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The views expressed in this article belong to the reporter, and do not reflect the views held by Rockbridge County High School, the Prowler Staff, and its members.

Students Encounter Schedule Changes Before the First Day of School

Quincy Speers
Junior Luke Eversole in Electronics

RCHS students encountered schedule changes the week before the start of the 2023-2024 school year. Students who were originally taking engineering classes with Mr. James Gerken, the  former engineering instructor, were moved to other elective classes due to a shortage of teachers.

Gerken resigned at the end of the 2022-2023 school year after student schedules were made, and the school was unable to find a replacement teacher.  Affected students were placed  into different electives due to the unavailability of the engineering classes, which caused changes to many student schedules.

Counselor Tyra Little spoke about the requirements for a new engineering teacher and why nobody took the job.

“We are hoping that [the classes] come back, but it takes a special kind of person to fill that role because they have to have tech credentials and a heart for kids to leave the tech industry and come to a school,” said Little.

After the classes were made unavailable, students had to be moved into their chosen backup electives. Many of these classes filled up quickly and some overflowed due to the number of students taking them.

Principal Mike Craft talked about how teachers accommodated for extra students.

“We gave two extra teachers an extra class period. Teachers usually teach five class periods, but they have the option to teach six. Right now, we have 15 teachers in the building who teach six classes,” said Craft.

RCHS is trying to make the engineering classes available once again in future school years, but right now, students are taking other classes to continue their education in the technology and engineering field.

Junior Luke Eversole is one of these students. To fulfill his dream of becoming an electrical engineer, Eversole is taking electronics and advanced math classes. 

Eversole is also trying to do things outside of school to learn more about engineering.

“Right now, I’m trying to get an internship at the W&L IQ Center,” Eversole said.

Said internship is an opportunity at Washington and Lee University that focuses on technology research.

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About the Contributors
Lexi Walters, Reporter
Lexi Walters is a first-year sophomore reporter. She is taking journalism so that her dad will let her snoop on his W&L media and communications classes. Walters enjoys swimming, reading, and making art, even though she always manages to cover herself in paint. She has become unhealthily attached to milkshakes and loves a good Philly cheesesteak. Walters is on the RCHS swim team, and swims year round, even though her coach would prefer for her to take breaks when she injures herself for the sixteenth time. When she is not at school, you can find Walters working on hours of homework, swimming, or making sure young children don’t drown.
Quincy Speers, Reporter
Quincy McCall Speers is a Junior at Rockbridge County High School and a first year Prowler member.  He is a Co-President of the RCHS Outing Club and loves to use words such as, “word, real, unreal, and electric.” Speers is really good at winning class elections, pickleball trash talk, and silly little puzzles. He is a part of NHS, the lacrosse team, spikeball club, and the Joey Chestnut fan club. Lacrosse is Speers’ second passion behind watching Netflix Romantic Comedies. Speers is excited for this school year and seeing his peers.  

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