tbo: Tampa Bay Online.
Monday, Jun 25, 2018
  • Home

Smith Middle grads prepare for new high schools

Jamie Flowers is headed to Alonso High School next year — and admits she has no idea what to expect.

She’s been comfortable at Smith Middle School for the past three years, but she knows that the next four years might be completely different.

“I don’t know,” she said only days before leaving Smith Middle for the last time as a student. “I have so many memories here, but I have no idea what is going to happen in high school. It will be a lot different.”

Jamie is headed for Alonso while her friends, Ryleigh Guarino and Conner McTeer, head for Sickles.

What she is certain of is how to handle the typical temptations that come with going to high school.

“I know how to say no,” Jamie said. “That’s the most important thing.”

Conner has a lot of options once he gets to Sickles. He expects to play football and join the Junior Air Force ROTC, and hopes for a shot at making the varsity baseball team as a freshman. And he already has plans to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy when high school is over.

He is a confident kid who smiles broadly when he talks about the future.

“It is going to be an adventure going to high school,” Conner said. “You have to go into it, I guess, with the idea that you aren’t going to get into any trouble. You have to stay out of trouble, and if you do that, you can get by and be happy.”

Ryleigh said she isn’t nervous at all. She’ll be going to Sickles and said she and her dad had a nice talk about what to expect in high school. He told her things would be different, but there was no reason to be scared or intimidated.

“My dad, Chris, talked to me about what to expect in high school,” Ryleigh said. “He talked to me about temptations and he told me temptations would be different once I got to high school. He taught me a lot and I learned from it.”

Conner also said he understood the pressures involved with high school.

“I won’t get all caught up in peer pressure,” Conner said. “I am not going to end up like all the kids who get in trouble because of peer pressure. The teachers here and my parents always helped me and I know how to stay out of trouble and I’m going to keep on doing it that way.”

Jamie said she knew it was time to move on.

“I loved it here at Smith and the teachers and all my friends, but now I have high school to look forward to and that’s exciting.”

Weather Center