CHS’s tightknit community unravels



CHS students participate in the 2021 Spring Spirit Week Relay Race, the second spirit week event after numerous event cancellations and alterations.

Julia Homza

With a largely virtual Spring Spirit Week ending, many CHS students are left with memories of the highlights of school years past. These events are a large part of the community at CHS.

Entering high school in a fully virtual environment, the Class of 2024 has yet to experience any of these events in full. The sophomores haven’t had a full in- person year of high school yet either, but they did have a Fall Spirit Week, Homecoming, and Winter Ball.

“It was a good year and I have accomplished many things,” said freshman Julia Grau of Millstone Township. “I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.”

Governor Murphy announced that New Jersey schools will be required to have full time in-person learning in the fall of 2021 according to This means that the Class of 2024 will get to start their high school experience in full in just a few months.

“I’m not too sad,” said freshman Lydia Oliveri of Colts Neck. “I know I have three years left to see all of the things that are in store.”

Although having experienced a full semester and a half before the pandemic, the Class of 2023 is in a similar situation to the freshmen, where they haven’t gotten a lot of the quintessential experiences of CHS.

“The sense of community is a little different, but I think CHS has done a good job of keeping a community throughout the pandemic,” said Sophomore Molly Dettlinger of Brielle. “I wish we were able to experience events like Color Wars and a real Spring Spirit Week, since those probably won’t happen until I am a junior.”

“I definitely miss having events, but I look forward to when they will return,” said junior class president Liam Stemetzki of Wall. “While we aren’t able to have our normal events, many clubs and councils are working on many end-of-year events that will try to help CHS feel a little bit more normal.”

Despite the annual events that have been missed by the CHS community, students and staff have worked to introduce other inventive functions to stand in their place. The sophomore class collected items and made easter baskets in partnership with Lunch Break in Red Bank and the senior class had an Elf on the Shelf themed event leading up to winter break.

The Class of 2021 is still holding some of the events from years prior like the Senior Picnic and prom.

“We’ve had all the normal stress of school, classes, and tests this year, plus the added stress of a pandemic, and little to no fun events to distract and ease the pressure,” said Senior Danielle Hannah of Middletown. “I can tell that’s taken a toll on the student body, myself included.”

This disconnect isn’t only experienced from student to student; there is also a disconnect between students and staff.

“CHS students are unique, yes, but that’s what makes CHS, CHS,” said Bill Clark, US history, financial literacy, and effective speech teacher. “Laughing in the hallways, crazy group activities, eating on the floor, outrageous lunchtime fun.”

Despite the hardships CHS has faced in the past year, in-person students were able to return to school 5 days a week beginning Tuesday, May 25.

“Community is different this year, but it’s only temporary,” Clark said. “We will be back and probably better for it. We will appreciate the good times and events that bond us as CHS.”