The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

When I was your age

Graphic by Leah Kreisler
Pictured from left to right on the top row are Ms. Zitnik, Mr. Taylor and Mr. Imperial. Pictured from left to right on the bottom row are Sra. Steele, Mr. Savett and Ms. Aghion. All are WCHS teachers when they were younger.

Decorated hallways. Blast. Glow dances. These are just some of the traditions that define the WCHS experience and have become memories that students will hold onto for the rest of their lives. So what are the traditions and customs that make up teachers’ high school experiences? What did they do when they were our age?

WCHS principal John Taylor, who attended Georgetown High School, reminisces about a wonderful high school tradition: alumni banquets.

“One of the nicest traditions from my high school was the alumni banquets and dinners. Over winter break each year many groups (teams, clubs, Theater/TV, etc.) would hold ‘alumni’ dinners inviting back recent and past alumni to a dinner organized by current students. It was a great time to catch up with old friends who had graduated, hear about college and life after high school and celebrate together.”

A Day in the Court
WCHS Spanish teacher Stacy Steele, who attended the American School Foundation in Mexico City, Mexico, remembers organizing and attending a Renaissance fair all four years of high school.

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“Every spring we would hold a Renaissance fair at my high school. Everyone, both the teachers and the students, would dress up and participate the whole day! There would be booths with crafts and games that might have been popular at the time of the Renaissance. Because it was in Mexico, the weather was conducive to it being held outside so every year we would look forward to our outdoor Renaissance fair!”

Unlocking the Night
WCHS Math teacher, Corrine Aghion, who attended Columbus Torah Academy, recalls a true community building tradition: a lock-in where all students would spend the night together at school.

“We had a lock-in at our high school. All students who wanted to would sleep over in the gym, locker rooms, etc. People would put on skits and there were all kinds of different activities and then everyone would have breakfast together the next morning. It was usually on Saturday night so it was a weekend tradition!”

Dazzling drifts
WCHS Social Studies teacher Eric Imperial, who attended Benjamin Franklin Senior High School, reminisces about his school’s defining homecoming tradition: spirit week.

“One of [the] long-standing traditions was the Spirit Week competition between the classes during Homecoming Week. Each day, the classes would engage in different events to accumulate points to determine the winner of Spirit Week [and thus] the coveted Spirit Week Stick. These events included a newspaper drive, a costume day and the culminating event on Friday, the skit competition. Usually, the competition was between the junior and senior classes. My class won Spirit Week both junior and senior years.”

Unsettling Shadows
WCHS English teacher Jeffrey Savett, who attended George Washington High School, harks back to a time when bullies were everywhere; the defining tradition was to run in fear.

“At my school, a fine Philadelphia public school, we would learn to navigate the hallways during bathroom trips and between classes so as to avoid being stuffed into lockers or punched by people who were larger and meaner than us.”

Birthday “Surprises”
WCHS English teacher Laura Zitnik, who attended Mercy High School, thinks back to a common tradition at her high school: birthday “surprises”.

“When one of our friends would have a birthday, we’d come to school early to wrap their locker like a present (complete with fun wrapping paper, bows, ribbons and balloons). Also, we’d bring in a cake with candles to celebrate at lunch. Everybody knew it was coming, but you still had to act surprised when you saw it to add to the fun. I feel like the school would eventually make us take down the wrapping paper when it started to look raggedy, but we usually left it up for about a month.”

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About the Contributors
Leah Kreisler
Leah Kreisler, Sports Editor
Leah Kreisler is a junior at WCHS and the Sports Editor for the Observer. In her free time, Leah enjoys playing volleyball, going to the gym, reading and writing and spending time with her friends and family.
Cecilia Bernstein
Cecilia Bernstein, Assistant Observations Editor
Cecilia Bernstein is a junior and is the Assistant Observations Editor for the 2023-2024 school year. She is a huge Swiftie and her favorite albums are Midnights and Lover. She loves to play soccer, hang out with friends and listen to music. In the summer, she spends her time at summer camp.

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