Mixed Reviews On The “Welcome Back” Assembly

Mixed Reviews On The Welcome Back Assembly

Connor Fries , News Editor

The most recent “welcome back to school” assembly was certainly an interesting way to start off the new semester. From learning about the 3% of students who brought drugs onto campus or were involved in fights, to the consistently low test scores on the AZ Merit, there were many mixed reviews from students about this so-called “Welcome Back” assembly.

For a “Welcome Back” assembly, it veered more towards where Sahuaro stands in our ratings as a school, rather than anything about the new semester. Mr. Estrella opened the assembly up by congratulating all the sports teams for competing in their recent championships over the break, but then quickly switched over to talking about the “3%”. This is apparently the percentage of the student body who has brought drugs onto campus and fights other students. It was a rather odd way to begin the assembly welcoming us into 2018. After that, Estrella moved onto our AZ Merit scores and Sahuaro’s letter grade.

I valued that admin was willing to acknowledge and show us what our scores are, instead of glossing over them. To be crystal clear with the students is something that I truly appreciated from admin, because I feel that being honest about where we stand as a school is something that every student deserves. However, the overall impression I received was that he was trying to rile us up against Sabino. When talking about Sahuaro’s AZ Merit scores, Mr. Estrella constantly brought up that not only do the scores reflect Sahuaro, but they affect our school grade, which is currently a “B”, and we wouldn’t want to be below Sabino, now would we? Once Mr. Estrella started talking about how Sahuaro would benefit from us having higher scores, the consensus seemed to be that his focus was misguided. He did not discuss how taking the tests are for the students’ benefit (like good practice for the SAT or ACT), or how doing things such as filling out your FASFA can help people who can’t pay for college. Instead, he seemed to focus more on the benefit to Sahuaro, not the students. I understand that wanting to beat Sabino is a way to try to get the students excited and want to raise our school grade, but since I’m not a competitive person, it didn’t really work for me.

I don’t believe administration did this intentionally, but it seemed to be the overall impression the audience received. Many students were torn between their feelings toward the assembly. Casey Canlas, junior, stated, “It wasn’t a welcome back assembly. It was just admin telling us how bad we are.” Emerald Linke-Shivers, junior, said, “They took too long to explain that we could do better. I get what they were trying to do, but it was completely pointless.” On the other end, several seniors were proud of their Algebra II scores – the only ones to increase above district averages. Seniors Kyle Welch and Alex Bebee said that they “sacked it”. Stephen Wray, also a senior, stated, “I liked the competition aspect. Sabino is our rival – we should beat them!”