From a principal’s point of view

McKenzie Spindler

More stories from McKenzie Spindler


Ever since home economics was cut from schools, students do not feel as prepared for the real world after high school.
“I think everything has an appropriate place in life,” Keith Ball, principal, said.
Does high school prepare a student for life as an adult? We’re meant to learn the things we learn in high school for a reason because that may be the only chance some people get.
“In your guys’ day and age, you could technically learn whatever you want because you have the information literally at your fingertips,” Ball said.
He is right. We can learn life skills or things that interest us simply by accessing the internet either by phone or computer. If students do not have internet access at home, Etowah has a media center equipped with computers and a helpful staff.
“So, somebody walking out of high school, or out of their public education experience, and saying ‘I didn’t learn what I was supposed to learn,’ a large portion of that, in my view, rests with that individual because you can learn whatever the heck you want,” Ball said.
Many people say negative things about math or literature and try to see how it will apply to their everyday life; however, high school is more of an introduction to learning whatever you want. We are taught things that could spark an interest in somebody to further that education in college while giving us a base to start with.
“At the same time, we need to do a better job of making the capacity opportunities more diverse,” Ball said.
One thing high schools could do to make students feel like they have the freedom of learning would be to add more electives. These electives could be based on what the students have requested or felt like they would need. Etowah has added an Intro to Healthcare Science this year, an elective that prepares students for the real world while also sparking an interest in others to continue that training.
“Senior Project is one of the most dreaded things that people have to do leaving Etowah, but if you do it the right way, it is the most occupationally driven, job-preparing activity you will ever do in high school,” Ball said.
Senior Project is hated by many seniors because they see it as a tedious task. However, this is the opportunity to learn things about life, to prepare someone. Taking it seriously can really improve a student’s mindset on life, and depending on the chosen topic, someone can learn anything he or she wants.
“You guys are prepared, when you leave here, if you made the commitment… your readiness is based on your commitment to prepare,” Ball said.