An urgent notice recently went out to parents of Yakima School District incoming high school Freshmen that students will be prohibited from registering to attend a high school outside of their zoned neighborhood after February 4th.

According to the YSD website, YSD7.org, "high schools offer open enrollment for resident students on a first-come, first-served basis." YSD Communications Director, Kirsten Fitterer confirmed the February 4th cutoff date in a Facebook comment on one Davis High School teacher's public page.

I remember being an 8th grader (I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee) and having to decide which high school I was going to attend. I was zoned to Stratford High (which is now a STEM magnet school) but I wanted to attend the same high school as my best friend at the time, Sarah. Sarah was zoned for Maplewood Comprehensive High and the only way I could make my attending Maplewood dream a reality was to enroll in high school Cosmetology classes, which were only offered there. If I enrolled at Maplewood, then I would graduate high school with enough credits to apply for a Cosmetology license. Attending Maplewood was a win-win for me. I applied and was miraculously accepted.

My high school experiences were awesome. I was sorta popular, I made excellent grades and was in the top 25 percent of my class. I was eligible for a full-ride scholarship to any college I chose (I turned down the scholarships though, unfortunately). Going to Maplewood exposed me to a love of Biology, Latin, Choir, and a continued love of journalism. I also realized that I wanted to become a Majorette because they wore the coolest, sparkliest sequined outfits and they were the most popular girls in school. (That is another story for another day!)

If I had missed the high school enrollment cutoff date, my life would have taken a completely different turn, and I'm not sure it would have been for the better.

I hope that all 8th graders in the Yakima School District take this urgent message to heart and get enrolled in the high school that they feel can best give them advantages and a career boost that will impact them for the rest of their lives.

Davis High School is known for being the only area public high school offering Japanese, wow, am I jealous! Eisenhower (Ike) is known for having an excellent drama program, wow, I am jealous of that, too!

One of these days, I hope to open a Yakima School District high school that is a performing arts high school. I want students to choose classes focusing on world languages, theater, visual art mediums, singing, dance, music, interdisciplinary arts, and computer sciences. Wouldn't that be TREMENDOUS?! I can just picture it now!

To each 8th grader, I raise my coffee mug filled with raspberry lemonade in a hearty "CHEERS!" to you, and I hope that whichever high school you choose, you choose wisely and enjoy every moment of your high school life!

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