What Cary High Students Are Saying About School

By: Students of Cary High with the help of Regan Sumy

A big thanks to all the Cary High students who participated in this survey; this piece would not be successful without you all. I know this year has been extremely different from any other school year…ever! Keep persevering your way through, and keep your eyes on the prize–you got this! Let’s look into what students have expressed about this school year including: their cohort, grade, favorite and least favorite memory, any hopes, and recognizing a teacher. 

Anonymous 

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Senior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Waking up later, since I don’t have a first period.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Having to pay attention harder during class because everything was more hands-on during in-person school.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “I hope I finish the school year with good grades.”

Emerson Phillips

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Junior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “The best thing about school this year has been being able to take tests in my pajamas!”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “My least favorite aspect of this school year has been not being able to connect as well with my classmates.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “Before this school year ends I hope that most of us get vaccinated!!”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “To Frau Reher: Thank you for teaching us German this year even though it’s been super difficult online!!”

Anonymous 

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Junior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Sleeping through the first period every day has done wonders for my mental and physical health. I love how my first periods have been really easy so I still have an A in first.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “I really miss the camaraderie of hustling through hard assignments together. I miss my friends.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “UNC becomes test optional.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Shoutout Stephanie Jessee for being the kindest and most patient AP Lang teacher. She is so patient, and she makes her students feel like she cares because she does.”

Sarah Cain

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Freshman 
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “I think the best thing for me this year in terms of being off-site would have to be not having an overloading amount of work to do and being able to be more relaxed when I am working on assignments.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “My least favorite thing about being off-site all year is not being about to go to clubs as we normally could on-site, and not being able to go to classes with my friends like I normally would on site.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “I have nothing really that I am really hoping for by the time school ends this year right now.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “I just want to say a big thank you to all of my teachers and all the teachers of Cary High School. You all are doing so much to make sure we are able to get anything done this year and trying to keep things as together as possible for all the students of the school so that we all have the possibility to learn this school year! I appreciate the time you all the time and work you put into making this bad situation as productive and worth it as possible. Thank you!”

Noah Tomczak

  • Cohort?
    • 2B
  • Grade?
    • Sophomore 
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Probably having the opportunity to go back into campus to see a few familiar faces, as that was not possible online.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Not having the true face-to-face experience with the teachers.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “I’m hoping that more of us will be able to go back to campus safely, as being on campus with only 200 students doesn’t feel like school, if you know what I mean.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “I just want to say a huge thank you to all my teachers, including Mrs. Whitley, Mr. Kinsey, Mr. Mann, and Commander Erickson, for making this semester easy going and not stressing considering this semester has mostly been online. Don’t give up on all that you do!”

Benjamin Passiglia 

  • Cohort?
    • 3C
  • Grade?
    • Sophomore 
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Definitely JROTC. We started doing practices in person before school even opened up in person.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Math. I dislike math so having to do it online made it worse.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “Getting to school in person with a full classroom.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Mrs. Culbreth, thank you for pushing the school to do orchestra in person. Meeting up has really helped me and I appreciate it. It’s important to play music in person, so with that possibility open to people, it’s amazing.” 

Jessica Paredes 

  • Cohort?
    • 3C
  • Grade?
    • Sophomore 
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Getting more free time to study and staying home.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “The fact that if I needed help for any class, I couldn’t just call my teacher. Appointments needed to be made and it was a slower process.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “We can all be in school and see all of our friends again.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Mr. Bryant, although I am not very excited or good at math, you make it my favorite class to be in :).” 

Johanna Ramirez-Perez

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Junior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “The best thing this school year has been joining the lacrosse team, I made many new friends and I got to spend some time outdoors. We only had two games this season but it was a blast just being apart from the team.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “My least favorite aspect of this school year was not being able to see my friends and living my junior year in person with them.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “I’m hoping that we can go back to campus for some small events.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “I appreciate Mrs. Kimberly for always being understanding and giving us days to catch up on work. You really make me want to be in class, and you keep the lessons straightforward. I really appreciate all your hard work towards helping us. Thank you!”

