School Improvements Help Learning Environment

Adonai Ross and Nita Hand

Bethel High School started the new 2019-2020 school year with new students and new school improvements. From new lighting fixtures, fresh paint and a refurbished gymnasium floor, students and staff alike notice the physical changes in the environment and believe it makes a difference.

“After my 25 years at Bethel the building has looked its brightest and most aesthetic. The improvements make the students feel good and have pride in Bethel,” said Craig Brehon, dean of boys and varsity basketball coach.

In an article published by Arizona State University, “Associations have also been found between negative physical environmental factors and standardized test scores, truancy and school attendance.”

In previous years, the dim lighting  made the school hallways at Bethel look dark and dreary, but students such as senior Ayanna Hedgepeth noticed how the newly installed lights brighten the halls and showcases the new academy banners on the walls. All of the changes are intentional efforts to increase school spirit and improve the school’s culture and climate. 

Executive Principal Ralph Saunders who works throughout the summer with the rest of his administrative staff  pitched in to help paint. Yet his hands on involvement was no surprise to Bethel students who usually see Saunders in the hallways dressed in a suit and tie and redirecting students for wearing “earbuds.”  According to senior Malicah Forbes, volunteering is something everyone should do regardless of their position. 

To maintain the new look, posters and flyers advertising fundraisers or clubs should be hung on the wall’s tiles and students are encouraged to place trash in the proper bins, and follow the principal’s lead to maintain as he says, the “home of academic excellence.”