NHS Alumni Look Back on the Value of High School


NHS Class of 2021 at their graduation

Ella Echo, Reporter

Novato High strives to create a diverse and stimulating environment, where students can be a part of a solid community, as well as explore new innovative programs and learn a variety of subjects. Former students from Novato High School recently shared their thoughts on how they believe NHS actually helped them with future academic and social aspects of college. 

Novato High School 2019 graduate, Jack Curtis, shared his perspective. 

 “I think there are definitely certain AP courses that helped prepare me for an average college course but I don’t think any high school could ever fully prepare you for what college is like and the only way to really figure out how to handle college is by doing it,” Curtis explained. 

Curtis continued to elaborate on how the social aspects of college differ from high school. 

“Socially, high school and college are completely different. Oftentimes, your high school friend group consists of people you’ve known for almost your whole life but once you go to college, you’re thrown into a situation where you pretty much know nobody for the first time. So again, there’s not much Novato or any high school really could do to help students prepare for that,” he said. 

Maddie Moyer, a 2021 alum, discussed how Novato High helped prepare her for college classes. 

“Novato High prepared me very well for my college classes. It taught me to go into college with an open mind and take advantage of every opportunity as well as the time I have there. If I had to pick my most important takeaway from my four years at NHS, it would definitely be to always try new things; whether that means getting involved, meeting new people, or stepping out of 

your comfort zone because those will be some of the best experiences of your life,” she said. 

2021 NHS alum, Mandy Partrite, described the takeaways she took with her from her four years at Novato High. 

“Novato high has taught me to always push myself to do my best, which is so important to do in college since professors aren’t reminding you to turn in assignments. MSA and other extracurriculars offered at Novato High helped with my time management, which is a good skill in college due to busy schedules,” she said. 

Novato High 2021 alum, Riley Rodriguez, added on and shared her opinion. 

“How I think Novato High helped me with academic challenges for college is that getting my work done and learning how to not procrastinate with my work. College isn’t as strict about work as high school was but I was able to always get my work done early to have more free time to be with my friends or even get a head start on my other work for the future,” she said. “Personally, I learn social skills on my own. I didn’t think Novato high really helped with it because I would make friends within my classes and such.”

Sky Thompson, another 2021 Novato High graduate, shared her experience on the resources at NHS and how it shaped her after leaving high school. 

“Novato High has a variety of teachers who all want the best for their students. They offer many opportunities that students can utilize to succeed after college. The education and experiences I gained helped me shape my resume and feel confident leaving high school. I was able to take part in internships that allowed me to learn more about the fields/majors I wanted to pursue and was given feedback and insight throughout the whole process,” she said. 

David Raiger, a 2019 NHS graduate, described the value of his high school experience. 

“Novato High School taught me how to stay on track and work hard in class so I didn’t have to do as much at home. I think that totally translates over to college; what you put in is what you get out,” he explained. “Novato High School has great sports programs and clubs, which I think help just as much to guide people in deciding what they want to do after high school. You make a lot of good connections in high school and in college so developing those social skills by talking to students in class and being in a sports program really helps build a structure for you once you’re out and in the real world.” 

Although Novato High gives students an array of electives, Raiger believes the school could add some more beneficial classes for developing life skills. 

“I do wish Novato High School provided us with more real-world classes like personal finance, woodshop, etc. more hands-on stuff because not everyone needs or wants to go to college and that’s okay,” he said. 

Although Novato High will never provide everything a young individual will need to succeed in college, it’s still good to hear a lot of alumni reflect on what helped them succeed at the next level of learning.