A Younger View: Opportunities in Pratt have created a climate of excellence

Ruby Howell
Pratt Tribune
Ruby Howell graduated from Pratt High School with the Class of 2021 on Sunday, May 23.

This school year at Pratt High School has been a memorable one for me, and not just because it was my senior year. When I was a freshman, which seems like a lifetime ago now, I could not have fathomed not only how much the world would change, but also how much the high school experience would change me. 

There are obvious reasons for change, like the global pandemic that cut my junior year short. I, along with many of my classmates and peers, am very grateful for the dedicated administration that kept us in physical school all year long. And look where we are now, with few cases and quarantines and no need to wear masks as frequently! We’ve been one of the lucky schools, as we got to play sports and all of our school activities found a way to compete. 

As far as the more personal reasons, there are some pretty good ones there, as well. Growing up in the same house my whole life, surrounded by essentially the same people, has its pros and cons. But for now, I will take this opportunity to celebrate the good things about small-town living before I begin the next chapter of my life. 

I think the best way to summarize what is unique about Pratt, is the common hashtag used by USD 382, “Small School, Big Opportunities.” Not only does this apply to the numerous ways a student can excel in the school system, but also in the community as well. We take care of each other, even if we don’t realize it. I will definitely miss having so many people willing to help me out with one phone call. 

As I look back on my past 17 years of life here in Pratt County, I don’t think I can pin down one life-altering point or day in my life that really changed everything. Rather, it has been through my many opportunities, from golf, basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, to piano lessons from forensics, debate, StuCo, to FBLA and scholar’s bowl, or from 4H and the many camps I’ve attended to an internship at a law firm, and of course, my mule Molly, every single day spent living in Pratt County has shaped me into the person I am today. 

This fall, I will attend Washburn University in Topeks, KS, to begin my degree in Political Science. My long-term goal is to be a judge, and/or serve as a Congresswoman, or something similar. This will require me to go to law school after obtaining my undergraduate degree. I do have four years before the LSAT, however, and as I explore the world, my plans might change. Nothing is set in stone (as I’ve learned in 2020). I’ve always felt a calling to help people, and have always been fascinated by how our government works, as I believe that with the right people in power, government service has the potential to help a lot of people. I will also take Molly with me, as I couldn’t do it without her. She will be boarded at a stable in Topeka, and we will continue to go on adventures together.