From Zoom…to the Classroom

By Zoe Kessler and Kasi Khathuria

This year has been a whirlwind of emotions, challenges, and adaptations for the students of San Marcos High School. From starting off this year tuning into classes on Zoom from the comfort of our homes, to ending the year back in our in-person classes socially distanced, students have truly learned in every form possible. Now, this wild school year is coming to a close, but the obstacles our students and teachers have faced will be with them for many years to come. 

Our soon to be ASB co-president, Kellen Bynes looked at the positive side to the sudden changes and virtual school year. He explains that even with the challenges that developed due to COVID-19, new opportunities arose, such as becoming a member of the National Congressional Briefing where Kellen was able to express his ideas on the impacts of a digital education. Kellen still had to adapt to the changes of the year, he explains “I haven’t been used to staying at home, and being in charge of my learning 100%, I think that’s a really big skill to have as a student, but I was kind of thrown into it.” Taking advantage of scheduling and planning his day in a calendar has helped him extremely during this year. He has to stay on top of his work and hold himself accountable in order to stay organized with his classes and ASB activities. Kellen is striving to go to a 4-year university after high school and wants to put his leadership skills to use in his future career. “Doing ASB since 7th grade, I just have loved leadership and learning those skills. All of that has really thrown me into wanting to pursue that later on, after high school,” he explains. A career in the government, business, or even a non-profit organization all are great ideas which will keep Kellen in his leadership position which he has worked very hard to maintain. 

Aidan Judd, a senior tuba section leader in wind symphony, shared his struggles and successes from the past year. The challenges of COVID-19 were both fun yet difficult for Aidan. These strange circumstances were a test to his musical abilities. He had to create, direct, and perform music online which was all completely new to him and his band section. One of the most difficult adaptations Aidan and the other band members had to adjust to this year was having a bell cover on their instrument in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Aidan stated that “having a bell cover on your instrument is a lot, so just being able to play is completely different.” However, not all of the changes the band went through this year were negative, according to Aidan. He was grateful for the opportunity to learn audio mixing for the band and believes it is “something that is useful outside of that, if you want to make music.” Next year, Aidan will be attending a university in Houston to continue to study music as well as political science. 

Mr. Pluciennik is an AP History teacher on campus. He explained the challenges which were extremely prevalent this year due to COVID-19 and how they not only affected students, but our San Marcos High School staff. Mr. Pluciennik observed that each and every student experienced a different impact on their learning from the situation. Online learning worked for some of his student’s, and for others it was a complete struggle. Mr. Pluciennik understands that the adjustments and changes were heavier compared to any other year, which goes for his teaching style as well. “The biggest part of teaching is connecting with people, it’s a part of the job, and I think distance learning made this a little bit different, but I’ve been adapting,” Mr. Pluciennik shares. For him, the main struggle of this year was finding a way to communicate with his students in the ever changing environment, but he feels this adaptation was not much of a challenge. Mr. Pluciennik hopes in future years student’s will all have a provided school computer and his classes will stay smaller, as they have been during COVID-19. He feels every student should have an equal opportunity to these resources while at school. 

Our students and staff have persevered through this year’s obstacles and have not let them interfere with their future endeavors. Whether you are an ASB president, a musician, or a history teacher, this year has impacted us all. Yet, the members of San Marcos High School have been able to learn and grow from these events. Our knight community has stayed united and continues to thrive. 


P.S. This is the last article of the year so have a great summer and as always Go Knights!

                                                                                                              -With love, Zoe and Kasi