Category Archives: Local News

Construction and Changes in Johns Creek

LydiaZermuehlen, Editorials Editor

As more and more people take residence in the Johns Creek and Alpharetta area, a big problem is being created: traffic. With so many people in the city and on the roads, the streets are being pushed to their limits.

The City Council of Johns Creek has taken action by expanding some of the roads. Kimball Bridge Road is the first to go under construction, being transformed from a simple two-lane street into a four-lane road with sidewalks and medians. The construction on Kimball Bridge is not yet complete and will not be for some time.

While Kimball Bridge has been under construction, it has created more traffic. With confusing, not-quite lanes, cars move slowly so as to not fall off what has been paved. Having the construction in an incomplete state makes the road tricky to maneuver.

Those living in the Johns Creek and Alpharetta area, should know that Kimball Bridge Road is not the last road that will go under expansive construction. The City Council of Johns Creek announced on their website that Haynes Bridge Road will soon undergo construction as well. From Old Alabama Road to Mansell Road, Haynes Bridge will be paved and widened. Residents should prepare for traffic and most likely rethink their daily commutes.

One road that experiences overwhelming traffic daily that is not being expanded is Taylor Road. Two separate schools, Taylor Road Middle School and Chattahoochee High School, are at the end of Taylor Road. There is no other road that leads to these two schools and Taylor Road  itself is a dead end street. Taylor Road is a relatively small two-lane road that is over a mile long and creates horrific traffic during the morning hours and in the afternoon. Parents, students and teachers all have to sit for over 20 minutes in mile-long traffic to reach their destination.

Parents and students are angry and irritated about the amount of traffic on Taylor Road. Bobby Maples (SR) said the traffic on Taylor Road, “makes Kimball Bridge look like an open highway.” Ask anyone in either school about their thoughts on the traffic and it is a rant waiting to happen.

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Renewed Interclub Council Promises to Shake Up CHS

Pictured: Assistant Principal Garin Berry (left) helps Liam Smith (SR) at a meeting of the Interclub Council on Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo: Nic Rasool)

EthanBenn, Editor-in-Chief

It’s a problem that many students seem to have: overlapping club meetings. What may have been one meeting Tuesday morning has become three or four – all at the same time – that students have to run back and forth from. This overlap increases frustration and confusion between various clubs at Chattahoochee High School; however, Assistant Principal Garin Berry and the Interclub Council have decided to tackle this issue.

The Interclub Council is tasked with improving communication between extracurricular programs and organizing schoolwide student-run initiatives: in essence, the Interclub Council is quite like a student council. Rather than students, the ICC’s members consist of clubs, elective courses with extracurricular activities, as well as academic and athletic teams.

Though Chattahoochee High School has individual Class Councils for each grade level, the goals of the Interclub Council are less focused on different classes than they are on the entire Hooch community. Though, like Class Council, “a diverse group across different interests can serve as a catalyst in school improvement and Hooch culture initiatives,” said Mr. Berry.

Rather than split school resources between a variety of club initiatives, “the ICC can leverage all the clubs’ focus on one fundraiser or one improvement,” according to Mr. Berry. While CHS “had an ICC on a small scale two to three years ago, it was effective only for the clubs that participated.” Greater student involvement this year, however, appears promising for both the Council and Chattahoochee.

Already, the Interclub Council is hard at work planning new initiatives and discussing how to better cooperate and collaborate between clubs for events like can drives, memorials and flyer campaigns. Representatives have also discussed the need for anti-bullying, mental health, anxiety, substance abuse and school improvement programs at Chattahoochee. Currently, uniting the various clubs and PTSA behind a specific cause has been a way to “start small.”

Furthermore, the Interclub Council has allowed some students with no prior experience in student governance to have a platform to voice their own opinions on what changes Chattahoochee needs. To Mr. Berry, the ICC provides a chance for members “to develop the capacity to fill leadership positions they don’t have within their organization.”

