In defense of high school
Upon reading comments by M. Durwood Stephenson and Scott Bolejack in the Smithfield Herald, I was shocked and incensed by the blatant disregard for the leadership of Smithfield-Selma High School principal Michael Taylor and by the accusations against my school as a whole.
Mr. Stephenson, a well-respected member of our community and a member of the Citizen Study Commission (designed to find ways to improve SSS), offers a scathing review of the “failure” of SSS, which is, by all means, unfounded. In offering a comparison between Neuse Charter School and SSS – the “best” and “worst” schools in our county, respectively – Mr. Stephenson fails to acknowledge the improvements made by Mr. Taylor and students at SSS over the past several years. Mr. Taylor has overseen the implementation of our Freshman Academy, Title I funds and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme. We consistently post a higher graduation rate with each successive class, due, in no small part, to his leadership.
Mr. Stephenson and Mr. Bolejack may consider Neuse Charter School to be one of the best schools in the county, and they are more than entitled to their opinion. As for me, the award for the best school requires more attention than just looking at a graduation rate or speculating about students’ intelligence. From my experience, SSS boasts the finest students and faculty I have had the pleasure to know. I would like to extend an invitation to both Mr. Stephenson and Mr. Bolejack to visit SSS, so they can see what makes us the best school in the county.
Class of 2014, Smithfield-Selma High School