Naila Din 

  • Cohort?
    • 2B
  • Grade?
    • Junior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Being able to go back to school in some way and being able to participate in sports. To be able to go back to school has been very helpful for me when asking questions to teachers and seeing my friends that are in my cohort—things I couldn’t necessarily do in online school. Also, playing volleyball, despite the pandemic, has been a great way for me to still stay active, and I am very grateful that our season wasn’t canceled and instead postponed.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “This school year, I struggled a lot with time management and motivation for my school work. In previous years, I’ve kept up with my homework and my grades, but this year it’s been a struggle for me and a lot of people, and it sucks that I’m not like how I used to be with school.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “I’m hoping that we will be able to go off campus for lunch, which would make school a little bit more normal.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “All counselors: I want to thank you all for all you have done this year for the students to continue to be involved within the community—most notably, the class Google Classrooms that provide information with summer programs and new opportunities for students to check out. I have been able to apply to many programs and be aware of events that I would have certainly not known about without your guys’ help. Thank you!”

Anonymous 

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Senior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Although senior year was definitely different than other senior years, the drive-thru thrown by the school has definitely been something small to look forward to.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Having to go online and less personal interaction.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “Prom but maybe in-person graduation.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Love you Ms. Keller! Your class is so much fun and your spirits and positivity is always radiating. You’re the best!” -Z 

Anonymous 

  • Cohort?
    • 2B
  • Grade?
    • Sophomore 
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Not having to wake up as early.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “It’s a lot harder to focus because there are more distractions at home, and it feels like there’s more work.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “I hope we will at least be reduced to 2 cohorts instead of 3.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “I appreciate all my teachers because I know it’s harder to teach right now with less student interaction :).” 

Nihar Godthi

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Senior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “I think that online school has allowed us to move at a more personalized pace and it gives us time to do more things outside of school.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “It’s been difficult to learn over video calls, and I hate that I’m missing out on my last actual year of school.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “I’m hoping that we get an in-person graduation.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Hey Mr. Jessee, thank you so much for leading the Speech and Debate team through a very difficult year. You’ve worked way harder to make this work for all of us, and everyone on the team appreciates what you do for us.”

Anonymous 

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Sophomore 
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “I’m able to do work in my sweat pants and in bed.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “It’s harder to focus since I’m in my own house.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “My grades becoming all A’s.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Mrs. Duncan English 2 Honors – you were the first person I saw in the morning and you were never in a bad mood, so thanks for letting my day have a good start.”

Anonymous 

  • Cohort?
    • 1A
  • Grade?
    • Freshman
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Playing on the lacrosse team because it gave me the chance to meet people from school without being in school and because it was something relatively “normal” to do to get myself out of bed every day.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Online learning 100%. My grades are dropping because it’s harder to pay attention in online class than an in-person class, and it’s not fun, as you don’t get to work with/be with other people.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “I hope I can go to a sports game at some point before the end of the year!”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Ms. Brown- it’s been great to be in your class this year, and it was nice to talk to you at lunch in person the other week!”

Isabella Rivera

  • Cohort?
    • 3C
  • Grade?
    • Senior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Finally going back and seeing some of my favorite people.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Online school :/ There are so many distractions at home like my phone or my loud, constantly barking dog. I’m also not the greatest at time management.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “The decision of a traditional graduation (very doubtful but a senior can hope).”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Mr. Yasick, thank you for creating an environment in your classroom that has made me feel so safe and welcome. I’m truly honored that I could spend the last four years as a part of your chorus.”

Anonymous 

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Freshman 
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “A few good teachers who put effort into our learning.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Not seeing friends, having teachers who don’t try very hard for us, and overall just having a tough time understanding everything and not getting stressed out about it.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “My family will get vaccinated and hopefully I’ll be able to see not only them but also my friends.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Thank you Ms. Davies for putting in the effort and helping us learn even though it’s not ideal.”