When asked about the future of the Interclub Council and how it might change CHS for the better, Mr. Berry commented, “I hope the ICC can make a schoolwide improvement in terms of culture. We have many amazing staff members, families and faculty to make this a special place, but being a special place doesn’t mean we don’t have obstacles – we have to continue to work to overcome those obstacles.”

 

CCRPI Scores Put Hooch at Top of County, Full Interview

EthanBenn, Editor-in-Chief

This is a followup to the article of the same title in the December edition of The Speculator. Principal Duncan had much to share about Chattahoochee High School’s academic achievements, and our interview below has been edited for clarity.

Q What can you tell us about Chattahoochee’s CCRPI (College and Career Readiness Performance Index) scores this year?

A Chattahoochee is always among the highest scoring schools in the county, and each year the state continues to modify the instrument to try to get it right. What Hooch has done differently – it’s unique approach – gets us to the top as opposed to other schools. CCRPI’s not like an SAT or ACT score, it’s not just pure achievement. With CCRPI, there’s looking at your End of Course Tests but also how all students are moving up the spectrum of learning. I think our faculty has embraced that, with opportunities to get help before and after school: the willingness of our staff to help our students is essential.

Q How do you feel to be at the head of such a high-achieving school? Do you have anything to say to the student body or faculty?

A Chattahoochee has always been high achieving, but there’s lots of other great schools. We’re seeing more competition as more and more schools are following our lead. Of course, I’m extremely proud of our continued great scores.

Q Where do you think Chattahoochee can improve its scores, since “closing gaps” and “readiness” are both slightly behind? What programs could students see in the future?

A While that appears to present the greatest opportunity, CHS is doing well compared to the rest of the state. It’s always a challenge: how do you lift the ones who struggle the most? We’ll be trying to break down our students into groups to see how we’re communicating with certain demographics. We’ll be making a more targeted effort to make sure all parents know about extra opportunities. When students are here at school, they all have the same opportunities for communication. And when communities know what’s happening, their students do better, too. How do you improve on an A+? But, we can focus on areas in the school that aren’t in CCRPI – we would see greater gains there.

Q What are your hopes for Chattahoochee’s rankings in the future?

A I want us to always be ranked highly, but – honestly – that’s not my priority. I have other concerns about how our students will adjust and succeed. I think the social-emotional area is where we need to focus; there’s a lot of new challenges that go beyond academic success: that’s where I want to put a focus. It’s important that we find a way for every student to be attached to CHS. It might not be one program, but breaking down individual students’ needs and seeing if they have meaningful relationships, are in clubs and are engaged. We have a lot of great things in place, but they aren’t always being used. We, the faculty, also wants to make sure that clubs are effective. Many parents have contacted me about their students not fitting in. I want to build what we have to make it as strong as it can be. People should to look back at high school as their best four years. Students’ happiness is not a datapoint, but the relations they have at Hooch in an environment and culture: kids aren’t datapoints. We have some amazing kids here, kids that will succeed without us, but we have some kids that will fail and fall behind without us. I want to identify that and see what we could do for all of our students.

 

Your Voice, Your Vote: Your CHS Election Guide

EthanBenn, Editor-in-Chief

Georgia voters are gearing up for an increasingly tense midterm election. Here at Chattahoochee High School, which sits comfortably in Georgia’s sixth congressional district, the most expensive House race in history is still fresh in the minds of many. The attack ads are blaring, the volunteers are canvassing and first-time voters are registering to make sure their voices are heard. As election day comes ever closer, it’s time for Georgians – including some Chattahoochee High School students – to make decisions that will shape their future.

Democratic, Republican, Independent, Libertarian, Socialist: it seems that there’s a political party or stance that can fit anyone these days. The following is a brief, objective summary of the candidates for governor and representative in GA-6.

Gubernatorial Election

Stacey Abrams (D)

Serving as House Minority Leader from 2010, Abrams supports many traditionally Democratic causes. As such, she favors legislation to reduce climate change and advance renewable energy; limit discrimination against the LGBTQ+ and immigrant communities; promote community policing and firearm regulations; and invest in Georgia’s economy through earned tax credits and infrastructure and education spending.

