CHS classes, activities evolve throughout the years


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CHS alumnus Bobby Picardo poses with Clevenger and principal James Gleason, respectively, in 2003.

Khushi Kadakia

Only 82 students and eight faculty members walked the halls of CHS in 2000, according to history teacher Sharyn O’Keefe, who has been a teacher at CHS since its opening in 2000. 19 years later, the school currently has 311 students and 28 faculty members. But, this change in student and faculty size is not the only aspect of CHS that has evolved over time.

Fitness teacher Ginny Clevenger has also taught at CHS since it opened its doors to its first graduating class in 2000.

“We didn’t even know what Communications High School was going to be like. The first couple of years, it was us getting our feet wet, figuring out what classes we were going to offer,” Clevenger said.

Guidance counselor Sandra Gidos has worked at CHS since 2010, and she noted that the school altered many of its technical courses depending on what would best prepare students for the current communications industry and what most interests students and teachers.

“Ms. Gesin, keeping current, has changed and added some of the classes, because some of the computer classes have become obsolete. So, she would add to a class or drop a class depending on what is current… I believe Mr. Woolley is going to be putting a [Public Relations] class in this year,” Gidos said.

Gidos added that depending on students’ interests, course selections also change throughout the years, which can be revealed when making the students’ schedules.

“Prior to that [History Through Film] was enough students for just one class, but now there’s many students who desire that class, so we opened up two classes. Same thing with Advanced Physics… there were so many students who chose to have the Advanced Physics class that we offered two sections,” Gidos said.

O’Keefe noticed a change in the student organizations offered at CHS, as well. Some current clubs originated in the early 2000s, such as the student councils and Student Government Association. Others have only recently been established, including chess club and the Junior State of America.

Despite the addition of new clubs every year, CHS had more clubs in previous years, Clevenger said. While some of these student organizations have since gone away, they influenced many current CHS events and traditions.

“There used to be a fitness club,” Clevenger said. “That’s who started the 3v3 tournament, the volleyball tournament.”

While approximately 80 students have been accepted to CHS every year since 2000, O’Keefe said she noticed that its student population has changed over the years.

“[It] used to be a lot more even between boys and girls, but over the years, that’s kind of shifted. It seems to be shifting back again which is kind of nice,” O’Keefe said.

Nevertheless, O’Keefe said that while classes and clubs at CHS have evolved throughout the years, the characteristics of the student body have remained consistent.

“I think [the personalities] are pretty much the same. You have that mix of artistic, you have that mix of science and math. There’s not one cliche you could give for CHS,” O’Keefe said.