Controversy raged when the new John Marshall High School opened last August. A district official said dozens of parents pulled their children from the unfinished facility in an exodus to private and charter schools.
Discipline concerns sparked further debate, and, this spring, some called for change, even if that meant temporarily closing the school.
But according to Principal Trina Liles, there are positives no one outside the new John Marshall sees:
" Freshmen, competing against sophomores through seniors from other schools, placed fourth recently in an academic decathlon.
" Advanced class offerings are in the process of being upped.
" A mock trial team, dance program, band and orchestra are available, and a piano lab is in the works, awaiting funding.
" Teachers, according to both Parent Teacher Student Association presidents, are overwhelmingly supportive of students who behave or need help.
" The school's "Big Bear Bash" in March, celebrating facility-wide access, was a success, bringing out parents, students and old alumni.
"We were wishing we had news coverage that night, but no one was interested in the successes the school has enjoyed," said PTSA co-president Theresa Irons, adding the students she's observed deserve more respect from the community. "But those are the students, you know, you never hear about." "Emily Jerman