Young people sample lots of activities in high school, and by the time they graduate each has a unique set of experiences to call their own. We asked three members of Longview’s class of 2018 to share something about their high school careers, a piece of advice and their post-graduation plans.
Discovery High School: Finding her wings
After moving back to Longview from Texas in her sophomore year, Natalie Rodriguez’s plan was to finish high school online so she could avoid people.
Then the self-described “really, really shy” student heard about Discovery, Longview’s alternative high school, and gave it a try.
When Natalie was required to make her first presentation, Discovery teacher Tamra Higgins nudged her through it.
“Ms. Higgins was like, ‘It’ll be OK. You’ll be fine,’” Natalie recalled—and found out she was.
She continued trying new things, including a library science class at R.A. Long and volunteer work at Monticello Middle School. Along the way, she found a passion for libraries.
“I realized if you work in a library, you’re helping people,” she said.
“Libraries are like hospitals for the mind.”
Higgins and English teacher Ron Moore agreed that Natalie has evolved into a whole new student.
“Natalie consistently asked some of the best questions and offered the deepest and most sophisticated insights,” Moore said. “She became a class leader and risk taker—miles away from that timid girl who was hesitant to put her toe in the water.”
Next steps: Start at Lower Columbia College, preparing for a career as a library technician.
Advice for younger students:
“If you’re on a cliff and you need to jump, but you’re too scared to jump, find some wings, staple them on—and just jump.”
Click here to read about Mark Morris graduate Becky Grubbs.
Click here to read about R.A. Long graduate Hamzah Amjad.
Story originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of the Longview Schools Review.