Cedar Shoals has a new set of students for the 2018-19 year, and with two months of experience at the school, they have formed their opinions. Freshman had heard rumors about Cedar prior to attending the school.
Specifically, students are aware of Cedar’s reputation and how the school is perceived.
“I think we are really misrepresented in the terms of the local news and just information about Cedar in general. They tend to bash us and spread false information which just puts us in the spotlight,” said Jessie Jerome, freshman.
Although there are only two public high schools in Clarke County, Cedar may not necessarily be worse than Central, as it is often made out to be.
“Based on things that I’ve heard locally, Cedar is actually better than most of the schools in Clarke County. I feel like the stereotypes about Cedar are not true at all,” said Kori Edmonds, 9th grade.
“Our school is pretty diverse, academically and racially, which is a huge plus”, said Aseel Mansour, freshman.
Over the summer, the freshman transition camp offered students an opportunity to get to know the school. Afterwards, students felt a tight sense of community.
“I think Cedar’s very much a community anyone can be comfortable in. You can make friends in just one period and pretty much just start eating with random people,” said Jerome.
“I think Cedar’s strength is probably the community. Everybody knows each other in some way,” said freshman George Green.
“I feel like for a strength we definitely have school spirit. I’ve talked to other people who go to other schools in Clarke County, and I know they say that Cedar definitely deserves the award for school spirit. We just have amazing love for our school and, on days of football games, we all wear our school colors,” said Edmonds.
Some students suspected that Cedar’s teachers might not be able to give as much one-on-one attention as they did in middle school. However freshman Angel McDonald feels differently.
“Teachers actually care and don’t want to fail you,” said McDonald.
McDonald added that she heard, “That it’s a bad school, although it’s not. It’s just the kids make it seem bad and because it’s on the ‘East Side.’”
Just like any other high school, Cedar does have its faults that lead freshman who had the option to attend Cedar to choose Clarke Central or a private school instead.
Julia Sabonaitis, a freshman who chose Clarke Central over Cedar, decided she preferred the sports selection at Central more, although she has heard positive remarks from her friends who go to Cedar.
“I’ve heard that lots of students there aren’t disciplined or something like that. However I’ve heard a few really great things from my friends at Cedar, such as that it’s quite big and that the teachers are pretty nice,” said Sabonaitis.
Isabella Baker-Johnson, another freshman who attends Clarke Central, cited different programs as bragging points for Clarke Central.
“Honestly Central just has a better reputation. People brag more about the Central Odyssey, the Central football team and, as a runner, the cross country team as well. I only hear about Cedar from Central kids, so obviously it’s more about the rivalry than what’s actually true,” she said. “I’ve heard that the teachers at Cedar are all good and that the education is basically the same as Central.”
For Mansour, thus far the rumors have not been accurate, and she has found the academic environment rigorous and challenging.
“My approach was mostly negative because of all the rumors I’ve heard, not only about Cedar but high school in general,” said Mansour. “Many of my friends who took the same classes as me said the workload is a lot. So far I kind of agree because it’s way different from middle school. Also, Cedar just gets such a bad rep from news sites and stuff. But, it’s honestly not a bad school.”