Spartan 24 – A day at CSD high school (Photo Essay)


Evan Mulligan

The back entrance to CSD high school is quiet now but this walkway otherwise buzzes with upperclassmen coming from the student lot.

Ben Gallagher, Editor in Chief

A day at Community School of Davidson (CSD) high school in Davidson, North Carolina, is filled with many diverse activities and experiences. Four grades and more than 520 students, Spartans all come together to create a day that begins early and sometimes lasts late into the night. 

Things happen fast. There are early alarms and long daily drives to school. Some students live close enough to walk. 

As the first bell approaches, all but seniors fight for parking spots while buses drop off those who come from a few different remote locations. It’s a quick run to your locker and a chat with friends before heading to first block class at 8:05 AM.

After your second class, there’s a 10 minute break in the day called jumpstart. It’s a time to let out some energy, hang with friends, grab a snack and do some activities.

Lunch happens after fourth block. It’s a little more than a half an hour of eating and hanging with your friends then the afternoon classes run until 3:15 PM. Four in a row after a busy morning, yes, they are the long ones. Students get tired. Phones and laptops lose their charge. Learning labs help but by the end of the day most people are beat.

After school there are sports, dance, music, cheer, theater, extra help, make up time and part time jobs just to name a few things. 

Who can forget homework? There is a lot of that almost every day. Some argue there is too much homework. Others think homework comes with high school and nothing can be done about it.

No two days at CSD are the same and no two weeks ever seem to repeat. Some days it seems like time stands still and other times it seems like school flies by quickly. There are advisory lunches on Wednesdays, service Fridays once a month, club meetings throughout the year, field trips, colleges coming to visit and so much more. Intersession is three days of out-of-classroom learning right before spring break. Then there is end-of-the-year AP and EOC testing. It’s hard to keep track of everything.

CSD means something different to almost every single student. But there are common threads, values and ideals. To be a Spartan is to be a member of a special family.

Here is a photographic glimpse into a day at CSD high school.

