What We Were Like in High School – Your Teachers

“True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country”
-Kurt Vonnegut

Mr. Pakrad – I attended BHS in the late 80’s and graduated in 1990. As a three sport student athlete with a part time job, I was busy all the time. Typically, we enjoyed hanging out in the courtyard outside of the cafeteria during lunch, lifting weights with music blaring, going up to the general store after school, and helping to build the bonfire as a senior.


Mr. Schmidt – I always thought of myself as a pretty normal kid, but when sharing my experiences with kids today, it sounds like I was something far from normal. My high school days were very routine driven. Though academics were important to me, it was not the thing that motivatedme. My motivation was always to learn about something different, something challenging, something that involved my body and mind. To this end, I was a Varsity athlete, an avid long distance runner, an outdoorsman, a craftsman. 4:30am was the start of my day, as I was the assistant groundskeeper for Putnam National Golf Course. I headed to work early to mow the greens, survey the course, and instruct the rest of the workers on the days’ tasks. Then it was off to school. After school, I either had a sporting activity or it was off to a second job as a motorcycle mechanic at the local Kawasaki dealership. I did this as they were my sponsor for my motocross obsession, and I wanted to know all I could about the machines I loved so much. When the shop closed at 5pm, it was a stop at the golf course on the way home. As if this was not hectic enough, on Fridays I would take off from the mechanic job and work for an auto repossession company cutting keys, replacing ignitions, and managing the yard full of cars reclaimed by the banks that week. The weekends were mine to be filledwith racing, fishing, hiking, running, woodworking and a myriad of hobbies I still have today. (Honey anyone?) I have always been asked how I pack 26 hours of stuff into 24 hours, and my answer has always been a quote from Albert Einstein “1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.” Maybe it should be “100% insanity…”


Mr. Franze – I remember my graduation day in 2001 and the months leading up to the last time my grade would be gathered in the same place. The students would talk about how we would never again be in the same place at the same time. As we got closer to the end, one could start to see a change in how we treated one another. At thetime, the Brewster teams were growing stronger by the year and our football team made it to the Dome. When you would tell people you were from Brewster, people would comment about the success of our sports teams. I remember taking pride in the school’s victories even though they may not have been my personal victories. For that reason, as we got older, our sense of pride and respect grew whether we were at homecoming, sports games, the big bonfire, the dances, the field trips, sitting in the courtyard, and the simple things like meeting up at each other’s locker or walking to your car together. In those moments, one was able to see growth in our character. It was strange to see people just trying harder. If I had one takeaway, it would be that we all started to reflect on what would no longer be and enjoyed being together even during the boring lessons.


Ms. Bald – When I had to think about what I was like in high school, I kind of laughed to myself. I graduated from Carmel High School in 2007. For all four years, I was on the dance team (JV then Varsity), where I had a very close group of friends, a few of who are bridesmaids in my wedding (cue adorable sigh). We were always hanging out and dancing in the little dance studio that Carmel had during free periods or after school. On weekends, we frequently went into the city for shopping and walking around, or we just hung out at someone’s house where we watched movies. I also worked at an auto body shop and Friendly’s for most of high school.

Mrs. Fine – My high school life was probably a lot like everyone else’s in most ways– I did my school work, I played sports, I took part in clubs (student government and French Club, mostly), and I was involved in band, chorus, and drama. Probably the only less-than-typical part of my day was that I got up early each morning to work on our family’s dairy farm before school. After the school day was over, I went back to the barns to do evening chores and / or work in the fields.


Mrs. Welch – I was in high school from 1967-1971. I remember wearing fishnet stockings (made of thick thread that cut into my feet, but anything to look good!), bell-bottom pants, love beads, and general hippie threads. My music was rock and roll (Beatles & Rolling Stones) played mostly on 45 records…high school dances were a must. My telephone was a rotary phone with a long cord, attached to the wall – there was no such thing as a private conversation in my house. I got my license at 17 – freedom! Until my midnight curfew senior year. The Vietnam War was ever present. I remember reading the lottery lists – my older brother’s number was a high one so he wasn’t drafted, but many of our friends were. I remember the incident at Kent State during my junior year – and all of the other protests.In high school I was involved in sports: I was the goalie on my field hockey team and the shortstop on my softball team. I also liked school politics; I was the senior class president and involved in student government. As senior class president, as a part of our graduation ceremony, I had to give a speech (which was respectfully listened to). There was a boy who had really long hair who had taped a peace sign on the back of his gown, like many of the graduates did. This guy jumped up to the podium and gave an impromptu speech about what he thought should have been taught in school. He made some really good points, but the primarily middle-class, blue-collar workers didn’t pay attention to his words, due to the way he looked. It was then that I learned the value of knowing your audience if you wanted to be listened to. I understood “It’s not just what you say but how you say it.”