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STUDENTS WHO WERE HERE FROM BEGINNING TO END

Alyza Ilagan, Editor In Chief

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Many of the students of the graduating class of 2017 at SCPA have been attending the school since the sixth grade and have been given the opportunity to mature as young adults at the same place they started middle school. They have been through seven years of memories and now it’s time for them to to say their final goodbyes to the school that raised them.

 

Whenever a student transitions from one stage of their academic life to the next, they often realize that the schedule and student behavior changes. Senior Ramper Cueto explains that, “Coming in sixth grade was a big jump considering elementary school to middle school and the fact that SCPA is also a high school. At first it was very overwhelming, I was pretty scared and nervous because it is a huge jump in life. Going from one teacher and one class to seven classes and having odd and even days and full days so it was all about adjusting.” He then said that he has, “adjusted to the lifestyle of SCPA, but at the same time, class of one-seven in middle school was way different that one-seven in high school. One-seven in middle school— I saw our class as very wild kids, but now one-seven high school is completely different.”

 

Along with the transition from middle school being different, sometimes people also change who they are as a person. Senior Aaron Catacutan shares, “If I went to any other school, I wouldn’t have been the me that I am right now. Being raised in a very welcoming and open place, we’re not hateful of anyone. We’re really loving. Even comparing SCPA to my home environment, it differs very much and more of who I am as a person has been shaped from being here than from home.”

 

Senior Alyssa Legaspi has been attending SCPA since the sixth grade, but she left during the first semester of freshman year only to come back. Sharing her story, she said, “At the end of eighth grade, I thought I would be tired of being here because I had already been here for three years. Then I went to a normal high school and realized that I wasn’t happy. I only took one art class. It was really cool; the education was nice, and I met some nice people, but it wasn’t where I wanted to be. I missed my friends, having more art classes, opportunities, and being in an environment where art was more acceptable. At UCHS, it was all about sports and academics; it was never about the arts. It wasn’t as heavily encouraged and that’s what I really missed about SCPA. Here, I felt like I was more at home and where I needed to be.”

 

Cueto also thought about leaving after attending this school for a while. He stated, “For high school, I was actually considering to leave because I felt that I needed to change or that I didn’t belong here, but looking back at it now, I would’ve not enjoyed that change. I would’ve preferred to stay here because I still think that even though it’s not your normal, traditional high school where you don’t experience normal, traditional things, I don’t really think that matters because SCPA has it’s own experince. It has it’s own unique atmosphere and environment. It is a good thing— it’s not a bad thing that it’s not like a traditional high school because SCPA is it’s own and I still think that SCPA is better than the other high schools around here.”

 

When it comes to becoming the person people are today, most people are influenced by the people around them.  When speaking to senior Chris Gallardo about what has changed since sixth grade, he mentioned the teachers. Gallardo stated, “Going here, I noticed that a lot of teachers love what they’re doing and they’re not just here to collect their paycheck and leave. They actually enjoy teaching kids and that’s one thing I’ve noticed which I really like.” If there’s one teacher he would want to thank the most, he said it would be Ms. Hayes. “She’s happy to teach you. You just have to ask her for help and she has never gotten angry at a class, as far as I’m concerned. Even though a lot of kids would make her really mad, she always kept her calm and tried to keep on teaching.” Other teachers that have been mentioned are Math teacher, Adelaida Mooney, former art teacher, Tracey Partridge, Government and ECON teacher, Christina Berg, and Science teacher, Rebecca Babbey.

 

Cuteo spoke about Ms. Babbey, saying, “She has showed me how much I’ve grown. I was a total jerk in seventh grade and she didn’t like me in her class, but I had her again last year and this year and it’s just— thinking about it, having class with her always goes back to how much I’ve grown as a person. Another teacher would be Ms. Ward. I’ve had her for the longest time and it also shows some growth within myself.”

 

Students help each other develop as well. Senior Jeremiah Samaniego named a few specific people, “Throughout my years at SCPA, my close friends Athena Dortch, Athena Greer, Ronnie Arce, Raechel Sison, and Joyce Rocacorba provided me with a strong and positive support group that I could turn to in times of struggle.”

 

Along with their teachers, the senior class is thankful for what they have been given here at SCPA. Catacutan states, “I’m thankful for SCPA for giving me a sense of direction and having been able to learn from the people who led in their industries prior to becoming teachers and just being haven given a sense of purpose, really.” He said he had gone through an “existential crisis” but thanks to SCPA he was able to find a sense of purpose at this school. Senior Zyhir Monroe shared, “I’m thankful for the people here because I feel like the people here at this school are a little bit more open-minded than a lot of the people in the real world.”

 

 

There’s plenty that the seniors have to be thankful for and there are also many things they are going to miss. One of the main things that the seniors said they were thankful for is the environment. Samaniego said, “Overall, what I’m going to miss about SCPA is the people and atmosphere. I’m going to miss being in an environment where I feel truly safe, and I’m going to miss being around people who are dedicated, passionate, and creative.”

 

Along with the environment, something the seniors said they would miss are the people. Legaspi shared, “It’s the people that do the same things as me. I know I’m not going to be able to see them as much as I’d like. I’m not going to see them everyday from seven to two. I’m going to miss just talking to them and even when we were mad about something, about what was going on, it was always fun talking to people. I’m going to miss them the most. I’m going to miss my classes where I have creative freedom and I’m given the blessing to use materials I won’t have access to anywhere else. I’m going to miss the memories that I’ve built here. I’ve always been excited to graduate high school, but I know I’m going to miss what I experienced here with the people I was with.”

 

To summarize their years spent at SCPA, Samaniego said a lesson he could take away from this school is, “that although the arts may be undervalued from society, the arts are an integral part in a student’s education by sparking creativity, offering an alternative to standard academia, and igniting passions.” In one sentence, senior Asia Starks described her life at SCPA as, “interesting, fun, unique— I feel like the kids here aren’t afraid to be themselves and open up and that’s something that you get being at SCPA.”

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STUDENTS WHO WERE HERE FROM BEGINNING TO END