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Put your heart in the people, not the status


At West Linn High School each student passes the electronic bulletin board flashing with notices. One in particular stands out: “We are now nationally ranked!”

The teachers, administrators and students at West Linn High have worked hard to rank the school among the top in the nation. You can bet we are all extremely proud of that fact. by: VERN UYETAKE - MADISON STATEN

Yet, how much precedence do nationally ranked schools hold over schools that are not ranked? Does a national ranking mean that a particular community cares more about education than another community? Does a national ranking mean that all of the students at these nationally ranked schools are excelling and moving onto greater things in life?

For the students, nationally ranked schools are still just their regular high schools that come with everyday high school problems.

You can still be placed in classes with students who don’t care about their studies, and for as many teachers that do their jobs for the joy of helping kids there are also those teachers who aren’t as motivated.

Yes, there is one group of students who are taking classes that are more challenging, and the more academically inclined students are growing and learning. On the other hand, you have a group of students who are cutting major tests and finals in basic English and algebra classes. This group is hard to deal with, so in most cases they are either ignored or not talked about.

This happens at West Linn High School. One group of students is excelling, one group of students is failing and one group of students doesn’t understand how they are barely hanging on.

No one would say that being nationally ranked is a bad thing. In fact, it’s something to cheer about. The hard work of administrators, teachers and students all have made West Linn a great place to go to school.

We, as a high school, can do more though. We can recognize that the problems some would say happen at any high school shouldn’t be happening at ours. Caring for each individual’s education should be more important than the rank our school has.

Our school has a great atmosphere for learning. West Linn gives students so many tools to succeed. No matter how many tools we have, the atmosphere at our school changes the moment a peer slips through the cracks.

It is our job, as a part of a high school community, to make sure we are striving to be the best we can be. Some students need guidance when it comes to education. You have to be the friend who is willing to send them to the right adult. You have to be the adult who is willing to step in and not give up. Everyone wants to do well, and there is always a reason for why people don’t choose to succeed. Let it be West Linn High School that chooses to uncover these answers.

Have pride in the people of West Linn High School. When the heart of your school is in the people who are in the building and not the national ranking that sits on it, each individual will be a success story.

Madison Staten is a freshman at West Linn High School.