Riley Johansen | Staff Writer

Students are educating themselves when it comes to their education.

As the end of the school year approaches and Mason Middle School’s eighth graders are deciding where those defining years will take place, some are choosing to migrate from Mason’s public school system to private schools.  

Eighth grade counselor Lindsey Sweat said that students often approach her with questions  about selecting the right educational path for high school.

“I hear tons about ‘is this the right path for me?’ and ‘should I take honors?’ I always tell the students, if you think it’s too much, it’s probably too much,” Sweat said. “I get stuff about the amount of honors and electives, some kids about deciding to go to private school or go to Mason, and even about extracurricular activities.”

Deciding where to go to school affects not just the student, but the family as well. Eighth grader Faye Cuasay will be attending Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (CHCA), a Christian private school, next year.

Studies show 79 percent of private high school students attend a school with a religiously based curriculum, and Cuasay said this factored into her parents’ decision about her education.

“My parents wanted me to go to a private school because they are very religious,” Cuasay said. “When they lived in the Philippines, they grew up in a very religious church and family, and they want the same type of background for me.”

Eighth grader Trevor Tiemeyer is attending Saint Xavier, a Jesuit school, starting freshman year. Tiemeyer said his brother impacted his decision on where and how he will spend his high school years.

“My brother is an alumni from (Saint Xavier) and he graduated last year, which is a reason I’d wanted to attend because he thought it was very beneficial,” Tiemeyer said. “But when my brother went to Saint X he cut off all relationships with his friends so he didn’t have any friends outside of Xavier and hockey. I have been trying to keep those relationships with my friends so I can still have some of my old friends before entering a new school year.”

While some decide to leave for private school, other students choose to stay on the public school path. Eighth grade sisters Katrina and Ainsley Scheidler are among the ones deciding to stay. Katrina Scheidler said that they feel Mason is the better choice for them, offering the same, if not better, opportunities.

“Education wise, I don’t really see much of a difference,” Katrina said. “I feel there is a better opportunity for education here, and this is where all my friends are. I feel like there are the same, or more opportunities at Mason than there is at a private school so why move?”

Ainsley Scheidler said she enjoys the size of Mason because of its ability to offer more ways to get involved in the school and create memories.

“If I want to have a choice to go to private school or Mason,  I will still choose Mason because of all the clubs that you can join and be a part of something so big and beyond you,” Ainsley said. “For example, here we have Cupcake Club, and there may only be one person at a private school wanting to do it versus here there is what, two thousand kids in seventh and eighth grade? So, here probably more people will be willing to do it, and so there’s more opportunity for people to be able to have that club and be a part of something related to their school.”

Sweat said exploring your options, learning more about the decision, and being comfortable with the choice is an important key to making the best choice that will define you in the most positive way.

“I think it is (important) to explore your options,” Sweat said. “Go shadow, if you can’t decide at first, go twice, go three times, talk to kids who were there. It’s an important decision, but worse comes to worse, you can always come back, you can always go to another school if it’s not working out. I think it’s really just about exploring your options. It’s whatever is the best fit for that child. I don’t think there is a clear cut say that a private or public school is better, and I think it really just depends on the child.”