Opinion: Shelby County schools shine

Published 9:00 am Friday, June 2, 2023

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LIZZIE BOWEN | Staff Writer

If there is one thing that can be said about the schools in Shelby County, it is the passion of their students and the pride they harbor in their place of education.

As I watch the graduation of many students walk across the stage, I feel the slightest twinge of jealousy at the public schoolers walking across the stage Perhaps it is of the youth and vibrancy and the way that their lives are only just beginning, but I have always held one of the deepest admirations of public schools within the Shelby County area.

Hailing from Pelham, I was always looked in admiration of the schools around me and was entranced by their traditions.

One of the coolest traditions I witnessed more recently was at Pelham High School and witnessed their “Miss PHS” pageant. This pageant seemed to instill these young girls with such a sense of accomplishment and pride.

Pelham High School really seemed to love and adore its students and give them a platform in which they were able to truly be themselves and explore. A lot of the girls who spoke during the pageant talked about how they never dreamed they would be walking a stage in a beauty pageant, but Pelham High School had blessed them with that opportunity.

Graduation season has reminded me how wonderful the schools in this area are and how they truly give back to their students. Witnessing these schools walk the stage has made me wonder and further implore the idea of what it would have been like to attend a public school in Shelby County. They certainly know how to stand by their students.

Shelby County also possesses wonderful private schools. During this time, I also attended the graduation of Indian Springs School.

I have been deeply infatuated with Indian Springs School for just about as long as I can remember. When I was thirteen, I read a book entitled “Looking For Alaska” which is a novel by John Green who attending Indian Springs School. Green was so enthralled by his experiences at Indian Springs School that he wrote a novel about it, which chartered as a New York Times best seller.

In the book, Green talked about how he was truly able to find himself at Indian Springs School. Yet, another experience I was truly envious of, attending a private boarding school and living away from your parents as a teen. Teenage me thought that was the absolute coolest.

In the novel, the main character Miles is desperately searching for his “great perhaps.” He attends the boarding school fashioned after Indian Springs School in search of this great perhaps. The book is a truly beautiful one with a whimsical nature of first loves, heartbreak and grief. It truly fashions what it is to be a young person in the world trying to find yourself, falling in love for the first time and graduating high school. The main character deeply values his time at this boarding school as did Green when he attended it.

Overall, Shelby County has amazing schools full of amazing people both in private school, public school and homeschool. Shelby County sure is lucky.