High school is a period of time experienced differently by everyone. Those who educate students now at SHCHS currently experienced a period of rock and roll, bright or grunge clothing and hair with practically a whole bottle of hairspray.
All high schoolers have the same fundamental elements to the high school experience. They take classes in varied subjects during the day, may participate in sports or extracurriculars, build friendships and ultimately graduate.
Middle school reading teacher and 2002 graduate of SHCHS, Jenna Parks stated, “There are still the same social problems, such as cliques, girl drama and fights. Many of the same clubs still exist as well. Fall is still about football and sports still have a ‘student section.’ There are still spirit weeks and pep rallies, too.”
During spirit week in high school currently, Decades Day is always popular. While the clothing is limited to the options in a current teenager’s closet and does not match perfectly, it is a tribute to the decades before.
“I am a high schooler of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. We had button-up shirts with very long tails in the back; they were worn with several layers of tanks and tees underneath or a print vest over the top. We also had jeans with an extra-long waistband that folded down over itself after you buttoned it. The style of our jeans had patches for fashion, and the pant legs were folded before the cuffs were rolled up,” described Nicolee Christophel, a SHCHS science teacher.
However, despite the similarities, even the school building itself has undergone renovations since the ‘olden days’ to now. The sixth-grade students were moved out of the elementary schools and improvements added the English, history, and science wings to the SHCHS. During this time, doors were seldom locked for security reasons as they are now.
Additions to the building have transitioned into additions to the curriculum. More advanced placement, dual enrollment and academic classes are available now.
“The course offerings have increased since I left high school in 2010. College courses were offered when I was in high school, but students had to travel to Juniata College. It is much easier now to participate in programs offered within the school building,” stated band director Tyler Clewell.
SHCHS senior Macie Hicks commented, “A lot of older generations did not attend college, but instead got a job right out of high school. In today’s society, a lot of good-paying jobs expect at least a bachelor’s degree; therefore, creating a drive to get into a good college if students wish to excel,”
Undoubtedly the most significant difference between the teachers and students collective experiences is the use of technology. Today, technology such as Smart Boards, educational videos and apps are used to teach students in abstract ways.
Today, practically every teenager has access to technology in some form or other. Social media is a big part of the culture in high school. While this entity can allow individuals to connect with others at neighboring schools, it can also negatively impact students through bullying or a strive for perfection.
The biggest change is that through social media kids can forget how easily they can upset their classmates,” Aaron Hicks, a 1991 SHC graduate and high school history teacher, commented. “I feel fortunate to be able to teach at my alma mater. I believe that I am able to have a unique connection with students.”
Times are continually changing. While the environments that teachers and students attended high school are vastly different, the connection to the school that these students attended remains.