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Why I Came to Nova

    Nova definitely has its quirks. Most are good, and a few are less than optimal, but after a single year at a mainstream public high school, I’d had enough. Why? That’s a good question.

    Now, I’m not allowed to say the name of the school I went to, because my opinion isn't exactly positive. I won't say the name of it, but it rhymes with "mallard." For the purpose of clarity, I’m going to refer to it as "Mallard" for the rest of this article.

    Mallard High School is the largest school in the Seattle Public School district and with its over two thousand students, and estimated over nine million dollars in annual funding, the district decided to go big or go home with everything related to Mallard. On most things related to numbers, they went big. Whether it be number of classes, number of students, funding, or just about anything else you can put a number on, they have numbers bigger than just about any other school in the district. On many qualitative factors however, they decided to go home. I quickly found these areas as I tried to navigate my year of mediocre teachers and lousy administrators. I’m probably (and by probably I mean definitely) biased, but here is my opinion on why Mallard didn’t work well (at least for me).

    The teachers were where the problems began. Many of mine were not able to do their job effectively. For some, this was due to having an oversized class or otherwise being overworked, and for others it was sheer incompetence or laziness. This doesn’t apply to all teachers at Mallard, and not even to all of mine, but the majority of the ones I experienced could not (or at least did not) effectively teach. Nova has excellent teachers probably due in part to the fact that every teacher is interviewed by students.

    The problematic teachers were only made worse by totally indifferent administration. I brought the issues of one of teachers to the attention of my counselor, who helped me submit a formal complaint. The administration then proceeded to completely ignore not just me, but also my counselor, my parents, other students, and other student’s parents. The entire process was such a bad experience that it was probably the most significant reason for me to leave Mallard. Again, Nova has only two administrators, and they make a significant effort to work things out if a student is struggling.

    This is why, about a week before school got out, my parents asked me if I wanted to go to an orientation for a school I had never heard of called Nova. I took the orientation, and it was everything that Mallard wasn’t: it had good teachers, great administration, small classes, a total student body of about 330 people, and a much more laid back environment; all allowing me to be more relaxed while also learning more. I finished the orientation, and knowing nothing else about the school, I submitted my transfer papers and haven’t looked back.

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