Defining Wantagh High School in 2011

Kiera Fitzpatrick, Editor-in-Chief

As we’ve gone through the motions as high school students here at Wantagh High School, there have been notable changes. It’s safe for the junior and seniors to say that Wantagh in 2011 is extremely different than when we entered as freshmen in September 2008 and 2007.

Mr. Lebel, Mr. Svolos, Mr. Haruthunian; our Deans of Discipline over the past three years. The junior class has yet to see a constant figure in room 104. Dr. O’Connor left as the current juniors came into the school and Mrs. Breivogel is our principal, and Mr. Brown is the vice principal. Dr. Carl Bonuso left, and in came the new regime under Dr. Lydia Begley was welcomed into the schools. These familiar inviting faces have been behind the physical and cosmetic reforms of our learning establishment.

Last year, the back gym was added, and the previous back gym turned into the weight room. The weight room years prior to 09 was made into the upperclassmen cafeteria, the freshman now coming out of the “cage,” and moving into the other available cafeteria. Rooms 151 and 150 currently serve as a general purpose study hall, and a senior study hall room equipped with a couch, a T.V., which are accompanied by other items meant to occupy time. Outside? New bleachers, turf, and a new track improve the athletic department here at Wantagh High School.

The cafeteria now offers healthier alternatives to the greasy food that we associate with a school. Wantagh’s been hugging trees and now uses less plastic, and each room has recycling bins in it for students/faculty to use to their discretion. The faces we knew in our freshmen years may not be around anymore due to new teachers who may have stepped in. New technology has snuck its way into the classrooms. Smartboards can be found in at least one classroom in each department. Laptops are available in the library. Room 117, home to the journalism students and Mr. Hunter’s students, is a new computer lab. It started off shaky, but in the end the new computers are vital to the students who visit this room daily.

Mrs. Breivogel has hand selected a few inspirational quotes that welcome us as they dance along the walls. Each day we’re greeted by inspirational messages such as “Esse Non Videri – To Be Not to Seem.” The new lockers that inhabit along the main hallway are painted black – and the familiarity with Wantagh that we hold close to our hearts dwindles and hangs in the gallows.

We may be reluctant to admit, but our outlook on school has changed. Freshmen may not realize the importance of everything they do in school. Each test that’s taken is consequential to your future. Upperclassmen, hopefully, have had the chance to have the epiphany that what we’re doing here matters. Like a bell curve, our outlook on education in high school, enter wanting to have fun and not think anything you’re doing in your ninth grade classes matter, struggle as a junior in AP classes, and senior year enjoy every second of your last days as a student – let go and try to savor the sweet lack of major responsibilities that will bombard us as freshmen in college, or in the careers chosen. It’s not a rarity to hear a senior/junior express that they’d give anything to be a freshman again, as nostalgia sets in with a dose of reality.

Even though we may all pretend to be infested with stoicism and you may put on a façade which lacks integrity, it’s really inarguable that Wantagh has gone through many reforms and there are more to come. Sure, there are still crowded hallways, drama-obsessed teenagers, tests, and the 2:18 dismissal, but wave goodbye to Wantagh Version 2007, and welcome Wantagh Version 2011 with open arms, you’re stuck here for another few months, a year, or years to come. Enjoy it, and enjoy the changes that your tax money has provided to ensure you a happier and more efficient day here. Wantagh isn’t ostentatious to any degree – but for what it’s worth, little inklings of pride linger in the halls, right next to the new lockers.