Brian Kemp (R)

The current Secretary of State and former state senator, Brian Kemp is a conservative business and family man. His agenda consists of four points: make Georgia number one for small business by removing regulations; reform the state government by capping spending and updating the tax code; improve rural Georgia by promoting economic development; and put Georgia first by cracking down on crime, funding education and lowering healthcare costs.

Ted Metz (L)

Though he has no prior experience in government, Mr. Metz, the Libertarian Candidate for governor, has plenty of ideas. In general, they are a mix of Abrams’s and Kemp’s views, as Metz supports investment in infrastructure and education (like Abrams) but is strongly in favor of removing regulations (like Kemp). His platform is relatively standard for a Libertarian candidate, focusing on limited government and greater social and economic rights for all Georgians.

Larry Odom (I)

At this time, Mr. Odom’s campaign has not put out any accessible information regarding his run for office.  

Congressional Election

Lucy McBath (D)

Though she lacks prior government experience, McBath is best known for her activism after her son’s death in a tragic shooting. As such, she advocates for stronger regulations for firearms, funding for Planned Parenthood and the continuation of the Affordable Care Act and Deferred Action for Child Arrivals Act. On economic issues, she opposes both the Trump administration’s tax cut and tariff policies and is concerned with climate change and the environment.  

Karen Handel (R-Incumbent)

Elected to office in a special election after Tom Price’s resignation as Health and Human Services Secretary, Karen Handel has worked to implement conservative policies on a national scale. Unlike her opponent, Handel supports and helped to create the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and is less outspoken on environmental issues. Handel, while she does not support the Affordable Care Act, intends to tackle the opioid crisis and secure funding for community health centers in Georgia’s sixth district.

Jeremy Stubbs (I)

At this time, Mr. Stubbs’s campaign has not put out any accessible information regarding his run for office.  

But what do CHS students think of these candidates? According to a survey done by The Speculator, it seems that Abrams and McBath have a solid lead. With 21 responses, 14 students said they preferred McBath to the seven students who would have voted for Handel in the congressional election. For governor, 15 supported Abrams, four supported Kemp and two supported Odom. Jeremy Stubbs and Ted Metz received no votes for either question.

Students were also asked about their own political ideologies by selecting all the terms that described them. The majority (12 students) identified as Democrats, followed by Republicans (five students) and Independents (three students).  Students identifying as Socialists and Libertarians numbered two each, and one student identified as a Centrist. A single student simply did not know, writing “idk.”

Regardless of the parties they may or may not identify with, youth participation in elections on all levels is significantly lower than other age groups. Mrs. Adams, Mr. Salba and Ms. Boudreaux were all asked a series of questions about how their students were engaged in politics and the need for young people to do their civic duty. These questions and answers are as follows:

  1. The U.S. Census found that 46.1% of 18 to 29 year olds voted in the 2016 presidential election, almost 12% lower than 30 to 44 year olds and significantly lower than other age groups. Why do you think this is?
  2. To what extent are your students engaged with politics?
  3. Why should students care about local, state and national elections?
  4. How can teachers, parents and other mentors encourage youth to “get involved” in politics?
  5. With the current political climate, some have said that politics are simply too nasty or upsetting for teenagers to have a voice. What do you say to this?
  6. Similarly, younger people are often ridiculed or dismissed for holding earnest political views. What effect do you think this has on youth participation?
  7. Do you have any words of encouragement for CHS students interested in politics?

