Alumni’s opinions: NC then and now


with thanks to Kennesaw Blueprint

Photos of NC’s class of 1989 showcase the graduating students. Samuel Fraundorf, a graduate in this class, now teaches students in Magnet Leadership, Sociology, and Government at NC. He returned to his alma mater, along with several other NC alumni who now work at the school they attended as teenagers. “When I was in high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I never thought teaching would be something I wanted to do,” Fraundorf said. Several of the other teachers agreed but expressed satisfaction with their jobs.

Jenny Loveland, Staff

During its sixty years of operation, NC witnesses thousands of students come and go, several of which spread across the country and beyond. Certain alumni, however, returned as teachers to give back to the school that gave them their education. Each noticed that as time passed, the school changed, but by exactly how much?

Even in the space of five years, NC changed drastically. A rapidly increasing student population previously led NC to construct several new buildings and raise class sizes, altering the campus. 

Nationwide, the education system altered, implementing more standardized testing and shifting to focus on teaching skills rather than simply making students memorize facts.

“The focus of the school was a lot different. I think teachers are nicer to students today [because] there’s a lot of things to do; you get help a lot in the way of test corrections, credit recovery and repair, which we didn’t have back then. Education is more active than it used to be,” AP World and AP Economics teacher and graduate of class 1989, Jeffery Bettis said.

Today, NC students benefit from this new teaching style as well as the opportunity to take several new classes offered at NC that the teacher alumni could not. These classes include AP courses and certain electives, although students nowadays miss out on the opportunity to take several extinct career education classes, such as agriculture and mechanics.

Classes and clubs themselves differ from those offered ‘back in the day’ aside from a couple of exceptions, such as Model UN.

“Model UN was big back then [too] because Ms. Morrison was in charge of it and did a really good job with it. I think that’s why they’ve kept up the tradition of it and why they do so well nowadays, because of that history of having the program here,” Samuel Fraundorf, graduate of the class of 1989 and teacher of Magnet Leadership, Sociology, and Government said.

Interestingly, teachers noticed the cycling of fashion. Coach Jarae Savage, a graduate of the class of 2011 and the current Health and Physical Education teacher and Volleyball coach, remarked that the popular Nike Air Force sneakers she saw in high school came back. Nena Tippens, graduate of the class of 1982 and current chemistry teacher, and Coach Fraundorf both noted styles of jeans that returned since their years at school. Today’s style seems to consist of an amalgam of fashions from different eras. 

Newer alumni also recognized a change in one vital aspect of NC from their years at school upon returning: their teachers, now made coworkers and friends.

“Because a lot of the teachers are still here, I think that speaks a lot about the community here, and that it’s a great place to work and a great place to learn. Some of the teachers have been here for 20 plus years. It’s just a good thing to see that a lot of the teachers that I had are still teaching because they love it. That’s definitely very inspiring as a new teacher,” Savage said.

At NC, the classes, teachers, and buildings constantly evolve to match the ever-changing lives of the students who attend the school.

“The demographics are different. It’s a lot more diverse now than it was back then, but it’s still high school, and it’s still high school kids with the same problems, the same issues, the same stresses,” Fraundorf said.

While NC grew in size as it accommodated a greater amount of students, the goal of teachers and students remains the same to this day: to teach and to learn. The focus of school never changed, although its methods and content occasionally did.