Issue 4: Out of town commutes take toll

By Ashley Hocking

Most students can sleep through their alarm clocks and still make it to class on time.

With a little willpower and some quick feet, these students can rush off to class, arriving only somewhat late. For students who live outside of Lawrence and commute every day, that’s not possible.

Senior Haley Tinch, who lives in Eudora, might find herself tardy to her first-hour class if the weather is poor.

“If it’s raining or snowing outside, I have to plan going earlier,” Tinch said. “If not, then I’ll be at least 30 minutes late.”

Senior Hazlett Henderson’s regular commute of 25 minutes has recently been extended due to construction going out of Baldwin.

“Now I’ve got to go on this gravel road and through some woods to get to school every day,” Henderson said.

But for the students who commute, the benefits of attending LHS outweigh the hassles of commuting.

Senior Kylie Seaman chooses to commute every day because of the rigor of academics at LHS. Seaman lives in Edgerton, but her home is in the Baldwin school district.

“LHS has a better academic program than Baldwin does,” Seaman said.

Henderson has similar reasons for attending LHS.

“There is more diversity at LHS and there are harder classes here,” Henderson said.

Henderson has not considered moving to Lawrence because of her family’s integral role within the city of Baldwin.

“My parents and I are also really invested in the Baldwin community and our house, which we just redid.”

Sophomore Kate Dingus, Ottawa resident, chooses to commute in order to be a part of the LHS orchestra program. Ottawa High School does not offer orchestra as an elective.

Another reason Dingus spends extra time in her car each morning is to remain in school with the same group of peers that she grew up with.

Dingus previously lived in Lawrence and attended Broken Arrow Elementary School and South Junior High School.

“My parents didn’t want me separated from all my classmates,” Dingus said. “And they wanted me to remain in one school district because my dad didn’t have that same experience, so he wanted me to.”

Regardless of the reasoning behind why each student dedicates extended periods of time to commuting to a high school in a different city from the one where they live, the students all find their home at LHS.