Faculty members watch their children grow, graduate
Shiva Mirzahaidar, Elizabeth Hale, staff writers
May 15, 2012
Filed under Features
From their child’s first steps to the great strides across the stage during graduation ceremonies, many parents have been by their child’s side helping to navigate their lives together. The relationship between child and parent becomes stronger when family members find themselves at the same school. For seniors whose parents are school staff members, the leap into college life may be difficult, as they will be pursuing their academic career without a parent by their side.
Senior Samantha Russell’s mother, Debbie Russell, has worked as the school’s diagnostic clerk as long as Russell has been a student.
“At first, when she accepted the job, I was anxious about her always being in the same place as me; school was my time away from her,” Samantha said.
However, Samantha remains optimistic since she has come to appreciate the convenience of her mother working in the same building all day.
“I know that if she needs me, she can reach me at any time,” Mrs. Russell said. “That’s something that won’t ever change, no matter where she goes, and she knows that too.”
Although her appreciation of her mother’s work stems from outside of the school building, Samantha is ready to pursue her education without being by her mother’s side.
“Everything that my parents have provided for me throughout these past 18 years [has] been constant and expected; my fear is that once I leave, these everyday items and services will become more of luxuries to me as a broke college student,” Samantha said. “It may be a difficult transition becoming independent, but it will be a worth-while journey into adulthood.”
Mrs. Russell agrees that the transition into life after high school is important, as new challenges will be presented. However, she is confident that her daughter will be successful.
“So far our relationship has been focused on preparing her for the world,” Debbie said. “Now it’s her turn to go out and use those skills to her advantage.”
Senior Becca Calfee, whose father, David Calfee, is the senior assistant principal, has similar feelings as Samantha. Becca says that although having her father at school brought challenges at first, but she now accepts his position in her academic life.
“At this point, I’m just used to him being around,” Becca said. “My freshman year I was actually pretty mortified, especially when he took my phone [up] in front of my whole class. Now, I don’t really mind it and I really love having him here to talk to.”
Becca agrees that although having her father nearby during the school day is comforting, she cannot seem to escape the scrutiny others place on her about receiving special treatment.
“It is always assuring to have my dad be just down the hallway if I am having a tough day,” Becca said. “However people still assume that I get an advantage because my dad’s a principal. I have had three detentions. If I get in trouble, I am treated the same way as everyone else.”
Although Becca says that not having her father around will cause her a little less embarrassment, not seeing him every day will be hard.
“My dad has embarrassed me, been at every school dance, and he’s the guy that kids do not like because he gets them in trouble. Those aspects I do not think I’ll have a hard time living without,” Becca said. “Although I will really miss always having someone to cry to, talk to, or vent to. I guess it is a bittersweet situation.”
However, an apathetic attitude may come into play, as students leave their parents’ sides and step into the real world. Despite the worries that leaving home may bring, the relationship between students and parents will flourish, as they realize how delicate time with family is.
Senior Chelsea Larsen, the daughter of journalism teacher Edward Larsen, feels that attending school with her father’s presence has brought them closer together.
“We both have really busy schedules outside of school, so some days I will see him more often at school than I will at home,” Chelsea said.
Mr. Larsen acknowledges that having four children come and go through the doors of Cinco Ranch has been unique and enjoyable for him from a parent perspective.
However, he believes that although he will not see his children as often, the transition will not be too different than the average student-parent relationship that everyone is going through.
“As children move away from the home, and become more independent there is always an evolution to the relationship when your own children become adults themselves, and your parent child relationship moves into more of an adult, adult friendship,” Larsen said. “And I look forward to that time when my children have that maturity about them, and we have that relationship.”