Collaboration by: Lydia Roberts & Rylee Miller
Ten years ago, for a majority of the students currently enrolled at Lebanon high school, was a time of recess, nap time and the alphabet. But, for others, 2007 was a year of stress, AP tests and teenage drama as they attempted to survive the stresses of high school. The students of the school of 2007 may have been exposed to different environments and technologies than our school today, but there are quite a few striking similarities that can be found in our modern experience.
Even though we might not think about it, ten years ago, many of the staff members were simply at the beginning of their career at LHS. For Lebanon High School’s principal, Kevin O’ Rourke, ten years ago was already his thirteenth year involving himself within the school and was his first year as Lebanon’s principal.
To O’Rourke, the advancement of technology is one of the most life-altering aspects of the students’ experience. During O’ Rourke’s first few years at Lebanon High School as a business teacher in 1993, there was no email; teachers left an overview of the homework on their voicemails, allowing students to call at the end of the day and get the assignments.
“In a lot of respects, it was – for a lack of better word – a simpler time. You did not have near the distractions that are part of our society today. When I go back to the early 90’s, I realize that the world has changed a lot throughout the years,” said O’ Rourke.
According to O’ Rourke, along with the technology, other aspects of the school have changed greatly to shape LHS today, including the renovation of the building. The renovation changed the layout of the building and updated the school.
Alongside the renovation, LHS’s curriculum has grown to include a wider variety of classes, like the introduction of health careers classes, culinary arts classes, business classes, agriculture opportunities and welding, all opening fresh opportunities for hands-on learning.
“There are just so many opportunities for students. If you were here in 1993, you would not realize the opportunities you have now compared to back then. I think if a student takes advantage of the opportunities, they have the world in front of them,” said O’Rourke.
On the other hand, the students of Lebanon high school in 2017 have not changed much from the students of ten years ago, according to O’ Rourke. Although the students seem to be fairly similar overall, Mr. O’ Rourke believes that their experiences in our modern world are extremely different with the advancements of technology and the introduction of cell phones.
Through the years, Lebanon’s students have been a factor that O’ Rourke is very proud of.
“I am very proud of our school and I am proud of our staff,” said O’Rourke.
Mr. O’ Rourke takes the utmost pride in the students and staff of Lebanon high school, whether ten years ago or now. He spends his time as principal focusing on improving our school however he can.
Being someone who has been different places in the community, O’ Rourke takes pride in the state of our school compared to others in surrounding counties.
“I would not want my family to go anywhere else. From someone who’s been different places throughout their career, I have something to compare to and I’m very appreciative of the Lebanon community. I think the state of our school is very good; we perform very well compared to other schools,” said O’Rourke.
John Goodwin, a history and economics teacher at Lebanon high school, has been teaching for 39 years. To Goodwin, the student body is not drastically different than it was ten years ago, although he does not believe that we have the same close environment between the staff and students as we did back then.
“I would hope that the staff can recapture the collegiality that we once had and recognize that the teachers really do know what they are doing and do not need to be guided by the state or a particular style of teaching,” said Goodwin.
In Goodwin’s opinion, Lebanon high school is an excellent school with many teachers who put in effort to teach their students everything they need to know. Goodwin also believes that our school is an underutilized asset for the city of Lebanon, but wishes that more students would turn off their technology and use their brains more.
“I would also hope that students would recognize that technology is not end all and be all of existence; brains are important and using those brains is even more important,” said Goodwin.
Aside from teachers, many students may remember the old high school, but some may not even know what it looked like before the remodel. Students left what little there was of the old building in December of 2012 and in January of 2013 they came back to the finished building.
2012 graduate Tosha Maxwell was not there to be a student in the finished building, but she did experience the remodel.
“I was there when they first started, and during it, but I graduated in May of 2012, so I did not see the final product for a while,” said Maxwell.
Since the building has changed, she could barely recognize anything, especially the lunchroom. The notorious wraps have not changed much; they were still a lunch room hit back then.
“The lunchroom was definitely a lot brighter than before it was orange and just a bunch of different colors. I remember the wraps back then because they were so good,” said Maxwell.
Fashion at LHS has definitely evolved, much like the building. Styles have changed over the years and so has the dress code.
“Those blue cookie monster shirts were really popular back then, and Nike slides were huge, and we could also wear leggings,” said Maxwell.
Students at LHS now have Macbooks to take home for research, homework, and to look for any other information they may need.
The class of 2012 did not get that luxury that students have now.
“We had laptops, but we did not get to take them home, and they were not like the ones they have now,” said Maxwell.
The laptops give students a chance to do homework efficiently at home, and allow them to get things done quicker. Maxwell thinks the laptops are one of the major things that have improved at LHS.
“I think the quality of education has increased because of the laptops, we did not have ones we could take home so we did not have all that info at our fingertips,” said Maxwell.
High school was a lot different for Maxwell than 2014 graduate Molly Myers.
While Maxwell got to see the beginning of the construction, Myers witnessed the whole transition between the old and new building.
“My freshman year was in the old building before they did any remodeling, and then my senior year the building was completely done, so I was the only class to get to see the complete before and after,” said Myers.
The fashion around LHS has been pretty consistent since 2014, with the occasional trends every year, but a few things were different; like leggings were allowed then too.
In recent events, LHS was rated as an A school, which is an incredible honor for our students and faculty. That recognition was noticed by more than just the students and faculty.
“I think the school has improved by becoming a lot more academic and art focused, instead of just sports focused,” said Myers.
Myers was also involved with the LHS marching band, and has noticed that the program has improved as well, and enjoys seeing the arts and other groups in the school strive.
“When I started, we [the marching band] did not even have uniforms, and then we start making finals. The band and art programs themselves have gotten a lot more support too, which is important,” said Myers.
The high school throughout the years has changed, and all the students and staff at LHS will have a different high school experience than the grade before them. It is interesting to see how things have changed, and what they were like. If you ever get the chance to look through an old yearbook, do it. You will never know what you will find.