Our school: Prairie Falcons

Students grateful for admin, staff for making them feel appreciated

Student leaders Maddie Hennerty and Bella Millet describe what makes Prairie High School so special.
Student leaders Maddie Hennerty and Bella Millet describe what makes Prairie High School so special.

It starts from the very top, senior Maddie Hennerty says.

Prairie High School has talented teachers.

Prairie has amazing students, too. And even those who might not be great at academics can bring happiness to fellow students.

As captain of the cheer squad, Maddie Hennerty said the energy at Prairie this year was enthusiastic, from the fall until the closure. Photo courtesy Maddie Hennerty
As captain of the cheer squad, Maddie Hennerty said the energy at Prairie this year was enthusiastic, from the fall until the closure. Photo courtesy Maddie Hennerty

But what really makes it special, according to senior Maddie Hennerty, is how the administration makes everyone feel at the school.

The administrative staff believes in those teachers, in those students, and they don’t just talk about it, they act on it.

“They are the basis of creating a great school,” Hennerty said. “Our administrative team and all of our staff are always giving 110 percent. I am able to go to them with any personal problems or for advice. They’re here for everything.”

That positivity spreads throughout the school, added Bella Millet, the ASB president.

“Something that is super special is the staff. The staff members have always been there for the students. They always try their best to make the students succeed.”

Not just the teachers, but the support staff, too.

The school closure means those students are not seeing their biggest non-family, adult supporters every day.

“You take for granted your friends and teachers,” Hennerty said. “I’m with them six, seven hours a day. They bring joy.”

“Oh man, I’m a very social person,” Millet added. “I miss the interaction with the other students and getting to talk to my teachers every day. Not getting to see their faces every day actually sucks.”

She noted that she misses the great discussions she has in her AP literature class. 

Hennerty has interests throughout the school. The captain of the cheer squad, she also has been involved in the drama department. She is in journalism, too. Oh, and she’s an assistant to the office staff. 

This has been a special school year, as well. It started in the fall with one of the best football seasons in decades.

“It was a combination of pure joy and adrenaline,” Hennerty said. “I can tell you for a fact our cheer team was beyond excited to support the football team throughout the whole journey. Our school was filled with nothing but support and high energy all fall. … I’d like to say it bonded everyone.”

The Falcons were flying high this academic year. School colors were everywhere. 

Bella Millet is the student body president at Prairie. She said the staff at the school makes Prairie special. Photo courtesy Bella Millet
Bella Millet is the student body president at Prairie. She said the staff at the school makes Prairie special. Photo courtesy Bella Millet

“It makes me pretty happy when someone wears Prairie gear around,” Millet said. “Sports normally help get your school name out there. Cool to see that more people know who Prairie is.”

“I take pride in where I go. I’m not afraid to say I’m a Prairie Falcon,” Hennerty said.

As seniors, all is up in the air right now in terms of if they will get another day as students in school.

Regardless, they will always have Prairie Pride.

“Prairie High School, when I think of it, I think of it as a second home almost,” Millet said. “When  I think of Prairie, I think of good memories. I think of the hard times that you need to push yourself to get better grades or to get through that fat stack of homework that the teachers gave you. 

“I’ve always looked forward to going to Prairie. It’s never been a place of negativity for me.” 

Advice to other students during the school closure:

“Respect your teachers if we go to online classes,” Millet said. “They don’t want to do online classes just as much as you don’t want to do online classes. Make sure you are still involved and trying your best, even if you are doing it from home. You have to be your own self motivator now because the teachers aren’t there to push you.”

“Check in on your peers and make sure you’re not going stir crazy,” Hennerty said. “I want people to take time, look at themselves, make sure they are eating well, exercising, and checking in on others. It’s a crazy time right now.”

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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