I am through with my freshman year at Fox Creek High School, and it was a wonderful experience.
Before our school was built, my family and many others in Edgefield were worried about where to send their children to school.
The only school that existed, Strom Thurmond High School, was at the other end of the county. Our choices for schooling were limited, and those included riding the bus for hours each day to and from school, paying outrageous out-of-county tuition to attend Aiken County schools or moving.
Thankfully, after years of debate with the school board, Fox Creek High School was ready to open Aug. 5, 2004.
As a charter school, this publicly funded institution is exempt from certain state or local rules in accordance with state statutes.
Despite the large amounts of support and pleasure that has come with the creation of Fox Creek, there have been many rumors and untrue statements that have plagued the school since it opened.
The false rumors included: the school was closing next year; the school had broken charter rules; and all of the teachers were leaving because they were unhappy with the school.
As a result, students and parents were asking the administration if we would even have a school to go to next year.
A lot of students were worried that the school would be closed for good and that we would be forced to ride the bus, pay tuition or move.
Ultimately, our teachers had to take time out of teaching to tell us that our school was not closing and not to worry.
With so much misinformation and speculation, it's no wonder students and parents began to ask: fact or lies?
So I decided to get some answers. I scheduled a meeting with our lead teacher/assistant administrator, Mrs. Ute Aadland, to get some facts.
She assured me that all I had heard was rumor.
She assured me our school is not closing. In fact, on May 11 we closed on land to build our new school, and it is set to be finished by January 2007 so that students and faculty can move in.
When asked if the school had broken any charter rules, she said the answer was no. She said that misinformation was a result of irresponsible journalism and the power of rumors.
Mrs. Aadland also went on to explain the leaving of our teachers.
"Teacher turnover rate is something all schools deal with. Most are not leaving because of dissatisfaction. Many have moved, getting married or just need more money," she said.
"There are three teachers here who took a pay cut to be here. And next year we will be growing, with more teachers. The teachers we've hired are excellent, and they've won numerous awards."
Mrs. Aadland went on to say: "Anyone who wants to see the school should come to the school. They should come and talk to the students and parents, not just listen to the press. Education is the most precious thing a parent has to take care of.
"It's a responsibility that we take seriously - to educate to the best of our ability, to make sure the students become successful and productive citizens," she said.
In short, all is well at Fox Creek High School, and the community can look forward to great things to come from our school. And we students can look forward to another year at a school that we enjoy and which we waited and worried over for a long time.
Kayla Mitchum, 15, is a rising sophomore at Fox Creek High School.
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