Clevenger raises the flags to build strong connection with CHS


Clevenger creates strong CHS connections and athletes with her tradition of hanging college flags in the fitness room.

Will McHale

Virginia “Ginny” Clevenger became a gym teacher at Communications High School when it opened in 2000 and has seen more of its students pass through its halls than practically anyone else.

“They are very hard on themselves, very smart, very artistic, and all around good kids,” Clevenger said of the students. Clevenger knows and remembers her students, which is reflected in the college pennants adorning the walls of the CHS fitness room.

“I wanted to decorate the room; it was boring. It gave everyone something to look forward to,” Clevenger said.

The flags date back to 2004, the year of the first graduating class of CHS students.

The flags are one of many traditions Clevenger has that show her connection and personal relationship with her students. Other traditions include her Halloween costumes, in which she accurately dresses up as some of the seniors each year, and her annual senior poem for the Inkblot with a line about each senior.

More than 100 flags later, Clevenger feels a special connection to her own personal flag for her alma mater, Westchester.

Clevenger continues to put up the flags so that underclassmen have the chance to observe the schools that alumni have attended to play sports, potentially inspiring them to one day have their flags on the walls. She also hopes to see the flag tradition carry on, even when she is no longer teaching. The flags have become very special to Clevenger and the CHS community and she wants to see them stay.

“They’re going to stay up there until someone takes them down. I’m not taking them down,” Clevenger said.