July 22, 2002
A positive attitude is what makes Falcons soar
For the past two years I have attended WHS. Every morning for 360 days I have climbed the three flights of stairs to start my six and a half hours of school and two hours of after school activities. I don't know if it's normal for a school to receive as much criticism as Woodinville has received this past year, but I would like to tell this community something: I am proud to walk up those stairs every morning and I am proud to be a Falcon.
My history teacher has a quote on the wall of his class by Stokley Carmichael, "If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem."
If you don't like that dangerous things have happened in the parking lots after games, then organize a group of parents and start a patrol. If you don't like the way a teacher teaches, then you go get your PhD and teach it better. If you don't like the way things are done, then be prepared to give some worthwhile suggestions along with your criticisms.
It doesn't take a genius to make a list of their pet peeves. My dog doesn't like it when I step on her tail. But for someone to sit down and say, "Here are the problems, and here is something that could help," that's where the critics have fallen short.
The choir director at Woodinville never allows his students to comment on the choir unless it is phrased in a positive way. No "You shouldn't be . . ." or "I don't like how . . ." because these kind of comments don't do anything. "I would like to see . . ." or "How about we try . . ." makes you more than a critic, more than a judge, it makes you part of getting something done.
If you think that another high school would be any better or treat people more fairly, then by all means tell me how it works out. I doubt that you would have any luck finding a better public high school. Let's all be reminded that this is free education, not a private school, and everyone is doing their best.
There are certainly things that could be improved at WHS. The soap dispenser in the third floor girl's bathroom is broken. But let's not kid ourselves, running a high school is no easy task. Parents should be the first ones to realize that if one teenager is so much to handle, then 1,500 are unthinkable. No one's saying that the administration couldn't have handled situations a little better this year.
But out of 1,500 kids, my principal knows my name. My principal has shaken my hand, looked me in the eye like an adult and told me that she's proud. I know that when I walk up those stairs, I'm cared about. I have teachers who I can turn to and my fellow Falcons to lean on.
I've heard a lot of things that made me disappointed in the community of Woodinville this year. A lot of You-Shouldn't-Bes and I-Don't-Like-Hows. We're a community. Nothing is going to get accomplished if we stand up and point out each other's faults.
I don't want to hear what's wrong with my school. I'm tired of hearing that it's not a great place to be. I want to hear what we can do to make it better.
You might be thinking that it's ironic that a 17-year-old student is the one to support the school so many adults have been condemning. But I've learned that a positive attitude is what helps you soar.
Every true Falcon knows that.
Halley Anderson, WHS Class of 2003