Lily Goodman 

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Freshman 
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “The freedom to use my own learning strategies and flexibility.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “The isolation from teachers and other students.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “Everything goes to plan, and things slowly get better.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Dear Ms. Blackburn, I enjoy learning math in your class, and you always make it worthwhile.”

Anonymous

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Senior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Being able to have more flexibility with school work, and being able to do school from wherever.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Not being able to learn a single thing and having a huge amount of assignments that I learn nothing from.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “Some semblance of a fun graduation.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Shoutout to Coach Ro for being super helpful and really listening to his students.”

Avery Phillips

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Sophomore
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “The best thing about this school year has been the ability to work on whatever work I needed to finish if I had free time in any other class.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “My least favorite aspect of this school year has been not being able to see my friends as often.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “I’m hoping that everyone can be safely vaccinated and that school for next year can be confirmed.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Thank you to Mr. Bryant for making math fun and more understandable than it ever has been for me, which is a hard thing to do virtually!”

Dae Williams

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Senior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Being able to get out of school earlier.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Online school.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “Senior prom :(.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Mr.Nantz, thanks for being the bomb.com. Your class is the besttttt!!”

Thomas Fisher

  • Cohort?
    • 2B
  • Grade?
    • Sophomore
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Actually talking to the teachers-they’re all really nice!”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Online.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “A decision or plan to go back full time.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Kimbo (Mr. Kimberly) is by far the best teacher I have ever had! He’s funny, nice, and also mean in a toned-down way. I love his class because it’s always fun and we really get to know him and he really gets to know us throughout his class. Kimbo’s class is full of energy and I wish we had more teachers like Kimbo!”

Ria Devgon 

  • Cohort?
    • 2B
  • Grade?
    • Senior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “The best thing is coming back on campus to see my teachers and actually feel like we’re having a kinda normal school year. I’m glad to come back to campus for my last year of high school.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “My least favorite is not being able to have the teacher-student time in person because I like to learn with the teacher with me so that I can see how it’s done and ask questions to them at that time.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “I hope to continue to go in person and have a normal graduation.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Dear Mr. Banyas, although I haven’t been the best student in Calculus, I’m glad I decided to take Calculus. I’ve seen a whole new world of math which I’ve never seen before, and it’s made me much more interested in the aspect of math and the applications! This class has also shown me that I have a lot of work to do in my skills as a mathematician and having you as a teacher who is willing to be tough in order to make them succeed is a teacher I’ve always loved having! In the future, I hope to be a better mathematician and I’ll always remember this class as a moment I saw that I needed growth. Thank you for showing me this new world of math and making me fall in love with math again! I appreciate all your hard work to teach all of us!” -Ria Devgon

Anonymous 

  • Cohort?
    • 3c
  • Grade?
    • Junior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Nothing.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Everything.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “That I don’t get held back.”

Seth

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Freshman
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Being able to stay home and not have to wake up super early to get to class on time.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “The amount of stress and lack of motivation to actually do my school work.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “Corona basically goes away and we can finally do stuff normally (hopefully without masks).”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Ms. Richards: Thank you for being the best and most understanding teacher I have had in a long time. You helped me learn and understand the information without drowning me in school work.”

Anonymous 

  • Cohort?
    • 3c
  • Grade?
    • Senior 
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Not having to deal with anybody in person.” 
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Everything else. I usually hate school but this time I hate it x100.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “Not sure, maybe a prom would be nice.” 

Anonymous 

  • Cohort?
    • 3C
  • Grade?
    • Sophomore
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “I really like how the teachers have taken extra steps and worked hard to engage their students, even in a virtual learning environment!”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Being online and missing out on typical social interactions has been hard.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “4s and 5s on AP tests!”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Mrs. K Duncan, thank you for all your hard work! You go the extra mile to help us learn in English 2 Honors :).” 

26 students. 26 backgrounds. 26 opinions. Thank you to the 26 of you who took the time to help me create this article. Remember to look on the bright side and smile. I hope you all have a good rest of your school year!

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