Back in their day…

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?


Stephens: (N/A)

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.

Carlson: (N/A)

Carr: I played volleyball and soccer and I was a cheerleader.

Robinson: I played basketball year round.

Williams: (N/A)


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?


Stephens: No.

Brown: No.

Clay: No.

Carlson: Yes.

Carr: No.

Robinson: No.

Williams: Yes.


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.

Carr: (N/A)

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.

Williams: (N/A)


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.

About Simonebrooks

fun and happy member of newspaper team at riverside

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