Unlike the last two administrations, when the district was given the task of hiring Bear Creek’s third administrative team in three years, district officials decided to promote from within instead of hiring from the outside when they gave Principal Bill Atterberry the reins to the school. Atterberry inherited a campus with many dedicated teachers and strong API scores, but a lack of leadership and direction remained. One of the most daunting challenges ahead for the school is its accreditation through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. We hope that Atterberry’s administration will bring a stability to a campus that has had a revolving door of administrators who have either used their position as a stepping stone for their own career enhancement or who have been woefully lacking leadership skills.
Stability is what we really need. We need our campus to be secure at all times. We need the administration to adequately enforce the rules it makes. We also need a district that is flexible in meeting the needs of its students and is willing modernize its technology before it forces its students to take a new Common Core test using outdated or broken technology. We need somebody who’ll be there for all of us and who has a plan for the future of Bear Creek. So far, our new administration has been doing just that. As mentioned before, the WASC accreditation in 2015 will be the school’s biggest issue. As Atterberry noted in the news story, if BCHS were to undergo its scheduled visit this year, we would be “spanked.” With so many problems preventing us from receiving a full six-year accreditation, our school will have to make tough decisions and take action quickly so that when the WASC committee visits in 2015, our school will have a vision and mission statement in place that all staff and students support and be well on its way to implementing new Core Curriculum standards.
All of this and more we need for our campus. Bear Creek is a very special place. We have a very diverse campus and many outstanding programs and services. This campus has the potential for greatness.
On another note, we’d like to address a common phenomena concerning students. Many of you dislike school and dread waking up five days a week to be here, but have you ever thought about how lucky you are to be able to go to school, especially in one piece? Take young Malala Yousafzai, who spoke against a belief in Pakistan that girls shouldn’t be educated. This opinion nearly cost Malala her life when the Taliban shot her in the face. “Extremists have shown what frightens them most: A girl with a book,” Yousafzai said. Imagine if you lived in a country where your commute to school carried the risk of being killed.
We may not always like school, but that’s life—there simply are things we won’t like, but we have to do them. Many of you fail to realize the privilege you have of receiving an education. Education in itself is a symbol of freedom. We all know that once the match of education lights our curiosity, it’s almost impossible to not be amazed when learning something new. Learning opens our eyes—it makes us see what’s really out there and from that we form our own opinions and beliefs. In some places of the world, dictators fear that their citizens will have their eyes opened by education, because once their eyes see a more enlightened way of life, society and government, they will rise against oppression and hatred.
So next time you think about ditching class, playing hooky or rolling your eyes upon waking up for school in the morning, remind yourself of people like Malala—and the people who have not yet seen the light through the cracks of their autocratic worlds.