Sandusky teachers remember 50 years of change and growth

SANDUSKY Sandusky High School celebrated 50 years of students, quality education and technology Sund
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



Sandusky High School celebrated 50 years of students, quality education and technology Sunday with an open house and building tours.

To commemorate the building -- erected in 1957 -- a display case was filled with school memorabilia representing students and faculty of the past and present.

Principal Dan Poggiali said the building tour was to update those who have been gone for years and those who are curious as to what's going on behind closed doors.

"A lot of people have been gone five or 10 years and haven't been here since the fitness center or other additions have been added on," Poggiali said. "The school looks a lot different now, and we're giving the community and former students a chance to come back and take a look."

Some instructors were on hand to explain curriculums, new methods of teaching, the additional facilities and provide refreshments.

"I graduated from SHS in 1970, like my father who graduated from SHS in 1937 and my son in 2004 and my wife in 1977," said math instructor Bernard "Bernie" Seiler. "As a math teacher we have gone from using chalk and chalkboard to overhead projectors to whiteboard to a SMARTboard, where we use no ink or chalk at all. I used to just teach from the front of my room to the back. Now I have students in my classes from Monroeville High School by way of distance learning television. I could go on and on."

Although technology is constantly changing and the 315,445-square-foot facility expanding, instructors said diversity and the quality of education are consistent.

"When I started teaching here, something I appreciated right away was the diversity of this school," said Shane Penrose, a 13-year social studies instructor. "I think SHS was and is the most diverse school in our area, and it is a tremendous asset. There is no lack of perspectives in the average classroom, and it has fostered a sense of tolerance, respect and even worldliness for our kids that they may not even notice until they leave."

"Twenty years ago, the students of Sandusky High School were not united," said American history instructor Dave Brown. "Today they are. The students get along so much better."

"The one constant (at SHS) is the student body," said instructor Patricia Mellen. "SHS has a place for every student and courses to offer every student."

English teacher Elizabeth Poggiali said overall students are the same, year after year.

"Students still complain about homework, students still get excited about prom, students still want to be prepared to go to college, students still have problems with parents, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc., and students still make me smile every single day," she said. "Yes, they still make me crazy at times, but I'm sure I did the same thing when I was a student. To put it simply, students are still teenagers and that's what makes teaching 11th graders an amazing experience."

Instructors said sometimes students --past and present-- get nailed with a bad rap, but people need to realize how diverse the students' surroundings and backgrounds are," Mellen said. "We teach teenagers and yes, sometimes they are boisterous, but our student body as a group is generous and kind-hearted, curious and hard-working group of unique individuals. Sometimes the more things change, the more some things stay the same."

"I can only imagine what school life will be like in five or ten years," instructor Ruben Perez said.