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As a student who was present before the renovations, during the renovations, and after the renovations, I feel comfortable discussing my opinions of the new Mendenhall Valley high school.
Throughout these changes, the hallway space has evolved from stepping on each other's feet to having enough room to run up and down the stairs to your heart's content.
Although I don't know all of the plans for the new Valley high school, I've been trying my best to keep up with all of the proposed changes. The school has been an idea for many years now, and until now, I haven't been able to decide whether I'm for or against it.
Jim Burns' letter to the editor, "Time to support Valley HS," gave me that extra push to decide against the high school. I live in the Valley and although it would be convenient for my younger brother and all of the other potential Valley high school students, I can't find one other good reason to erect the building.
Being enrolled at JDHS has been a wonderful experience for me. Merging the two middle schools into one high school was great, I got to meet lots of people. It allowed me to have a larger selection of people to be around.
These people have helped mold me and they are part of who I am today. The teachers and the classes that I have had at JDHS have, for the most part, been extremely influential in my decisions as to what I would like to do in the future. The passion that some of my teachers had for the job taught me more than just the subject area.
Splitting up the students, the teachers and district resources is not the way to go. Excellent teachers are few and far between, especially in Juneau. The classes that JDHS has offered me have been wonderful, I would, for example, hate learning art with any other teachers than the ones I had. The classes could be offered at both schools, but the quality of the classes might not be the same without the teachers that JDHS has on staff. I have been asking around for valid reasons to build the high school, and I have as yet received very few compelling responses. I haven't been able to find an upside.