Mrs. Adams

  1. Teenagers are unaware: I think that a lot of times young kids don’t think voting matters. Government and politics isn’t always the most fun to talk about, and it’s easy to disengage. As they get older, and things like healthcare and childcare become issues and they start to have more life experience, people tend to participate more.
  2. Not really. Kids start to become more engaged when we hit things like elections or Congress. There’s an, “oh – we see these hearings on TV,  we talked about this, and now it’s going on” moment. When we get to more tangible subjects about government, they tend to get more engaged.
  3. I think I’m starting to see now that students get that they have a voice. I think they’re starting to realize that their vote counts in the overall election. A lot of the issues are things that they can’t wrap their head around – but things like Black Lives Matter or Parkland are things they see and experience. When it hits closer to home, they understand why these elections matter.
  4. I think the best way for adults to help kids to get involved is for adults to get involved. If I want my daughter to care about elections, then we might go hand out flyers. It becomes a thing that you do, like voting, that they look forward to. If you don’t actively engage yourself, it falls on deaf ears, since it’s a little hypocritical. When kids see adults doing that, they see it’s actually doable.
  5. It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Politics and government set the tone for the next generation: what’s acceptable and the way we’re moving. To say that something’s too divisive for teenagers means that something is divise. If something’s so divisive, it can be an example of what not to do. History might be scary, but we have to learn to do better. Life isn’t always nice, but you still have to find out how to navigate it.
  6. The ideas of the Founding Fathers were out there during their time, too. The idea of the type of democracy that we have was a completely unique and original idea. I understand that there are always times that things are out there: desegregating schools, African Americans not being property. I don’t really give credence to the idea that some beliefs are just too off the wall. Anything that gets teenagers engaged is worth it. They might not be the most well thought out beliefs, but bits and pieces of these ideas can be good. Young people are willing to take more risks and greater risks, but that doesn’t mean that their ideas aren’t any less valid. They’re willing to do more to get their points heard, and the government could definitely step in to hear that.
  7. I personally don’t feel like it’s an old guy sport. If anything, the last few years have showed us that it’s anyone’s game. If you can get enough students who are passionate enough you will get there and make a change eventually. You will see your hard work payoff. Just know that it’s not SnapChat or Instagram quick.

Mr. Salba

  1. Often, people in the 18-29 group are working jobs that they can’t take off for. Before I was a teacher, I was working one of those jobs. I think younger people are told their opinions don’t matter and are disengaged. Colleges and high schools don’t do too much to inspire civic engagement, though I think our teachers do a good job. 18 year olds have a hard time relating to people who are older than them or just giving lip service to them.
  2. I think mine are more engaged than most. A lot of my students come out of AP Gov where they’re forced to engage with politics. Doing Model UN, I see kids who want to be engaged in the world: I think they know what’s going on and want to be a part of it.
  3. Because all three levels of elections do have direct effects on them. The closer you get to local elections, the more it affects minor things in your life. If you’re in a city that puts in a dress code – like no sagging pants – that’s aimed at young people. (Which is code for mainly African-American youth). That’s relevant, and if you let other people make those decisions for you, you’re not practicing what our system is meant to do. The states determine curriculum, licensing and funding for your university. Nationally, I think don’t vote, don’t complain. I don’t feel the federal government has as much impact as we think it does, but you can’t minimize the effect of the state on your life. Don’t overlook the fact that local elections matter, like those for judges. I think most people are self-interested voters, too.
  4. We can teach that it matters and what the system is. Direct endorsements aren’t okay, but broad encouragements – that don’t really mean anything – are our only option. Parents need to teach their kids why elections matter, why politics matter from a young age. We watched the political conventions and Sunday morning news shows when I was growing up, and while I’m much less involved than I should be, I am a registered voter.
  5. I think it’s reflective of society as a whole, and that’s one reason why teenagers should participate. It’s always been nasty and mean, though normally subtly or behind closed doors. In 2000, there was a robocall in South Carolina against John Cain that implied he had mixed race illegitimate children. The Atwater Effect, of using racism to win votes, gets used by Democrats, too, though normally on class. You can look to be above it, but you have to recognize that it will get dirty. People will do anything in order to win. It’s brutal, full of lies and misstatements. I think teenagers would love it if they really got into it, especially now. If you believe winning is the most important thing, you do what you have to do to win.
  6. It is discouraging. You can only be told so many times that you don’t matter and that you need to come back later. I think young people – though I may not agree with them – sometimes have the best views and the strongest views. At one point, we were younger people with political views. I absolutely had stupid views in high school and college, but it didn’t mean that they weren’t sincere. Churchill said: “anyone who was not a liberal at 20 years of age had no heart, while anyone who was still a liberal at 40 had no head.” Conservatives push youth aside since they tend to have more radical views – they’re not as jaded. The young believe in equal marriage and Medicare for all: these aren’t slim margins, they’re huge. If you have a view with a large group of people, you want to discourage them. Is it a deliberate attempt to discourage participation? No. It’s older people fixed in their ways. Everyone has views that aren’t well-informed or thought out.
  7. Don’t give up making your voice heard. If you believe in something and it’s well thought out, go with it. Just because an adult tells you it’s a bad idea doesn’t mean it’s wrong, though people who have totally ridiculous ideas should be ignored. But even then, just because a well reasoned idea is silly doesn’t mean you should give it up.

