Lovejoy vs. Boyd


Riley Laurence, Staff Reporter

When I transferred here from McKinney Boyd High School on October 7, 2013, I never would’ve imagined my life would be the way that it is now. There have been struggles and hardships, but they have been completely over-weighed by the wonderful experiences I have been able to be a part of.

Since I was a tiny “Wolford Wolverine” in kindergarten, all I ever wanted to do was walk the halls as a Boyd Bronco. That dream became bigger when I started middle school at Evans and saw how cool it was for elementary schools to come together. Once I got to Boyd, however, things drastically changed (and not for the better).

I completed my freshman year of high school at McKinney Boyd and passed all of my classes with flying colors.

Then, family issues that were seemingly under control spilled over into my siblings and I’s lives. A home that was once inhabited by five family members transformed into a home for only four. And given that my mother was already teaching at Hart Elementary School at the time, the only transportation option left for me to get to Boyd was the bus.

I would’ve gladly taken the bus every single morning and night, if it meant I would have been given the opportunity to continue attending MBHS. Unfortunately, when my family down-sized houses, the new residence was in the district zone for McKinney High School (McKinney Boyd’s rival), a school I wouldn’t set foot in even if I was engulfed in flames and the only water hose was inside.

In the beginning of sophomore year, I had a system where my two friends would alternate taking me to school in the morning, since I had no other form of transportation. This plan, however, was not as efficient as I had dreamt it to be. There were multiple days where both my primary ride and my back-up ride were sick and/or not going to school until later in the day, if at all.

On September 25, I decided that I would try attending Lovejoy on one condition: I was allowed to transfer back if it turned out to be worse than Boyd. My mother, delighted with the news that meant we would finally see each other before 7 p.m. every day, called one of the school counselors, Lissa Testa, who told her it would be preferable if I started school at Lovejoy at the start of the 2nd six weeks, which happened to be only one week away.

Though the anxiety of starting over at a brand new school was almost overwhelming, with the help of the amazing Lovejoy ISD staff, particularly counselor Lissa Testa, CAT instructor Tania Vaughn, WHAP instructor Kevin Finn, Pre-Calculus teacher Andrew Stallings, and English teacher Katherine Harrison, my transition was as smooth as it could be.

I felt so welcomed in almost every one of my classes, which was a relief given that I only knew one person when I first arrived (shout out to Alyson Sudak). Though everything seemed to be going great, there were a few extremely hard things to get used to.

First, the curriculum here is a lot more rigorous. I was already a whole unit behind in statistics, not to mention the fact that Lovejoy starts its pre-calculus course with chapter 4, rather than chapter 1, so I was way behind in that class as well.

Second, Boyd is a big school. My freshman class had over 970 kids in it. The overall school population was well over 4,000 students. Of course, when you have that many students, you have to have room for all of them to fit in one building. Lovejoy, however, has about 1,200 kids, and the hallways don’t have to fit a large number of people. This was a bad transition because I was no longer an anonymous person in a swarm of students. People actually knew who I was.

Starting over in a new school is always tough. However, there are so many things that have been close to perfect here that I would’ve never experienced at Boyd. Among them:

1. Community service.

Lovejoy is a lot more involved in the community than McKinney Boyd. At Boyd, the only time anyone did any kind of service was for Key Club or NHS. Here, people give back to the community all the time, whether it’s Relay for Life or canned food drives, regardless of how many “hours” they’ll get for their service.

2. I got to create my own schedule so I knew how everything would work and where I would be at what time.

3. I got to become a part of the award-winning Red Ledger staff.

4. I am getting a better education here.

My teachers are so much more intelligent than my teachers at Boyd were. For instance, the AP World History exam passing rate is often above 90 percent thanks to Mr. Finn, whereas my old AP World History teacher’s goal for this year was to have 75 percent pass.

5. Friends.

Since moving here, I have made a few friends that I will not only remember for a long time, but also tell my kids about later in life. They say high school is supposed to be the best four years of your life (before college, of course), but I never believed them until I made these friends.

Though the transition was hard, if I could go back in time, I would still make the transfer. Even though I left behind people I had been friends with for over 10 years, the new friendships I made will last much, much longer.

I always told myself I would never come to Lovejoy, but even when I did, I told myself I would never enjoy going to Lovejoy High School or even wear a Lovejoy shirt. Now, I am proud to say that I’m a Leopard.