For some seniors, freshman year feels like it happened a lifetime ago, but for others, we would swear that it was only yesterday. So whether senioritis has kicked in yet or not, it is easy to see that the class of 2018 has seen a great deal in the past four years. It’s a wonder that we didn’t become lost in the interim.
Bomb Threats and Evacuations (9th grade- 2nd semester)
As if freshmen year isn’t uncomfortable enough, we were exposed to a most unusual event in our very first year of high school. Towards the end of January, in our second block classes, sirens went off unexpectedly, and we were asked to leave everything else behind. Everyone was escorted to the football stadium, and roughly thirty minutes later, a line of school buses arrived to take us all to the school evacuation site. (Despite the fact that evacuation procedures are provided to us year after year, I don’t believe that many of us actually believed that we would ever need to put that information to use.) During our time at the off-campus location, parents began to file in to pick up their children, however several hours later, the lines were shut down and we were taken back to the school. Even at Northgate, the attendance office became a hive of communication, and the front entrance a revolving door, as parents walked in and students accompanied them out. Most of the student body was checked out, and many classes were left with only a small handful present- leaving the next day available for everyone in each of their classes to provide their account of the event.
Then, to make things more exciting, early the next month, the sirens went off for a second time in our first block classes and we again made our way to the football stadium. This time, the officers were incredibly proficient in their searching procedure, and we were sent back to our classes in hardly any time at all. Both instances resulted in a false alarm but nevertheless, I don’t believe anyone expected our 2015 to start out with this level of excitement.
Harrison to Kesselring (11th and into 12th grade)
After our sophomore and (most of) junior year went by with seemingly smooth sailing, our confident smiles turned into disbelief when it was made clear to us that our principal, Mr. Harrison, would be leaving Northgate. Several weeks went by with students interrogating each of their teachers for any and all information they might have had on the incoming principal, and when Kesselring’s name began to spread around the school, we only wanted to know more. It wasn’t long before we discovered that he was coming to Northgate from East Coweta, and every teacher who knew him previously had only good things to say. Mr. Kesselring even came in to visit our AP Language class and asked to hear what we would and wouldn’t change about Northgate. It is a shame that we will only have him as our principal for one year, but now that we are halfway through the semester, I believe that it is safe to say that he has been welcomed with great enthusiasm.
The Solar Eclipse (12th grade- 1st semester)
Since the beginning of August, the only subject that anyone discussed was the up and coming, and highly anticipated, solar eclipse. As the day grew ever closer, the question was raised on whether or not school would be cancelled. In addition, many people had been set on finding a pair of approved eclipse glasses to safely view the phenomenon. Several days before the eclipse, it was announced that school would let out late, but that the county would provide glasses for students to view during school hours. However, a day or so later, the glasses were recalled, so while we would not be able to view the eclipse during the day, a televised version was played throughout the school. Nevertheless, many students still elected to check out to view the eclipse elsewhere, and there were many who travelled up to Dahlonega, GA, where the totality of the phenomenon was at 100%. All in all, everyone was able to experience the Eclipse in their own unique way, but I think that teachers and administrators were glad for all of the comotion to die down afterwards.
Hurricane Irma (12th grade- 1st semester)
We promise, the world isn’t ending. Hardly a month after the solar eclipse, Hurricane Irma took form and made its way directly down the middle of Florida. However, considering Irma’s size ( its diameter swallowed the entire state beneath us), hundreds were prompted to leave Florida and seek shelter elsewhere. As Irma approached Georgia, counties statewide called off school for the Monday and Tuesday that the storm came through. While its effects were not nearly as severe for us, we received excess debris in our backyards due to the heavy rain and wind. Nevertheless, the event brought forth a different outcome as many clubs throughout Northgate made efforts to assist those in need both in Puerto Rico and Florida; the school even did a donation drive to help the efforts as well. This was done both for Irma and Hurricane Maria which followed shortly after. So while we were thankful for the days off, the kindness that came through made it worth all of our worries.
Snow in December and January (12th grade)
Don’t panic now, because it’s actually snowing. I believe it is safe to say that all instruction came to a screeching halt when we noticed snowflakes falling outside our second block classes. Many teachers allowed their students to go outside to view the snow, but I think we tracked more of it back inside than we let hit the ground. Stretching on into our third block class, we were excited to see that the snow was beginning to stick, and even larger flakes were falling down. Considering the concern for the roads, schools across the county released students early (much to the joy of those about to take a test), and the following day, we were blessed with a wintery wonderland to enjoy. (Then to make things more exciting, we were given similar joys in January as more snow rolled in.)
There are certainly more events that I may have left out, but the bottom line is that the class of 2018 has seen and been through a lot. So far, we haven’t let anything stop us, so we will see what our remaining semester of high school has to offer.