Ms. Boudreaux

  1. This particular election was really disillusioning for a lot of people, and younger people in particular. Because they’ve grown up with the internet, I think the 18-29 age group is generally skeptical of government (which made a lot of people hesitant to vote for Hillary) and is generally socially progressive (which made a lot of people hesitant to vote for Trump). When people don’t see a candidate that they feel represents their interests and/or experiences, they’re unlikely to show up to vote.
  2. As with everything, it varies by student. I find that most of my students have a general awareness of what’s going on, but I don’t think many of my students spend much time really delving into political issues. I get it: politics are complicated, and y’all have a lot on your plates. I’m sympathizing with, not condoning, this.
  3. Our entire voting system is based on the idea that every eligible citizen has an equal voice in politics. But when people don’t show up to vote, they’re silencing themselves. I understand the hesitation to show up when people don’t see their interests or experiences reflected in the candidates, but voting is one huge way to potentially change this. As for local and state elections, I think that any major change that is made to our political system is going to come from the ground up, not from the top down.
  4. I think this starts with letting young people know that their opinions matter. Another huge thing would be helping young people figure out how to navigate the treacherous world of online media. I would imagine that a lot of teenagers avoid politics altogether because there is just so much information (and misinformation) floating around out there that they don’t know what’s real and what’s not.
  5. The fact that it’s nasty and upsetting is exactly the reason that teenagers should be involved in politics. If it’s nasty, it’s because the people who have been running things have made it that way. So what should we do? Shelter young people from it, and let the people who have been calling the shots continue to do what they’ve always done? Absolutely not. We should encourage teenagers to pursue issues they’re passionate about and affect change for the better.
  6. I would imagine this is discouraging. Sometimes younger people haven’t been shown how to have productive political discussions, and this can cause them to appear (to adults at least), overly emotional or foolish. Rather than silencing teenagers, we should consider it our responsibility to model productive ways of having difficult conversations. This can be a really slippery area for teachers, though, because we can get in trouble if we appear to be getting too political with students.  
  7. Don’t be afraid to have difficult conversations with people, and don’t feel like you can’t engage in discussions just because you aren’t totally sure how you feel about an issue. Talking ideas out (especially with people who have differing views) is a great way to figure out where you stand on issues. If you aren’t already connected with peers who are also interested in politics, seek them out. There are few things more empowering than being surrounded by like-minded people.

From the candidates to charts and even a few chats, there’s a lot to know and discuss before election day. And that’s the most important part: election day is officially Nov. 6, but Georgians can still register to vote (and check if they’re already registered) online or by mail. Whether you vote red, blue or some shade in between, The Speculator sincerely hopes that this article has given the reader a better idea about the races – big and small – going on right around them.

 

New Times and Locations set for FCS Graduations

GiovanaDeOliveira, Staff Reporter

Fulton County Schools has changed the graduation dates, times and venues for the 2019 graduating class in many of the district’s schools in an effort to accommodate weekend events at venues like Verizon Wireless Amphitheater and Gwinnett’s Infinite Energy Arena. Fulton County Schools Board of Education and director of land management Bill Boyajan spearheaded these efforts.

For the past several years, Chattahoochee High School has held graduation at Verizon on Saturday, May 25 at 7:00 p.m.  Now, it has been moved to Tuesday, May 21 at 2:30 p.m.