Freshman Evan Mulligan (‘26) is one of about 520 Spartans who make their way to high school every day.
(Evan Mulligan)
CSD woodshop is an elective course open to most upperclassmen. Students here are pictured playing super sized Jenga. They made it out of the wood available in their class. Woodshop is a place where you can learn the basics of construction and woodworking while also making fun knickknacks.
“I love playing Jenga during jumpstart,” said sophomore Brandon Amaya (‘25), “Though it can be annoying to hear (the blocks fall) during classes.”
(Holt Grier)
An action shot of the Jenga blocks falling. It’s a pretty common thing happening throughout the day, and with the crash always come smiles.
(Evan Mulligan)
One thing that makes the halls of CSD unique is that student art work is always on display. In this piece atop the water fountain in the arts commons, a smiling face is crafted out of screws and a circular piece of wood. The hat is even made from scrap metal.
(Paul Smith)
The black box is where many CSD students rehearse for musicals. At the time of this picture, the set is decorated for “Shrek the Musical.” If you look closely, a student is seen working on the set.
“It is a group effort to make a musical happen. Everyone has to play their part from the actors and the crew to the directors. It’s amazing how it all comes together in the end,” said sophomore Holt Grier (‘25) who plays Pinocchio in the production.
(Holt Grier)
Holt Grier and Brandon Amaya, both sophomores, like to hang out by their lockers in the Science Wing. Every CSD high school student has a locker in the building. They are typically arranged by class or advisory.
“It’s a quiet place to work, almost like a little oasis in a busy building where there is lots always happening,” said Holt Grier (‘25).
“I like hanging out there because it is secluded and it’s got good Wi-Fi so I can use my phone,” said Brandon Amaya (‘25).
(Brandon Amaya)
Spartan Perk is quiet during off hours. The café, enjoyed by many students, is only open during first, second, jumpstart and eighth period. When it is open, the coffee shop is a bustling epicenter of student life that is a welcome new edition this year to CSD.
(Ben Gallagher)
At Spartan Perk, “the muffins are a bright spot in my day,” said sophomore Emma Burch (‘25).
(Evan Mulligan)
The weight room during lunch is empty however the damage from the morning classes usually leaves the weight room in a mess. Soon after the afternoon classes end, the weight room comes to life and students tear up the place even more.
(Conner Shelton)
Sophomore Darby Camp (‘25), after finding her favorite eraser previously believed to be lost, shares a smile and strikes a “LFG” type pose in the main commons.
(Emma Sands)
Sophomore, Evan Mulligan, interviews a classmate for a journalism story in the arts commons. Student journalist must always look for interview subjects first story, ideas, information and quotes. The arts commons is one of two main areas where students spend their learning lab free blocks. (Emma Burch)
Murals cover the walls throughout a lot of the school. Outside the practice gym, the Spartan logo is connected to signs and symbols of all the activities and offerings throughout the high school. Many students pass by it on their way in and out of the building every day.
(Evan Mulligan)
Kaycee Mullally (‘24) enjoys her learning lab time studying and catching up on homework to maintain good grades in her classes. Learning labs are open blocks during the CSD school day built into student schedules to help them learn time management and stay current with academics.
“It gives me the chance to get ahead of my classwork,” Kaycee Mullally (‘24) said. “I also like to use the opportunity of a free period to go visit my friends.”
(Conner Shelton)
In between seventh and eighth periods, the hallways are a thronging thoroughfare of student traffic. As the day nears the end, students seem to have a new burst of energy and often the halls bubble with talk and laughter. Learning Street, specifically, pictured here, is the main artery of the school.
“I love in between classes because I get to talk to see people and blame it on them when I’m late,” said Anna Staskel (‘25).
(Ben Gallagher)
Junior Becky LaRuffa (‘24) is hard at work in her favorite class, College Prep. She is writing out a list of her strengths and weaknesses.
“Every Monday and Wednesday I look forward to College Prep. The days I don’t have College Prep, including the weekend, are the saddest,” Becky LaRuffa (24’) said.
(Ava Jordan)
Junior Becky LaRuffa (‘24) is excited after a riveting day in College Prep class.
(Emma Sands)
7th period AP Earth Science (APES) sophomores are hard at work preparing for a test. The first AP class that many students at CSD take, APES is an intro college level science class. In school, time is usually reserved for demonstrations and labs while at home students take notes and complete work not finished in class.
“APES is a hard class but one of my favorites,” said Owen Hamilton (‘25).
(Ben Gallagher)
A quiet hall hides small secrets. Look close and you may see some tiny new hidden friends atop the lockers. These wooden friends keep multiplying at a scary rate. Look up, down even on the toilet, they’re everywhere!
(Emma Davis)
These wooden friends (made in Woodworking) come in all shapes and sizes. They are everywhere and still multiplying! In the Chinese classroom, these three have cozied up to a giant panda.
(Emma Davis)
Remember giant Jenga from earlier in the day? Well, later in the day, it’s not Jenga anymore but dominoes!
(Emma Davis)
Pictured –
“A gossip sesh with my favorite people,” said Emma Davis (‘24). “My friends and I decided to sit in front of the bathroom. I don’t know why, we’re weird like that.”
Not pictured –
Emma Sands (‘25), (seated, middle) also likes shutting off the bathroom lights and running away while giggling. (She’s quirky)
(Emma Davis)
Sophomore Emma Sands (‘25) observes one of the prom posters hanging up around the school and wishes she was old enough to go.
“I wish I could say there’s always next year, but Emma will not be with us next year as she will be at boarding school,” said Ava Jordan (‘24).
“Oh, no.” Emma Sands (25’) said as she read the poster.
(Ava Jordan)
Alex Hipple (‘23), one of CSD’s senior swimmers, studies Chemistry in the dance hall during a learning lab. Located behind the Black Box theater, this hall is home to dance, beat making and songwriting classes. The dance hall is another great quiet place to spend learning labs.
(Salem Lacy)
If you feel like flying, you can do it at CSD. Sophomore, Sinclair Berry (‘25), takes notice of the big art piece of wings that is in the arts commons. The wings were prepared by the Leadership class several years ago. Every feather on both wings contains an inspirational or positive reflection or message. It’s a cool spot to get your picture taken surrounded by giant wings.
(Sinclair Berry)
The front parking lot for staff and seniors fills early and remains busy throughout the day. It is located near the main entrance so students who arrive late or get dismissed early use it for drop off and pick up. At the end of the day, buses and cars head off shortly after the last bell rings.
(Marc Smith)