When you think of Campbell County High School you likely think of drugs, the school shooting, teenage pregnancy, or fights, or possibly all of the above. But my experience has been nothing of the such.

As for my education at CCHS it has been full of academic interest, growth, and a few teachers along the way that have changed my life forever.

As my years at CCHS conclude I have so much to say about my experience.

As  for my AP United States History class… I developed my analysis skills through much practice with documents and writings. We engaged on the daily basis in enriching conversations about past and current events. We were encouraged to discuss our view points in an academic and logical manner, until Mrs. Browning was just one of us, we learned by our discussions among the group as a whole. There is something special about a teacher that is willing to learn things alongside students, and allows thoughts to be freely heard under her supervision. Two of the most important things that came to pass by the duration of the year-long course was something Mrs. Browning does so well at teaching: to weigh both viewpoints in order to reach the most practical conclusions about some facet of life or historical events. And most likely my favorite take-away was the mental timeline I developed through reading the entire APUSH textbook. While also in the class I learned how much I valued academic friends/conversations over “popular” friends/conversations. The way in which I typically evaluate a course and/or a teacher is by the atmosphere and experience they create within their classroom. Mrs. Ann Browning, you did just that, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Nothing like a lady who will host her AP class, after her cardio class, the night before the AP exam to watch Hip Hughes give an overview of the entire course. SO grateful!

As for my spanish classes… Although it was merely an introduction to the fundamental aspects of the language, the year following the course I returned for a week in rural Mexico.  I understood so much more than I would have expected and was also able to stand before a Spanish gathering and give a somewhat-confident introduction in the spanish language. Also I was given plenty of practice with translators, hearing the spanish language spoken by those you love is so awesome. It was so exciting because it felt as though a new world was semi-accessible due to my high school spanish class taught by Ken Hunley.

As for my AP English Literature and Composition class, and ENGII & ENGIII courses taught by Mrs. Lisa Copeland… Oh where do I possibly begin! Everyone who knows me knows that I will sing the praises of any class taught by Mrs. Copeland. I have never in my life seen anyone work as hard and put as much time in as she does. May I begin with that every day I was privileged to be in her classroom (which was three years) she made it purposeful. When I reflect on those three years, there was not a day that she slacked off, not a day she did not go above and beyond. Folks, this is no joke or overstatement! I want to highlight some of the treasures she has taught me, unintentionally. I truly have learned that if I am to attach my name to an essay or work I have created, I am to work as hard as possible to make it something worthy of that. She is the incarnation of that. It is infectious, I have spent many hours crafting an essay, that in the grand scheme of things does not mean much, because I know she is going to be reading it and I do not want to give her something that is not worth her time spent reading it. Through her diligent, ever so consistent teaching my writing skills have blossomed, improved ten-fold. I have an appreciation for literature. Due to her classes I have read 39 works of literature. And the discussions, oh the discussions. Especially when it is a text I have been excited about I can hardly wait to get together as a group and discuss or tell her something that was significant while reading. I feel completely prepared for college. In fact my older sister attends the University of Tennessee and she confidently sends me essays to revise for her upper level courses. The experience in her class is priceless. I cannot express that enough with words that could do it justice. Has it been hard? Heck yes. Has it been worth it? More so than I could say. The last thing I will put forth in admiration of her and her classroom may be the most significant of all. As we were days away from the AP exam and analyzing potential prompts she said something so profound. (Side note: to make this statement make sense, generally within these prompts under all of the academic wording they are asking how the speaker said it, as in techniques, and why they did, what does that mean to the work as a whole). AP readers apparently grade students on what they can do well, the students may not explicitly say the speaker used a metaphor, but if the student conveys that a comparison of two unlike things has been used and can make sense of it they give credit. Mrs. Copeland said “it is great if you can name the techniques, the hows, but if you can’t express why they did what they did than it does not mean much”. So wow. I began thinking and applying this to the way I read scripture and the way I think about life questions.

Example: The hows to nature: the incredible way in which cellular processes take place and  chemistry and atoms and everything we can’t see with the naked eye (science). The whys to nature: because it is merely here? Or because God uses the “hows” to make the “whys”, like that the vast complexities of nature are here to be enjoyed by humans. Hows can’t stand alone, and whys don’t make much sense without the hows. It feels like a developed way of thinking. All because of literature class.

These are the things that will go with me far beyond high school.

For those who made it that way, I say thank you although that would never say enough! So much of me is due to you.

And thank you to my family that has been and are the foundation in which incredible teachers have been able to build upon.

As for my education at CCHS, it is one I will be proud of and forever grateful for.

Go cougars!