Class of 2014 Begins High School Journey

The Clarke County High School graduating Class of 2014 took their first step toward graduation today as Principal John Werner and his staff welcomed the new students at high school orientation and sought to drive away any lingering nervous butterflies as summer vacation officially ends on Wednesday.

“What was the mascot that you had at Johnson Williams Middle School,” Principal Dr. John Werner asked the more than one hundred fifty students seated in the gymnasium bleachers.

Freshman orientation for Class of 2014 - Photo Edward Leonard

“Cougars!” shouted back a voice from the crowd.

“OK, well now you’re Eagles so let’s show some Eagle pride!” Werner shouted back. “Clap it up first… 1-2-3 Eagles!”

As the students clapped to Werner’s lead Werner set the rhythm and tone that he hopes will carry the freshman through their four years of high school and beyond.

Warner told the incoming CCHS students that he and the other school staff have high standards and expectations for the Class of 2014.

“An Eagle gives his or her all no matter what the score might be. Eagles live by a higher personal standard. An Eagle never quits,” Werner told his attentive audience. “I hope that you will live by these standards in both your school and personal lives.”

Werner and CCHS’s professional staff welcomed each student as they arrived Monday morning for the 9:00 a.m. orientation session in preparation for classes on Wednesday.

Guidance Counselor, Leslie  Louthan explained the class scheduling process and asked the students to be patient with scheduling changes due to the large number of classes being offered by Clarke County High School.

“Most schools in Virginia that are our size don’t offer as many courses as we do,” Louthan said. “Your elective courses are scheduled around your core classes. We’re working to make sure that everyone gets the classes that they would like along with the classes that they are required to have.”

Clarke County High School Principal Dr. John Werner (l) and Athletic Director Casey Childs set high expectations for this year's incoming freshman class - Photo Edward Leonard

Athletic Director, Casey Childs also set a high bar for school spirit reminding any prospective athletes in the stands of Clarke County’s winning tradition.

“We’ve had 28 state championships, won the Bull Run District championship for the last two years, won the Region B Principal’s cup and placed in the top five for the Wachovia Cup,”  Childs said. “Our sports teams had a great year last year and I’m expecting a great year to come.”

Dr. Werner reinforced Childs’s message. “Clarke County High School is the home of champions on the courts, in the halls, in the classroom, and in our community. I want to see all of you continue this tradition.”

For the incoming freshman class, high school marks a transition to both more challenging academic requirements and greater personal accountability. High school also provides more freedom to meet new people and to experiment with new interests and activities.

“Sixty-five percent of CCHS students participate in sports or other after school activities and an additional ten percent are in band or a music program,” Werner told the students. “High school is a great time to try new things and to meet new friends.”

Freshman Beth Lederhouse said that she’s looking forward to transitioning to high school but not climbing the class seniority ladder.

“I think that it will be tough because we have to start over at the bottom,” Lederhouse said. “Scheduling will be my biggest challenge because I’m taking band, dance and a full honors class load.”

Incoming freshman prepare for orientation at Clarke County High School - Photo Edward Leonard

Werner encouraged the students to stay on top of their responsibilities and to be personally accountable.

“I encourage you to take time, do your homework and get things done,” Dr. Werner said. “Start strong and if you get knocked down, get back up.”

“Most of all, take a deep breath and relax because everything is going to be OK. We’re here to help you out.”


  1. I cannot wait until my kids are done with this completely inept administration. They are so FUBAR, it’s not even funny. It’s like the blind leading quadripalegics into a hall of mirrors.