LHS would be like without our custodians, cafeteria workers and administrators. These are staff members vital to the operation of LHS, yet they do not get a lot of recognition by the students.

“Our custodians and our cafeteria workers are underappreciated.” Vice Principal Sara Wickham said. “A lot of folks do a lot of things to keep our building running The impact of their work isn’t always seen as much as our teaching staff.”

Principal Dr. April Adams does a lot of work to make the school a better place. Whether it is working directly with students or not, she has LHS’s best interests at heart.

“One thing about Dr. Adams is that regardless of what she has going on, if a student needs to talk to her she’s going to find time to talk to that student,” Vice Principal David McDorman said. “One of her beliefs is giving every student a voice. Regardless of what the student wants to talk about, Dr. Adams will always listen and work to assist the student. ”

Our administrators believe Dr. Adams is a kind and caring person, especially towards students. Students may not realize this or realize how much she tries to do for them. It is not even just students that she works hard for, she also works for other staff members.

“She is an incredible mentor to us as assistant principals and many of the teaching staff and many students,” Wickham said. “I’m not sure she even knows her impact in that regard and I’m certain many don’t.”

Expressing gratefulness. This is something that a lot of students don’t do, or have a hard time  doing.

“Do I think we could be better at acknowledgment? Yes,” Vice Principal Bridget Herrman said. “Do I think they are thankful? Yes. I think we could do a better job of making sure everyone is looked at and acknowledged.”

Even a simple thank you can make a staff member’s day. Just knowing that students are grateful for what they do and are willing to express it can change a support staff member’s day for the better.

“I know that it makes my day and it makes my colleague’s day to get a nice email or a nice phone call from a student, parent or staff member,” Wickham said.

The administrative staff here at LHS has a ton of responsibilities. A lot of students don’t realize just how much the administrators do to ensure that students are comfortable and able to learn here at LHS.

“We do teacher evaluations,” Herrman said. “We get to go into classrooms and see how teachers are teaching and how kids are learning and look at student engagement, motivation and relationships.”

By learning how the teachers teach and how the students interact with one another, the administrators are able to make changes to improve the overall environment at LHS. Some of these changes happen on Professional Development day for the teachers, basing off of the information the administrators have gathered. On these days, teachers are taught different ways to teach that will be more effective and helpful for students.

The amount of things that both Dr. Adams and our other administrators do for students is immense and a lot of times students don’t realize just how much work they do. Being grateful for what all of our staff members do is important. Next time a student sees a custodian, a cafeteria worker, an administrator or any underappreciated staff member they should thank them for proactively making the school a better place.

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The school news site of Liberty High School
Let Us Give Thanks