Alpharetta High School, whose graduation was originally scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 23, has now changed to 8:00 p.m. The ceremony will still be held at Verizon where it has been located for over a decade. Alpharetta High School principal Dr. Kersey acknowledges that these changes could cause some difficulty: “Now that other schools will be having their graduation at Verizon, we are finding a challenge with a practice date.”

Other North Fulton Schools, such as Northview, have traditionally held graduation at their school’s stadium but will now hold the event at Verizon. In addition to the change of venue, the ceremony will be on a Thursday rather than a Friday, which could prevent some families and friends from attending.

Other schools in South Fulton are changing dates as well. Tri Cities High School originally scheduled graduation for Saturday, May 18 at the Georgia World Congress Center, but now it has been moved to Saturday, May 26 at 3:00 p.m. with the location to be determined. Banneker High School will likely need to reschedule as well, but representatives from the school did not respond to our requests for comment.

One detail that is certain is that several schools from South Fulton are holding graduation at Gwinnett. While this will be a significant commute for students and families, most were pleased with the change due to the shift to an air conditioned facility.

These changes may cause some challenges by causing some seniors to have to take their finals earlier than usual or requiring parents to have to leave work early. However, the venues will be able to schedule higher grossing events such as concerts instead of holding high school graduations.

 

Hooch’s Response to Parkland Shooting

RithikDoddla, Staff Reporter

On Feb. 14, the United States stood in disbelief and mourned what took place in a Florida High School. A heartless 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz entered a peaceful Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and shot innocent high schoolers taking the lives of 17 victims. This had not been the first time that innocent students’ lives have been taken as the Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech and Columbine shootings took many lives as well. But this massacre was different. Communities, especially high schoolers, are voicing their opinions and fighting for change to prevent another similar shooting from happening. Chattahoochee High School has decided to make a few changes to ensure safety of its students as well.

Teachers are now told to keep their doors closed and locked from the outside during class. This is to help prevent an unauthorized person who has entered the building from entering the classroom. Though teachers are complaining about the hassle of having to open the door for a student trying to enter during class, the new rule is appropriate because it helps keep the students safe during class. There is also a new police officer who is patrolling the campus and hallways during school hours.

Though the main entrances by the atrium will still be unlocked, all other entrances except the ones in the cougar lair are now locked during the school day. This is because the school wants to limit the number of entry points for an intruder to enter through. Students have been complaining how they cannot enter the school from the doors by the bus canopy, but they understand that the school is taking these actions to ensure student safety.

Chattahoochee continued to prioritize safety as they asked students to congregate in the gym rather than outside during the walkout on Mar. 14. There, students were around teachers, the police officers and locked doors. Administration felt it would be dangerous for a mass of kids to be outside on school campus where any infiltrator could effortlessly come. Though not many other schools pursued stringent safety rules, Hooch was not influenced because actions to any extent would be taken to protect students.

While students and teachers continue to adjust to the new changes, they all understand that administration is prioritizing safety over anything else. No one wants the Hooch community to be victims to be victims of a massacre and these drastic modifications are being to done to keep the school safe.

 

Team Pitt Forever: A Tribute to Coach Pitt

CarolineKurzawa, Staff Reporter

In the process of writing this tribute, I interviewed family members, coaches, friends and members of the Chattahoochee wrestling team. When I asked people to reminisce about Coach Pitt, I was met with the same message- how much time do you have? I’m afraid I’ll never have enough time to describe his wide reaching impact and heart of gold, but I’ll try my hardest.

Courageous. Kind. Compassionate. Father. Coach. Teacher. These and many more are some of the words that can be used to describe Coach Pitt. A man with unrelenting bravery, a heart full of love and a body full of humor, Adam Pitt wrestled with cancer until the bitter end. On January 8, 2018, the match ended, and a beloved member of the Hooch Family left us with full hearts and years of memories to cherish.

