OA pride: who are we really?

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OA pride: who are we really?

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Every morning at Orcutt Academy High School, principal Rhett Carter and Dean of Students, Joshua Ostini, stand at the front of the school in the frosty weather and greet incoming students with smiles and a warm “good mornings”. Having attended various schools before OA, I’ve never been a part of a school district so positive and welcoming towards their students.

It’s no secret that Orcutt Academy is a smaller school, both in student population and campus size. I’ve heard from people of all ages that this makes us inferior to surrounding campuses. Frankly, those who underestimate OA based solely on quantity have it backwards.

At a wealthy school with a student population of over 1200, I was treated like a number rather than an intellectual. I struggled with my grades, learning, and in making strong connections with my teachers. At Orcutt, the atmosphere is exactly the opposite. There’s an overwhelming sense of encouragement to grow and learn in new ways that are positive and innovative. The faculty members are actually happy and dedicated to teach; and this is where the distinction lies between good and bad education. Instead of hindering us, our size actually enables our school to grow in our teacher-student relationships.

On top of being supported in academics, there is just something about Orcutt Academy that makes students feel free to be themselves without hesitation. In other words, we’re not afraid to be weird! The fact that we can all come together and be accepting of one another, despite our differences, is a remarkable aspect of our school. OA is the home to our goofy and intelligent family, where we can all laugh together, cry over bad grades, and watch each other grow into hopefully kind and thoughtful leaders. We’re lucky to have such a stable support systems both socially and educationally.

Of course this doesn’t work perfectly, because OA is actually lacking various structures and facilities crucial to high schools. This includes a cafeteria, appropriate sized bathrooms, football and soccer fields, etc. This may set us back athletically, but what we lack physically, we make up for in academics and community relations. We succeed in the aspects that matter in the mental development of scholars, which I believe is most important.

As a whole, Orcutt Academy is so much more than just a collection of buildings and classrooms. We are children developing into the adults of tomorrow, learning as we go and accepting every new year as an opportunity for growth. We are a strong community that works collectively to better ourselves. With pride and rapture, I’m happy to say: we are the Spartans.

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