For the 60th anniversary of the Oswego High School building on Route 71, OHS staff showed their Panther spirit with matching navy blue shirts boasting the ever-changing growth and development in the district.
The front of the shirt has a picture of the early school and a current picture of the school side by side, and the change is astounding. The design was first suggested by OH Athletic Director Darren Howard. Howard said, “I knew we had pictures of the school from 1964, and Mr. [Alex] Rodriquez had created a more recent version of the current building just a couple years back. So I thought that would be a great way to show the growth and changes, having the pics together.”
The backside graphics of the shirt was designed by Fine Arts teacher Daniel Whipple with contributions from Howard and Success Lab teacher Nick Dunn.
“Mr. Dunn had the idea for taking the Oswego logo and putting the number 60 in place of the GO at the end of it. Then Mr. Whipple was kind enough to create the logo and artwork for us,” said Howard.
What many don’t know is that the current address of the school is not the original site. Although the school was founded in 1867, the modern building now used opened in 1964. The original site was located across the street from the Old Traughber Junior High School address that had served as the Oswego Senior Recreation Center.
From 1964 to 2004, Oswego High School served as the only high school building for the district. Through the years, the current building underwent many developments as the Oswego population grew.
In 2004, Oswego East High School opened to accommodate more students in the growing SD308 district. OH has continued to grow and prosper with the passing years and each graduating class. The changes within the school have taken public interest by displaying how far Oswego has come from its more rural origins.
This year, several newer OH teachers have come back to the district as they are alumni of SD308. These OH employees include: Abby Bartle and Emily Gaw in the English Department, Gianna Calebrese in the LRC department, and Dan Ingersoll in the Kinetic Wellness Department. These alumni have been a part of the Oswego community for a long time, and have seen the growth and change through the years.
School curricula has changed drastically from when the school opened 60 years ago. A focus on promoting diverse and inclusive learning environments has been a nation-wide change that has led to changes in the OH curriculum and school culture.
New OH English teacher Abby Bartle, class of 2018, now teaches English 3 and is an avid supporter of inclusive and diverse literature in school curriculums.
“I’m interested to see what else in the curriculum changes,” says Bartle.
LGBTQ inclusion has also been prompted to be in the OH curriculum changes in recent years. “My library focuses on … I would love to see more of that literature in the curriculum and in history classes so students can learn their own history,” says Bartle.
The addition of social media has greatly impacted high school culture, giving students the ability to share and shape the OH experience, whether positive or negative.
OH English teacher Emily Gaw, who graduated from Oswego East, has been working at the school for 8 years and has observed the changes in schools with social media.
“Social media definitely influences changes in high school and we’ve seen that here, especially in terms of behavior and tradition or lack of tradition,” says Gaw.
However, some things never change. The Oswego community continues to rally around the school, year after year. With full bleachers at the football games and constant fundraising and support for the various clubs and extracurriculars, the school has continued to be a cornerstone of Oswego community.
Kinetic Wellness teacher Dan Ingersol joined the OH staff this year and has seen the tight-knit community around Oswego.
“My favorite part about Oswego is how helpful and welcoming everyone is. Everyone is always willing to help in any way they can,” said Ingersol.
School spirit has always been a driving force of the Oswego community and only grows stronger with the passing of time. This year students have gone all out for spirit days and football games, boasting bright colorful outfits for every theme.
“We have this extreme love for football and OITF, I’ve definitely seen school spirit on the mend lately,” said Gaw.
Throughout the school’s and community expansion, Oswego’s small-town pride and community spirit continue to take to the forefront of the community.
“No matter who is here or who you see someone’s smiling, someone’s saying ‘hi’ to you even if you don’t know them… you can always find someone who can help you no matter what,” said Bartle.
Hello! I'm Fionnuala Quinn. I'm currently a junior OHS and this is my second year of journalism. Apart from journalism, I am involved in Cross Country, Track and Feild, Best Buddies, and horticulture club.