I come from a high school that gets a bad rep. It can't help it. Being ridiculously underfunded and a part of a district that is outrageously indebted, it could be looked at the wrong way. My high school gets a lot of bad comments, and a lot of the kids say that they hate it there. (I can't say I haven't said it a couple times when I was being dramatic.)

I'm not going to lie, going there was no walk in the park, but I feel as if we are so caught up by the negatives surrounding West Scranton High School and the Scranton School District in general, that we forget to acknowledge the positives. There is so much good to say about that building, and it needs to be recognized.

Is it extremely underfunded? Yes. Did I break my hand because the ceiling was leaking so the floor was wet and I slipped?


Was I unable to take a science class my senior year, despite wanting to major in the stem field in college?


Was there more regard given to whether students are in dress code or not as opposed to students' grades and behaviors and well-being?


But was it an overall terrible place to be? No. But why? What is keeping that place afloat? Why am I going to stand here and say that that school is a great school and I'm thrilled to have had the opportunity to have gone there, despite all of the negatives I just described? Why does West Scranton High School hold such a deep spot in my heart?

The answer is obvious:

The faculty and staff.

That school honestly has the best group of teachers and staff members. I'm not just saying that because they're nice people who are amicable and are pleasant to be around because although that is true, they are so much more than that. Almost all of the people who work at West Scranton High School are true, genuine people who, at least from my personal experience, went out of their way to go above and beyond what was expected of them to make my high school experience, as well as the high school experiences of my classmates, so much better.

I could say something amazing about every single faculty and the staff member there. They all truly impacted my life. In particular, my AP Calculus teacher spent her free time during the school day tutoring me twice a week because I was struggling, which proves how much she truly cared about me understanding the material.

My AP Literature teacher turned me from a science nerd into a science nerd who loves to read classic literature and can write a fantastic essay. He is such a talented teacher who truly transformed me as a writer. My AP U.S. history teacher went out of her way to help me get two (yes... not one, but two!) scholarships while running the Red Cross club.

All three of my cheer coaches taught me life lessons through the sport of cheerleading, such as persistence and the fact that hard work pays off. So many of my teachers wrote me letters of recommendation to help me get into college. All of the faculty and staff members always said hello.

From the office workers to the maintenance, to teachers and other workers in the building, they are all always willing to acknowledge you and have a nice chat. Teachers who I never even had in class would go out of their way to acknowledge me and say hi.

We have teachers who go out of their way to plan amazing and educational school trips to Boston and Washington D.C. We have the P.R.I.D.E. team of teachers who go out of their way to reward students and make school more enjoyable. The school facebook page, which is run by a teacher, posts inspirational quotes every day.

I mean come on, how cute is that? Our teachers even participate in a fun "anything goes" day at the end of the year. I can't exaggerate the fact enough that it is these people who make West Scranton High School great.

They were the reason I wanted to come to school every day. They made me love to learn. They made me want to be there. I am so grateful to have been able to attend a high school with such amazing people. So what I fell and broke my hand because there was no wet floor sign.

So what if I wasn't able to take a science my senior year. On the grand spectrum of high school as a whole, those things are irrelevant because what truly matters is how I was surrounded by happy faculty and staff members every single day who truly made my high school experience great.

Do I miss high school? No. Do I wish I could go back? Not at all. The college has brought me many bigger and better things, and I have grown a lot since high school graduation. But, does that mean I don't appreciate the time I spent at West Scranton High School, and don't look back on it as a fantastic experience that made me who I am today?

Absolutely not.

I will always remember the lessons I learned in high school that truly prepared me for college and the real world, and it was the faculty and staff of West Scranton High School that did that. I reflect upon my high school years as a period of time in my life that has passed and that I have since moved on from, but still greatly appreciate.

Thank you to the faculty and staff of West Scranton High School. We truly appreciate you and all that you do! Thank you for being the reason we bleed blue. #InvaderPride