When Leesvillle first opened in 1993, the school held only freshamn, sophomores and juniors. In its twenty-three years of existence, Leesville has graduated more than 10,000 seniors, continuing its impact each year.
Leesville was the first public high school built in almost 20 years in Wake County. And from the beginning, Leesville has consistently been a school of excellence, both academically and extracurricularly.
To identify Leesville’s impact among graduates, The Myceneaen contacted a variety of Leesville alumni via email/Facebook. We interviewed past students with interests ranging from the fine arts to athletics to academics. Through these interviews, we discovered how Leesville has grown over the years, as well as what impact Leesville has had on its graduates’ lives.
According to Kurt Vonnegut, author, after freeing yourself from the “prison” that is high school, “You all of a sudden catch on that life is nothing but high school.” With this in mind, the high school experience is one to remember and one to make something of.
In additon to student graduates, The Mycenaean spoke to a few of Leesville’s veteran teachers regarding the impact Leesville has had on their lives. Some, such as Eric Greene, Dean of Students, have witnessed Leesville’s growth from day one. No matter the length of their time here, Leesville teachers have shaped students into who they are today, leaving a lasting impact.
“[Leesville is] literally the air I breathe and the water I swim in. I can’t imagine the degree to which this institution has shaped my life… I knew it was a special place when I showed up, but as time goes by, my appreciation only grows.”
— Angela Scioli, social studies teacher
“I wouldn’t have done anything else — I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. Your life is so busy, and each day is never boring. I love doing it, and I wouldn’t do anything else. Everyday, it seems like there’s a full plate of stuff to do, and I like that.”
— Paul Dinkenor, social studies teacher
“I feel very proud to have worked here. I hope that I’ll end my career here. I’ll retire in a few years, and my whole career would have been here. I just feel really proud when I say that I work at Leesville. I’ve interacted with a lot of good kids, interesting people, and learned amazing things. I’ve also learned a lot from a lot of good people, older than me, younger than me.”
— Eric Greene, Dean of Students
“Leesville is the environment in which I really became my own person…I started to understand what I care about and what cared about me, and how to
interpret and express that.”
place kicker, LRHS football, 2010
“Leesville is a place that means a great deal to me. It’s where I learned who I was, where I was provided with tremendous opportunities to both fail and succeed, and where I learned how to compete. The more I learned and the more I now reflect, life is about competing in everything and empowering those that surround you with the resources and opportunities to be their best. When everyone pushes themselves to achieve greatness, it broadens your realization of what’s possible. Leesville is where I learned that, and the pride I take from that experience I will carry forward with me for the rest of my life.”
“I went to Leesville from the 2nd grade to graduation, so it made me value finding and having a community when I left for college…While I still love the dialogue on [UNC] campus, especially because I’m am more liberal, I sometimes miss interacting with different kinds of people. Having to have discussions with such different people in Leesville therefore taught me how to be tolerant. Finally, I had some really amazing teachers at Leesville who were incredibly dedicated to their work. A lot of them motivated me to study what I’m studying today, and I’m always inspired by their passion for what they do.”
Alex Stewart, 2011
“I met some of my best friends at Leesville, and working on the newspaper and playing volleyball are still some of my favorite memories…I wouldn’t have been nearly as successful in college if not for the teachers at Leesville who challenged me and taught me how to work hard.”
Maggie Roman, 2005
“Leesville has shaped me into the person I am today. Not only did four years at Leesville train me to work hard and never give up, but those years inspired me to become the teacher [at Sycamore Creek] I am today. My teachers provided endless support, so I could achieve my highest potential. They were kind, compassionate, and helped build the foundation to pursue my dreams. The friendships I created in the years at Leesville are friendships I cherish more than 10 years later. Leesville also taught be to have pride in where I came from and to never give up on my dreams.”
Jessie Halpern, 2010
“I remember being so sad the entire week before graduation because I didn’t want to leave. LRHS is where I met my best friends, figured out that no one should ever wear icy blue eyeshadow, and learned that the best way to avoid detention is by being an officer in so many after school clubs that you actually can’t make it to detention no matter how much Ms. Jackson wants you to…#gopride”
Mark Brady, 2004
“Going to Leesville was always a positive place. Of course I met a lot of people who have had a big influence on me. Not only the students but the staff. I still keep in touch with some teachers.”
Editor of Ads (The Menagerie), 2004
“I went to Leesville for 12 years, starting when the elementary school opened in 1991. We even moved when I was in middle school so I could stay in the Leesville school district…And I’m still friends with many of the kids I went to school with all 12 years — I even planned our 10 year reunion!”
Malav Trivedi, 2001
“Going to Leesville Road High School, I faced my first steps towards adulthood. It was where I made some big decisions, decisions that would impact the rest of my life. However, it was also a time for me to make mistakes and grow and learn from them. With excellent guidance from the teaching staff, I was able to reach my higher educational goals.”
Leesville Cheerleader, 1997
“I met some of my favorite people while at Leesville, including my husband, Jack! We have been married 13 years and have 3 kids…Leesville continues to be a factor in my family’s life!”
Jill Sonner, 1996
“Leesville gave me the opportunity to achieve many more accomplishments in sports because I was part of the first graduating class. So, as juniors, we were oldest class (no seniors that first year) .”
The conclusion of high school breeds a new beginning, whether it be college, work or just living life. However, the impact of high school lingers. Graduates recognize who they became while walking Leesville’s halls.
For some, The impact hits closer to home. Mickie Shipley married her high school sweetheart. The couple is going on 13 years!