Taking the rural route
As many of you may know, Sutter Union High School is the smallest public high school in Sutter County. With an average of 800 students per year, SUHS isn't as populous as its two neighboring schools. In fact, the population difference gives SUHS students a unique experience that larger institutes cannot provide.
Sutter students are able to experience education in a less dense environment, where additional benefits lie that can be characterized into three distinct categories: athletics, education and community interaction.
In recent years, SUHS has been part of some of the nastiest rivalries between River Valley and Yuba City high schools. How can SUHS, a high school of nearly half the population of the aforementioned, keep such a competitive edge? It is because of the vast variety of extracurricular activities SUHS offers. Each student can find his or her forte.
SUHS provides some nationally recognized action within two of the most unique sports: rifle team and rodeo.
SUHS's rifle team has placed in national matches on more than one occasion and has sent both boys and girls to numerous colleges with scholarships.
Cassie Medlin, a senior on the SUHS rifle team, said, "Hopefully, I'll get a scholarship to the University of Nevada, Reno." SUHS has created an opportunity for students to not only reap success, but also reward.
SUHS's access to reward travels farther than just athletics; these profits also delve into education. SUHS teachers can provide individual attention to both the struggling and the advanced students, if need be.
Tiffani Johnson, a senior, is enrolled in the mathematics apogee at SUHS and receives precious moments of individual attention in her calculus class daily. She is the only SUHS student intending to take the AP Calculus BC test in May, and she takes on more challenging assignments than prescribed to the class.
"It's great — unless I have questions in the middle of his lecture," Tiffani said.
The third category of SUHS's resources can be seen in our community. SUHS graduates carry on potential after high school. A majority of the alumni matriculate into four-year universities and community colleges, inside California and elsewhere. SUHS students tend to give back to their community; they go off to college and come back to build a family foundation.
I asked Doug Ahlers, SUHS graduate and now a teacher, who is well involved in Sutter county: What made you choose Sutter for your children?
Ahlers simply replied, "It's a tight-knit community; everybody knows everybody." The high school's interaction with the district around it gives Ahlers and many others security that their children aren't getting away with anything they wouldn't allow.
All in all, SUHS provides some bonus features for all teenagers of the area. SUHS has shown its abilities not only in education, but also in athletics and community interaction — benefits that can only be found in the rural gold mine of Sutter Union High School.
McKenzie Kimball is a senior at Sutter Union High School. His column appears every six weeks in Education.