A Little Early For Spring Cleaning?

Because of the beautiful, one-digit-temperature weather this past week, I was inspired to do a bit of spring cleaning around my office. As I went through a pile of 3.25″ floppy disks (!!), I saw a VHS copy of the school’s 1991 promotional video and, of course, had to take a trip down memory lane.

If I had watched the video with some current students, they would have had a few laughs. Senior high school students were in programming class making their Commodore 64s do things less advanced than the capabilities of today’s average toaster. Speaking of facilities, my Grade 10 girls’ gym class was playing volleyball in O’Brien Hall like it was a full-sized court, Mr. Hoare had to play an instrument just to have more than 10 in the HS senior band and we followed Mrs. Velleman’s Intermediate TEAM class to and from their classroom in one of the 10 portables! Today’s students would think the hairdos and styles of glasses were “so 1980s” and speaking of hair, staff members like Mrs. Otto, Mr. Drews, Mr. Whyte and Mr. Philbrook all had heads that were more….let’s say “colourful” back then. There is even a scene from bus dismissal on Forest Avenue with the school parking lot in the background and there, sparkling in the sun, is the 1983 Olds Cutlass I inherited from my parents as a university graduation gift!

The viewing of the video that surprised me most, though, were the things that have NOT changed. Every one of the parents, students, teachers and administrators in the video were saying things that are still mentioned to us 23 years later.

– “When I first came here last year, I wanted to get good grades so I started doing my homework and they check it everyday. So you just get in the habit of doing it.”

– “They (teachers) know your ability and they won’t accept anything less than what your potential level is.”

– “No problem is going to be older than 10-15 minutes because I visit with them three to four times right through the class.”

– “It’s just a wonderful school with caring people that really know education and the education process.”

– “From our neighbourhood, we’ve had three or four kids change from public school to this school after they heard what was going on with our kids.”

Our academic standards have increased incrementally since 1991; I regularly tell my friends that if I were a student today, I would not be able to pass the entrance test as I ceased to become helpful with my kids’ homework when they got to Grade 7! Families who are coming for our Open House this Saturday (along with students who are writing entrance assessments at the Main Campus) will see the 2014 video but it is comforting to me that I could still show the 1991 version. If only everyone could crowd around the VCR with the massive 27 inch screen…

If enough weekly update readers are interested, you never know, we just might be able to share this relic with you in next week’s update! Hit reply and let me know if you would like to see it!

Chris Starkey
Administrative Principal
Mentor College / TEAM School

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