From Heritage to City High: Keegan’s Experience
Keegan Turnbough is a 2013 graduate of Heritage Christian School. He is finishing up his junior year at City High School in Iowa City. The Heritage “Portrait of a Graduate” can only be measured as we keep up with Heritage alumni. We value maintaining communication and support with past Heritage students as they transition to high school, college and beyond. In a written interview, Keegan gave us honest and encouraging insights about what it’s like for Heritage students to transition to City High.
How has Heritage prepared you for high school? What was your transition like?
Echoing Heritage’s motto, Heritage provided an academically challenging education, along with a means to know Christ and the Bible. One great aspect of City High is that classes are offered that are above and below the class track. I thought I was challenging myself by taking AP or honors classes, but I have found them to be less challenging than I anticipated due to the preparation I received at Heritage.
The transition from Heritage to City High wasn’t easy. I started Heritage in first grade. In first grade, no one cares who you are or where you come from. They just want to be your friend. Making friends was very easy, but it wasn’t a learned experience. I wasn’t “taught” how to make friends. At City High, I felt like a little fish in a big pond. There were times I felt invisible and days when I don’t recall anyone saying “hello” to me. I was extremely lucky to be a part of the City High Cross Country team. As a freshman who didn’t know anyone, I found the groups of runners to be really friendly. The coaches, especially Coach Skay, Coach Smith, and Coach Hildebrand were welcoming and instantly made you feel like part of the team. The transition was made easier because of this group.
What were you involved in at Heritage? What are you involved in at City High?
At Heritage, I was involved in soccer, basketball, and track. At City High, I’m involved in cross country and track. The biggest difference between the two schools is the size of the teams. Take the number of athletes on the Heritage teams and multiply them by two or three. That is the size of the City High teams. This is good and bad. It’s good because it provides diversity, but it’s bad because each individual is viewed as smaller in significance compared to the whole. To make the team, you have to really set yourself apart from the others trying out.
What is the “spiritual climate” like at City High? How is it different from Heritage?
At City High, looking from the outside, it looks like everyone is out to get you because you are a Christian. While there is a little truth to this theory, everyone isn’t out to knock you down because there are other Christians around you. At City, in one of your classes, if you take the time to ask each and every person if they believed in God, on average, you would find a few Christians in your class. That said, there are still people who will mock you, but there are more people who have your back and support you.
Are you still close with your Heritage friends?
I am very close to my Heritage friends. My graduating class at Heritage was a class of 11. Since graduation, I have stayed in contact with each and every one of my friends. Two of them are still my best friends.
What was the best part of HCS? What was the hardest part?
The best part of Heritage was the togetherness of everyone. I truly felt like part of a family. I knew everyone and everyone knew me.
The hardest part was saying goodbye. When I left on the last day that May afternoon, I had ended a chapter of my life and began a new chapter I wasn’t sure I wanted to start. Looking back, at least at this point in my life, my 8th grade year was probably the best year of my life.