Parent Pathways

Christa Gala: Yes, our kids will survive Apex Friendship High

August 12, 2013 

The whole debate about the name of a new local high school has been burning a hole in my brain.

At first, I really didn’t care one way or the other about the name of this school, slated to open in 2015.

It was a tug of war between two names: Apex Friendship High and West Apex High.

Many parents thought Friendship was not an appropriate name for a high school. They said sports teams would be made fun of and the new school would be confused with a religious school of a similar name.

Petitions were signed and school board members lobbied, buoying the name West Apex High. But last week the Wake County school board voted 5-3 to name the school Apex Friendship High to represent the historic Friendship community where the school will be located.

Here’s the thing: It will be OK.

I was a Cary High School Imp, or “Wimp” as they used to call us.

Despite the jabs about the mascot, Cary High had and still has a legendary wrestling team and band program. It’s also done a great job in recent years to establish electives that give students real-world experience, such as the culinary arts and health occupations programs.

Green Hope High School has had its share of nicknames too, one rhyming with an illegal recreational drug I won’t name.

But Green Hope established one of the best girls’ basketball teams in the state just a few years after it opened. The school is a powerhouse in both academics and athletics.

Apex High has surely had some name troubles along the way. But what really stands out is its Academy of Information Technology as well as the reinstatement of its auto shop curriculum a few years ago to give students hands-on experience and life skills.

So no, I don’t much care about the name of the high school my son will attend in 2017.

What I do care about is that this brand-new facility will relieve overcrowding at Apex High School.

I’m hopeful it can attract high-quality teachers and administrators amid dwindling confidence within the ranks of our best and brightest.

I care about what measures we can take to ensure it has the latest in technology, interesting electives and career and college counseling. I care about whether local businesses will support the school in career fairs and speaking opportunities.

Will parents volunteer their time and talents? How can those of us in the community encourage and mentor its students – our own and others?

Those are the things that make a good school. Let’s start a petition for those things.

Besides, what rhymes with Friendship? Nothing heinous I can think of, although I’m sure some creative student will come up with something.

Apex Friendship High will establish its own legacy.

With our help.

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