Though having spent eight years as principal at Roswell High School, Cambridge Principal Ed Spurka said this year was almost like being a first-year principal again. He had a lot to prove.
“Milton [High School] and Alpharetta [High School] are two of the top schools — not only in Fulton County but the state of Georgia,” he said. “My expectations were to get the parents and the teachers and the students to buy into the fact that we could make this school a top-notch school like our neighboring schools.”
Juniors and seniors had the choice to leave their old schools and attend north Fulton’s newest high school.
“I think the first sixth months of our school we heard a lot of ‘this is not how we do things at Milton’ or ‘this is not how we do things at Alpharetta,’” Spurka said.
The first year has not been without its difficulties, he said, with the challenges of financial struggles, creating a school culture, and building relationships between staff, students and parents. Yet now he sees the Cambridge community is proud of its school.
“We did surveys [and] people enjoy working here,” Spurka said. “We’re getting flooded right now with resumes of people that want to come work here. When you go into Walmart or Target, you see kids that are wearing Cambridge stuff and parents that are wearing Cambridge stuff.”
He anticipates the May 24 graduation ceremony to be a little emotional.
With about 600 seniors graduating each year from Roswell High School, he admitted it was hard to get to know each student on an individual basis. Cambridge’s inaugural graduating class totals 112 and Spurka said he feels a connection to them all.
He said he hopes graduates can say they made the right choice to attend Cambridge and their time there has prepared them for the future. With one year ending, it only means the next school year is just on the horizon. Cambridge High School will see about 22 new employees next year and an enrollment boost from almost 1,100 students to almost 1,500 students. Spurka said for two-thirds of the student population, all they will know is Cambridge, unlike older students who started high school off at different locations.