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Westbury Christian students at lunch (on left): Gaby Portillo, Victoria Tillman, Sarah Varjas, Madison White; (on right): Alec Ralph, Caleb Lueders, Caitlin Brotherton
Five hours of testing and one interview later, the blue and gold doors of Westbury Christian are opened. Coming from one of the largest and most diverse schools in Texas, I expected to walk into a world completely different than one I have ever experienced. To be candid, I surmised a primarily Caucasian school, scarcely diverse and sheltering prima donna students. Every shirt tucked, each shoe polished, and every student’s identity shaved down to become identical to the school’s image. But, I was pleasantly mistaken.
Not only is Westbury Christian School a beautiful montage of diverse ethnicities, backgrounds and opinions, but it is, even more beautifully, a safe place for students to discover who they truly are, not who they are expected to be. Thus far, my typical school day has consisted of, but not limited to: foreign exchange and/or bilingual students conversing in the hallway using their cultural language; teachers challenging students to reevaluate the purpose of educating; coaches encouraging students to sign up for not only their sports program, but extracurricular clubs and activities; and really good food (though the last may not seem as significant, in high school having good, and healthy, food rivals the feeling of being told you can use your notes for a test that you didn't study for).
Somehow, the faculty at Westbury Christian has solved the mystery to creating an open and supportive atmosphere for the young minds that they mold. Instead of forcing me to memorize what I need to do, they show me why I need to do it and let me come to the conclusion of how. This teaching style is incredibly valuable because it allows the students to actively engage in their own education.
As students, we are no longer playing the role of sitting ducks, absorbing facts only to regurgitate them later for a test or quiz. We are advocates for the idea of education, not just grades. With high spirits, and a sense of camaraderie radiating from both the faculty and the students, this upcoming school year already looks to be a great one.