What were Riverside’s administrators like when they were high school students?
The Pirates’ Hook: What were you like in high school?
Ashley Stephens: I was not cool.
Britton Brown: I was actually pretty quiet, I hung out with a small group of friends.
Chaundra Clay: I was shy, I kept my grades up and did not like alot of people.
Craig Carlson: I was in the middle of everything. I very much enjoyed high school for the most part.
Kadeidra Carr: I was Homecoming queen and was involved in SGA and student council.
Kara Robinson: I was outgoing, I blended with everyone and was a band geek.
Tonya Williams: I was insecure, I skated through high school and did not connect with any students or teachers.
The Hook: Did you play sports?
Brown: I played sports every season. I played soccer player, hockey, baseball, and I swam in the summer.
Clay: I played shot-put for the Durham striders (track and field team) for a summer.
Carr: I played volleyball and soccer and I was a cheerleader.
Robinson: I played basketball year round.
The Hook: Were you considered popular?
Stephens: No I was not.
Brown: I wouldn’t say popular or unpopular. As I said, I had a small group of friends that I loved hanging out with.
Clay: I was known, but not popular. I had a more academic base.
Carlson: I’d say I was well known.
Carr: Yes because I was a socialite and cool with everyone plus I was Homecoming queen.
Robinson: I mostly blended with everyone. I was a band geek.
Williams: I was not.
The Hook: What was your nickname?
Stephens: I didn’t have one.
Brown: I did not have one.
Clay: At home it was boo.
Carlson: In college, it was Cookie, because I liked cookies.
Carr: My nickname was Bebe.
Robinson: Nilla, now it’s Caroline.
Williams: I didn’t have one in high school.
The Hook: If your friends had to describe you in three words, what would they say?
Stephens: Happy, passionate and outgoing.
Brown: Weird, nice and fun.
Clay: Outgoing, successful, caring
Carlson: Loyal, reliable, and tolerant.
Carr: Genuine, outgoing and funny.
Robinson: Caring, funny and positive.
Williams: Mature serious and stuck up.
The Hook: What were some of your hopes and dreams back then?
Stephens: I wanted to help people and become a peace corps helper.
Clay: I wanted to be a teacher by 5th grade.
Brown: By the end of 9th grade, I knew I wanted to be a history teacher.
Carlson: I wanted to be an administrator.
Carr: I wanted to be a lawyer.
Robinson: I wanted to attend college, have a better life than my parents, and build friendships and continue to have them.
Williams: I just wanted to get through high school.
The Hook: Did you want to become an administrator when you were in high school?
The Hook: If yes, why? If no, what made you change your mind?
Stephens: Administrating pays more, and I get to help students.
Brown: I took some classes in the field and I liked them and I’ve just continued from there.
Clay: I wanted to get paid more and also I wanted to help student and staff influence policies.
Carlson: exposed to how much a good difference an administration could make I realize I could make a difference.
Robinson: I wanted to be a teacher in college but I decided to be an admin.
Williams: I always knew I wanted to connect with students.
The Hook: What role did your parents play in your life during high school?
Stephens: My parents played a great role I was told, “Ashley you are smart and beautiful and you can do whatever you want to do”.
Brown: I had very supportive parents, my mom was especially supportive.
Carlson: My parents were very involved and were always there to help out with things, but they didn’t hover.
Clay: My mom played a good role. She said that I could not bring anything less than a B. She also said, “You don’t have a tobacco field to pick so there is no reason to have a ‘c’.”
Carr: My mom was very hands-off because I was so self-motivated.
Robinson: My parents were a little supportive.
Williams: My mom was always the “do your work” type, she made sure she had good grades.
The Hook: Who was your biggest inspiration back then?
Stephens: My sister was my inspiration because she did what she wanted to do every day, even if she struggled.
Brown: One of my biggest inspirations was my grandfather, he wanted all his grandchildren to go to college and I didn’t want to disappoint him.
Clay: My 5th-grade teacher was my greatest inspiration, she left a lasting impact.
Carlson: My biggest inspiration was my teachers. My history teacher Fred Krieger especially.
Carr: My god mom/ volleyball coach. Because she accomplished great things
Robinson: My biggest inspiration was my mom, I wanted to be better than her.
Williams: I didn’t really have any inspirations.
The Hook: Who or what has influenced you the most?
Stephens: My sister.
Brown: In high school, it was probably the coaches. I had a lot of good coaches who instilled a lot of good values in me and helped get better not only at sports but also in school.
Clay: My leadership teachings over the years have made me the principal I am today.
Carlson: Ryan Samberg and Andre Dawson from the Chicago Cubs.
Carr: My mom was my biggest influence because she was a single mother raising her kids. She is the strongest women that I ever come in contact with also my mother.
Robinson: My mom influenced me the most in a good way and a bad way. I wanted better.
The Hook: What were your biggest challenges during high school?
Stephens: My biggest challenge was finding new friends after my sister graduated three years ahead of me.
Brown: My biggest challenge was math, I had tutoring before and after school just to pull off a B or C, even while working really hard.
Clay: I was very to myself. I was not a big fan of crowds.
Carlson: My biggest challenge was my foreign language class.
Carr: My biggest challenge was balancing her sports life because some of them were in the same season.
Robinson: I was worried about funds and grades, not doing enough and not being with my parents.
Williams: School was pretty easy so my challenge mostly was motivation.
The Hook: What do you wish you would have done differently in high school?
Stephens: I was I had taken more risks. I was too much of a rule follower, always helping people.
Brown: I wish I had worked harder my 9th and 10th-grade years. I could have worked a lot harder.
Clay: I wish I would have joined the school band. I wanted to play the clarinet.
Carlson: I would have done more extra-curriculars, such as drama.
Carr: Honestly I wish I would have done nothing differently no regrets.
Robinson: I wish had focused more on being a student. I am the oldest of 4 girls, I had to be the mom in the family.
Williams: I would have been on the cheerleading team but I have two left feet but no one pushed me to do that.
The Hook: When you were in high school if someone would have told you that you’d be an administrator someday, would you have believed them?
Stephens: I would have told them to fight the power.
Brown: I might have laughed, I knew I wanted to be a teacher, but I didn’t have any inkling that I would end up on this path.
Clay: I would not be surprised.
Carlson: I wish I could have taken advantage of more organized activities, I was very busy with my family.
Carr: I would have told them they’re lying and that I’m gonna be the best lawyer ever.
Robinson: I would have laughed and said that was going to be a teacher and that I didn’t want the authority.
Williams: If someone told me I was gonna be an admin I would have said I was gonna be the best one ever and better than these guys. I don’t do things halfway. I keep moving.