Losing Coach Pitt feels more like the loss of a family member rather than that of a coach or teacher because he was the true embodiment of the mantra Hooch Family. Not only that, but the idea of Team Pitt brought many people together. The idea for Team Pitt came quickly after his diagnosis. “We knew we had to rally the troops and help the family,” said Coach Hicks, a fellow wrestling coach and friend of Adam Pitt’s. Team Pitt came to mean great courage, determination and a life well lived. The impact of Team Pitt was clearly evident at Coach Pitt’s funeral. “[There were] 1000 seats at North Point, and there were people standing. That’s a testament to how many people he impacted,” explained Coach Cavanaugh, a Chattahoochee High School wrestling coach.

First and foremost, Adam Pitt was a loving father to his three children, all former or present Chattahoochee students: Kyle, Jordan and Erin Pitt (SR), and a husband to his wife, Dana. When asked if there was anything special she and her dad used to do together, Erin shared, “when Jordan would practice wrestling, he would take me to the Discovery Mall, and we would play putt putt and get smoothies. We did that a lot.” Adam Pitt was well known for his sense of humor and famous dad jokes. “Whenever he would leave somewhere, instead of saying ‘hasta la vista,’ he would say ‘pasta vino,’” Erin elaborated on his humorous antics. Adam Pitt was a family man through and through. Erin shared how incredibly supportive and loving he was, and how he never failed to show how proud he was of her and her brothers. She knew he was always in her corner. He was the warm and loving father every child needs.

In addition to his passion for fatherhood, he had a passion for athletics, particularly wrestling, which he helped pass down through his years of coaching. Before becoming a Chattahoochee wrestling coach, he coached his children’s soccer and lacrosse teams. “He was always a coach. Born a coach,” Erin shared. According to Coach Hicks, Coach Pitt was the wrestling head coach for about six years. During his career, Coach Pitt helped young men reach their potential as athletes while also sharing wisdom. Fisher Gabrels (SR), a member of the wrestling team, shared, “he was the first coach who brought me aside and started teaching me not just about wrestling, but about life.” “Coach Pitt is forever in our hearts and will stick with us every day. Every day we should all aim to be a little more like Coach Pitt by never giving up and always finding the humor in the situation,” shared Noah Latzsch (SR), a Chattahoochee wrestler. “The wrestling program was family” to Coach Pitt, added Coach Hicks about Coach Pitt’s devotion to the Chattahoochee wrestling team.

Adam Pitt was not only a father, friend and coach, but also a teacher. He taught in the social studies department for close to twenty years and helped many students meet their academic goals in his class. Hicks shared, “in class, if a kid was struggling, he would do whatever he could [to help them to succeed].” Coach Hicks explained that a unique feature to each fantasy league Coach Pitt joined was that each team was named ‘Kuala Lumpur,’ the capital of Malaysia, a factoid he made sure everyone knew.

In the wake of his passing, many people are remembering the gravity of his impact as a teacher and coach. In his honor, the wrestling room was named ‘The Pitt,’ so the team may always remember him and his perspectives on life and coaching. Coach Hicks shared the impact Coach Pitt made upon his life, by saying, “he wanted everyone around him to be at their best. He wanted to have a good time, and he wanted to make sure everybody around him had that same experience.” Perhaps his greatest coaching motto could be summed up as, “we’re going to work hard, but we’re going to have fun,” continued Hicks.

Additionally, Coach Pitt never let his illness define him. He never lost faith. Coach Hicks explained, “he never stopped fighting, and [his family] never lost their enthusiasm for life.” Even during the most trying parts of his battle with cancer, Coach Pitt still wanted to have an active role in the wrestling team and to “be around people,” said Coach Hicks. “He didn’t want people to feel sorry for him,” continued Hicks. Noah Latzsch remarked, “his moving way to always find the light at the end of the darkest tunnels was one of the everlasting impacts he made on me.” Moving forward, “we’ll always use him as an example of how to live,” explained Hicks. Senior member of the wrestling team, Fisher Gabrels, remarked that “[the wrestling team will] remember him and be strong. We’ll do our absolute best for him.”

Losing someone like Coach Pitt is felt deep in the heart and soul. He contributed so much to Chattahoochee as a coach and teacher and to his family as a husband and father. While his life was cut short, it left us with a message that shall be carried on long after his death- Team Pitt forever.